High School: Prince Ibeh

N. Forest continues Garland ISD's state streak

March, 7, 2012
Garland ISD is getting used to good basketball. Naaman Forest's first trip to Austin follows two straight appearances at state from Lakeview Centennial. Naaman Forest head coach Jeff Clarkson said it's a good foundation for what is quickly becoming a powerhouse district.

"It gave us the vision of really having that goal, and knowing that [making the state tournament] is possible," Clarkson said. "The school district has given us the tools to be successful."

Clarkson said this is the first season he started with a real goal of winning the state tournament. Now that Naaman Forest is finally there, he is living the dream he has had for years.

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"You go down [to Austin] every year and you watch teams, and you just think about how you would love to be in that situation," Clarkson said.

His players can't be dreaming on Friday for the semifinal matchup. In their first state tournament game, they take on POWERADE FAB 50 No. 5 and defending state champion Flower Mound Marcus.

The Marauders are led by ESPNU 100 Marcus Smart, the No. 2 shooting guard recruit in the nation.

"Marcus Smart is about as physical a player as they come, so it's tough for any kid to match up with him physically," Clarkson said. "You can't get too caught up in [Smart] and what they have done in the past. You have to just win one game."

It won't just be about stopping Smart, either. Marcus proved it is one of the best defensive teams in the state by holding South Grand Prairie to just 38 points in the region final.

"They really try to limit inside the 3-point line," Clarkson said. "It's really important we get [6-foot-11 center Prince Ibeh] the ball and get some guys to make outside shots."

DeMarcus Holland and Kent High lead the Rangers in scoring with 11.5 points per game each.

Garland Naaman Forest aims for district title

January, 19, 2012
Garland Lakeview Centennial didn't give its competition in District 10-5A much of a chance the past two seasons.

The Patriots went undefeated in district play in both years en route to back-to-back appearances in the state title game.

But with the core those teams having graduated and head coach Tony Mauldin now retired, Garland Naaman Forest is looking to capitalize.

The Rangers (16-6, 5-1) sit in a three-way tie for first place and would be in sole possession of the top spot if not for a hiccup against South Garland last week.

That loss also knocked the Rangers out of the ESPN Dallas 5A Top 10, but they've already beaten the two teams they're tied with -- Lakeview Centennial and Rowlett. Naaman Forest crushed the Patriots, 69-48, in the first game back after winter break.

The talent advantage has certainly shifted to Naaman Forest following Chris Jones and Toddrick Gotcher's graduation from Lakeview Centennial as forward Prince Ibeh and guard Demarcus Holland are committed to Texas and South Florida, respectively.

The team also boasts experience. It returns four of its top five scorers from last season -- Ibeh, Holland, Kent High and Trent Dawson.

Whether Naaman Forest can clinch its first district title since 2009 may be decided over the next three games. In addition to Rowlett and Lakeview Centennial playing each other on Friday, the Rangers play both of them next week.

54th Whataburger Tournament Live Blog

December, 28, 2011
Game 8: Little Rock Parkview 73, Hurst L.D. Bell 51.

The ESPNHS No. 42 team, Little Rock Parkview, turned out to be quite the unlucky draw for Hurst L.D. Bell in the opening round of the tournament.

Parkview's Anton Beard dropped 17 on the Raiders while Imara Ready and Emmanuel Adoyi both tallied 14 points of their own in the blowout effort.

Bell's Garrett Hammonds managed a team-high 15, hitting Bell's only two 3's of the game.

Bell moves into the consolation bracket to face Houston Klein Forest at 3:30 p.m. Thursday while Parkview will take on North Crowley Thursday at 2 p.m.

Game 7: Flower Mound Marcus 45, Justin Northwest 38.

Game 6: Milwaukee King 67, Duncanville 54.

Rufus King out of Milwaukee proved to be more than Duncanville could handle, holding a lead throughout the course of the game.

King hit six from behind the arch, aiding four players to hit the double digit point mark. Dominique Borom led King's scoring with 16 points.

Duncanville's shot selection was less than optimum and it failed to make the adjustment of penetrating for a higher percentage shot. Duncanville hit six 3-pointers, but two came when the game had been relinquished late in the fourth quarter.

Omar Sherman led Duncanville in points with 14, followed by Brian Hampton with 11. Nine Duncanville players found the scoresheet, but only three contributed more than four points.

Game 5: North Crowley 63, Houston Klein Forest 53.

North Crowley relied on its depth to outlast Klein Forest in its first-round matchup -- a trait not normally common of a Panther team.

Instead of relying on one superstar to carry the team as it has in the past, North Crowley spread its points out between eight players on it's 15 man roster.

Leading the charge was guard Calvin Ward with a game-high 18 points, followed by Taylor Luster with 10. Four other players scored more than five points in the game.

North Crowley built its lead in the first half, outscoring Klein Forest 34-22, which included an 18-point first quarter. Ward was responsible for 10 of those points in the opening frame.

Klein Forest won the battle of the second half by two points, but it wasn't nearly enough to challenge North Crowley for the lead.

Game 4: No. 33 DeSoto 77, Coppell 39.

Game 3: Richland 64, Garland Naaman Forest 58.

Junior wing Leyton Hammonds tore through the Naaman Forest defense to score 22 points and lead his team into the winners bracket of the Whataburger Tournament.

Hammonds hot hand drew the attention of the Naaman Forest defense, making him a useful decoy in Richand's press break in the second half. The majority of Richland's fourth quarter points came on fast break layups out of the break.

The game was won in the third quarter when Richland was able to double up on Naaman Forest 19-8.

Naaman Forest's Demarcus Holland led his squad in scoring with 21 points. Texas commit Price Ibeh was held in check with just 7 points in the game, the final two on a huge dunk in the fourth quarter.

Game 2: Richardson Berkner 73, Arlington Martin 60

After a hot Berkner start in the first half, including several basket-shaking dunks, Martin made a strong push in the second half, but couldn't overcome a very talented Berkner squad.

Berkner junior forward Kendal Harris led his team in scoring with 21-points, tying Martin's Myles Johnson for the game high.

Berkner dominated the glass, with the vast majority of its points coming inside the paint.

Martin football All-American Devonte Fields was the basketball team's force inside, tallying 13 points of his own.

Game 1: Plano West 70, Fort Worth Arlington Heights 60 (3OT)

It took two desperation 3's from Fort Worth Arlington Heights to push the game into overtime and then a second overtime, but Plano West capitalized on turnovers in the third extra frame to put away the Yellowjackets.

Height's Travis Williams received a dish off a rebound with seconds remaining in regulation and drilled a 3-pointer to give his team extra life in overtime. The game then seemed out of reach a gain as the clock ticked away in the first overtime period, but Hight's Marshall Calvin swished a circus shot from behind the arch to force a third overtime.

In the end, West's defense was too much for Heights to handle after three extra periods of basketball, especially when Heights only had five players put up points in the game.

West struggled through regulation to contain Heights small but elusive point guard Harrison Wagner who slashed through the lane for a game-high 31 points.

Plano West's point production was split between forwards T.J. Cline and Holt Harmon, who dominated the post game for 19 points a piece.

A&M basketball recruit aims to woo DFW stars

August, 5, 2011
J-Mychal Reese of Bryan, one of the nation's top point guards, committed to Texas A&M on Friday and plans to become a recruiter for the Aggies.

And Reese, new A&M coach Billy Kennedy's first big catch, has his eye on some of North Texas' best players.

Reese said he wants Duncanville's Chris Washburn, Garland Naaman Forest's Prince Ibeh and Flower Mound Marcus' Marcus Smart to join him in College Station.

Click here for more on Reese's decision from ESPN Recruiting's Dave Telep.

Dallas' Titans take aim at AAA Super Showcase

July, 22, 2011
A slew of high school basketball players from the Metroplex will be taking part in the AAU Super Showcase -- an invitation-only event being held next week at ESPN's Wide World Of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Texas Titans, from Dallas, include center Prince Ibeh (Garland Naaman Forest), power forward Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian), SG Matt Jones (DeSoto) and PG Marquan Botley (Prestonwood Chr.). ESPN Recruiting's Paul Biancardi believes the squad are among the teams to watch at the event.

Two Arlington Grace Prep players -- Baylor commit C Isaiah Austin and PG Emmanuel Mudiay -- will be competing with the Texas Pro team, which is based in Houston.

The Super Showcase, one of the marquee events of the summer, will feature two games broadcast on ESPNU -- Texas Pro (Houston) vs. Georgia Stars (Atlanta) on July 26 at 6 p.m.; and the Super Showcase championship on July 27 at 6 p.m.

For more on the event, click here.

Randle, Ibeh stand out at Nike Skills Academy

June, 27, 2011
Prestonwood Christian junior-to-be Julius Randle and Garland Naaman Forest senior Prince Ibeh both made quite an impression over the weekend at the Amare Stoudemire Nike Skills Academy in Chicago, according to ESPN Recruiting's Reggie Rankin and Paul Biancardi.

Randle was among the camp's top three scorers, prompting this analysis:
The athletic lefty plays in full attack mode in the post, from midrange and along the baseline. Randle has a great first step for a player his size and can initiate and score through contact with touch, body control or with a powerful above-the-rim finish. He plays with confidence, energy, urgency and he exposes defenders not ready to compete immediately.

Meanwhile, Ibeh, a 6-11 center, was among the top three defenders / shot blockers:
Ibeh grabs your attention right away with his 7-4 wingspan. He runs the floor pretty well and patrols the lane. He blocks shots in and out of his area and what he doesn't block, he changes. He has pretty good timing and puts forth good effort to get to the ball, whether its being shot from the lane or the perimeter. His tremendous length also allows him to recover beautifully from mistakes. His defense is far ahead of his offense and his upside is tremendous with added strength and improved production on the offensive end.

For more on the camp's standouts, click here.

Prestonwood Chr. power forward stands out

September, 27, 2010
Michael LaPlante of ESPN Recruiting was in town over the weekend to check out the local boys basketball talent the Dallas Great American Shootout.

He cited Plano Prestonwood Christian power forward Julius Randle and Flower Mound Marcus small forward Marcus Smart as the standout players at the event.

Flower Mound Marcus' Phil Forte, Garland Naaman Forest's Prince Ibeh and Irving's Keith Frazier also caught LaPlante's eye.

You can read LaPlante's report here.