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Monday, January 21, 2013
Hoophall: Brewster (N.H.) 88, South Kent (Conn.) 55

By Chris Bradley

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -– Brewster Academy flexed its muscles on Sunday afternoon at the Hoophall Classic, dominating NEPSAC foe South Kent from start to finish and coming out with an 88-57 victory.

Syracuse commit Chris McCullough was virtually unstoppable on the offensive end for the Bobcats, scoring the vast majority of his points in transition –- including a few high-rising dunks, to the delight of the packed crowd at Springfield College's Blake Arena.

“When I dunked it, I hoped to get my team hyped and have that hype on the bench,” McCullough said.

McCullough transferred to Brewster this season after leading Salisbury (Conn.) to last year’s NEPSAC Class A title. A long 6-foot-10 forward who can handle the ball and get up and down the floor with impressive speed, McCullough committed to the Orange back in November. He then hinted around a month later that he may try to reclassify to the class of 2013 to be able to go to Syracuse this coming fall, but that plan has since fallen through.

In addition to McCullough’s 21 points, Brewster also got 16 points from point guard Kevin Zabo and 12 from West Virginia commit Elijah Macon.

Macon, a strong 6-foot-8 forward who is doing a postgraduate year before joining the Mountaineers next fall, made his presence felt on the offensive end in the halfcourt. Known for his ability to outmuscle opponents and finish loud dunks inside, he gave Brewster exactly the spark they needed off the bench.

Terrell makes a statement: Brewster junior Jared Terrell has had as much of an up-and-down season as any player in the region, and he felt as if he needed to make a statement with his play on the defensive end on Sunday.

Terrell, who suffered an ankle injury late last summer, says he is still recovering from the injury that kept him away from anything but light activity for the entire fall.

Because of the ankle, the top 100 guard struggled with his mobility the last time he played on a big stage at the National Prep Showcase back in mid-November, and because he had been recovering he was in far from top physical shape. He didn’t exactly draw rave reviews following the event, and because of that he said he had been looking forward to the Hoophall for a while, so that he could help ease doubters.

“[The Hoophall] is just a time to show off your talents to a lot of coaches and a lot of people that might have had doubts about you," he said. "It’s a good chance to prove what you can do.”

On his recovering ankle? Terrell said he still isn’t that close to being 100% recovered, but he can see the gradual progress that the healing process is making.

“I feel good, it bothers me at times but I can play through it," he said. "It doesn’t hurt as much as it did in September and October.”

Outside of an explosive one-handed dunk on a breakaway in the second half, his offensive presence wasn’t as needed given the big scoring performances from McCullough, Macon, and Zabo. Instead, he put a lot of his effort into the defensive end of the floor, where he consistently beat his man to the spot and cut off passing lanes.

All in all, his on-ball defense and liveliness on the defensive end helped the Bobcats hold South Kent to just 31% shooting from the field. His help defense was also a big reason why South Kent’s star forward Kamall Richards, a Xavier commit, shot just 6-for-17 from the floor.

“I think I played well defensively actually, I guarded my position and I rebounded well, better than I have earlier in the season. I thought it was good.”

“Playing against these guys every day,” he said, pointing into the locker room to his teammates, “I’m going to improve a lot.”