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St. Andrew’s Holiday Tournament

In a game where nine of the participants on both teams have played for the same AAU program the past 2 years, you would expect the contest to be a good one.  Oh what a good one it turned out to be.

At the 2012 St. Andrew’s Holiday Tournament, a matchup between The Tilton School and Wilbraham & Monson was a potential playoff game in the middle of the regular season. The gym was packed with spectators and college coaches who were in for a treat.

The game started off rough for Kansas commit Wayne Selden who sat for most of the first half with 3 fouls, Tilton looked towards their young core of players to step up and make things happen. Terrance Mann (14 points) played the role of the aggressor the whole game. Even though he had his shot attempts rejected on numerous occasion by 6’10 Goodluck Okonoboh, the wiry forward continued to attack not showing any signs of letting up.

With Goodluck Okonoboh roaming the paint on the defensive end, it was almost impossible for Tilton never really got things going inside. Okonoboh who finished with 11 blocks was a game changer on the defensive end as always. The Titans also looked towards one of their young players to step up and be the aggressor on offense.

With Tilton holding a 1 point lead going into halftime (29-28) WMA needed that they needed to come out swinging first in the 2nd half. Freshmen guard Mustapha Heron (12 points) played tough throughout the game but especially in the 2nd period having the assignment of guarding Wayne Selden and then having to be guarded by Mann on the other end, the young guard had his work cut out for him on this day. Heron also had the nice play that showed off the growth in his game when had a crossover drive to the basket for a two hand slam down the middle of the lane.

The game was close in the 2nd period with Tilton’s lead exceeding no more than 4 points at a time. It was the play of senior guard Chestor Victor who led all scorers with 27 points that was the real story of this game. Victor had the hot hand all day poking and diving for loose balls (4 steals) and knocking down shots whenever WMA started to make a run. Tilton would go on to defeat WMA 63-59

Other Top Performers:

Rene Castro (Worcester Academy):  22pts vs Masters

Sammy Mojica (Brimmer May):  27pts vs Vermont Academy

Jacob Clark (Christian Heritage): 30pts vs Cushing Acdemy

DaQuein McNeil (Vermont Academy): 19pts vs Brimmer May


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Hoop Mountain Prep Classic 2012

This past weekend Hoop Dreams Magazine was on hand to catch one of New England’s best ran tournaments in Hoop Mountain’s Prep Classic. At National Prep Showcase we got a chance to see most of the elite prep programs for the first time from the NEPSAC’s AAA, AA, and Independent class. The NPS gave us everything we wanted to see, except the only thing missing was AA power’s St. Andrews, Worcester Academy, and Cushing Academy which we finally got to see at the HMPC. We are going to highlight all of the top performances we witnessed from this great event which took place last weekend.

We begin this article with arguably the top performer this weekend Rene Castro. Game one Worcester Academy had a very slow start beginning the game without Castro. Once off the bench Castro helped ignite Worcester intensity, before exploding scoring 14 of his 18 points all in the second half to help lead Worcester Academy to a victory over South Kent. In the same game Xavier commit Kamall Richards did all he could also scoring 15 of his 25 points in the second half in the loss.

In his second game of the tournament Castro turned out one of his best performances in front of his future Butler Coach Brad Stevens, scoring 32 points. It seemed as if the Brewster guards had no answer for him, as he was able to score both in and outside of the lane. Unfortunately Worcester came up short in a very close game which came down to a big basket by Kevin Zabo and continued with great play from junior forward Chris McCullough who finished with 17.

Day one of the event gave us our first look at the new three headed monster of Kaleb Joseph, Jalen Adams, and Andrew Chrabascz for Cushing Academy. In Cushing’s first win of the season over Marianapolis 2014 guard Jalen adams in his prep debut finished with 13pts, while seasoned vet Joseph chipped in 15. Butler commit Andrew Chrabascz finished with a game high 22pts, 15 rebounds in sheer dominance of the paint against Marianapolis. In the loss, the biggest surprise came from former Attleboro High School star guard Steve Edmonds finishing with 20 points. Edmonds scored all 20 of his points in the second half, off of 4 big 3’s, two mid range field goals and four free throws.

Game two for Cushing was more of the same in a big statement win over fellow AA power Wilbraham and Monson. Chrabascz also now playing in front of his future coach Brad Stevens continued his dominance on the inside as he more than held his own against WMA big men D’Jery Baptiste and Goodluck Okonoboh. The backcourt of Adams and Joseph played great, but it felt like this game belonged to Joseph. His 18 point game felt like a 30 point performance as he was dominant. Joseph’s game seemed to mature a lot as he now knows how to effectively use his speed to score and set up a teammate for an easy bucket. The one bright spot for Wilbraham in this one, was the poise and performance of young guard Mustapha Heron who seemed liked he wanted to be the guy to bring his team back for a win.

Other Notable Performances

Henry Bolton scores his 1000th point. Congratulations from us at HDM

Charles Foster carries over scoring onslaught from NPS, as he scored 28 points in a win vs Brimmer and May. Then he goes on to score 18 in a win over Monte Clare.

Daquein McNeil scores 27 points in a losing effort in close one with New Hampton.

Wayne Selden scores 27 points to help lead his team into victory against Bridgton Academy.

Jaylen Brantley 24 points in ND Prep’s first game of the tournament vs REDA (Can).

In a win against ND Prep, Putnam Science Jemal Mosley scores 25 while Dayshon Smith scored 23 points and dished out 10 dimes.


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Rene Castro To Butler

Rene Castro announced over the weekend that he would be attending Butler University in the fall of 2013. After a recent visit to Butler, Castro made the decision after spending a week discussing his options with family about deciding between Boston University, George Washington, Butler and Duquesne.

 Rene Castro is one of the most heralded prospects out of the New England area in the past 3 to 4 years. Castro’s career started at Milton High, where he lead his team to a state title as a freshman with one of the most memorable clutch performances in a Massachusetts state tournament game. Castro would transfer to Beaver Country Day the following year where he would lead his team to two consecutive Eastern Independent League championships.

Rene Castro, who now stars for Worcester Academy was the 2011-2012 Gatorade Player of The Year. On the AAU circuit Castro has won numerous national titles while playing with Leo Papile’s BABC program. Castro is a proven winner wherever he goes and that shouldn’t change when he gets to Butler.

 “Butler, because of the great coaching staff,” said Rene on one of many reasons why he chose Butler. “I think it (Butler) can help me be the most successful on and off the court.”

 “My role hopefully is to get major minutes as freshman as a point guard and able to play my game,” Said Castro.

 Rene Castro is the second local prospect to give Butler a commitment and a familiar one close to Rene. Castro will team up with Andrew Chrabascz for the next four years in hopes of continuing their winning as they once did on the AAU circuit for BABC.

 “Andrew did not put any pressure on me, he said make the best decision for yourself,” said Castro on teaming up with his former AAU teammate Andrew Chrabascz. “It’s great; me and him(A. Chrabascz) are just doing anything to win, that’s what we’re about.”

 Butler enters its first season as a member of the A-10 and is 1 of 6 teams favored to win the conference this year.


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The Effect Social Media and The Internet Have On A Players Recruitment

Social media and the internet have permanently changed how recruiting works in college sports. The NCAA has rules and regulations in place that restricts how many phone calls coaches can make to recruits. The current rule stands at unlimited phone calls, text messages and direct messages are permitted after a prospect completes his sophomore season.

“I think it’s huge….More than ever social media is a must have for a College Coach,” said one college coach to HDM, explaining the way recruiting tactics have changed over the years. “YouTube is something all kids should do for coaches.”

With the rapid growth in technology, a prospect is able to log onto Twitter and Facebook on their mobile phones and receive all types of messages from coaches at any given time.

We are also living in what is called the “YouTube Era” where you can almost type in any word or phrase in the search menu and get a result. For some prospects that are trying to get noticed by recruiters YouTube can be used as a tool to attract certain coaches. YouTube is probably the fastest and easiest way for an athlete to go from being unnoticed to creating a name for themselves.

“It plays a big role – but ultimately I like what my eyes see better- highlights have and will deceive” said one coach to how much YouTube plays a factor in evaluating a player.

 A player can often find themselves swamped with alerts and messages on twitter from fans and coaches about coming to their respected schools. A message can be ignored; it’s up to the players to decide which ones they want to respond to if any.

 During the 2011-2012 prep season while playing basketball for Worcester Academy, Rene Castro deactivated both his Twitter and Facebook account.

 ‘Yeah I was focusing too much of my time (to social media), so I deleted both for schoolwork and bball,” Castro explained how crazy social media can get for a student-athlete. “It was hard at first but then I got use to it, I have them back because I am able to manage my time on social networks, workout, and do school work.”

 “Love YouTube,” said one coach on feelings about social media and internet use to recruit. “Even if it’s just to keep other coaches on the staff in the loop, Facebook lets us see what they are doing socially, Acceptable vs. Unacceptable behavior, Very helpful.”

Twitter, Facebook and Skype have also been used as ways for student-athletes to announce their college decisions in recent years. The state of social media and the internet has become more than just a way to connect with family and friends, it’s almost a way of life now, and some of us can’t live or keep up with the times without it.

no coaches names were listed in this article per request


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Worcester Academy “Prep Profile”

Worcester Academy head coach Jamie Sullivan knows his team is in good hands, when Rene Castro is running the show. Castro when on a scoring binge last season, going on a streak of scoring 30 plus points in 5 straight games. Look for Castro to be more of a facilitator this season with newly added scoring options on the wing. Insert Worcester, Ma native Matt Mobley, who is a 6’2 combo guard post-grad that recently gave a verbal commitment to Central Connecticut State. Mobley is a very aggressive guard with tremendous athleticism that can also see some time at the point. Also on the wing you have Matt Pannagio a 6’3 guard from Florida that can really stroke it from deep and a great play maker in the open floor. Benjamin Mesuda and Devin Williams will also find time at guard spot for the Hilltoppers.

The Hilltoppers Frontline will be orchestrated by returning 6’10 Center Matt Cimino and 6’8 bruiser, Darryl Reynolds. Cimino is coming off a great run on the AAU circuit with Mass Rivals earning high major interest including offers from Virginia, BC and Kansas State. Cimino is versatile, face up post player that can step out and knock down the long range jump shot. Reynolds comes to Worcester, Ma by the way of Philadelphia, Pa and made a name for himself in New England weeks prior to the start of school at the Tufts Prep Shootout. Reynolds physical presence alone is an intimidation factor for those who think about trying to get in his way. Standing at 6’8 with a massive cut frame, Reynolds is a skilled, big man with range on his shot that extends to the 3 point line. Reynolds likes to bang down low, put the ball on the floor to create space, in order to knock down the baseline pull up or jump shot from the elbow. Reynolds and Cimino on the floor together will create matchup problems for opposing big men.

Tyreik McCauley, Thomas Rivard and Samuel Joaquin will also be key contributors in the frontcourt. All three players bring veteran experience to a deep Hilltoppers team.


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2012 BABC Boston Shootout

This past weekend Tufts University was host to the 2012 Boston Shootout. This year marked the 40th anniversary of the event and a number of the nations future bright stars. Teams that participated in the event were BABC(MA), Albany City Rocks (NY), Middlesex Magic (MA), CT Select, NE Playaz, East Coast Elite (CT), MB Nation(ME), The City (NY),USAD(CT) Eric Gordon All-Stars (IN), and Mass Rivals. BABC came away winners in the 15u, 16u, and 17u division but is was no easy task.

 

BABC 15U dominated their division including a blow out win against Albany City Rocks. The strength and athleticsm of  Terrance Mann, Bruce Brown and Marcel Pettway appeared to be a bit much to handle for any team in that age group. Brown and Mann kept the game entertaining as it seemed like everytime they touched the ball and made a play towards the basket it ended up being a Sportscenter hightlight. The of the weekend came from Bruce Brown as he flew over a East Coast Elite defender for a 1 hand slam(Video Can Be Seen Below).

BABC 16u match up against City(NY) had to of been arguably the best game of the scheduled event as it came down to the wire.  Damian Smith(BABC) and Miachael Williams(City) started off hitting consecutive baskets for their teams as many predicted from the start would end up being decided in the last possesion. City(NY) took a bad blow when Donovan Mitchell went down with a ankle injury before the end of the 1st half. The outside shooting of Michael Williams kept City lead through most of the 1st half. But once BABC started to go inside and feed Bonzie Colson he ate on the boards and made everything around the basket.  A Tyree Robinson tip in at the sound of the buzzer put BABC up by 2 going into halftime. The 2nd half belonged to Josh Wallace of City(NY) as the young wing player did everything from knocking down the pull up jumper, grabbing rebounds and defending in the post. BABC proved to be to much at the end of the day as they pulled away in the final minutes of the game securing a 5 point win against City(NY).

The 17u matchup between BABC and Albany City Rocks(NY) was a familiar tune as these two teams meet on the Nike EYBL circuit. Tyrese Hoxter Darien Fernandez were the Co-MVP’s of this game as they jumped out into passing causing multiple turnovers and showing great leadership. Hoxter had a number of above the rim dunks to lead BABC to a 64-51 win over City Rocks(NY)

Notable Top Performers:

’15 Aaron Falzon(NE Playaz) – The 6’7 forward is now considered a dual threat. This weekend we saw Falzon score most of his points in the paint. Something we haven’t seen much of as he’s kbnown for his great perimeter shooting.

’15 Bruce Brown(BABC) – Mr. Sportscenter is the next to blow in the BABC program. He showed a aggresive attack to basket punishing defenders at the rim for trying to contest his shots. (See Dunk Below)

’15 Terrence Mann(BABC) – Mann is beginning to come into his own. As of right now hes a slasher but  is starting to show confidence in his shot on the perimeter.

’15 Marcel Pettway(BABC) –  The ultra big low post presence is to much to handle for most big men in his age group. Pettway has great foot work and can also defend on the perimeter.

’15 Jared Reuter(NE Playaz) – Can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot on the drive. Reuter finishes with contact and converts everything into a old fashion 3 point play.

’14 Kerem Kanter(NE Playaz) – Kanter finishes everything around the rim. Has great hands and loves to finish with the baby hook. Once his defensive intensity matches his offense then he’ll be close to unstoppable.

’13 Tyrese Hoxter and Darien Fernandez(BABC) – Hoxter showed a great handle for the ball as he will be asked to do so next year for Charlestown. Was a vocal leader on defense and offense. Fernandez finished above the rim and was a pest on D causing multiple turnovers.

’14 Damion Smith(BABC) – A talented all around athlete who makes every shot look good when leaving his hands and a exceptional rebounding guard.

’15 Tyree Robinson(BABC) – The human highlight reel as we like to call him as he finishes everything with two hands above the rim whether there is a defender in the lane or not. Also a good shoot blocker for a small forward.

’14 Bonzie Colson(BABC) – Similar to Kanter, Colson has great has and almost finishes everything at the rim. But at this stage of the game Colson is a better rebounder.

’15 Johnny Joseph(BABC) – The lead guard is a wizard with the ball in his hands and is the engine that makes the team go. Has an incredible motor and love for the game that most playes don’t have at this age. Joseph never wants to come out of the game and almost picks apart defenses single handily.

‘ 14 Tyler Nelson(BABC) – When BABC  needed a big  shot Nelson was their for the calling. Knocking down outside shots to always keep BABC close during crunch time.

’13 Rene Castro – Continued to run the show for BABC and put up the best offensive performance of the weekend scoring 41pts in a contest against USAD(CT). In a game where BABC was short handed and was forced to play 4 on 5 and pulled off the win.

Eric Paschall, Donovan Mitchell and Michael Williams(City NY) – a group of 2015-’16 guards that have have basketball IQ ahead of their class. Paschall is 6’4 and plays on the block but stepped out a few times to knock down the 3. Also finishing for multiple above the rim plays through traffic. He has the making of a very promising prospect. Mitchell who is finishing up his 8th grade year has a developed body and game of someone already at the prep level. Mitchell has great perimeter game and is a floor general at  his young age that always keepes the defense on their toes. The city of NY is calling him the next best prospect to come out of there. Michael Williams is a knock down shooter who can not be left open. Even if Williams is not open his ball handling finds a way for him to create space to make it seem like he’s open most of the time.

’13 Isaiah Lewis(NE Playaz) – The New York guard has a knack for the putting the ball in the basket. When nothing was falling for the Playaz you can count on Lewis to create something.

’13 Zakarie Irvin (Eric Gordon All Stars) – The Michigan commit is a wing player but was forced to run the point as his team as short handed. Irvin is a good catch for the Wolveriens, the transition into the point guard role wasn’t a bad one for it was hatrd to tell that it wasn’t his natural position. A prospect that can hit the outside jumper and uses his length to grab rebounds on the offensive glass or second chance points.

’14 Dimitri Floras(MA Rivals) – Continues to impress throught the spring AAU season. Floras has a quick dribble drive move that he fishes with a tear drop in the lane. His outside extends beyond the college 3 point line. Would like to see Floras turn it up on D.

’14 Josh Sharma (MA Rivals) – The 6’10 center has also improved throught out the spring starting to be a great finisher around the basket. Sharma is exceptional on the defensive end altering shots and being quick his to clear out players on the block for a rebound.

’14 Matt Barr – A fierce shooter from outside. Plays on the wing and is a bit undersized. Would need to transition his game into the point guard role to be effective at the next level.

’13 Shadell Millinghaus – The guard was a complete blur to whoever was defending him. A super sthletic prospect that ran the point for his team but is a 6’2 combo guard that just does everything you ask.

Top Play

 


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#5 Tilton vs Worcester Academy: Recap

It’s not unusual to see Rene Castro and Wayne Selden on the court together. But what is unusual is seeing them opposite teams competing against each other. The two have not played against each other since their middle school days. I mean Castro is coming off a Nike EYBL
national championship win with Tiltons starting 5.

 

 

With their natural competitive spirit they did not disappoint the packed house that came to see a battle. “It was weird at first, he’s like my brother but after the game begun he was an enemy and was the target” said Selden. “It felt weird at first but it was pretty fun playing against them” said Castro

The Tilton School hosted Worcester Academy in their first home game of the season. WA came out firing from deep hitting four straight 3 pointers to take a early 12-1 lead over the rams. Half way through the first half Tilton grabs a hold of the lead after the Rams began to pound the ball inside to .Georges Niang and Nerlens Noel. WA cut the Rams lead down to two after a buzzer beating 3 pointer by Andrew Scocca to end the half 33-31 rams. Georges Niang had finished with 20 points at the half and 33 for the game

WA picked up right where they left off and attacked the rim on consecutive trips down the floor to regain the lead. But it wouldn’t be long before Tilton turned it up on the defensive as Nerlens Noel and Goodluck Okonoboh altered and blocked almost every shot that was put up in the lane. Tilton would regain the lead and never look back. In the second half another surprise look was Nerlens Noel running the point for majority of the half and doing it effectively as he finished with 13 points 7 blocks and 5 assist. Wayne Selden finished with 14 points for the Rams and Rene Castro finished with 26 points to lead the Hilltoppers in a losing effort.


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Friday 12/2/2011 Game Recap

South Kent vs Worcester Academy, on paper you would think form the big name roster would scare Worcester away, wrong they challenged South Kent from the tip.  Chris Thomas caught fire early and didnt look back he finished with 22 points, Ricardo Ledo followed with 17 points and 9 rebounds.  Worcester was lead by the sharp shooting of Matt Cimino finished with 6 three pointers and a game high 24 points, Cimino had 4G reception as he knocked them down from all over, Rene Castro chipped in with 12 points and 8 assist.  South Kent proved to be to much down the stretch as the pulled out the win 84 -75

 

New Hampton played there first home game today in front of a packed student body, as the faced a tough Winchendon school.  The game was all it was hyped up to be as Winchendon’ s Akosa Maduegbunam kept his team in the game as he got hot from the outside.  But Winchendon ended up losing to New Hampton. Zach Auguste led the scoring load for NHS with  17 pts,  Evan Manning with 15 pts, Jared Terrell 15 pts, Mike Auger 12 pts,  Noah Vonleh 7 pts and 15 Rebs. Oliver Hanlan currently still on the injured list.   New Hampton 79 Winchendon 69

 

KUA defeats Master’s School tonight 67-43. “Cats jumped out to leads of 8-0, 12-3. 18-4 and, eventually 32-8 in the first half. A quick Master’s spurt just before half trimmed the lead to 34-15 going into the break. Master’s never got closer than 17 points in the second half. Jesse Chuku and Malik Abdul-Abu paced KUA scoring with 17 points each while Devon Thomas chipped in 15 points and five assists. Chuku earned a double-double by adding 11 rebounds.

 

 

Vermont Academy defeats Putnam Science Academy 65-59 the game was a battle from start to finish,  Dominic Woodson made his presence felt bulling his way to easy baskets whenever he felt like it he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.   Putnam Science came with half of the international student body who cheered the entire game, at some points in the game making it tough on coach Bopp to communicate with his players. Vermont  was led  Shaun Lawton 19 points, 5 assists he has the tools to make an impact at the next level, this is our first look at Lawton he will certainly move up in ranking.