Tuesday, May 3, 2011

North vs. South Clash - Boys Seniors Game Recap

The final game of the North vs. South Clash was the Boys Seniors Game. Just like the Girls Seniors Game, this one was not very close, with Team South winning it going away.

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

Game Recap
Looking at the rosters you had to consider Team South pretty heavy favorites. But Team North had the 4 Somersworth players who won a state title just a few weeks ago, another player (Zach Fitzherbert) who grew up playing with them, plus 6'9" center Ben Hill. So you thought that maybe they would be able to make it a game.

And in the beginning it was a game. Team North jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead. About 6 minutes later they only trailed 13-9. But soon Team South would take control of the game. They forced turnovers, sped up the pace of the game, and guys like Zach Stevens, Shomari Morgan and Ezra Hodgson started draining threes. They led 43-23 and then cruised to a 85-45 win over their counterparts from north of Concord.

Player Evaluations

Standout Players

Zach Stevens, Trinity HS (2011)
Stevens once again turned in a terrific performance, dropping a game-high 22 points. He never stopped moving on offense, getting ahead of the basketball on the break and running around screens in the half court. This allowed to him get some open looks from deep, and he also scored off the dribble. What was most impressive though was how Stevens continued to play hard and give 100% all game long, regardless of what the score was.

Mike O'Loughlin, Milford HS (2011)
O'Loughlin had just won a state championship a couple weeks earlier and has already committed to play ball at Trinity College. He didn't have anything else to prove, but that didn't stop him from playing a great game. O'Loughlin was able to get by his man and make plays at will, played a fun to watch up-tempo style, and also forced a number of turnovers defensively.

Steve Spirou, Pelham HS (2011)
They played together on the Jayhawks AAU team and the Division II team at the Granite Games, and this event was another opportunity for Spirou and O'Loughlin to play together before they both go and play at Trinity College this winter. There's little doubt both players will succeed there. In this game, Spirou did a nice job of getting out on the break and finishing in traffic. He is 6'4" and has a well rounded skill set.

Ezra Hodgson, Conant HS (2011)
Right after making a commitment to play his college ball at Plattsburgh State, Hodgson went out and showed why he will be a good college player. He has the perfect combination of size and skill to be a solid face-up 4 man at the D-III level. Hodgson is 6'6" with a very good face-up game, can knock down the outside shot with regularity and is also an above average passer from the high post. He's a smart, hard working, fundamentally sound player. It must have been nice for him to win this game against those Somersworth kids who knocked his Conant team out of the D-III playoffs this year in a heart breaker.

Shomari Morgan, Manchester Memorial HS (2011)
Morgan continues to be one of the more talented and athletic players in the NHIAA. He pushed the ball in transition and finished while twisting and turning his body in mid-air, leaning in and banking it in off the glass with a defender right in his face. Morgan also played tough defense and knocked down the three ball.

Ben Hill, Pittsfield HS (2011)
It was certainly a tough game for Team North, but Hill more than held his own out there. He had a team-high 13 points and 10 rebounds, and although his game was still very raw a few months ago, it is clear now that he is coming along. At 6'9" and being as athletic as he is Hill definitely has upside.

Riley McCarthy, Portsmouth HS (2011)
Once again, McCarthy showed why he's one of the state's most underrated players. There's nothing flashy about his game, he just goes out there, plays hard and plays at a high level. McCarthy was solid on the boards, defensively and made a nice drive to the rim and finish coming from the wing.

Other Strong Performers

Pat Lavin, Somersworth HS (2011)
Lavin had a solid game for Team North, showing a solid mid-range jump shot off the dribble and fighting and clawing all game long to make things more difficult for Team South.

Richie Perez, Belmont HS (2011)
Perez is a point guard with good quickness and athleticism. He has a solid handle and made plays off the dribble for himself and his teammates. Perez was a little inconsistent, but did show flashes of brilliance at times.

Dillon Lanctot, Somersworth HS (2011)
Lanctot once again showed exceptional leaping ability as he gt up high for rebounds and got lift on jumper in order to shoot and score over much taller defenders from Team South.

Matt Fauci, Somersworth HS (2011)
Like always, Fauci played the game with reckless abandon, going 100 miles an hour on ever play. He dove for loose balls, pushed it hard in transition and got back quickly on defense. He had a slow start after coming directly from a baseball game, but got better as the game went on.

Zach Fitzherbert, Stevens HS (2011)
Fitzherbert showed good quickness and took the ball hard to the rim. He brought some physical play to the guard position, and it was easy to see that he is also a football player at Stevens High.

Bobby Shatinsky, Somersworth HS (2011)
Shatinsky played hard and was effective on the boards and on the perimeter.

David Gagnon, Inter-Lakes HS (2011)
Gagnon is a hard nosed, scrappy wing player.

Conner Lane, White Mountains Regional HS (2011)
Lane teamed with Lanctot to give Team North 2 of the best defenders in the gym.

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