DERRY, N.H. – BST Hoops held its Northeast Exposure Showcase Championships and New England Prep All-Star Game this weekend. Now in its fifth iteration, the event was held at the SportsZone just off Route 28 in Derry and included some of the best players in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, along with some prep school players in one particular game.
Teams from the four states played in scrimmages on Saturday to set up seeding for the tournament portion on Sunday, then a semifinal and championship game was played, with the NE Prep All-Star Game in between.
In the New England Prep All-Star Game, Team White came out on top by a score of 86-76 over Team Royal. Recent Notre Dame commit Bonzie Colson (6’6″ Sr. SF-PF, New Bedford (MA) St. Andrew’s School) led the way with a game-high 28 points, while teammate Chancellor Ellis (6’5″ Jr. SG-SF, Queens (NY) St. Andrew’s School) added 19. Team Royal was led by a 24-point effort from recent Purdue commit Jacquil Taylor (6’9″ Sr. PF, Cambridge (MA) Beaver Country Day School) and a 16-point outing from Malcolm Brent (6’5″ Sr. SG-SF, Silver Spring (MD) Kimball Union Academy).
In the Championship game, Vermont got off to a nice start and had a 36-27 lead at the half over Maine. Maine took over in the second half and went on a run later en route to a 70-60 win. Andrew Cartwright (6’7″ Sr. SF-PF, Newport (ME) Nokomis HS) led Maine with a game-high 23 points, while Kevin Barrett (6’4″ Jr. SF, Saco (ME) Thornton Academy) added 11 and Nick Mayo (6’7″ Jr. PF, Oakland (ME) Messalonskee HS) added 10. Vermont was led by 16 points from Ryan Booth (6’2″ Sr. SG, Montpelier (VT) Union 32 HS) and 12 points from Jason Manwaring (6’1″ Sr. SG-SF, Williamstown (VT) High).
Now, some additional notes on some of the players.
Crew Ainge (5’11″ Jr. PG, Wellesley (MA) Kimball Union Academy) didn’t star on Sunday, but he showed some of what will make him a key to what his team does this year. He hit from long range and had a nice runner in the lane another time, a sign of his willingness to go inside with the trees to make things happen.
Jourdain Bell (6’2″ Jr. SG, Nashua (NH) Bishop Brady HS) had some good moments with a nice lead pass and later getting back on defense to break up a play. He played well within the team concept.
Will Brandwijk (6’8″ Sr. PF, Plymouth (NH) Holderness School) looks like a potential hidden gem. A plus athlete with a good body, he showed a nice skill package and was willing to take contact near the basket and find teammates as well. He’ll be worth keeping an eye on in NEPSAC this season.
Brent certainly opened some eyes early on, as his body isn’t there yet but he was around the ball a lot. He shot the ball well from long range, but that was a quiet part of the game as he took his share of mid-range shots off the dribble that didn’t fall. He’s not a bad athlete and has good size for shooting guard if he plays there more.
Terrell Brown (6’7″ So. SF-PF, Providence (RI) St. Andrew’s School) had a nice game with 14 points, including four three-pointers. He’s showing signs that he’ll be ready for a bigger role this season.
Cartwright showed an ability to play off the bounce, though he’s not the most athletic player. He shined in the second half to lead Maine’s comeback in the title game and also drew contact to get to the line.
Colson was clearly the best player on the floor in the New England Prep All-Star Game, showing how much he has developed. He was all over the court in making a number of heady plays, such as tipping loose balls to where he could get them and using his body to cut off a closing defender’s angle on the break. Besides that, he also showed his growing game off the dribble offensively, including one play where he made a nice spin and fade-away jumper.
John Dewey (6’0″ Sr. PG, Plymouth (NH) Holderness School) showed above-average quickness at the point and had some good moments, including one play where he drove and finished while getting fouled. He should be a scholarship player at the next level.
When Ellis got back to school this year, he certainly looked improved and St. Andrew’s coach Mike Hart noticed it. His jumper release is quick and he shot it well on Sunday, and he also scored well on the go a couple of other times, including a tough finish on one drive and a little jump hook on another.
Hasahn French (6’6″ Fr. SF-PF, Springfield (MA) Commonwealth Academy) grabbed some attention as the athletic lefty has a relatively mature body and knows how to use it. If he develops a good skill package to go with his physical gifts, he’ll be quite a prospect in a couple of years because he’ll have a lot of ways to score.
Shyheim Hicks (Fr. PG, Springfield (MA) Commonwealth Academy) scored 10 points and has a lot of potential. His body has a ways to go, but he had no problem taking the ball all the way one time and was a force in transition at times.
Mayo is probably the best college prospect on his team given his combination of size and ability. He has a good body, though not very athletic, and knocked down a couple of three-pointers on the afternoon, so he has some range when facing the basket.
Pavin Parrish (5’11″ Sr. PG, Rochester (VT) High) impressed in the championship game, as he has a slight frame but plays stronger and tougher than he looks. Though he’s not jet-quick or full of great skills, he was active and can help a team with how he plays.
Taylor looked like a much-improved player despite missing significant time with an injury. He was finally able to play in September, and now he’s much better with his post moves and the ball skills have improved as well. While he’s not suddenly going to become a wing, in all he’s ready to be much more effective scoring inside using quick post moves and even a little finesse, and he wasn’t trying to make his move and finish in one too-fast motion like he did before. The down side is he can still be out-toughed by more physical players, but Sunday’s game was full of positives considering the time he missed.