Wednesday, April 27, 2011

North vs. South Clash - Boys Juniors Game Recap

Today we recap the game that was probably the best of all 6 of the game's we had at the North vs. South Clash. It was the only game at the event that ended with a buzzer beater, as Kamahl Walker (Portsmouth HS) dished it over to Trevor Fahmy (Bedford HS) for a layup as time expired to give Team South the 54-52 win.

This game showed that NH's junior class is a deep and talented one. Guys like Williams, Gauthier, LaCount, Gilligan, DiCesare, Gendron, Aluko and Majong weren't there and it was STILL terrific game that was played at a high level. Kids from all over the state, most of which usually don't get a chance to play in events like this got their chance to get some exposure. They made the most of it and put on a great show for the many fans and college coaches in attendance.

Here are the game's video highlights, along with a game recap and player evaluations.

Game Recap
When looking at the rosters for this game Team North had some good players but you would have to say that top to bottom Team South was a much deeper, more talented team. Virtually their whole team consisted of D-I and D-II high school players (plus 1 prep school player). But early on it was all Team North, as they jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead. Walker then drilled a three to tie the game up a 9-9.

The game then went back-and-forth. Brad Holler and Kohl Meyers both hit threes, Curtis Arsenault hit a nice pull-up jumper, and Skyler Mitchell finished nicely on the break. Donoven Emerson started to assert himself in the post as the game wore on to help keep Team North in it. Team South came out playing some really tough defense to begin the 2nd half though, and it took nearly 5 minutes before Team North scored.

Andrew Kahr caught fire, scoring 8 points in the span of about 1:30. Then Walker made a nice dish to Fahmy to give Team South a 42-34 lead, their largest lead of the game.

Just when it looked like the South was pulling away, Emerson, Arsenault and Justin Abbott got Team North back in the game, as they went on a 10-2 run to tie the game up at 44-44. It was certainly a fun game to watch.

Jake Drouin then drilled a big three to give the North a 47-44 lead late. Showly Nicholson then made a nice move, with a crossover dribble and finish at the rim with his left hand to put the South up 50-49. Then Arsenault made a nice drive, nearly lost the ball on the way up, gathered it back in, finished it plus the foul. His free throw put Team North up 52-50 with under a minute left.

Then Logan Kesty converted on a nice drive and reverse layup finish to tie it up at 52-52. The North had a chance to take the lead but turned it over. That gave Team South one last chance to win it in regulation. With 4.5 seconds left, Walker pushed the ball up the floor, drew a second defender, made a perfect pass over to Fahmy, who laid it in at the buzzer for the win.

Player Evaluations

Standout Players

Curtis Arsenault, Berlin HS (2012)
Arsenault was the game's high scorer and really showed a competitive fire that coaches love to see. He made a terrific move on the break, with a nifty behind-the-back dribble to evade the defender and get to the rim. Arsenault also displayed a nice pull-up jumper off the dribble from the mid-range area as well as from beyond the arc. He then made a big time drive and and-1 finish from the top of the key to put Team North up 52-50 with under a minute left. The 6'1" wing player played hard all game long and showed a very good all-around game.

Showly Nicholson, Phillips Exeter Academy (2012)
Nicholson is a prototypical point guard, and those kinds of players are very hard to find nowadays. He was also as fast and athletic as any other player at this event. He used that speed to get by his defender off the dribble at will. He got into the lane and made plays for either himself or his teammates all game. Nicholson made good decisions with the basketball on the break and in the half court.

Kamahl Walker, Portsmouth HS (2012)
The play that most people will remember from this game will be the very last play where Walker went coast-to-coast before making a beautiful dish over to Trevor Fahmy for the game-winning layup at the buzzer. It was a tremendous play by Walker, and he made plays like that all game. Walker is a 5'10" combo-guard who continues to show good explosiveness as well as a high release on his jumper.

Donoven Emerson, Pittsfield HS (2012)
Emerson was one of quite a few players on Team North who most people from southern NH probably haven't heard much about, but he was very good in this game. Emerson is a six-foot-three 4 man who can face up or put his back to the basket and make some moves. He was also very active on the boards, tallying 10 rebounds to go with his 11 points.

Other Strong Performers

Brad Holler, Bishop Guertin HS (2012)
Holler showed some great instincts in this game, as the game seemed to come very easy to him. He made some very nice dishes on the break and showed good unselfishness and was willing to make the extra pass. Holler also did a nice job of hustling all over the floor for loose balls and getting into the passing lanes on defense.

Logan Kesty, Bishop Guertin HS (2012)
The silky smooth Kesty played a solid game, attacking the basket and looking for his shot but at the same time not forcing anything. He showed range on his jump shot, and also had a big reverse layup late in the game that tied it up at 52-52.

Andrew Kahr, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (2012)
The 6'0" 2 guard Kahr had a solid game, and for one stretch during the 2nd half he was playing like the best player in the gym. Team South went on an 8-2 run, and all 8 of those points came from Kahr. He hit a pair of three-pointers, and also had a nice tip-in to follow up a missed shot by a teammate.

Skyler Mitchell, Coe Brown Northwood Academy (2012)
You had to be impressed with the way Mitchell attacked the basket with authority and finish at the rim in this game, especially in transition. He had back-to-back strong drives and finishes at the end of the 1st half to give Team South a 28-26 lead at the break. Mitchell also did a nice job defensively and on the boards.

Justin Abbott, Merrimack Valley HS (2012)
Abbott might have been the most fun player to watch in this game. He's definitely not one of the most well known players on the floor, but you could definitely make the argument that he played the hardest. Abbott did all of the little things well, and best of all he hustled after loose balls, played hard every minute he was out there and played better defense than anyone else in this game.

Allen Komisarek, Profile School (2012)
There was nothing fancy or flashy about Komisarek's game, but he is just a hard-nosed, hard-working ball player who brings toughness and that blue-collar style of play to the table. He battled on the boards and was active in the paint on both ends of the floor.

Other Notables

Trevor Fahmy, Bedford HS (2012)
Fahmy has good size, strength and athleticism. But at 6'7", he was 4 inches taller than anyone on Team North, so you had to expect a little more than the 4 points and 4 rebounds he posted. Still, Fahmy made the play when it counted most, showing soft hands when he caught the pass from Walker and finished it off the glass for the game-winning layup at the buzzer.

Joe Morin, Raymond HS (2012)
Morin is a streaky shooter, but his shot was definitely on more often than not on this day. He has good form and a quick release and also does a nice job of moving without the ball in order to free himself up for his jumper.

Kohl Meyers, Kingswood Regional HS (2012)
The 6'1" wing player showed the ability to hit the outside shot as well as take his man off the dribble and go to the rim.

Mark Davidson, Lebanon HS (2012)
Davidson played on the Lebanon High football team that went undefeated this past fall, and he brings a lot of that physicality, toughness and aggressiveness from the gridiron to the hardwood. One of the better defenders in this game, he was also solid on the boards for Team North.

Jake Drouin, Berlin HS (2012)
Drouin is known as one of the top shooters in boys Division III basketball, and he showed off that stroke from the outside a couple times in this game.

Josbert Villanueva, White Mountains Regional HS (2012)
Like his younger brother Yiram, Josbert is a tough player who is athletic and competed hard out there.

Ryan Perras, Pittsfield HS (2012)
Perras played scrappy and despite being undersized and having to play the 1 more than he's used to, he more tan held his own against the guards for Team South.

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