St. Andrews Holiday Classic - Event Recap
There certainly was no shortage of talent on hand this weekend in Barrington, Rhode Island for the St. Andrew’s Holiday Classic. In a loaded field and extremely well-run tournament, several of the usual stars stood out, but many young players did a great job in continuing to make a name for themselves on one of the biggest stages of the prep school season thus far.
Wilbraham & Monson (MA) 67 Worcester Academy (MA) 57
With a handful of D1 coaches on hand to see Rene Castro and Jaylen Brantley, Worester and WMA kept it a close one until midway through the second half. Castro gave a great effort defensively and scored 19 points in the first half. Castro continued his scoring dominance with a strong lay-up as the first basket of the second half, but quickly saw his squad fall behind. Brantley knocked down two threes early in the second half and led WMA’s charge that ultimately was too much for Worcester.
Despite the loss, another bright spot for Worcester, besides Castro’s performance, was the play of Matt Cimino in the second half. Cimino rebounded well, knocked down a couple three-pointers, and showed his length and size for a shooter will consistently be a problem for opponents. Former Sabis Charter star Kamali Bey had 16 points for WMA. Bey has tremendous strength for a guard, and constantly uses that to his advantage.
Vermont Academy (VT) 95 Brimmer and May (MA) 58
Jamel Artis and Daquan Mcneil scored 22 and 16 points, respectively, in Vermont Academy’s blowout victory over Brimmer. VA was able to get to the rim nearly at will, and because of that shot a high percentage from the floor. VA also played very good team defense, shutting down Brimmer’s star Fordham-commit Jake Fay. Fay finished with 17 points, but struggled to hit shots until late in the second half, when he showed off his trademark outside jumpshot. Justin Turner had a standout performance for Brimmer, he finished with a couple threes, and also scored from mid-range and driving to the rim.
Tilton School 71(NH) St. Mark’s (MA) 55
In the most highly anticipated matchup of the weekend, Tilton ran away with this one late in the second half behind 25 points from Iowa State commit Georges Niang and 22 points from super-sophomore Wayne Selden. Niang again showed why he jumped up the rankings this summer and is considered a steal for Iowa State. He showed off his outside stroke, finished everything inside, and was Tilton’s most consistent rebounding presence. Selden got to the rim literally whenever he wanted to as his rare combination of strength and athleticism continues to daunt opponents. He scored in a variety of ways, from outside and mid-range shooting to strong finishes and highlight-reel dunks. With Nerlens Noel out most of the first half with three fouls, Goodluck Okonoboh stepped up as Tilton’s leader defensively, blocking several shots and altering many more.
Michigan-commit Nikolas Stauskas never really seemed to be able to get into a rhythm in this one. He knocked down a couple threes and made some nice dribble-drive moves that undoubtedly warrant him being a top 100 player, but was stripped on several occasions by Tilton’s tough defense. While the matchup between Noel and Kaleb Tarczewski (22 points) was short-lived, the Arizona-bound big man showed a lot of aggressiveness and a clear confidence in his jump hook. He also displayed a jump shot that had range out to the high post.
St. Andrew’s School (RI) 66 Hotchkiss School (CT) 45
St. Andrew’s sophomores Bonzie Colson and Henry Bolton each scored a dozen as they rolled over Hotchkiss. Bolton had impressive play at the point, controlling the tempo the entire game - an admired quality for a young point guard. Colson muscled defenders down low in the post, scoring on several different post moves and off of offensive rebounds. Senior guard/forward Tom Garrick led St. Andrew’s with 20 points in the victory, showing some leadership and getting efficient shots from all over the floor for the Saints.
Note: Hotchkiss played this weekend without two of their most highly touted players in point guard Makai Mason and 6’9 junior Austin Colbert, both out with injuries.
Tilton School (NH) 78 Hotchkiss School (CT) 59
This was a five-point game at halftime, but Tilton ultimately ran away with this game late in the second half to secure a 2-0 weekend for the Rams. While Nerlens Noel was nearly a non-factor in their first game against St. Mark’s because of foul trouble, he certainly made his presence felt in this one, as his presence was constantly in the heads of Hotchkiss players driving to the rim. Noel had several blocked shots, instilled fear in the opposing team, and led a fantastic defensive performance by Tilton in the second half. Georges Niang (30 points) once again used his full offensive arsenal; he knocked down three-pointers, used textbook post moves, moved well without the ball, and had several putbacks. Goodluck Okonoboh showed his true potential, finishing with 18 points on several wowing dunks, a couple of mid-range jumpers, and finishes inside.
Clyde Smith and 6’10 junior Kyle Washington were the lone bright spots for Hotchkiss. The TCU-commit Smith scored in a variety of ways, his outside jumper looked strong and he had several nice finishes going to the rim. Washington still has a long way to go as a prospect, but he has a clear confidence in his left hook, will shoot and knock down jumpers out to 18 feet if left open, and gives a great effort on the glass.
St. Mark’s (MA) 72 Vermont Academy (VT) 56
While Nik Stauskas may have struggled to find a rhythm in St. Mark’s first game against Tilton, he certainly didn’t have that problem against Vermont. His renowned three-point jumper was automatic, but more importantly he continues to show that he is much more than just a shooter; he penetrated and got to the rim constantly on his way to 19 points and used his athleticism to his advantage to pull down several tough rebounds. Kaleb Tarczewski had what may have been the best performance of the weekend. He amassed 29 points in all via several different post moves and putbacks; he protected the rim, and, per usual, was the most dominant player on the glass.
Daquan Mcneil and Jamel Artis scored 16 apiece for Vermont Academy, who despite being down just 35-33 at halftime, struggled defensively the rest of the way and were clearly hindered by too many turnovers in the half court.
Worcester Academy (MA) 80 Master’s School (CT) 38
This was a 12-point game at halftime, but Worcester blew the doors off Master’s in the second half, giving up just 15 total points in the half. Rene Castro once again led Worcester in scoring with 22 points; he did a great job of constantly pushing the tempo so that WA could get easy buckets in transition. Tom Rivard (15 points) also stood out because of his efficiency to finish on offense or get to the line. He has a variety of spin and post moves, and he was a pest on the offensive glass all weekend. Senior guard Maliek Miles led Master’s in scoring with nine points, making a couple nice driving moves to the rim.
Cushing Academy (MA) 72 Hotchkiss School (CT) 56
Cushing’s stars just played too well in this matchup for Hotchkiss to keep up. Andrew Chrabascz (17 points) held his own on the glass and took some great shots for Cushing. He had a hard time at points with finishing inside, but he never let that deter his aggressiveness. Alex Furness used his length and athleticism all night to get to the rim on Hotchkiss’ defenders. His fiery intensity and refusal to let up kept Cushing going all game. Sophomore Kaleb Joseph showed, with several Division 1 coaches including Maryland and Delaware looking on, why he has the makings of a future star. Joseph got in the paint off the dribble at will-his playmaking ability, on-ball defense, and quick first step are what make him stand out right now as a prospect.
Clyde Smith once again paced Hotchkiss, he scored 27 points in a performance that was one of the best of the whole weekend. His ability to take defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim around much bigger players will be a great addition to TCU.
Marianapolis Prep (CT) 60, Holderness School (NH) 34
Proctor Academy (NH) 54, Lawrence Academy (MA) 50
Cushing Academy (MA) 69, Christian Heritage School (CT) 48
Wilbraham & Monson (MA) 78, Proctor Academy (NH) 39
Holderness School (NH) 72, Brimmer and May (MA) 50
Marianapolis Prep (CT) 61, Lawrence Academy (MA) 53
St. Andrew’s School (RI) 84, Christian Heritage School (CT) 53