Boston High School: Tilton (N.H.)

Selden: 'Excited to come together' with Wiggins

May, 23, 2013
On the afternoon of May 14, Wayne Selden found himself watching ESPN like many other college basketball fans, anxious to learn the fate of top prospect Andrew Wiggins.

Selden, the rugged, 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound, five-star recruit from the Tilton School (N.H.), who signed with Kansas last October, was sitting with friends in one of the prep school’s dormitory common rooms, simultaneously monitoring his Twitter account.

“Somebody tweeted at me as soon as it happened,” said the Roxbury native in a phone conversation earlier this week. “When (Wiggins) decided on Kansas, I was happy.

“But I was definitely surprised. We all were when it happened.”

Phone conversations ensued.

“We’ve talked a couple times,” Selden said of his communication with Wiggins since May 14. “We’re both excited to get down there on campus and start working out together, and have classes. We’re just excited to come together for the opportunity.”

Selden also reached out to the coaching staff, which was equally thrilled by the development.

Almost immediately, however, conversation surrounding next season’s Kansas team shifted from being a borderline preseason top 20 team to a top five power expected to reach the Final Four.

“I feel like we just have to come together as a team,” Selden said. “We don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves because everyone else (will be). I feel like if we come together as a team and work hard enough, we can live up to expectations.”

With a starting five that’s expected to include the Jayhawks' top three incoming freshmen in Selden, Wiggins, and center Joel Embiid –- along with junior point guard Naadir Tharpe and sophomore forward Perry Ellis -– Kansas now boast this year’s number two recruiting class behind Kentucky.

As for Wiggins and Selden, the two became friendly competing at various camps and showcases on the recruiting circuit the past few years. They also had the opportunity to team up twice in the past two months. In early April, they hung out – on and off the court – at the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago. A week later, they reconnected in Brooklyn at the Jordan Brand Classic.

At both venues, Selden saw firsthand the media attention Wiggins attracted over his looming decision.

“He had a lot of people pulling him in different ways,” Selden said. “I made a couple of hints every now and again, but I never put any pressure on him to make a decision.”

In Chicago, Wiggins described Selden as "a joy to play with. He's unselfish and likes to pass, but score at the same time. He's a good player. He likes to win; he's a competitor.” But Wiggins’ comments never hinted that he viewed Selden as a potential college teammate.

For at least a year, however, with Wiggins, the 6-foot-7-inch, 205-pound small forward from Ontario, Canada, expected to leap to the NBA before his sophomore campaign, the two will team as Jayhawks.

“I’m used to playing alongside great players (like Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang and Dominique Bull) being at Tilton these past three years,” said Selden when asked what it will mean to play with Wiggins. “It always helps to have a lot of great players around you. His athleticism, ability to score the ball and ability to dribble will all help me out.

“It (also) means we’re going to have a better team and we’re going to have more weapons.”

This weekend Selden will graduate from Tilton. He’s busy spending the week engaged in a variety of senior activities, including a white water rafting trip. But by May 31, he’ll be on the Kansas campus taking classes, working on his game and adjusting to life as a college athlete.

“I was excited,” Selden said of his pre- and post- decision emotions. “But now it’s through the roof. It was already pretty high, (but) it’s shot through the roof. I am just ready to get down there, get into classes and start working.”

New England Roundup: Vermont

April, 24, 2013
There was no shortage of candidates to replace Brad Parker as Champlain Valley Union's girls' soccer coach.

VermontAccording to a story in the Burlington Free Press, a five -person search committee narrowed the field to five individuals – four of whom were interviewed – before selecting former CVU boys' soccer assistant coach Stan Williams.

Williams graduated from CVU in 1989, and was an assistant coach with the CVU girls program in 2001, 2003-04 and 2010. He also served as the program's co-head coach with Parker in 2002.

Parker, who resigned in February, guided CVU to a 340-45-42 record and 11 state championships in his 25 seasons as head coach. He was selected as the national coach of the year in 1997.

“It's a program with pressure, but also a program that anybody would want to coach,” Williams told the Free Press. “It's obviously an exciting position. This job has always been something I've held out there as a job I've wanted.”

CVU has won the last two Division I titles. Fifteen players are eligible to return from last year's team.

Williams has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the CVU boys soccer team. He also coached the CVU girls basketball team from 2002 to 2009.

The Mount Mansfield Union baseball team posted a 9-2 triumph over Milton in its first game under interim coach Bob Slayton, who agreed to a one-year commitment to the program when head coach Brian Chandler decided not to coach the team this spring after the birth of his second child.

Mount Mansfield appears to be in capable hands since Slayton, 66, guided MMU to four Division I state championships and 356 victories in 34 seasons before he retired in 2008.

Chandler was an assistant under Slayton for nine seasons before he became head coach when Slayton retired.

Rice Memorial's Emily Cutting recorded her 100th career varsity goal in a season-opening lacrosse victory over St. Johnsbury.

Cutting collected five goals in last year's Division III title game, a 13-11 triumph over BFA-St. Albans. She also scored five goals in Rice's second game of the season, a 10-9 loss to BFA-St. Albans. Kate Dillon scored with one second remaining to give BFA-St. Albans the victory.

The Twin-State Basketball Classic, two all-star games between players from Vermont and New Hampshire, will be held July 13 at Essex High School. The girls game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., and the boys game will follow.

The Twin-State Basketball Classic was once a must-see event for high school basketball fans in each state, but was discontinued in 2010 after a 30-year run. The New Hampshire boys and girls each have an 18-12 edge in the series.

The rosters and coaches for each team are expected to be released in May.

Rice Memorial forward Marcus Willingham announced that he will attend Tilton (N.H.) Prep next season. Willingham had 17 points and 14 rebounds when Rice defeated St. Johnsbury in last month's Division I championship game.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

NEPSAC: Brooks 4, Kents Hill 1

March, 3, 2013
SALEM, N.H. – Pretty much everything went right for the Brooks School boys hockey team Sunday morning, and not much went right for Kents Hill.

Third-seeded Brooks stuck with its defensive game plan and it paid off with a 4-1 triumph in the New England Prep School's Piatelli/Simmons Tournament at the Icenter.

Brooks scored in every period and limited Kents Hill to 15 shots on goal.

“They put a lot of pressure on us and forced us to make some bad plays,” Kents Hill coach Larry Cockrell said. “I thought their forecheck pressure was very good, and when we did get it down in their end they kept everything to the outside – that's a good recipe. Our strength is transition, and they took that away.”

Cam Armstrong, K.J. Moore, Ian Speliotis and Nick Vasilopoulos scored for Brooks, which raised its record to 18-7-5.

Brooks surrendered two goals in its three tournament games, which included victories over sixth-seeded Middlesex (4-0) and fifth-seeded Tilton (2-1).

“We're a very disciplined team defensively,” Brooks coach Dave Ries said. “We played our system as a team, and every kid competed hard.

“This is the first one [championship] in our program's history, which is huge. It's a good group of kids who do things the right way.”

Brooks led 1-0 after one period and 3-1 entering the third. Kents Hill trailed 3-0 until junior forward Drew Sommerhoff scored with 3:35 left in the second. Sommerhoff was called for roughing Brooks goaltender Colin Langham on the play, however, which killed any momentum Kents Hill had generated.

Top-seeded Kents Hill, which completed its season with a 23-8-2 record, defeated Millbrook (4-1) and Holderness (5-1) earlier in the tournament.

“We knew they had a lot of offensive weapons,” Brooks forward Mitch Nylen said. “Everyone knew their role, stuck to it and it paid off in the end. This is the best payout possible for the hard work put in by the senior class.”

Speliotis gave Brooks a 3-0 lead when he scored on a backhanded shot during a breakaway with seven minutes remaining in the second period. After Sommerhoff's goal, Brooks regained a three-goal advantage when Vasilopoulos scored at 15:20 of the third.

Armstrong, a junior defenseman, scored the only goal in the first period. It was his first goal of the season. The lead doubled when Moore – one of four Georgia residents on the Brooks roster – scored at 5:19 of the second.

“I thought they played outstanding,” Cockrell said. “They did everything right.”

Biancardi breaks down East roster, Vonleh, Selden

February, 14, 2013
This afternoon on ESPNU's McDonald's All-American Selection Show, senior analyst Paul Biancardi broke down the East roster, making note of the two Massachusetts natives on this year's squad, New Hampton's Noah Vonleh and Tilton's Wayne Selden:

Vonleh, Selden selected at McDonald's All-Americans

February, 14, 2013
The selections for the prestigious McDonald's All-American were unveiled this afternoon on ESPNU, and for just the fourth time since 1990 two Massachusetts residents were named to the East roster.

Haverhill native Noah Vonleh of New Hampton (N.H.), an Indiana signee, was joined by Kansas-bound Roxbury native Wayne Selden of Tilton (N.H.) among the participants for the game, which will take place April 3 at the United Center in Chicago. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Vonleh and Selden are the first Massachusetts duo in the game since 2000, when Holy Name's Neil Fingleton and Central Catholic's Scott Hazelton were both selected. Two Bay Staters were also selected in 1995 (Randell Jackson, Winchendon; Wayne Turner, Beaver Country Day) and 1991 (Travis Best, Springfield Central; Rick Brunson, Salem).

To view the complete East and West rosters, CLICK HERE.

Vonleh, Selden top updated ESPN hoops rankings

February, 13, 2013
ESPNU has updated its national basketball player rankings today. To see them, click here for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

A number of locals either move up or hold on to their spots in the latest updated rankings, including New Hampton's Noah Vonleh and Tilton's Wayne Selden. Below is the complete list of locals:

8. Noah Vonleh, Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.)
12. Wayne Selden, Boston/Tilton (N.H.)
83. Kyle Washington, Champlin, Minn./Brewster Academy (N.H.)

6. Chris McCullough, Bronx, N.Y./Brewster Academy (N.H.)
20. Goodluck Okonoboh, Boston/Wilbraham & Monson
53. Abdul-Malik Abu, Boston/Kimball Union (N.H.)
54. Kaleb Joseph, Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

January, 30, 2013
The highest magnitude on the Richter scale which is used to measure earthquakes is 10.

Rhode IslandThe upset the Coventry boys’ hockey team sprung on perennial Division I state champion Mount St. Charles registered 12.

Or to put it another way, the Oakers’ 2-0 victory on Jan. 19 was the first over the Mount in the 45-year history of boys’ hockey at the Kent County School.

In addition, it was the first time a Bill Belisle-coached Mount team lost to Coventry in the 37 years he’s been the Mounties coach.

The game was scoreless entering the third period when Coventry’s Jacob Harrington scored at 8:35 for what proved to be the game-winner and Steve Schmitt stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the season.

Coventry (6-5 in Division I) followed up that win over Mount with a 4-1 victory over Cranston West.

The game was tied 1-1 entering the third period when Michael Peola scored the game-winner and Schmitt made 16 saves.

Mount (7-2-0) did rebound from that loss to Coventry by beating Hendricken, 3-1, when Vincent Pearl and Pat Holmes scored within a span of 43 seconds in the middle period, and Burrillville 8-0 with Pearl, Tyler Scroggins and Keith Phaneuf scoring two goals apiece.

But Coventry’s victory means the playoffs could be more interesting than initially expected.

Arguably one of the better stories during the boys’ hockey season has been that “written” by the new co-op team with players from West Warwick and Exeter/West Greenwich.

Entering this week the Wizards/Scarlet Knights led Division III with a 13-0 record and had outscored opponents by a 107-17 margin.

Key players for this team are forwards Tony Rel and Brett Coski while goaltenders Ivan Forcier and freshman Jared Olson have been virtually impenetrable.

Few schools will shed tears for the Hendricken boys’ basketball team given the fact the Hawks have dominated Division I over the last couple of decades.

But the current team resembles past teams in name only.

Through games of January 28, Hendricken is 6-5 in Division I-South primarily because of a lack of scoring.

When the Hawks crack the 60-point barrier it’s almost a reason to celebrate.

One reason why the Hawks have had difficulty mustering an offense is that Lee Messier, who last season was the team’s best outside shooter, transferred to the Tilton School in New Hampshire.

In other recent games of note:
  • Classical’s Terrill Toe scored his 1,000th career point during a 100-93 victory over intra-city rival Mount Pleasant in a game that lasted four overtimes. Toe finished with 30 points including six three-point shots.
  • Ismael Batista emulated Toe by notching his 1,000th career point during a 71-59 victory over Woonsocket. Batista scored 21 points including 7-for-7 at the free throw line.
  • St. Raphael’s Charles Correa poured in 40 points – 24 coming on three-pointers – as the Saints handed Division I-South leader North Kingstown (12-1) its first loss of the season.
  • Alan Strick only scored 11 points. But three came on a buzzer-beating trey that enabled North Smithfield to tie Middletown and force overtime. Then, Dan Jordan sank a free throw with 20 seconds left in the extra session to give the Northmen a 57-56 victory for the latter’s first Division III loss of the season.
La Salle Academy’s Priscilla Dunphy is coming off two games that will be embedded in her memory bank for years to come.

After Barrington handed the two-time defending state champion Rams (12-1) their first Division I loss since the 2010-11 season by a 51-41 score (Caitlyn Nolan led the Eagles with 15 points), La Salle rebounded by whipping Exeter/West Greenwich, 57-37, and Westerly, 49-43.

Dunphy scored 22 points in the win over the Scarlet Knights. But against Westerly, Dunphy scored 13 points – including the 1000th of her career.

Previously, Westerly (11-2 in I-South), beat Barrington, 44-38, with Emily Dobson notching 16 points.

  • Senior Maggie Salomone scored her 1,000th career point as Narragansett beat East Providence, 63-49. Salomone finished the game with 21 points.
  • St. Patrick Academy, a small, all-girls school in Providence, was forced to cancel the rest of its first Interscholastic League season due to a series of injuries. Director of Athletics Charles Toste stated the school plans to revive the sport next season – one reason being it will add the 12th grade. Currently, the school only enrolls girls from grades nine through 11.
Andy McGowan, the long-time director of athletics for the Warwick public school system passed away on January 23. McGowan, who assumed his position in 1968, was awarded the first Rhode Island Athletic Director of the Year Award in 1973.

He was voted into the Manhattan College Hall of Fame (his alma mater), the Rhode Island School Athletic Administrator’s Hall of Fame and both the Hendricken and La Salle Halls of Fame. McGowan became Hendricken’s Director of Guidance in the 1970s.

Coventry High recently announced its first class for the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

The class includes Brian McGovern (who set state basketball scoring records in the early 1990s), wrestling coach icon Dick Magarian, 20-year hockey coach George Egan, Art Fiori (the school’s first A.D.), former football coach Bob Peltier; and Walter Clarke, for whom the school’s athletic complex is named.

Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y, he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

Hoophall: Tilton (N.H.) 71, Vermont Academy 67

January, 20, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.-- Gone are Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang, Dominique Bull, and Goodluck Okonoboth, but there is still talent on this year’s Tilton team.

It showed Sunday at the Hoophall Classic when the Rams held on to beat Vermont Academy, 71-67, in a NEPSAC AA contest for its second victory in as many days.

Facing a noticeable size disadvantage, Tilton (11-3) was forced to play a game primarily on the perimeter. That made life difficult early on because while it was getting open looks, the shots just weren’t falling.

Wayne Selden, a Kansas commit, was 3-of-9 from the field in the first half for just 7 points. His teammate, Chester Victor, was able to pick up the slack for the team, finishing the half with 11 points, establishing himself as a jump shooting threat and a nice complement to the other Tilton wing players.

Tilton lead 28-27 at the half. Those shots the team was missing early on started to fall in the second, and it started to pull ahead, leading by as much as 15 in the second half.

“I thought it was a very well-played game,” Tilton coach Marcus O’Neil said. “I thought Jesse [Bopp, Vermont Academy coach] had his team very well-prepared for us. We both like to play a similar tempo, up-and-down. I think it makes for a fun game to watch, he’s got some very talented and accomplished players. I thought it was a good game, I’m glad we were able to come out and I thought with the open floor, some of the guys really showed what they can do.”

Midway through the second, Vermont (7-6) started utilizing a fullcourt press, which caught Tilton off-guard. In what started as disciplined ball movement turned into rushed offensive possessions, leading to too long outlet passes and other turnovers.

“We didn’t really adjust to it well,” Selden said. “We didn’t really see it coming. We didn’t have the right positioning. We’re really guard-heavy, so anybody can be anywhere and we were just running around.”

Selden and Victor finished with 24 and 26 points respectively, thanks in large part to their outside shooting. Initially, Vermont was in man-to-man defense, but switched to a 1-3-1 as the game went on, trying to utilize its length to cover as much of the court as possible.

Terance Mann had a strong first half for the Rams, going 4-for-7 from the field, but was 1-for-10 in the second and finished with 11 points. The 6-foot-5 sophomore still has room to grow into his long frame. His perimeter-based game complements Selden and Victor well, giving the team more than one scoring weapon from the outside. When Selden graduates this year, Mann feels he has the potential to fill the big shoes as a focal point of the Tilton offense.

“I think I have the potential to do that,” he said “When I’m rolling, I’m really good at going to the basket and finishing with both hands. I need to work on my shot and my handle, but usually when my shot’s falling, I’m shooting. When he leaves, it’s going to be tough, but I think I can take that role.”

--- With this being such a young Tilton team, Selden knew he had to take on more of a leadership role this season. Last year, playing with the likes of Nerlens Noel and Georges Niang, he could rely on them to be the voices both on and off the court while he played his game. This year, things are different for the Kansas commit.

“Every game is a battle,” he said. “I have to be a leader. We have a young group of guys that have to fight hard, so that’s all I ask for.”

As all great leaders do, they can lead just by example and with their actions as they do with words.

“I tend to be on the hyperactive side,” Victor said. “With Wayne Selden, he’s so serious on and off the court. He’s real calm before a game, but then when we get on the court he’s serious, telling people to go hard. Every day in practice, we break and we say “Go hard.” Playing alongside him, you can’t help but get better.”

--- Sunday was an important game for Chester Victor. Aside from scoring 26 points, the postgraduate senior was able to display his talents on a big stage in front of many college coaches.

He came to Tilton this year after going to school in LaPlace, Louisiana, a small town 10 minutes outside of New Orleans. The 6-foot-1 guard made the jump to Tilton to get more exposure to a higher level of basketball, which he thought the NEPSAC could do for him.

“The recruiting in Louisiana is not as good as it is up here,” he said after the game. “I went four years without getting recruited. I traveled up here with my cousin Lucas and he was supposed to end up coming here, but I think God saw fit for me to come here, so that’s how I ended up at Tilton.”

This year was as good a year as any for him to make the jump to the northeast. Tilton is notorious for having a dominant presence inside, from Alex Oriakhi (now playing at Missouri) to Nerlens Noel (now at Kentucky). This season, the Rams lack depth in the post, and now have to play a more guard-heavy lineup. It did that Sunday, occasionally forcing Wayne Selden to play the power forward position instead of his usual spot at guard and on the wing.

That strategy works because its guards are all capable of scoring off the dribble or shooting from the outside, so they compliment each other’s game well.

“Every year we’ve had things we’ve done well, and not done well,” O’Neil said. “It is a major deficiency in basketball when you don’t have a lot of size. We try to find a way on the court to compensate for that. It is nice to have those guys that can control the paint, block shots, score in the post, so when you don’t have as much of that, you find another way to play. It’s not always easy as a coach to be flexible, but you change what you do according to the personnel. If we don’t do that this year, if I’m too rigid, we’re not going to give ourselves the best chance to be successful.”

With four of last year’s starting five either graduated or transferred, Victor was unsure how that would effect the team and its play coming into the season.

“Last year, I had the privilege of watching them play online and I thought they played slow,” he said. “Once Nerlens left, and Niang, and Dominique Bull, and we found out Goodluck transferred, I wondered if Coach was going to be able to transition from playing slow to playing fast. I found out, coming in the first day, he said that was the only way he was going to play.”

BABC to host Prep School Classic

January, 15, 2013
The Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) will host the 2013 Prep School Classic this coming Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 19 and 20, at the Kroc Center in Dorchester.

The event will consist of seven games featuring fourteen top area prep school programs. Each game will showcase future college stars and commits, all competing in the heart of the Boston community.

“BABC is excited to once again host the Prep Classic,” said Jay Demings, BABC’s Director of Operations, in a press release. “We feel we have compiled the best regional prep school teams and believe that the advanced level of play will make for another memorable event.”

This is the 4th annual Prep Classic hosted by the BABC and the event marks the second time it will be held in the City of Boston.

The up-to-date game schedule is as follows:

Saturday, January 19
2 p.m. - Vermont Academy vs. Redemption Christian Academy (N.Y.)
3:20 p.m. - St. Andrew’s (R.I.) vs. Tilton (N.H.)
4:40 p.m. - New Hampton (N.H.) vs. Notre Dame Prep
6:00 p.m. - Beaver Country Day vs. Worcester Academy

Sunday, January 20
2 p.m. - Kimball Union (N.H.) vs. Marianapolis Prep (Conn.)
3:20 p.m. - Brimmer & May vs. Northfield Mt. Hermon
4:40 p.m. - Rivers vs. Pingree

As an addition to the event, BABC will also host two make-up games from the weather-delayed BABC Holiday High School Classic. On Monday, January 21, Brighton will face University (Conn.) at noon followed by Capital Prep (Conn.) against Cambridge 2 p.m. Both games this day will take place at New Mission High School, 655 Metropolitan Ave., in Hyde Park.

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.

Tilton's Wayne Selden signs with Kansas

November, 17, 2012

ROXBURY, Mass. -– At Roxbury’s Shelburne Community Center on Friday night, Tilton’s star senior guard Wayne Selden signed his letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Kansas.

Selden -- who started as an eighth-grader at O’Bryant High, before transferring to the Tilton, N.H. prep school following his freshman year -- chose the Jayhawks over Florida, Missouri, Ohio State, Syracuse, and UCLA. He is ranked the No. 16 overall player in the Class of 2013 by ESPN.

Dozens of Selden’s friends and family members gathered at Shelburne on Friday night to celebrate his commitment and signing. Before his official signing, his closest family members gave brief comments on Selden’s success and thanks to those had supported his endeavors, on and off the basketball court.

His mother, Lavette Pitts, emphasized that “it takes a village to raise a child,” a sentiment that Wayne echoed following the signing of his letter of intent.

“It feels good to have everybody [in Roxbury] behind me and supporting me with every decision I make,” Selden said, “So I just feel like I need to put all the tools God gave me into the right things and just be the best player and person I can be.”

Selden, whose Tilton squad will kick off their season in a matchup at National Prep Showcase on Sunday against Kiski Prep (Pa.), said he was also appreciative of the respects that he received from many of his former high-profile teammates.

“I’ve heard from a lot of guys; Georges [Niang] texted me this morning. He’s at Iowa State, so I’m going to be playing against him next year, that’s going to be weird,” Selden said with a laugh. “I heard from a lot of guys, and that’s just us keeping it in the family.”

In addition to Selden, Kansas has four other signees in the 2013 class, ESPN100 guards Conner Frankamp and Brannen Green, as well as center Joel Embiid and postgrad point guard Frank Mason.

Tilton's Wayne Selden commits to Kansas

October, 15, 2012
ESPN's Paul Biancardi is reporting this afternoon that Tilton (N.H.) senior swingman and Roxbury native Wayne Selden gave a verbal commitment to the University of Kansas this morning, following an official visit over the weekend to the Lawrence, Kan. campus during the Jayhawks' annual Midnight Madness celebration.

"It is the right fit for me as a person and a player," Selden told Biancardi. "When we walked in the arena (for Late Night in the Phog), the roar of the crowd was insane. I was filled with excitement and to a certain extent overwhelmed."

Selden is currently ranked as the nation's No. 14 overall senior by ESPNU. He moved back into his original Class of 2013 over the summer; following his freshman season at Roxbury's O'Bryant High in 2009-10, he transferred to Tilton and re-classified to the 2014 class.

The team over at RecruitingNation have a few interesting nuggets of note. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Selden is built like a linebacker and is difficult to contain off the ball. But Biancardi notes of his individual development over the last year, particularly working with Steve Hailey, a former Boston College guard and a coach with Selden's AAU program, the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC).

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Selden has dominated high school and the summer circuit thanks to his size and strength.

This past spring and summer Selden started to make individual improvements with the help of Steve Hailey, a former Boston College player who trains him. He and Hailey worked together to enhance his scoring and ballhandling skills.

Still, he knows there are holes in his game and understands there is a huge learning curve from prep school to the Big 12.

"I must work on my lateral speed to defend better and keep working on my ballhandling," Selden said.

He will now head to play for one of the most successful coaches in the nation in Bill Self, who Selden hopes will continue to help him improve his game.

"Coach Self is a great coach," Selden said. "They made me feel welcomed and wanted. He has a plan for me."

For Biancardi's full take, CLICK HERE.

Well-regarded New England basketball guru Adam Finkelstein also has a piece on RecruitingNation about Selden's mental edge that separates him from the pack. You can CLICK HERE for that full article (Insider only); below is an excerpt:

This is a guy who even at a young age embraced everything that went into being a star. He’s comfortable in the limelight, has supreme confidence and wants the ball in his hands down the stretch.

He has proven that pedigree at every step along the way and has played starring roles on a multitude of championship teams, including three AAU national championships with Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC), the 2011 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League title and a 2011 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championship with Tilton.

Selden has the rare personality that is so often tied to starring roles. Yes, he’s uniquely talented, but he’s also as charismatic off the floor as he is dynamic on the court. That’s a big reason why his teammates tend to naturally gravitate toward him and he so often emerges as the group’s primary personality and playmaker.

It’s that mental edge, as much as any physical tool, that makes Selden such a good fit at Kansas, where the fan base is as rabid as any in the country and excellence is demanded on an annual basis. Not only will Selden embrace that sort of immediate challenge, he’ll raise the level of his game because of it.

Wayne Selden trims list of schools to six

August, 21, 2012
Tilton (N.H.) senior swingman and Roxbury resident Wayne Selden, ESPNU's No. 13 overall Class of 2013 prospect, has reportedly trimmed his list of schools to six.

Florida, Ohio State, UCLA, Kansas, Missouri and Syracuse made the cut for Selden, who moved back into his original 2013 class from 2014 earlier this summer. He told BuckeyeNation's Brad Bournival there is currently no favorite, and that he is unsure at this time as to when he will take official visits or make a commitment.

Selden gave Bournival a few comments on each school. For that entire article, CLICK HERE. Below is an excerpt:

Here’s what he had to say about each school:

Florida: “I like them because they have great guard play. They have a great up-tempo offense and Billy Donovan is a great coach that has won championships.”

Ohio State: “I like Ohio State because they run an NBA offense and are great at player development. Thad Matta is a heck of a coach. Winning schools that are always competing for national championships always stand out.”

UCLA: “[Coach] Ben Howland does a great job of developing his guards. They’re a big program on the rise.”

Kansas: “I like Bill Self. He’s a great coach with a winning tradition and they have a great offensive tempo.”

Missouri: “They have a really fast style of play offensively and defensively. There are a few of my guys that go there [Alex Oriakhi and Dominique Bull went to Tilton] as well.”

Syracuse: “They always have great guard play. It’s a great place to be if you’re a guard.”

Selden, Iverson selected to Elite 24

July, 31, 2012
The first 12 players selected to participate in the seventh annual Under Armour Elite 24 event have been announced, and once again there is New England local flavor to it.

Hartford native Kuran Iverson and Tilton (N.H.) swingman Wayne Selden, a Boston native, were among the 12 announced today, in a loaded field that includes Prestonwood Christian (Texas) forward Julius Randle and Huntington Prep (W. Va.) wing Andrew Wiggins.

The Elite 24 will be held at the famed outdoor Venice Beach Courts in Los Angeles on August 24 and 25. The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25, while the slam dunk contest will air Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

For the full release, CLICK HERE. Below is the roster of the first 12 announced:

(NOTE: It was reported earlier this month Iverson is transferring from Northwest Catholic (Conn.) to Fishburne Military School (Va.) for next season)

Nate Britt II, 2013 PG, Gonzaga College (D.C.)
Aquille Carr, 2013 PG, Patterson (Md.)
Isaac Hamilton, 2013 SG, Saint John Bosco (Calif.)
Aaron Harrison, 2013 SG, Travis (Texas)
Andrew Harrison, 2013 PG, Travis (Texas)
Kuran Iverson, 2013 SF, Fishburne Military (Va.)
Rondae Jefferson, 2013 SF, Chester (Pa.)
Jermaine Lawrence, 2013 PF, Pope John XXIII (N.Y.)
Marcus Lee, 2013 PF, Deer Valley (Calif.)
Julius Randle, 2013 PF, Prestonwood Christian (Texas)
Wayne Selden, 2013 SG, Tilton (N.H.)
Andrew Wiggins, 2014 SF, Huntington Prep (W. Va.)

BABC sophomores take AAU national title

July, 20, 2012
A year ago, the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) rolled into the 10th grade AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fla., as arguably one of the nation's most talented squads, led by the country's No. 1 player Nerlens Noel, rolling over some of the country's elite team with ease.

This week, the BABC came to Orlando in defense of their title with a team just as long on fun, albeit in an entirely different manner. With a roster of just eight, none of whom currently ranked by ESPN, the club clawed their way through pool play to reach the Final Four, taking out some of the tournament's heaviest hitters in the process.

[+] EnlargeBABC
Courtesy of BABCBABC coach Eggie McRae (left) lauded the play of Bonzie Colson (right), calling him "a master" on the blocks.
In the semifinals, the BABC found themselves down eight in the fourth quarter to the Albany City Rocks (N.Y.), only to squeak out a 67-63 overtime win. In the finals, televised on ESPN3, the club carried momentum from Jonathan Joseph's game-tying shot in regulation to outlast Team Charlotte (N.C.), 61-55, for their third consecutive AAU 10th grade national championship, and the program's 17th national title overall.

"It was unreal," head coach Eggie McRae said. "These guys played unbelievable in this stretch run. We only had eight guys so we were kinda undermanned, but eveyrone played their roles to a T."

For 6-foot-6 forward Bonzie Colson, a New Bedford native and by all accounts the star of this run, that included manning the post. The semifinal was his masterstroke, coming up with 23 points and 21 rebounds, positioning himself deep in the post and working over his defender with an array of shakes, fall-aways, and step-through's.

In the finals, Colson again came through in the overtime, helping give the BABC the cushion it needed in the end.

"He's like a master down there, really honing in his skills on the block," McRae said of Colson, who will enter his junior year at St. Andrew's (R.I.) School this fall. "He's just got a great feel for the block area."

That's not all. To get to the Final Four, the BABC had to go through arguably the longest team in the field, the Orlando Venom. Against a frontcourt featuring a 6-foot-10 center and two 6-foot-8 forwards, Colson went on the offensive, utilizing pump-fakes and jumpers to keep them honest.

Colson's strategy in the finals was more of the same.

"Just be patient," he said. "As soon as I get the ball, relax a little bit, see if anybody's trying to double, do a drop-step to the basket, and if I have to tourn around, I had two great guards in Tyler Nelson or Jon joseph that I know can hit the shot."

Indeed the attention on Colson opened up the floor for players like Nelson, who hit two crucial three's down the stretch of the championship.

"Bonzie was a mismatch for both teams," Nelson said of the final two games. "In both of those overtimes, he took over."

For Colson, who was also on the BABC's ninth grade national championship team last year, this figures to be a trigger point in his recruiting. Seton Hall extended a scholarship offer to Colson following yesterday's win; Boston University and Rhode Island have also offered to this point.

And for Nelson, an ESPN Boston MIAA All-State selection this past season at Central Catholic, this is the culmination of a year-long learning experience. One of the state's premier shooters, the Haverhill resident joined the BABC last fall and feels he has improved on the defensive end.

McRae concurred.

"He's starting to buy in," McRae said. "Sometimes when you play high school ball you can get away with playing no defense. But that's what we get a lot of our points off of here -- defense, moving the feet, getting in the passing lanes. He played a lot for us, and to do that you've got to play good defense."

Also factoring into the championship run were Nick Cambio (Central Catholic), Curtis Cobb (Wilbraham & Monson), Bobby Ahearn (Marianapolis), Tyree Robinson (Notre Dame Prep) and Jerelle Washington (Providence Central).