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National Prep School Invitational

February 17, 2004 Columns No Comments

2004 National Prep School Invitational

by Phil Kasiecki

The 2004 National Prep School Invitational was held at the University of Rhode Island, featuring several top prep schools. Most are from New England, with a few emerging ones from outside the region being among the more notable participants. The event also included a high school game to conclude Saturday’s activity, as New Bedford (MA) High took on Pawtucket (RI) St. Raphael’s in what proved to be a dandy ballgame.

Here is a look at the first two days of the event, with scores and some notes on players.


Friday, February 6, 2004
Laurinburg (NC) Prep 86, Philadelphia (PA) Lutheran Christian 82
Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy (A) 85, Philadelphia (PA) Christian 82
Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy 84, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy (B) 72
South Kent (CT) School 108, Laurinburg (NC) Prep 99
Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame Prep 63, North Bridgton (ME) Bridgton Academy 50
Troy (NY) Redemption Christian Academy 79, Philadelphia (PA) Christian 68

Saturday, February 7, 2004
North Bridgton (ME) Bridgton Academy 78, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 63
Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy 77, Oakdale (CT) St. Thomas More 74
Winchendon (MA) School 99, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 89
Northfield (MA) Mt. Hermon 96, South Kent (CT) School 76
Laurinburg (NC) Prep 89, Pittsfield (ME) Maine Central Institute 69
Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame Prep 84, Troy (NY) Redemption Christian Academy 75
New Bedford (MA) High 72, Pawtucket (RI) St. Raphael’s 69 (OT)

McCray Scores the Ball All Weekend

Laurinburg (NC) Prep wing Joe McCray had a nice weekend at this tournament, helping his team go 2-1 on Friday and Saturday with an average of 22.3 points per game. He had 31 in his team’s only loss, a 108-99 decision against powerful South Kent (CT) School, doing more than just shooting the ball. The 6’5″ Nebraska-bound wing wasn’t hitting his long jumpers early, but after he scored closer to the basket his three-pointers started falling. He’s a streaky gunner, but if he gets his in-between game going, the Cornhuskers will have a nice pickup.

Wright Shows His Talent, When He Wants To

South Kent (CT) School’s Dorell Wright is one of the top players in the class of 2004 and few are on his level athletically. He certainly showed that this weekend, though he also showed that he can easily play out of control and get himself into trouble.

The DePaul-bound forward scored 67 points as his team split games on Friday (108-99 win over Laurinburg (NC) Prep) and Saturday (96-76 loss to Northfield (MA) Mt. Hermon), at times making it look easy. One time he would take a couple of steps, stop and pop from mid-range and hit, another time he would drive the baseline for a layup, and he got a few fast break layups as well. But he also got into some foul trouble and committed his share of unforced turnovers from trying to be too fancy on occasion.

Wright looks a little more filled out, and wasn’t hitting his long range shots as well as he usually does this weekend. He had 35 points in their loss on Saturday, at times hurting the team as much as his scoring helped them. Wright has all the tools to be a star, but he has to play under control.

Moore Has a Solid Weekend

South Kent’s Cheyenne Moore, a 6’5″ small forward who signed with Clemson, tends to be overshadowed by teammate Dorell Wright. But while Wright at times didn’t play some of his best basketball this weekend, Moore had a good showing. He handled the ball well and slashed to the basket like he normally does, as he’s a slashing scorer and a great leaper. He threw down a couple of nice dunks, including a windmill on a breakaway, and generally played under control.

Northfield Mt. Hermon Impresses

Northfield (MA) Mt. Hermon doesn’t have the most heralded kids around, consisting mostly of kids from Massachusetts and other New England states – not exactly areas known for producing legions of basketball talent. But on Saturday, they came to play in taking on a very talented South Kent (CT) School and winning 96-76 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

Several players shined in this game, starting with Boston University signee Tony Gaffney and Boris Meno (20 points each). Gaffney found several ways to score, while Meno is an athletic 6’8″ forward who can get offensive rebounds and is very active around the hoop. He has a reputation for being able to shoot the ball from long range, and while he hit a couple of jumpers, that wasn’t what he showed in this game. Similar to Meno is Colin McIntosh, a very active and athletic 6’6″ junior forward who has a nose for the ball and shows a developing offensive game. He had 18 points, looks to be filling out, and will be a nice prospect next year. Dorien Brown, a 6’7″ Lynn, Massachusetts native who signed with Jacksonville State, is athletic inside and had 17 points.

Philadelphia native Kashif Payne, a 5’9″ senior point guard, played very well, driving and dishing well throughout the game and showing some toughness when driving inside. He continues to get better as a floor leader, and he had help in that role from Andrew Lyell, a 6’5″ junior from Rhode Island who can play all three perimeter spots. Lyell handles and passes the ball well, but he’s not very quick or athletic.

Green Stars In Losing Efforts

Philadelphia (PA) Christian lost both of its games on Friday, but it certainly wasn’t because Marcus Green didn’t show up. The 6’7″ junior combo forward was impressive in both games, especially their 85-82 loss to Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy. Green scored 34 points, getting baskets inside and outside and using both strength and athleticism. He has good ball skills and is very shifty when driving to the basket, which will help him playing the small forward position, and he should be a good rebounder at that spot.

Others Who Played Well (College choice in parentheses for those who have signed/committed)

C.J. Anderson (6’6″ Sr. SF, Laurinburg (NC) Prep)
Maurice Daniels (6’2″ Sr. SG, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy)
Marcus Hammond (6’3″ Sr. SG, Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy) (College of Charleston)
Will Harris (6’7″ Jr. SF-PF, Troy (NY) Redemption Christian Academy)
Deion James (6’2″ Sr. PG-SG, Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy)
Adrian Joseph (6’8″ Sr. SF-PG, Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy) (Virginia)
Jack McClinton (6’1″ Sr. PG, South Kent (CT) School) (Siena)
Kojo Mensah (6’1″ Sr. SG, Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame Prep)
Rob Thomas (6’7″ So. SF, Oakdale (CT) St. Thomas More)
Jesus Verdejo (6’4″ Sr. SG, Winchendon (MA) School)
Jeff Xavier (6’1″ Sr. SG, Pawtucket (RI) St. Raphael’s HS) (Manhattan)


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