Boston High School: Jared Terrell

NEPSAC AAA: Brewster 68, New Hampton 63

March, 2, 2014
BEVERLY, Mass. -- There is starting a game slowly, then there is what Brewster Academy did on Sunday.

In the NEPSAC Class AAA Championship game against New Hampton, Brewster was down by as many as 16 points less than nine minutes into the game. It would not be a championship game without a little drama however.

With six minutes to go in the game, Isaac Copeland (8 points), a Georgetown commit, hit a transition layup to give Brewster its first lead of the game. It held on to win the championship with a 68-63 victory.

“I’ve been doing this long enough to know there was something missing in practice recently and in the last few games,” said Brewster coach Jason Smith. “We did kind of have a wakeup call last Saturday at Northfield Mount Hermon. We were down 18 in the second half and managed to come out and guard in the second half. That’s exactly what we did tonight. We played great defense in the second half. We just kind of went through the motions in the beginning of the game.”

Smith was forced to call two timeouts less than 10 minutes into the game just to try and slow New Hampton’s momentum. The second timeout came after a Tyler Lydon (10 points, 8 rebounds) three-pointer made it 23-7. Lydon, a junior, is verbally committed to play his college basketball at Syracuse University after next season.

As the first half continued, Brewster seemed to gather itself and picked away at the New Hampton lead. With 2:30 to go in the half, sophomore Donovan Mitchell hit a three to make it a six-point game.

“We’ve been starting off slow the whole year and that’s been our killer,” said Jared Terrell, an Oklahoma State commit and the No. 79 ranked player in the ESPN 100. “Coach called a couple timeouts at certain points in the game and that calmed us down and helped us realize this is a big game and we had to step up.”

Terrell came alive in the second half. During one sequence, he stole the ball on the wing and took it to the basket himself and threw down a dunk that livened up the Brewster faithful. On New Hampton’s next offensive possession, he did the exact same thing to bring his team within three points.

He finished the game with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. He was able to use his ball handling skills to get to the basket and draw fouls, shooting 10 free throws in the game.

“Jared’s just a competitor,” said Smith. “He’s tough, he’s hard-nosed, he competes and wants to win every time, no matter if it’s in practice. He just wants to win. He’s a competitive guy.”

Before Terrell’s back-to-back steals, New Hampton’s Tory Miller made arguably the most jaw-dropping play of the day. The Colorado commit had the ball near the baseline to the right of the basket. With one dribble he elevated and threw down a forceful one-handed dunk through not one, but two Brewster defenders and still drew a foul. The crowd was still on its feet as he went to the free throw line.

He finished the game with 14 points and 7 rebounds.

With 4:02 to go, 6-foot-9 UCLA commit Jonah Bolden caught a rebound and put it back for an easy two to give Brewster a three-point lead.

Two minutes later, New Hampton’s Mike LeBlanc (10 points, 2 steals), a Princeton commit, hit a three to put his team up 63-61. On the ensuing possession, Devonte Graham (15 points) hit a three of his own to swipe the lead back.

Clinging to a one-point lead with 23.9 to go, Mitchell (15 points) went to the free throw line looking to extend the Brewster lead. He made four free throws in the final seconds to make his team back-to-back NEPSAC AAA champions.

“There’s been a totally different Donovan since preseason and open gyms at Brewster,” said Terrell. “He was this out of control kid taking wild shots because he was coming from a school where he could do that. He had to change his game a little bit, had to be more under control and understand the game and how to play at Brewster. He’s done that.”

National Prep Bound: Brewster now turns the page to potentially make a run at a national championship to go along with its league championship. Even with his team seen by many as the gold standard of the NEPSAC, Smith was effusive in his praise of the overall strength and competition found within the league.

“It’s the best high school league in the country, I just with the rest of the population would realize how great of a league this is,” he said. “Everyone talks about the Oak Hill’s, the Findlay Prep’s, I would love to play them because we would kick the absolute crap out of them. Anyone in this league, any one of the three or four teams in this league could compete against those teams on a nightly basis.

“I would put New Hampton, St. Thomas More, Northfield Mount Hermon, and ourselves against Findlay and Oak Hill. People always talk about the traditional high schools and they kind of leave out the prep schools, but we’re the best league in the country and it’s not even close.”

McDonald's All-American nominees announced

January, 7, 2014
McDonald’s has announced the nominees for the 2014 McDonald’s All American Games, and fifteen student athletes from New England are on the list, including nine from Massachusetts.

The regional nominees are:

Patrick Benzan, Roxbury Latin
Alec Brennan, Milton Academy
Matt Cimino, Worcester Academy
Malik James, Notre Dame Prep
Kaleb Joseph, Cushing Academy
Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic High School
Jeff Spellman, Beaver Country Day
Jacquil Taylor, Beaver Country Day

Abdul Malik-Abu , Kimball Union Academy
Isaac Copeland, Brewster Academy
Chris McCullough, Brewster Academy
Jared Terrell, Brewster Academy
Kevin Zabo, Brewster Academy
Mike LeBlanc, New Hampton School

Bonzie Colson, St. Andrew’s School
Kealen Ives, Classical High School

Colson, Auger, locals shine during July circuit

August, 1, 2013
The July live period has come to a close, as some of New England’s top AAU programs spent the majority of the month traveling all around the country to tournaments in Florida, Las Vegas, South Carolina, Springfield, Mass., Atlantic City, and Philadelphia.

With the AAU season over and the start of players’ high school seasons just a few months away, we break down New England’s top stories following the July live recruiting period:

Auger back in top shape: When Mike Auger trucked through an opposing player for a loose ball in one of Mass Rivals’ opening games at the Hoop Group Summer Jamfest, it was a side of his game that Rivals coach Vin Pastore hadn’t seen on a consistent basis in a couple of years. He was taken aback.

“Incidental contact,” Pastore laughed. “He just kept going. It was like a football play.”

Auger, a 6-foot-6 bruiser of a forward who will be a senior leader for New Hampton this season, has had a tough run the past couple years after suffering from multiple shoulder injuries. He tore his labrum at the beginning of his sophomore season at Hopkinton (N.H.) High, and aggravated the injury two years later after he had gone to New Hampton and reclassified.

After multiple shoulder surgeries, hundreds of hours in the weight room or at physical therapy, Auger finally looked to be completely recovered this summer as the Rivals’ most consistent offensive producer in the post.

“I don’t think he was in complete confidence before, especially with how hard he plays, how physical he was, he always played 100%...that’s his game,” Pastore said. “In the initial part of recovery he didn’t have the confidence to play the game the only way he knew how to.”

Auger is back, and college coaches have taken notice this summer. He now has scholarship offers from Fairfield, Vermont, New Hampshire, Holy Cross, Dartmouth, Binghamton, Quinnipiac, Loyola, and Stony Brook. In an age where most forwards would rather step out on the perimeter than do the “dirty work” inside, true post players come at a premium. Back to his old ways, college coaches are lining up for Auger’s services.

“Kids that are 6-6...Everybody wants to run to the three point line,” Pastore said. “What makes him so good is that he would start inside, then move out and make some threes. Nobody wants to start in and go out.”

"Every program needs a kid like Mike who rebounds, attacks, beats people up around the rim; he physically beats you up. And he likes doing that stuff. He’s a reckless abandon.”

St. Andrews’ Colson carries BABC offense: It wasn’t long ago that St. Andrew's (R.I.) senior Bonzie Colson, a 6-foot-4-1/2 forward with several scholarship offers from high-level programs, was a complete unknown on the national stage.

He certainly didn’t earn his now-nationally known name overnight. An undersized power forward who lacks the elite athleticism that most coaches at major conference schools look for, it took years of efficient production for Colson to prove himself.

“So many coaches go by the criteria and a certain size,” said BABC coach Leo Papile. “He doesn’t fit consensus with that. But, he’s shown to have repeated success statistically in terms of field goal percentage throughout a season.”

Colson led St. Andrew’s, the No. 8 seed of the NEPSAC AA tournament, to a surprise run all the way to the tournament finals last year, where they eventually lost a heartbreaker via a buzzer-beater by Cushing’s Jalen Adams. Colson built a niche for himself as a scorer over the course of the season, and as a result, his team was playing their best basketball in the playoffs.

On the AAU circuit this summer, he flourished for BABC playing on the Nike EYBL circuit, finishing in the top 15 in the league in scoring at just over 18 points per game.

“He’s always been really crafty, he has a lot of scoring value. It’s a unique skillset in terms of productivity in the amount of time he touches the ball. He’s one-dimensional in a good way, he’s very, very crafty,” Papile said.

He continued, "The past couple years he has done it on a national stage, and attracted attention from high major conference schools. He’s an undersized power forward by today’s standards, but he has an extraordinarily long standing reach.”

Papile said that from talking to Colson and his family, the St. Andrew’s star is learning towards taking official visits to Miami, Florida State, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh -- though those aren’t set in stone yet. He also has scholarship offers from Seton Hall, Iowa State, Rhode Island, and George Washington.

Expressions grooming young talent: Expressions Elite, after qualifying for the Nike Peach Jam earlier this month, continued their impressive summer with a championship at the Hoop Group Summer Jamfest, a loaded tournament that featured several of the nation’s best club teams.

Jared Terrell, Aaron Falzon, Cane Broome, and Abdul-Malik Abu all had a hand in carrying the team to the championship game, but Expressions coach Ty Boswell made quite a statement by starting freshmen Jermaine Samuels and Kimani Lawrence in the finals against Montreal-based Brookwood Bounce Elite.

The freshman duo, whom Boswell purposely put in a hotel room with senior leaders Terrell and Idris Taqqee, used the experience to gain knowledge from their superiors.

“Jared and Idris really took them under their wing; breaking down plays, making sure they understood getting good shots. [Samuels and Lawrence] asked them a million questions, and every single one got answered,” Boswell said.

Samuels, a fearless competitor, came into the game and immediately started attacking offensively. His mindset thoroughly impressed his coach.

“There was no fear that he didn’t belong,” Boswell said, “When I finally took him out, he had that look like ‘why am I coming out?’ He wanted to prove he belonged, and he showed that.”

Lawrence, a Providence native, made his presence felt right away with his great decision making and understanding of the team’s offensive game. He will enroll and join Taqqee at Cushing Academy -- the defending NEPSAC Class AA champs -- while Samuels will attend The Rivers School in Weston.

Rising sophomores Donovan Love, another Providence product who will attend New Hampton, and Ikenna Ndugba -- who is at Brooks School and attended the Nike Elite 100 earlier in the summer -- are two other young players who are a part of Expressions’ supremely talented young group.

Small-town star leads the Playaz: Tyler Lydon wasn’t quite sure what to expect leading up to Basketbull’s Hall of Fame National Invitational. Having switched AAU teams from Albany City Rocks to the New England Playaz, he had only met his new Playaz teammates once, at a practice the day before the tournament.

“I hadn’t met any of those kids. There was a lot of uncertainty, I had no idea how the guys played. I just figured I would go in there and wing it and hope for the best,” Lydon said.

Lydon and his teammates hoped for the best, and that’s exactly what they got—as he, alongside Jarred Reuter, Aaron Calixte, and Crew Ainge, lead the Playaz to the 17U championship in Springfield. In the set of showcase games on the opening night, the Playaz suffered a close loss to Hunting Park (Penn.), but recovered well following their initial loss.

“It was the intensity; we came out that game kind of slow. Going into the rest of the games, that was a reality check for us,” he said.

The rising junior forward comes to New England from Pine Plains, N.Y., a tiny town of 2500 people that rests about an hour north of Poughkeepsie. Last season he led Pine Falls to the New York Division 3 state championship game. This fall, he’ll go play for Pete Hutchins at New Hampton.

“My parents and I decided it was the best decision for me,” the 6-foot-8 point forward said. “I’ll be able to play against the great competition in the league…and the academics are great.”

He’ll be expected to step in and contribute right away for the Huskies, who will have a major hole to fill after graduating McDonald’s All-American Noah Vonleh. Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, along with assistants from Providence, Virginia Tech, and others, all watched him in Springfield. Following his return from the Adidas Super 64, he has picked up offers from Florida, Clemson, and Virginia.

New Mission guard primed for big season: Going into July, Boston Warriors coach Cory McCarthy needed a point guard.

McCarthy, who is also the head coach at New Mission during the winter season, looked no further than Shaquan Murray, a skilled senior who plays for McCarthy at New Mission and has proven himself as one of the top scorers in the MIAA.

Murray, who at 6-foot has long arms and an arsenal of offensive moves, stepped in and became the floor leader for the Warriors.

Alongside Lawrence Academy’s Kyle Howes and Kimball Union guard Duby Maduegbunam, the Warriors made it all the way to the elite eight of the AAU Super Showcase Silver, where they eventually lost to city power BABC.

The New Mission guard had a slew of 20-point games over the course of the Warriors’ run, taking advantage of the opportunity given to him by his coach.

“He’s learned how to score how to score in every possible way,” McCarthy said. “Runner, floater, threes off the catch and off the dribble. When guards attack the rim like that against that kind of competition…they’re going to attract attention.”

In leading the Warriors to an 11-4 record in the July live period, Murray has drawn serious attention from several Division 2 schools—including Post University and Bridgeport University, in addition to many different local Division 3 programs.

A good student who boasts a 3.3 GPA and wants to study engineering, Murray is still in the process of formulating college plans. In the winter, he’ll be the go-to scorer on a New Mission squad that will again be amongst the most talented in the state.

“He’s one of the best kids I’ve coached in terms of character,” McCarthy said. “He performed so well all summer against great competition. His confidence is at an all-time high.”

BABC, Expressions make mark at Nike EYBL

May, 8, 2013
Several local star players are making headlines on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit this spring, playing for regular power BABC or strong newcomer Expressions Elite. Of the 40 talented teams coast-to-coast who play on the highly-competitive EYBL circuit, Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) and Expressions, both based out of Boston, are two of the best teams in the field—at 8-1 and 9-0, respectively.

Expressions is one of two undefeated teams left in the entire field, including a win over the defending EYBL champ Oakland Soldiers. Behind a high-octane offensive attack -- led by juniors Abdul-Malik Abu and Jared Terrell, and sophomores Aaron Falzon and Jared Wilson-Frame -- Expressions has been one of the teams taking the event by storm. They've overpowered some of the top club teams in the country, and done so with players who are hungry college prospects with something to prove.

Abu has led the attack from the beginning. A chiseled 6-foot-8 forward with warrior strength and elite bounce, he has, on more than one occasion this spring, "posterized" opposing defenders via his high-flying dunks.

Head coach Tyron Boswell admits the undefeated start didn’t cross his mind at the beginning, but he isn’t surprised at the outcome given the work his players have put in.

“Honestly, I did expect us to do well, not undefeated, but we were prepared for it," Boswell said. "Guys got in the gym over summer and winter break, they work out three times a week. We’ve prepared to be successful."

Abu and Terrell are well-known commodities on the AAU circuit, with Abu breaking out last summer as one of the best forwards in the entire 2014 class. Terrell, who fractured his foot in two places last fall and struggled with the injury at times over the course of the prep season, looks healthy and is re-emerging as one of the nation’s best power guards.

Falzon and Wilson-Frame, who going into the season were lesser-known prospects, are just scratching the surface of their potential, says Boswell.

“Jared [Wilson-Frame] is a big part of what we’re doing," Boswell said. "He’s a great kid, he embodies what we’re all about: taking kids who are unknown and showcase them, help them get what they deserve. He’s brought what we need to do to win…an unselfish kid who holds our guys accountable."

For BABC head coach Leo Papile, whose program has won 17 AAU national championships, the strong run at EYBL has been all about selfless play and full-court pressure defense. Led in scoring by St. Andrew’s junior forward Bonzie Colson and Central Catholic junior sharpshooter Tyler Nelson, BABC is out to an 8-1 start. Sophomore point guard Johnny Joseph, a Brockton product who preps at Tilton (N.H.), is fifth in the EYBL in assists. To his credit, Joseph was absent from BABC’s only loss, a one point loss that he had to miss due to an academic obligation.

Nelson, who is an impressive 27-for-52 (51 percent) from three point range, along with Colson, Joseph and Wilbraham & Monson sophomore guard Curtis Cobb, have been the top players for BABC in terms of leadership and production. However, rising star Terrance Mann, a long 6-foot-5 wing player from Lowell, has already become one of New England’s most promising prospects. The Tilton (N.H.) sophomore picked up scholarship offers recently from Florida and Iowa State.

Mann, after receiving the offer from the Gators, said in an interview with that he learned a lot this past prep school season from AAU and prep teammate Wayne Selden -- who on many occasions carried Tilton to wins following the graduation last year of Dominique Bull, Nerlens Noel, and Georges Niang.

“I learned a lot, seeing Wayne take over as much as he did," Mann said. "He was the man who had to take over, that’s a hard role to pick up. He’s in the gym every day. Having a work ethic like he does, by the time next year comes around, I think I’ll be ready to be a go-to [scorer]."

Teammates at Tilton, the 5-foot-8 Joseph may not have Mann’s height, but Papile says he has been making up for it with his defensive tenacity and tremendous floor vision.

“Bonzie and Tyler are the veterans from last year’s team, but Jon, he’s the quarterback. He’s going to have to erase a lot of doubts, and he’s in the process of doing it,” Papile said. “He’s a little guy, and sometimes people have pre-conceived notions. He doesn’t need to score for us to be successful.”

A lot of the scoring has gone to Colson, he’s one of the EYBL’s top scorers at 18.3 points per game. Well-known on the New England grassroots and prep school circuit already, Colson is quickly making himself a nationally-known prospect.

Papile’s teams as of late have included ESPN 100 prospects like Phil Pressey, Michael Carter-Williams, Niang, Noel, and Selden. For what this year’s team lacks in nationally-known blue-chip prospects, they make up for with defense, accountability, and offensive efficiency. A team’s best offense is its defense—a saying Papile has engraved into his players heads.

The defensive tenacity is something that role players like super-athletic Notre Dame Prep sophomore guard Tyree Robinson, Brighton guard Malik James, and Noble & Greenough sophomore forward Bobby Martin Jr. —- whom Papile says constantly makes “winning plays,” -- have taken to heart.

“Guys are battle-tested in terms of what we expect from them…they embody our definition of character," Papile said. "They can’t be a group of strangers with various missions, we try to weed all that out in ninth or tenth grade before they step up. Reaction to structure and being coached is key, it’s a recipe for disaster if you don’t have that structure.

"We really value having five thinkers on the floor at all times. There’s a big correlation between basketball IQ and real life IQ."

Seeing his team develop as a unit is also an aspect that Boswell has enjoyed with his Expressions squad. While the majority of the players on the team had never played together before this spring, the coach says something about the personality of his team has made things click. He credits guys like Dimitri Floras and Idris Taqqee with bringing the type of scrappy play needed to compliment Expressions’ many scorers.

“You would think that these guys knew each other prior to, but in all actuality every piece was hand-picked," Boswell said. "The togetherness they have...they’re just so unselfish. I’ve never seen a basketball move so much in one possession.”

BABC and Expressions Elite will travel to Dallas this weekend for the third round of Nike EYBL. The well-known Boston AAU squads will meet for the first time at session four of EYBL in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 24.

Hoophall: Brewster (N.H.) 88, South Kent (Conn.) 55

January, 21, 2013
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.”

Vonleh shines at National Prep Showcase

November, 19, 2012
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Many of the top postgraduate basketball programs in the country were at Albertus Magnus College this weekend for the annual National Prep Showcase. Sunday’s schedule brought some of the of the tournament’s best matchups, featuring games that included NEPSAC powers Brewster Academy (N.H.), New Hampton School (N.H.), Lee Academy (Maine), Northfield-Mt. Hermon, Tilton School (N.H.), and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

In total, over 130 Division 1 basketball coaches attended National Prep Showcase to watch some of the top high school hoopers in the nation.

There were no players of higher profile than 6-foot-8 senior forward Noah Vonleh, who helped lead his New Hampton squad to an 82-66 victory over Lee Academy. Vonleh was a dominant presence on the glass and efficient scorer in the post, but he also had plenty of freedom to perform given the great play of his supporting cast: point guard Travis Jorgenson, and guards Anthony Pate, Lincoln Davis, and Mike LeBlanc.

Jorgenson, a senior point guard from Kansas City who decommitted from Missouri earlier this fall, may have been the most consistent player on the floor for New Hampton. He hit several long outside shots and on many occasions fed New Hampton’s slashers and bigs with beautiful feeds that ended in dunks or layups.

“Travis makes us go, he completely controls the tempo,” Huskies head coach Pete Hutchins said, “When he makes a mistake, you’re shocked. He has everyone’s confidence, especially in his ability to go out and lead our team.”

Pate and Leblanc both stepped up with pressure defense, and also came up in the clutch with two three-pointers each in the second half. Davis, a strong guard who got to the rim at will throughout the game, constantly kept the defense in check.

“We just want to focus on taking great shots, and playing a game the way that we practice,” Hutchins said. "If we do that...and play with a level of toughness, I always think we should feel really good about what we should be able to accomplish.”

Vonleh, the No. 8 player in ESPN’s 2013 rankings, recently ended his highly-contested recruitment by committing to Indiana on Nov. 10.

“I don’t know how much it impacts his performance on the court. I think in every other aspect of his life, like for him and his mom, I’m sure [committing] makes things a lot easier,” Hutchins said.

Sharpshooters, Stand Up: Northfield Mount-Hermon senior Sam Donahue knocked down six threes on Northfield’s way to a 17-point win over La Jolla Prep (Calif.). Widely considered as one of the best shooters in New England, Donahue attracted constant attention on the perimeter from La Jolla’s defense, opening things up for scorers Skyler White and Josh Hearlihy.

Rhode Island native Lee Messier had six 3-pointers of his own in a losing effort for Tilton in their closely contested matchup Kiski. The Rams were down by as much as 22 points midway through the second half, but thanks in part to Messier’s four second-half threes, Tilton was able to make the game much more competitive.

Clean Sweep For Kiski: Brewster and Tilton have been NEPSAC royalty the past few years, but apparently nobody mentioned that to the squad at Kiski School (Pa.). Kiski knocked off Brewster 79-77 on Saturday night, behind 29 points from senior Rashad Richardson.

Kiski came with the same type of effort defensively on Sunday afternoon, beating Tilton 94-86 despite a furious second half run by the Rams, who were led by Kansas signee Wayne Selden (33 points) and Messier.

WMA young, but talented: Wilbraham & Monson’s 6-foot-4 freshman Mustapha Heron has already established himself as one of New England’s most promising hoops talents, as has 6-foot-7 sophomore guard Luis Montero. Heron was WMA’s leading scorer in its showdown with New Jersey’s Blair Academy on Sunday afternoon, scoring inside and out, showing a presence on the defensive glass, and nailing two shots from behind the arc.

Montero, considered one of the top college prospects in New England, moves exceptionally well for a 6-foot-7 player with such length. Originally from the Dominican Republic, he will be one of their best players this season as he becomes better acquainted with the players and style of play at Wilbraham.

Brewster Reloads: Syracuse-pledge Chris McCullough is the highest profile player in the lineup for the talented Bobcats, but he isn’t the only highly-touted division 1 prospect that will be featured. Brewster has great size up front with McCullough, NC State commit Kyle Washington, and West Virginia commit Elijah Macon, as well as guards Ron Patterson (Syracuse), Jared Terrell, and Kevin Zabo.

Video: Terrell channels his inner Blake Griffin

July, 24, 2012
From last Thursday's session of the Hoop Group Summer Classic, in King of Prussia, Pa., correspondent Lucas Shapiro sends along this footage of a monster dunk from New Hampton (N.H.) swingman and Weymouth native Jared Terrell.

Watch below as the Class of 2014 slasher gets major liftoff for a powerful finish:

ESPNU updates hoops player rankings

May, 24, 2012
ESPNU's basketball recruiting section updated its national rankings for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes this afternoon. For the respective classes, this is the first ESPNU 100 for 2013, Super 60 for 2014 and Terrific 25 for 2015.

Northwest Catholic (Conn.) forward Kuran Iverson is the lone New Englander represented in the Class of 2013, coming in at No. 80, but there is plenty of local flavor in the underclass rankings. Haverhill native Noah Vonleh comes in at No. 4 overall in the 2014 class; the power forward was named to ESPN Boston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team in 2011 as a sophomore at Haverhill High, before transferring to New Hampton (N.H.) and reclassifying.

Below are the locals represented on the new rankings:

ESPNU 100 (Class of 2013)
80. Kuran Iverson, 6-8 SF, Windsor, Conn./Northwest Catholic

Super 60 (Class of 2014)
4. Noah Vonleh, 6-8 PF, Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.)
12. Wayne Selden, 6-5 SG, Boston/Tilton (N.H.)
18. Chris McCullough, 6-9 PF, Bronx, N.Y./Salisbury (Conn.)
53. Kaleb Joseph, 6-3 PG, Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy
56. Jared Terrell, 6-4 SG, Weymouth, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.)

Terrific 25 (Class of 2015)
18. Jarred Reuter, 6-8 PF, Rochester, Mass./Tabor Academy

For the complete rankings, follow the links here: 2013, 2014, 2015.

ESPN's Paul Biancardi breaks down the new rankings over on Recruiting Nation Basketball, and highlights several of the aforementioned locals, excerpted belo:

SG Wayne Selden (Boston/The Tilton School)
When it comes to power and strength Selden is at the top of the class. His ability to overpower defenders, even ones bigger than him, with his college-ready body is what separates him from the pack. He is physically dominant on the fast break, finishing through contact.

PF Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton)
He has a strong frame and his physical tools are becoming elite as he grows into his body. Vonleh's versatility and ability to create his own shot off the dribble make him unique. His handle is a weapon that we just don't see that often at this stage for players with his frame.

For Biancardi's full breakdown, CLICK HERE (Insider only)

Video: Wayne Selden's winning slam

May, 7, 2012
Sherwyn Cooper of has video highlights of last weekend's Mary Kline Classic, an all-star game comprised of some of the premier underclassmen in the Northeast, held at the Pennington (N.J.) School.

Among the locals featured in the three-minute highlight reel are New Hampton (N.H.) guard Jared Terrell, Hotchkiss (Conn.) forward Austin Colbert, and Kimball Union (N.H.) forward Abdul-Malik Abu. Most notable of the video, however, is Tilton (N.H.) swingman Wayne Selden's slam in the dunk contest portion of the game.

Selden was named co-champion of the dunk contest, alongside Chester (Penn.) forward Rondae Jefferson. Selden's slam starts at the 10-second mark:

National Prep School Invitational primer

January, 25, 2012
Media Director Pat Stevens forwards along a press release on what to expect from the annual National Prep School Invitational, February 2 through 5 at Rhode Island College.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --- Thirty of the country’s top prep school basketball teams, up to 100 college coaches on hand to evaluate prospects, and several NBA scouts will gather for the 14th annual National Prep School Invitational.

Held at Rhode Island College from Thursday, February 2 through Sunday, February 5, the nation’s elite exposure event during the school year will once again have its top games broadcasted on COX Sports.

With an upwards of 50 players impressively already committed to colleges, the event’s main goal is to provide a springboard for many more to join that group.

The featured young talent competing ranges all the way from the traditional powers of the New England Prep School Athletic Conference to as far as the Canarias Basketball Academy of the Canary Islands.

Highlighting the field is last year’s National Prep Championship Tournament winner St. Thomas More (CT) and NEPSAC champion Maine Central Institute (ME). Previous titleholders Brewster Academy (NH), Bridgton Academy (ME), Notre Dame Prep (MA) and Tilton School (NH) return as well.

Considered the strongest All-American candidates for their success throughout their high school and prep school careers are South Kent’s Ricardo Ledo (Providence) and Tilton’s Nerlens Noel (Undecided) along with Brewster Academy duo Mitch McGary (Michigan) and TJ Warren (North Carolina State). Notre Dame Prep recently welcomed Steven Adams (Pittsburgh) for the second semester, a talented center from New Zealand who made waves this past summer with his play at the Adidas Nations global event. Some of college basketball's top contenders are also showing high interest in a number of underclassmen on the rise - Tilton's Wayne Selden and Goodluck Okonoboh, New Hampton's Noah Vonleh and Jared Terrell, and Vermont Academy's DaQuan McNeil, Dominic Woodson and Jamel Artis.

St. Andrew’s (RI) star All-American guard Michael Carter-Williams (now at Syracuse) took home back-to-back NPSI MVP awards in 2011 and 2010. The 2009 MVP went to Lawrence Academy’s Shabazz Napier, who has since gone on to win a NCAA National Championship at the University of Connecticut.

Currently, 28 active NBA Players have participated in the NPSI. Those once awarded the NPSI MVP for their performances in the event include Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep ‘07/Kansas State/Minnesota Timberwolves), Lazar Hayward (Notre Dame Prep ’06/Marquette/Oklahoma City Thunder), Shawne Williams (Laurinburg Institute ‘05/Memphis/New Jersey Nets) and Dorell Wright (South Kent ‘04/1st Round Draft Choice out of prep school).

For more information, visit and

Tickets are $10 per day or passes for the entire event can also be purchased at the door.

MEDIA REQUESTS please contact Pat Stevens at


Thursday, February 2
10 - Lee Academy (ME) vs. Robinson (NJ)
11:30 - St. Thomas More (CT) vs. CJEOTO Academy (NJ)
1:15 - Brewster Academy (NH) vs. St. John’s Northwest Military Academy (WI)
2:45 – NIA Prep (NJ) vs. Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain)
4:15 - Notre Dame Prep (MA) vs. Wilbraham & Monson (MA)
5:45 - La Jolla Prep (CA) vs. South Kent (CT)
7:15 - Phelps (PA) vs. Cushing Academy (MA)
9 – Mont Clare (PA) vs. New Hope Academy (MD)

Friday, February 3
9 –CJEOTO Academy (NJ) vs. Lee Academy (ME)
10:30 - Robinson (NJ) vs. La Jolla Prep (CA)
12 - SJNWMA (WI) vs. New Hampton (NH)
1:30 – Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain) vs. Notre Dame Prep (MA)
3 - South Kent (CT) vs. NIA Prep (NJ)
4:30 - Mont Clare (PA) vs. St. Thomas More (CT)
6 - Worcester Academy (MA) vs. Phelps (PA)
7:30 - Vermont Academy (VT) vs. Winchendon (MA)
9 - New Hope Academy (MD) vs. Bridgton Academy (ME)

Saturday, February 4
9 – Marianapolis (CT) vs. SJNWMA (WI)
10:30 – Winchendon (MA) vs. Mont Clare (PA)
12 – Cushing Academy (MA) vs. New Hope Academy (MD)
1:30 – REDA (Canada) vs. Vermont Academy (VT)
3 – Bridgton Academy (ME) vs. Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
4:30 - La Jolla Prep (CA) vs. Notre Dame Prep (MA)
6 – New Hampton (NH) vs. Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain)
7:30 - Maine Central Institute (ME) vs. Next Level Prep (Canada)

Sunday, February 5
9 - Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain) vs. Bridgton Academy (ME)
10:30 - Wilbraham & Monson (MA) vs. Winchendon (MA)
12 – Next Level Prep (Canada) vs. St. Thomas More (CT)
1:30 - Tilton (NH) vs. REDA (Canada)
3 - Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) vs. Lawrence Academy (MA)
4:30 - St. Andrew's (RI) vs. Maine Central Institute (ME)
6 - New Hope Academy (MD) vs. Worcester Academy (MA)

Semaj Christon (G - Brewster Academy - Xavier)
Mitch McGary (F - Brewster Academy - Michigan)
Jalen Reynolds (F - Brewster Academy - Xavier)
Aaron Thomas (G - Brewster Academy - Florida State)
TJ Warren (F - Brewster Academy - NC State)
Jarryn Skeete (G - Bridgton Academy - Buffalo)
Alex Furness (G - Cushing - Bentley)
Tyler McFarland (G - Cushing - Bentley)
Darrell Bowie (F - La Jolla Prep - Northern Illinois)
Strahinja Gavrilovic (G - La Jolla Prep - Southern California)
Darnell Harris (F - La Jolla Prep - Cleveland State)
Jarion Henry (G - La Jolla Prep - Oklahoma)
Travion Leonard (C - Lee Academy - Fordham)
Jean Yves Toupane (F - Lee Academy - Saint Bonaventure)
Barry Webster (F - Lee Academy - Maine)
Jared Brandon (F - Maine Central Institute - Cal State Fullerton)
James Farr (F - Maine Central Institute - Xavier)
Tobe Okafor (C - Maine Central Institute - Loyola Marymount)
Barrington Alston (F - New Hampton - Towson)
Zach Auguste (F - New Hampton - Notre Dame)
Olivier Hanlan (G - New Hampton - Boston College)
Ramon Johnson (F - NIA Prep - Coastal Carolina)
Tommy Carpenter (F - Northfield Mount Hermon - Dartmouth)
Evan Cummins (F - Northfield Mount Hermon - Harvard)
Ethan O'Day (F - Northfield Mount Hermon - Vermont)
Steven Adams (C - Notre Dame Prep - Pittsburgh)
Myles Davis (G - Notre Dame Prep - Xavier)
Adonis Filer (G - Notre Dame Prep - Clemson)
Shawn Valentine (G - Phelps - Rider)
Richard Audu (G - REDA - Siena)
Naz Long (G - REDA - Iowa State)
Jarrod Davis (F - Robinson School - Maryland Eastern Shore)
Laimonas Chatkevicius (C - South Kent - Kansas State)
Ricardo Ledo (G - South Kent - Providence)
Chris Ortiz (F - South Kent - Kent State)
Cedric Kukamensah (F - St. Andrew's - Brown)
Josh Hall (F - St. John's Northwest Military Academy - Cal Poly)
Andy Martin (C - St. John's Northwest Military Academy - Montana)
Curtis Jones (G - St. Thomas More - Manhattan)
Barrington Stevens (G - St. Thomas More - South Alabama)
Dominique Bull (G - Tilton - Missouri)
Kevin Crescenzi (G - Tilton - Dartmouth)
Georges Niang (F - Tilton - Iowa State)
Tevin Falzon (F - Winchendon - Sacred Heart)
Akosa Maduegbunam (G - Winchendon - Penn State)
Nick Victor (G - Winchendon - Yale)

Player Perspective: Noah Vonleh

August, 3, 2011
HAVERHILL, Mass. -- When last checked in with Haverhill's Noah Vonleh, he was just a shy, unassuming kid with Bird-like intrinsic motivation, practicing his dribble on the living room floorboards in the middle of the night.

That was before the 6-foot-7 swingman blew up this summer running with the Mass. Rivals AAU club. In a profile on Vonleh last December, his AAU coach Vin Pastore said "He's got a God-given talent". Last March, Vonleh was named to ESPNBoston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team. Earlier this week, ESPN's Joel Francisco said Vonleh "belongs in the discussion for being among the top players in the Class of 2014".

In other words, there's no looking back now, even as he transfers to New Hampton (N.H.) Prep, where he will repeat his sophomore season. This week, Vonleh and Georges Niang were back in the Merrimack Valley, helping run an annual youth basketball clinic put on by Utah Jazz scout Jeff Nelson at the Cedardale Athletic Club. Following this afternoon's session of week-long camp, which ends Friday, Vonleh talked to about his explosive summer, and the future.

Q: What goals did you make for yourself going into the summer?
"Trying to prove I was one of the top players in the country for the Class of 2014, and I think I proved it. I wanted to develop a pull-up game, mid-range game, and make my handle a lot better."

Q: What do you think was your breakout performance this summer?
"My second game in Cali [the Double Pump Best of Summer Showcase, in Anaheim], I think we were playing D-One Sports [N.C.], and I went off on them for something like 27 points I think. A lot of the ESPN writers, the Rivals writers, were there, and a lot of college coaches came out to see me."

Q: Who was the best player you faced this summer?
"Probably Andre Drummond. He's a beast. He's so big, and there's no one to cover him. He can handle the ball, he can do everything, step out and shoot, all that."

Q: You've been under a microscope for a little bit now, going back to Haverhill. How has it been handling all the attention?
"It's pretty hard to handle. You've got a lot of people calling you, coming at you, saying all this stuff, what they can do for you. You've just got to listen to it, but don't pay much attention to it. Just get better each and every day, stay in the gym every day."

Q: What are you looking forward to most this year at New Hampton?
"To get my shot better, and to be a leader on the team. Zach Auguste is up there already, I know him. Jared Terrell's going to be up there, as well as Mike Auger, and the point guard Olivier Hanlon from Canada. We should have a pretty good team."

Q: What's your favorite move on the court?
"Probably isolate on one side, go between the legs twice and then come back at the defender with an in-and-out and go by, and try to dunk it."

Q: Who are the players you try to model your game after?
"Kevin Durant. He's my favorite player. I like Harrison Barnes from UNC, too. One of the assistants at UNC told me he's going to send me some tape of Harrison Barnes for me to watch, so I can try to add some of his stuff into my game."

Q: What's your daily routine right now?
"I start out with ballhandling, then I work my way to some shooting stuff, and then do some movement, working on my pull-up. I take a lot of free throws -- my free throws were not good in the high school season. I missed a lot. I practice at the Rockingham Athletic Club [in Salem, N.H.] with Scott Hazelton and Vinny Pastore. I'm in the gym probably 20 hours a week."

Q: What's the biggest motivating factor for you going forward?
"I want to be the best player in my class."

Q: What do you think you need to do to get there?
"Develop a pull-up, like I said. Make everything in my game better -- my handle, get better defensively, get quicker to be able to cover quicker guards. Stuff like that."

Q: From what I understand, you're a fan of old-school rap. What are your favorite artists and songs?
"I like 2Pac, Biggie, I kinda like Wiz Khalifa and Rick Ross right now too. My favorite song right now would probably be "By Any Means", by Rick Ross."

Q: What's the top five in your iPod right now?
"Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, 2Pac and Biggie. And of course Nas is in there a little bit, too."

Q: Where do you go hang out back in Haverhill?
"Nothing really, I'm just always at the gym. If I'm not doing that, I'll just chill with friends, play video games or something, or go to the mall. That's about it."

Q: One word to describe this upcoming season at New Hampton.
"Experience. It will be an experience. I'll be going against kids bigger than me, stronger than me, so experience is probably the right word."

New Hampton's Terrell sees stock rise

August, 2, 2011
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein checks in today on his recruiting blog with incoming New Hampton (N.H.) sophomore guard Jared Terrell, who figures to be one of the Class of 2014's most sought-after prospects in New England following a strong summer on the AAU circuit.

Terrell, who is transferring from Weymouth High to the New Hampton, N.H. prep school and repeating his sophomore year, came into the summer with a chip on his shoulder. Finkelstein writes:

"I thought I had a lot to prove coming into the week," Terrell said. "I didn't think I played great here last year and I wanted to show I should be ranked nationally."

"He's been working hard," said Expressions Elite coach Tyron Boswell, "and I think he proved that he belonged within the top kids in the country in his age group."

Terrell had a steady dose of high-major coaches on his tail as he was followed throughout the week by Cincinnati, Boston College and Syracuse with UConn, Rutgers, and several others making it a point to see him along the way.

"I think I did really well," Terrell said. "My team got a lot of wins and that's the most important thing."

Not one to ever be content, Terrell said he's anxious to get back in the gym and add to his game.

A powerful 6-foot-3 guard, his most natural talents come in the open floor when he's able to attack the rim. But he's spent long hours in the gym developing his complementary skill set, and the results have been evident this summer as he has shot the ball very well off the dribble and made his fair share of open 3s.

"I think my jump shot really improved over the course of the spring and the summer," Terrell said. "I want to work on my ballhandling now and convert into more of a point guard."

Whether it be as a point, 2-guard, or combo, you can expect to hear lots more from Terrell in the upcoming years.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school basketball talent, be sure to check out Finkelstein's ESPN blog as well as his New England Recruiting Report.

Newton North takes rubber match in D1 South

March, 6, 2011
WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- Newton North got out to an early 14-3 lead and never looked back, as the Tigers defeated Weymouth, 54-45, in a Division 1 South quarterfinal Saturday night.

After splitting their two regular season matchups, both Bay State league teams took the court Saturday night in front of a packed and energetic Weymouth gymnasium.

The game was physical early and the defensive intensity of North (18-6) proved to be the key factor in controlling the pace and tempo of the game.

Newton North junior point guard Michael Thorpe got going early scoring seven of his game high 15 points in the first half. Thorpe led the offense and teamed with senior guard Avi Adler-Cohen (11 points) to hold the perimeter game of Weymouth (18-4) in check.

“We have been a tremendous defensive basketball team all season long,” Newton North head coach Paul Connolly said. “They (Weymouth) averaged 67 points a game this season and we held them to 45 tonight.”

The Tigers led, 30-17, with under a minute remaining in the first half when Weymouth sophomore Jared Terrell converted back to back three point plays as he knifed through the middle of the defense to cut the lead to, 30-23, at the half.

Newton North maintained their defensive superiority in the third quarter holding Weymouth to five points until Weymouth junior guard Damian Lugay hit a three at the buzzer to cut the Newton North lead to seven points, 38-31.

Brothers Tevin and Aaron Falzon controlled the middle of the paint all night for Newton North, making it difficult for Weymouth to get to the hoop. The brothers owned the glass in the game and eliminated second chance shot opportunities for Weymouth.

“We really rebounded the basketball well tonight,” said Connolly. “Getting Tevin back has been huge. He is such a big presence in there for us.

Tevin Falzon (six points) missed most of his senior season with a wrist injury but has been a big lift for the Tigers during their two tournament wins.

Terrell led Weymouth with 15 points on the night and Lugay added 11.

The Tigers advance to the Division 1 South semifinals, where they will face New Bedford at UMass-Boston on Tuesday. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m., with the winner moving on to the TD Garden in the sectional finals.

Who is the next big thing in MIAA hoop?

February, 26, 2011
Every year, there is that one special player who erupts abuptly onto the basketball scene in March and puts many a college scout on notice. Think back to 2005, when Newton North's vicious backcourt of Anthony Gurley and Corey Lowe shone in the Tigers' first of two straight Division 1 state titles.

We saw it again in 2008, when Central Catholic's 6-foot-11 sophomore Carson Desrosiers filled the lane impressively and showed off his range for the Raiders in their D1 state title. We saw it again in 2009, when Lynn English's Ryan Woumn dropped 39 points on Brockton in the D1 EMass Finals. And we saw it again 12 months ago, when Pat Connaughton averaged 21.7 points and 19 rebounds as St. John's Prep made a surprise run to the D1 North finals.

So who is the next Connaughton, Woumn or Desrosiers? Below are nine underclassmen who could fit the bill.

6-7, Jr. F

Why he matters: Layman has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Warriors this season, as they set a program record for wins (14) and ended a 15-year postseason drought. Averaging 24 points, 13 rebounds and 4.8 blocks on the season, and coming close to a quadruple-double in a game against Stoughton earlier this season, don't be surprised to see him put up those kinds of numbers in the postseason. UMass, Providence and Boston College have offered him, while Notre Dame, BYU and Texas A&M have shown heavy interest.
What opposing coaches are saying: “I think he could be a Dream Teamer this year, if you want my honest opinion. He’s one of the top three players in the state. He can jump out of the gym, shoot three’s, post you up, just an unbelievable talent…He can be the biggest prospect in the state of Massachusetts as far as I’m concerned. He is a major, major talent...His athleticism, he’s so athletic for a 6-9 kid, and like I said, he has point guard skills. Kevin McHale moves inside, three, four, five dunks a game, just stuff you don’t see in high school anymore. I mean he’s one of best players I’ve seen in last 15 years, to be honest with you...Holy God. The thing with him is how skilled is in all facets of the game, how he runs the floor, he's so athletic. He honestly, and I hate to use the same terms over and over again, but a very high ceiling."
Scouts Inc.’s analysis of strengths: “A long and athletic player, Layman has a terrific set of physical tools. He stands a legit six-foot-seven with great length and a solid frame which will eventually support a good deal of muscle mass. He is a very good athlete and gets his head on the rim between his length and leaping ability. He has good touch on his jump shot and projects as a very good three-point shooter down the road with a little refinement to his technique. He is a potentially versatile defensively who can change the game with his length on top of the press.”
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein: “Jake Layman may have more upside than anyone in the MIAA. At 6-foot-7 with long arms, a good frame, and athleticism that allows him to get his head on the rim he is the prototype high-major forward. He doesn't yet realize how good he is but has a tremendous future in front of him.”

6-2, Soph. G
Why he matters:
The sophomore led the Bay State Conference in scoring (15.1 points) this season, and while those aren't eye-popping numbers, Terrell is a sight to be seen. In the mold of slashers like Charlestown's Akosa Maduegbunam, Terrell is an off-guard in a linebacker's body, able to create his own shot off the dribble but at his best when charging through the lane. Quite simply, there are few in Massachusetts with such physical maturity at this age. He's drawing an assortment of Division 1 interest, from the Atlantic-10 all the way up to schools like Washington and Clemson.
Opposing coaches: "Jared Terrell is one of the purest athletes running around, if not the best athlete running around in the state. I think when he eliminates his dribbles and everything else like that, and just looks to take it to the hole, he can't be stopped...It's tough to make a comparison, because I think he's one of the top two athletes in the state. But as his progress keeps going up, I mean the sky's the limit. Historically? I don't know, because I'm not ready to give anything to these new jacks yet, but if I were to make a comparison I'd say his older brother Royce."
Scouts Inc.: "Terrell is a power guard with a strong body and bouncy athleticism. He is as aggressive as he is powerful, getting after people on the defensive end and going hard to the rim offensively. He is a versatile defender who can make plays in full court pressure situations and also lock up opposing scorers in the half-court, bodying up with his upper body without fouling. Offensively, he has a good first step and quick springs and shows no fear attacking shot blockers."
Finkelstein: "Jared Terrell is as explosive of a guard as you will find in the MIAA. He is powerful and athletic, allowing him to go through contact to make plays above the rim. If he can add a consistent jumper to his offensive repertoire his recruitment will go to the next level."

6-7, Fr. F/C
Why he matters:
While Falzon isn't the Tigers' top scoring option -- that falls unto guards Mike Thorpe and Avi Adler-Cohen -- the younger brother of senior Tevin Falzon is a game-changer in the middle. With his long arms and ability to step out to NBA-range three's, he has already drawn comparisons to former Tigers great and current Yale freshman Greg Kelley. The sky is the limit for Aaron, as the 14-year-old continues to grow and fill out.
Opposing coaches: “I think his ceiling is just through the roof, he is certainly super skilled for a big kid. He has a very good touch. Right now, facing the basket is where he's best, but as he gets stronger he'll get more confident down on the low blocks. He's real tough...For us, the problem with him is clearly the size advantage. But in general, he's so skilled. With him, if a typical big guy covers him, you can draw them away from the basket, because he's got range up to and beyond the three-pointt line. The few times I've seen him go to the blocks, he's very skilled, and has versatility on defense with his length, but he's a real nice player...He's very similar [to Kelley], at 6-7 when you can draw guys out like he did. If he can extend the defense and open up shots in the lane for guys like Thorpe and Adler-Cohen, he's a tough guard for us."
Finkelstein: “Aaron Falzon fits the new style big man in that he has the size to play down low but the skill set to step away and stretch the defense. With three more years to continue to develop his game and body, he has a chance to be a very highly pursued prospect if he continues to do the right things.”

6-9, Soph. C

Why he matters: Taylor dominated the glass this year for the 19-1 Falcons, and has served as a wonderful complement to guards Deondre Starling, Kyroe Qualls-Betts and his brother, 6-foot-5 junior Maurice. There may not be a longer starting five in the state than Cambridge, and at the center is Jacquil, who runs the floor well for a player his size and can change momentum in a snap with one of his thunderous two-handed slams. A handful of Division 1 schools, including UMass and BC locally, have expressed interest.
Opposing coaches: “He is a diamond in the rough. He’s going to be real good, high-major maybe, with his shot blocking ability and rebounding ability. He’s not as good as Nerlens Noel, but he’s that type of player...His length is his strength, I'd say right now -- defensively especially, and on the glass, too. I think his offensive game will get better, but in terms of what he does around the basket, he's impressive...Jacquil has tremendous upside. I think he's getting ready to have breakout in the state tournament this year. Both him and his brother Mo are two outstanding basketball players."
Finkelstein: "When you are big and mobile you have a chance to be very good and that's exactly what Jacquil is, not to mention a long lefty. His potential has never been questioned but now it's time to turn those tools into production on a consistent basis."

6-2, Jr. G
Why he matters:
One of the Cape Ann League's leading scorers (19.7 points per game), he is the cousin of Andover star Joe Bramanti, and could be ready to carve a name for himself on the family tree. Like Joe, he is an exceptional shooter -- most recently, Adam hit seven 3-pointers in a game with Manchester-Essex in late January -- who can give good chase on the perimeter.
Opposing coaches: “He’s a fantastic shooter. If he’s on, it’s in. I’ve seen him hit nine, 10 three’s in a game, he’s fantastic. He can work a little bit on his dribble-drive and finishing, but as far as being a shooter, he’s top-notch.”
Scouts Inc.: “A very skilled guard with a high basketball I.Q. and terrific feel for the game, Bramanti is well schooled in the fundamentals of the game. He is an excellent three-point shooter who makes shots with deep range and also changes speeds with his dribble to get himself into the lane. He is a very efficient scorer off the catch, being tremendously efficient with his body movements, and owning a terrific shot fake. He always has his head up, has very good court vision, and can deliver quick passes off the dribble with a quick flick of his wrist.”
Finkelstein: “Adam Bramanti is a super skilled young guard with a high basketball I.Q. and instinctive feel for the game. Give him a year or two for his body to catch up, and his stock is bound to take off.”

6-6, Jr. F
Why he matters:
In short, the junior is another one of those under-the-radar prospects. Stanton has had a breakout campaign this season for the 19-2 Bulldogs, complementing electric senior Travonne Berry-Rogers very nicely with his slashing ability in the post. With his size, length, and athletic ability on the break, Stanton has drawn comparisons to former English great Jarell Byrd, who is currently doing a post-graduate year at St. Thomas More (Conn.).
Opposing coaches: “We’re athletic, [but] he’s freakishly athletic. The things he can do, even when he attacked the rim off the bounce, he tried to get a dunk a few times. He went right at us. Jimmy [Zenevitch, of Central Catholic] scores a lot, but he is also a good defender as far as bigs, and this kid went right at Jimmy. He’s a great player, incredible athlete, and he’s going to be a handful in the tournament...He’s real skinny, but has a lot of athletic ability. He needs to play more. He has some big upside, too, but he needs to work on his ballhandling skils before he moves on to a higher level, because that’s what he’ll be with his size.”
Finkelstein: “Keandre Stanton has proven his worth this year at Lynn English but is still relatively unknown outside of Massachusetts' borders. A strong state tournament could be the first step towards a breakout summer.”

5-8, Fr. G
Why he matters:
The freshman, who is averaging nearly eight points a game off the bench, could very well end up winning a game for the Raiders in the postseason. He scores in bunches, often coming into the game and knocking down a pivotal three-pointer. When bringing the ball up, he directs traffic in the half-court calmly but smartly, and is unafraid to bark orders at one of his senior teammates. Overall, he's shown a maturity well beyond his years in his rookie season on the Raiders' varsity -- of course, it doesn't hurt that his father is an advance scout for the Utah Jazz.
Opposing coaches: “He’s probably the best shooter in the state, and that’s no lie -- he’s a deadly shooter. He’s a baby he could only be an eighth grader for all we know, but the stronger he gets the better he’ll get...He’s gonna be a scholarship player someday, he has a real high basketball I.Q., no lie.”
Finkelstein: “Tyler Nelson gives Central Catholic a big boost with his three-point shooting and looks to have a very bright high school career in front of him. Any player who can make shots in bunches has a potential niche at the next level.”

6-6, Soph. F
Why he matters:
Anderson is still relatively unknown on the big stage; and between the Titans' star-studded backcourt of Samir McDaniels, Darius Davis and Kachi Nzerem, the young Anderson gets a limited amount of touches, and often comes off the bench. With his ability to handle, Anderson's future with Mission could be in more of a point forward role, though in the possessions he plays around the rim he shows adept skill and rebounding and blocking. In short, Anderson's a question mark right now, but a year from now could be a firm exclamation point. A good run in the playoffs, though, could serve his stock well.
Opposing coaches: “He has big upside, and we’ll see that the more he plays and the more touches he gets. He’s gonna be going to college somewhere, very athletic. He’s good.”
Finkelstein: “Nate Anderson has all the physical tools for the next level with a long and strong body to match his high level athleticism. He makes his biggest impact on the defensive end right now but has shown good potential as a face-up four who can attack less mobile big men with his dribble.”

6-1, Soph. G
Why he matters:
After a strong summer with the New England Playaz, the sophomore brought a considerable amount of hype with him to the Golden Eagles. And needless to say, at 11-9, they've grossly underperformed after starting the year off at No. 6 in ESPNBoston's MIAA Top 25 poll. This may be a head-scratcher, considering he's averaging just six points a game, but it's hard to ignore his creativity and the praise he's earned out of season.
Opposing coaches: “Corn is quick as lightning, great little stroke, great on-ball defender. He’s fearless, he’ll step in and take a charge against 6-11 kids, he doesn’t care...He’s a great point guard with great instincts, knows how to find the open man, get to a guy going through the air, he’s talented. On the AAU circuit, he’s a 20-point scorer.”
Scouts Inc.: “A talented young point guard who already has a good understanding of how to distribute the basketball. Tyson has terrific court vision at a young age, makes good decisions handling and passing the ball against pressure, and can also get into the lane to create shots for himself and his teammates. He has also developed into a consistent shooter from behind the three-point arc. He has a terrific feel for the game for such a young player, already making good use of jab steps, jump stops, and other crafty maneuvers to open up passing/driving lanes.”
Finkelstein: “Tyson is a good looking young point guard who shows a mature understanding of the position for someone his age. He not only hits the open man but also has the creativity and vision to make plays for his teammates, making him very unique.”


Aaron Calixte, Soph. G, Stoughton
Matt Droney, Jr. G, Catholic Memorial
Joey Glynn, Jr. F, Cardinal Spellman
Jameilen Jones, Soph. F, BC High
Jarrod Neumann, Jr. G/F, Northampton
Kenny Reed, Jr. G, Reading
Colin Richey, Soph. G, Whitinsville Christian
Damion Smith, Fr. G, West Roxbury
Michael Thorpe, Jr. G, Newton North

Brendan Hall is a high school editor for Follow him on Twitter.

Role players vault No. 15 NN over Weymouth

February, 8, 2011

NEWTON, Mass. -- Newton North head coach Paul Connolly found himself joking to reporters, following his No. 15 Tigers' 55-45 win over No. 14 Weymouth, that perhaps a change in music was in the works.

The jury's probably still out on Barry Santana's musical exploits, but you get the idea. On an afternoon when the attention went to Tiger stalwarts Mike Thorpe and freshman sensation Aaron Falzon, and how they'd collectively shut down uber-talented Weymouth swingman Jared Terrell, Santana slipped under the radar and had himself a pretty nice day at the office, with 16 points to go along with 15 boards. Junior Jared Masinton also stepped up with 12 points.

"We've got a lot of games coming up, so I want to play a lot of guys," Connolly said. "We played 10 in the first half, 12 for the game, and I think we've got some pretty good depth in our team. Guys really stepped up, Barry had a great game for us. That was a good win for our team today."

Down the stretch, as the Tigers locked up defensively, Santana put things away by hitting five of six free throws. And with it, North (12-4, 9-3) avenged Jan. 11's loss at Weymouth, a 56-51 upset that gave the Tigers their first Bay State Conference loss. Weymouth (13-3, 10-2) stays one game ahead of the Tigers in the Carey division, with the loss.

"The game plan was banging them first, be the toughest team out there," said Santana, a 6-foot-2 junior. "You know? Punch them first. They fell in the beginning, but they fought back, but we punched last. We finished strong."

Indeed, the Tigers threw a haymaker to start this afternoon contest, opening the game up on a 15-2 run and leading 18-6 after one quarter. North forced the Wildcats' stars, junior Damian Lugay (10 points, five rebounds) and super sophomore Terrell (13, nine) into settling for perimeter shots as opposed to their trademark physical drives to the lane. Terrell went 0 for 5 from the field in the first quarter, creating his own shots off step-backs but unable to sink them.

But the Wildcats found a renewed urgency heading into the fourth quarter. Trailing 39-31 to start the final eight minutes, there was considerably more bounce in the steps of Terrell, Lugay and Khary Bailey-Smith as they tipped away loose balls to start transition, swiped entry passes or deflected them back out to the perimeter. Meanwhile the the Wildcats exploded for an 11-4 run to start the quarter, using penetration to kick passes out to the baseline, and out to the wing for sharpshooters Patrick Deegan and Jon Perez (10 points, three 3-pointers).

That penetration, combined with athleticism, led to alot of trips to the line for Weymouth in the second half. But as was the case in their other two losses this season, sub-par shooting from the charity stripe left alot of points off the board. The Wildcats, who went 43 of 70 from the line combined in losses this season to Needham and East Boston, were just 6 of 17 on free throws in the second half.

Weymouth cut the lead to 45-44 with 3:20 left when Terrell swung it to Perez on the right wing, and Perez -- after hesitating for a second -- calmly sank the three-ball. That was their last field goal the rest of the game, however, as the Wildcats managed just a free throw the last three minutes.

"You know what happens is, you get down early and then you use so much energy to get back in, that we just didn't finish," Weymouth head coach Jim Dolan said. "They hit their foul shots and we certainly didn't hit ours. That's kinda been our Achilles heel, if you will, but my kids didn't quit and I'm really proud of them for that."