Monday, February 28, 2011

Texas D1 Ambassadors Alumni Update: Bryan Beasley of Rice University

The Texas D1 Ambassadors ultra successful Class of 2006 are now coming of age.  Bryan Beasley was an All State Player for Pflugerville High School & Coach Mike Murphy.  He orginally signed with Texas A&M, redshirting his freshman season.  With Coach Billy Gillispie heading on to Kentucky a new staff came on board and it wasn't a fit.  Beasley transferred to Rice University one of the country's most respected academic institutions and will graduate this spring with a degree in Economics.

Like many basketball stories, Bryan's didn't necessarily go as he thought it would as he played sparingly over the last several years.  Halfway through this his Senior year he is now starting for Coach Ben Braun's Rice Owls.  Bryan and his Family are very close to me.  They are what this program is all about.  He never lost his focus on academics and he has always been a hardworking, team player accepting whatever role his coach asked him to fill.  He will be a leader in his community for years to come. 
Below:  Beasley does a 360 dunk at the Orange-White All Star Game at the prestigious Five Star Camp in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Click on the link below from the Rice Owls Official Site & listen to Bryan's interview.  He loves giving back to young children and understands that he is a role model.

Back in the day:  Bryan Beasley (left) of Rice, New Orleans Hornet Chris Paul (then at Wake Forest) & Chip Ivany (South Alabama) at Five Star Camp in Virginia
Congratulations Bryan from the Texas D1 Ambassadors Family-Coach Max Ivany

Texas 4A & 5A Report Card Along With 3rd Round Predictions

The 2nd Round of Texas playoff predictions continues to be a challenge. 

In 4A I picked 20 winners out of 32.  Defending State and national Champion Houston Yates are now on the sidelines as LaMarque turned the tables and hung a hundred on the Lions. Texas Commit Julien Lewis really turned it on dropping 35 in the win.

I picked up the pace in 5A with 24 out of 32 selections being on the money.   A total of 44 out of 64 games.  Together with the 1st Round (86-128) I am now a combined 130-192.  A total of 68%.

Here are my 3rd Round Predictions:


Region 1
Denton Ryan                 Fort Worth Southwest   Amarillo Palo Duro            Waco Midway
Region 2
Dallas Lincoln               Tyler John Tyler            Dallas Kimball                    Bastrop
Region 3
Humble                          Galveston Ball               Kingwood Park                   LaMarque
Region 4
Alamo Heights              Victoria East                  New Braunfels Canyon      S.A. Brackenridge


Region 1
North Crowley                      Lewisville                  Arlington Bowie                Cedar Hill
Region 2
Killeen Harker Heights       Pflugerville                Killeen Ellison                  Spring Dekaney
Region 3
Alief Elsik                            Fort Bend Elkins       Alief Hastings                   Clear Springs
Region 4
San Antonio Reagan           Harlingen                  San Antonio Clark             Laredo United

I've gone out on a limb and believe that Flower Mound Marcus, Desoto & Lakeview Centennial will all lose to lower ranked opponents.  I like the Lewisville guards, I like Harker Heights depth & I believe that Killeen Ellison is peaking and has the pieces to pull the upset.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

San Antonio MacArthur Wins! San Antonio Central Catholic Loses Heartbreaker

San Antonio MacArthur 61   San Antonio Stevens 51
MacArthur raced out in the first quarter, scoring easy buckets in transition.  By the time Stevens caught their breath they trailed 20-8 as 2012 Jordan Pratt had 9 points.  The 2nd quarter belonged to 2012 G Uche Ofoegbu as he reeled off 9 straight points (scoring 12 total) and assisting on the other two Falcons buckets as the half ended with MacArthur leading 29-26.

With the score 34-31 Ofoegbu picked up his 4th fould midway through the 3rd and had to sit.  Stevens offensive attack stalled out only scoring one basket in a 6 minute span.  It was 40-33 Max at the end of the 3rd.  It looked like it would be a cakewalk the rest of the way but with 3 minutes left, Ofoegbu went on another run by himself scoring 7 points in a little more than a minute to make the score 61-47.  It was not to be though as MacArthur shot 18 free throws in the 4th quarter, making 17 of them.  2012 G Matt Gramling hit 12 in a row, playing a solid game and being very efficient from the field.  Both he and Pratt finished with 23 points for the Brahmas.  Ofoegbu had 29 to lead Stevens & Senior Eliot Mills finished his prep career with 13 points & 8 rebounds. 
Two of San Antonio's finest 2012 players: Matt Gramling (left) & Uche Ofoegbu (right)

Plano John Paul 42  San Antonio Central Catholic 41
I raced from the Alamo Convocation Center to the South San Durbon Center in time to catch the 2nd half of the TAPPS 5A Regional Final.  It was a nip and tuck battle all the way.  The 3rd quarter ended with Plano John Paul leading 35-33.  Central Catholic's star Senior Cole Martinez was being shadowed at every turn and denied open looks at the basket.  He had 12 points after 3 quarters.

The 4th quarter stayed ultra tight until Martinez went off with a pair of threes and a layup.  With little over a minute left Central Catholic had surged ahead 41-37 holding Plano to only one 4th quarter bucket.  Then the wheels fell off.  The Buttons missed the front end of three straight one and one opportunities.  John Paul was behind by one with about 20 seconds left.  The las few seconds were hectic and finally John Paul was hammered as they went for the tying layup.  They hit both free throws and Central Catholic's final shot rimmed in and out. Martinez ended his prep career with 20 points.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Texas 4A & 5A Playoff Round Up: Friday, February

Killeen Ellison 66 Garland Naaman Forest 63 (OT)
2011 W Jaleel Williams scored 25 points, the biggest being the last one of the game in OT when he banked in a three pointer for the win.  Williams, who at 6'6" with an outrageous wingspan is without a doubt the area's best unsigned prospect. He is getting mid and high major looks.  That can wait because right now he's concentrating on the Eagles playoff run as he added 8 rebounds.
Jaleel Williams 25 points sent the Ellison Eagles into the 3rd Round of the playoffs
San Antonio Reagan 89  San Antonio Highlands 78
The Rattlers took a bite out of the Owls as they had too much firepower. The Senior trio of Tre Demps (Northwestern) scored 29 points, Brad Coulter had 17 & 12 boards & Max Yon (Air Force) added 19.  William Knowles had 26 in his final prep game for Highlands.
Demps led the Rattlers to victory with 29 points.
Harker Heights 85  Dallas Jesuit 67
2011 W Royce O'Neal ked the Knights with 22 points.  They'll face top ranked Garland Lakeview Centennial in the next round in what should be an epic battle.  Harker Heights is deep and they have great team chemistry.

Cedar Park 47  Kerrville 45   (4OT)
In what must have been a monumental defensive struggle, Cedar Park took 4 overtime sessions before they edged Kerrville Tovy from the playoffs.  Deron Belford (Texas State) scored 27 in his final prep game while Cedar Park's Dylan Cox willed his team to victory.  Apparently he wasn't quite ready yet to report to West Point.
Dylan Cox has committed to Army, but he's got work left to do at Cedar Park
Pflugerville 63  Klein Forest 60
The Panthers had a 15 point lead but couldn't shake a pesky Klein Forest team who kept it close down the stretch.  Cameron Blue led the way with 20 points. Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa) was saddled with foul trouble for much of the game, he finished with 10 points.

Spring Dekaney 53  Austin Bowie  47
Tied at 14-14 at the half, the pace was more to Austin Bowie's liking.  Things sped up in the 2nd half and Spring Dekaney (30-5) pushed forward for the win.  Bowie P Connor Robinson finished is prep career with 15 points & 2012 G Paul Baxter added 14.

The Woodlands 61  Round Rock McNeil 58
The Mavs were tied entering the 4th quarter but could not hang on.  McNeil G Blair Williams had 16 points as he finished out his prep career.
Mavs G Blair Williams had an outstanding senior campaign
uBastrop 63  Whitehouse 46
Jordan Roach (South Alabama) had 21 points & Josiah Monroe (Texas-San Antonio-football) added 16.  They'll play district foe Hutto in the next round.

Hutto 58  Marshall 46
D.J. Wilson led the Hippos with 17 points.

New Braunfels 76  Austin McCallum 69
2012 G Sean Tollinger scored 29 points as the Cougars proved they could also play an uptempo game successfully. Reinier Strobos (M.I.T.) added 11 in the win.

St. Thomas methodically put St. Michael's away from the 2nd quarter on as Senior Chris Brown led the way with 12 points.  St. Michael's Jake Kocher (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) finished his prep career with 16 points.
Kocher now heads on to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi after a 2700 point prep career
Boerne Champion 58  Marble Falls 56

Friday, February 25, 2011

San Antonio Taft 57 San Antonio Churchill 47

This one's a game I'd like to see a couple of rounds later, but it happens in the 2nd Round.  These are arguably the two best teams in the Region (although San Antonio Reagan & San Antonio Clark would take exception to that). It's speed (Taft) vs size (Churchill).  We'll se what wins out.  It's always difficult for me in games like this knowing the kids like I do on both sides of the ball.

The score after one quarter is Taft 17-13.  The pace is quick and favoring the smaller & quicker Raiders. Logan has 6 for Taft & Senior Clark Lammert has 6 for Churchill.

At the half it's 28-22 for Taft.  They had the lead up to 9. A sweet turnaround shot from 15 feet at the buzzer off an offensive rebound by Clark Lammert could be critical.  If Taft gets up by 10 and spreads the floor, I don't believe Churchill has the depth to chase them.  The first 2 minutes of the 3rd quarter could be critical.

Churchill could not get a stop to get the lead under 6 points until a series where Senior Clark Lammert got 2 key boards, a block & a bucket. Spirited play by Charger reserve Doug Slattery cut it to 2 points aand then at the buzzer Taft's Dylan Elias (Northern Colorado) hits a big three.  Taft 42-37 at the end of the 3rd.

With 5:30 left Churchill grabbed their first lead 44-43 on a key block by Connor Lammert and a big three converted by 2012 G Scott Mammel.  Elias answers back and it's 45-44 Taft with 5:18 to play.  Time out!  Taft spreads the floor and burns about a minute, and Logan gets an "And 1" for Taft.  Another bucket by Taft and with 3:06 to play the score is Taft 50-44. It's a free throw shooting contest now, and Taft wins going away 57-47.
Northern Colorado bound Dylan Elias not only scored 20 to lead Taft, it was that they were all big shots and key free throws down the stretch
For Taft, Senior Deondre Logan had 12, Marshall Harris (Citadel) had 10 assists, & Ryan O'Hara had 8 points.  All came off great feeds from Harris.  For Churchill, Senior Clark Lammert left it all on the floor as he had 12 points & 11 boards.  2012 Connor Lammert chipped in with 8 points & 10 rebounds & 2012 G Scott Mammel scored 14.

Texas 4A & 5A Playoffs: Alamo Heights, Austin High Win

Austin High 51  Klein 43
It took Austin High 50 years between playoff wins.  That ended last week as they beat Leander.  Apparently this new habit of winning is becoming contagious as the travelled to College Station and beat a tough Klein team 51-43.  What was more impresive is that they did it while getting an off night from PG Eric McClellan.  Bobby Gonzalez stepped up and led the way for the Maroons with 19 points & Alex Reinking chipped in with 10.  Pending the outcome of the Spring Dekaney -Austin Bowie game it's a fair bet that Austin High will be forced to beat their district mates, Bowie 3 times in a row to advance.

Back in the fall, Austin Bowie came to my D1 Nation Sweet 16 Fall Showcase and you could tell that they had all the pieces, including chemistry to make a potentially deep run in the playoffs.

San Antonio Alamo Heights 48  Austin LBJ 45

Traditional power Austin LBJ and San Antonio Alamo Heights were in an epic battle last night in what amounted to a road game last night for the Jags with the game played at San Antonio's Littleton Gym.  It was nip and tuck the whole way with the pace more to Alamo Heights liking. 

The really cool thing about high school basketball is that there's always room for new heroes.  After having missed the front end of a one and one in the final minute, Alamo Heights' Senior PG Clay Boggess saw LBJ score and take a one point lead.  Goat, right?  Wrong!  With 10 seconds left, Boggess found redemption as he knocked down the 3 pointer which slayed the LBJ dragon.  Hero!  It also made dinner a lot more pleasant last night at the Boggess household as Head Coach Charlie Boggess had to be tickled with his player & his son Clay.

2012 P 6'7" Shelby Lane got it done all game long for AH, as he scored 21 points, while 2012 W Jeffrey Rodewold added 12 points.  Seniors D.D. Byrd led LBJ with 11 points & Robert Lee added 9 in his Swan Song.  "June Bug" Lee has the potential to be a great next level player.  He's ultra competitive and is an explosive combo guard that can get to the rack and really thump it on you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

San Antonio Clark 49 San Antonio Madison 37

It's a rare Thursday night playoff game at the University of Texas-San Antonio. My big beef with the UIL's playoff alignments is that there are several flaws which make me wish they did it the "Louisiana Way".  The folks in the Pelican State seed their teams through a formula developed b y the high school coaches association.  This keeps things like the game tonight (Madison-Clark) & tomorrow (Churchill--Taft) from happening in the 2nd Round.  These should be 4th Round games.  Two very good teams will be watching the rest of the playoffs in the next 48 hours while other mediocre teams continue on.

Two quality coaches & class guys in Coach Valenzuela (Madison) & Coach Sylestine (Clark).  This may be Coach Val's best coaching job as his talent is down from previous years and he survived a 3-9 start to rally the troops and make them believe.  Funny thing when kids are unselfish how results can far exceed the individual parts.  I love Clark's personnel.  They are a little undersized but both Seniors Ansley benjamin & Kyle Rutledge are junk yard dogs on the boards.  Their guard play is solid.  Typically, neither one of these teams will beat themselves.  Should be a good one.

The 1st quarter ends 15-9 in favor of Clark.  Ansley Benjamin's work on the boards is the difference early.  At the half its Clark leading 29-20.  Players who are normally 3rd and 4th options are leading scorers on both teams.  For Clark, 2012 G Niko Maxwell has 10 & 2011 P Jake Chapman has 10.  2011 F Emilio Trejo leads Madison with 8 points.

In the 3rd, Madison was chipping away but two athletic plays by 2012 Niko Maxwell have put Clark back up by 9 at the midpoint of the quarter.  A huge 3 pointer at the buzzer by frosh G Byron Daniels cuts the lead back to a more manageable 41-33 Clark lead. Madison's hanging around. The biggest shot of the evening may have been when Emilio Trejo of Madison (who was having a great game) is now sitting with an icepack on his shoulder courtesy of a collision with the "A Train" Ansley Benjamin who is linebacker solid.  Sorry, but most guys lose that battle.  Trejo looks to be done with 8 points, 4 boards & a pair of steals. If Clark hangs on, you hate to see a senior's last game end like that.
2011 Ansley Benjamin was too tough on the boards for Madison to handle

At the midpoint of the 4th quarter it's 43-37 Clark.  Madison is pressuring the ball at every turn. With 2:19 left it's Clark 46-37 as Maxwell had another key offensive rebound and putback. With the floor spread, Clark finished it out with layups and free throws.  Game over.  Clark wins 49-37. 

Maxwell led Clark with 16 points while Benjamin had 6 points & 10 boards.  Rutledge also added 10.  For Madison, Trejo & Andre Scott had 8 a piece, while Senior Philip Brown ends his career with 6 points, 9 boards & 3 blocks.

Texas 4A & 5A Playoff Predictions: 2nd Round

There were upsets a plenty in the 1st Round of the Texas State Playoffs.  Round 2 begins this evening with a couple of games.  The bulk of the action will be Friday & Saturday.  Here's Round Two's predicted winners:


Region 1
Denton Ryan    Wolfforth Frenship    Arlington Seguin    Arlington Heights
Amarillo Palo    Duro  The Colony     Everman                 Azle
Region 2
Dallas Lincoln   Dallas South Oak Cliff   Waxahachie    Lancaster
Dallas Kimball  Frisco Wakeland      Marshall                Bastrop
Region 3
Huntsville          Humble                    Galveston Ball       Friendswood
Kingwood Park  Beaumont Ozen      Rosenberg Terry   Houston Yates
Region 4
Boerne Champion   Alamo Heights  Roma                      Victoria East
New Braunfels Canyon  Cedar Park   San Antonio Lanier   San Antonio Brackenridge

Region 1
North Crowley    Arlington                Flower Mound Marcus    Lewisville
Arlington Martin   El Paso Montwood  Coppell               Cedar Hill
Region 2
Harker Heights   Lakeview Centennial  Pflugerville   Round Rock McNeil
Desoto                 Killeen Ellison           Austin High     Austin Bowie
Region 3
Houston Madison   Alief Elsik            Fort Bend Elkins    Fort Bend Hightower
Houston Lamar   Houston Cy Falls    Fort Bend Travis    League City Clear Springs
Region 4
San Antonio MacArthur    San Antonio Reagan   Weslaco   Harlingen
San Antonio Taft    San Antonio Clark  Edinburg   Laredo United

Texas 4A & 5A Playoff Predictions Report Card: 1st Round


Region 1
13-16 Missing on the Killeen High game was a killer.
Region 2
10-16 Pflugerville Hendrickson blowing a 9 point 4th quarter lead was a shocker.
Region 3
10-16 Never saw it coming with Wheatley & Brenham getting bounced.
Region 4
13-16 I bet against Austin LBJ. What was I thinking?

46-64 71%

Region 1
Region 2
10-16 I thought the Akins guards would get the job done. I bet against a lock in Desoto...duh
Region 3
5-16 Strake Jesuit, Fort Bend Bush, Cy Falls??? What a bracket buster. I'm hiding my head.
Region 4
13-16 Big win for Mac over Judson in OT, and Highlands bouncing Warren

40-64 62%

A combined 67%. Way off last year's predictions. I'd better step it up in the 2nd Round!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Texas High School Playoffs: Tuesday, February 22nd BRACKET BUSTERS

I received a lot of texts this morning asking where my playoff recaps were.  Sorry, blame my 5 month old grandson, Julian as I was on house duty being grandpa this morning.  :-)  Here goes:
I'm sure most of you who read the D1 Nation Prep Report are basketball junkies like me.  The culmination of the Texas High School season is our tournament.  64 teams in 4A & 64 teams in 5A.  All teams hopeful to get to the Big Dance in Austin and to win a State Title on March 12th.  And like it's big brother, the NCAA Tournament there are always a few Cinderella's.  This year's first round has more than it's share.

San Antonio MacArthur 56  Converse Judson 54 (OT)
MacArthur might not appreciate being put in the Cinderella category but anytime a perennial playoff team like Judson gets beat it takes a special effort.  In a back and forth affair, it was 2012 G Matt Gramling who hit the winning laup with a few seconds left in OT to seal the deal.  He had 16 points to lead the Brahmas to the second round vs San Antonio Stevens.  Judson Senior Cameron Griffin gave his best effort, scoring 25 in the loss.  2012 Jordan pratt added 15 for Mac.
Gramling hits the game winner in OT!
Round Rock McNeil 66  Austin Akins 53
Akins had such high expectations coming into this season.  It's hard to bet against a HS team with two D1 signees in Malcom Canada (Central Arkansas) & Yolonzo Moore (Hartford) but somebody forgot to give McNeil Senior Blair Williams and his Mavs the memo.  He had 24 points to lead all scorers.  Canada had 19 for Akins in the loss.
McNeil's Blair Williams scored 24 and was tough on the boards in the upset win over Akins
Arlington Seguin 82  Killeen 77
28 points, 20 rebounds & 5 blocks. Those were Senior Ta'Shawn Thomas' numbers and stats in his last game as a Killeen Runnin' Roo.  The University of Houston signee tried to rally his troops who trailed by as many as 18.  They held a brief lead with less than 5 minutes to play but their #7 State Ranking went out the window to a 4th seeded team from the Metroplex.
It's on the the University of Houston for the talented Thomas
Waxahachie  67  Pflugerville Hendrickson  63
Hendrickson lost a 9 point 4th quarter lead caused by their inability to hit free throws down the stretch.

Killeen Ellison 67  Mesquite Horn 45
Seniors Devonte Brown (Indiana State) & Jaleel Williams led the Eagles to their impressive win by scoring 21 & 18 respectively.
Williams is amping up his game for the playoffs

Killeen Harker Heights 65  Longview  48
Heights dominated this game as Senior Royce O'Neale continues to put up mad double doubles.  He had 19 points & 21 rebounds to keep the Knights rolling.

Desoto 58  College Station A&M Consolidated 38
#4 ranked Desoto rolled to the win.  2012 G Alex Caruso led Consolidated with 18 points including a pair of scintillating fastbreak dunks but he had little support from the rest of the team.
Alex Caruso will pass up many of Texas' bigger name guards in the Class of 2012
Bryan 68  Mesquite 64
Bryan's first lead of the second half came with only 26 seconds left to play.  A 12-3 run fueled by 2012 G J. Mychal Reese got the Vikings over the top.  Reese, one of the country's top guards had 34 points, including 12 in the 4th quarter.
Stepping up when it counts is nothing new to Bryan High's J. Mychal Reese.  He's been doin it on the National stage since he was 10 years old.

Kerrville Tivy 59  Kyle Lehman 48
Senior Deron Belford had 22 points and frosh Matt Perry dropped 12 as the Antlers stopped Lehman.
Freshman Matt Perry is following in his two older brothers footsteps at Kerrville Tivy

Austin LBJ 61  Cedar Park Vista Ridge 38
Senior G Robert Lee had 18 and Senior P David Weathers chipped in with 15 in the blowout win for the Jaguars.
Senior David Weathers is a force for Austin LBJ

Pflugerville 76  Austin Anderson 60
The Trojans hung tough for almost 3 quarters, but Pflugerville was too deep.  2011 W Cameron Blue had 23 points and 2011 G Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa) ran the show and dropped 20 for the Panthers.
Mitchell has the Panthers riding high with a #17 National Ranking.

Marble Falls 66  Austin Lanier 61
Playing without their big man, 2011 Shane Minnick, Marble Falls used a 4th quarter comeback behind Senior David Morgan's 20 points.

Bastrop 86  Red Oak 64
The Senior backcourt of Josiah Monroe (Texas-San Antonio-football) who had 27 & Jordan Roach (South Alabama) with 21 was too much for Red Oak to handle.
Monroe, & Bastrop have one of the toughest backcourts in the State.

Austin McCallum 84  Dripping Springs 56
The Knights used balanced scoring to put Drip away easily.

San Antonio Clark 80  Corpus Christi Carroll 71
Clark had 5 players in double figures led by 2012 G Nikko Maxwell's 18 & 2012 G Adam Perez with 14.

San Antonio Churchill 89  Seguin 56
2011 F Brig Gerlich finished his prep basketball career with 23 points.  Now it's on to baseball for the talented 3 sport star.  In the meantime, Churchill dominated inside and out with five players in double figures including Clark Lammert (17), Connor Lammert (16), Scott Mammel (11), Jacob Woods (11) & Derek Salas (10).

San Antonio Reagan 83  New Braunfels 70
Max Yon (Air Force) had 21 & tre Demps (Northwestern) added 19 for the Rattlers.  2012 W Kyle Hittle had 27 in the loss for the Unicorns.
Soon, Max Yon will be flying high at Air Force, but he's got work to do at Reagan first
New Braunfels Canyon 47  Uvalde 26
Canyon was just too big inside as 2012 P 6'10" Andrew Poulter had 15 to lead the Cougars.  Jeremy Espinoza was held to just 12 points, almost 18 below his season average.
Big Andrew Poulter's offense is coming around for Canyon

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

San Antonio Stevens & San Antonio Highlands Win!

San Antonio Stevens 67  South San 50
Earlier this year in a tournament prior to district play, South San gave San Antonio Stevens the business on their way to a 19 point win. You've got to figure this game to be much tighter.  Any team coached by Gary Durbon and Ray Carroll is going to be TOUGH minded defensively.  That's a given. I like Stevens athleticism though as they've got two future D1 players in two athletic 2012's Uche Ofoegbu & Marcus Roper.  And let's not forget that on the other side of the ball is the Big Man, Gabe Rivera who at 6'8" is a load to contend with.

I think this game is going to be decided on the quality of possessions that Stevens has.  If they're patient and don't fire up everything willy nilly then they could win a nip and tuck battle.  Make no mistake about it though, that they will have work to get good looks because South San won't be playing any soft zone.

With one quarter in the books, Stevens leads 21-9 on 5 of 7 from beyond the arc.  Uche Ofoegbu has owned the boards over the larger Bobcats with 5 rebounds in the quarter. At the half, it's Stevens up 37-22.  The good news for South San is that Stevens can't shoot it any better.  The bad news is..they did.  At least for a half.  It's not bad D by South San, it's that the Falcons are "en fuego".  Seven threes & 8-9 from the charity stripe.
Ofoegbu keeps upping his game to another level

The 3rd quarter was evenly played and now South San really has their work cut out for them to overcome a 46-31 deficit.  No such luck in the 4th quarter.  South San never threatened as Uche Ofoegbu finished with 17 points & 14 rebounds.  He was all over the place, deflecting balls as well.  Senior Eliot Mills added 13 points & 8 boards & Roper dropped 15.  Sneion Jake Quinones led South San with 20 points & Senior Jeremy Bazan battled all night inside and had 7 points & 6 rebounds as they end their careers.

San Antonio Highlands  66 San Antonio Warren 59
Highlands best player, 6'2" Senior G William Knowles will have his work cut out for him tonight but he's capable of putting up 30 points on anyone.  That's why San Jacinto JC (27-2) are here to watch him.  He won't get to the bucket unabated though as 2012 F Taurean Waller-Prince, a shot blocking machine will be protecting the rim.  The wild card could be how many points 2012 G Jerell Ellis can give his Warren Warriors.

After one quarter Highlands is up 18-14. Both teams are out running in transition.  Knowles was dominant physically early. Warren takes their first lead 24-23 midway through the 2nd on a resounding breakaway dunk by Waller-Prince. The run was fueled by 8 Highlands turnovers in 4 minutes.  A 14-6 run by Highlands puts them up 37-30 at the break.  Waller-Prince is being denied touches on the offensive end and Ellis isn't hitting.  If Warren wants to win, that's got to change. Knowles is having his way with 11 points & 5 assists.
Waller-Prince (below) had a great game but Knowles help was better

At the end of 3 quarters it's 50-43 Highlands. Game time!  The foul count has Warren shooting free throws already.  They may need that to claw back into this one. Sure enough, with 2:47 left to play Warren has hit 6-8 from the stripe and it's now 56-56. The Warriors are on an 8-0 run and will shoot two more from the line.  They missed them both! Knowles hits two free throws and then Waller-Prince answers back with an "And 1" for the 59-58 lead. A bucket and 5 Knowles free throws and Highlands gets the upset win 66-59.

Knowles led Highlands with 27 points, 8 assists & 6 rebounds.  Taurean Waller-Prince 20 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks but it was not enough.  2013 G Marcus Keen had 16 for the Warriors, while 2013 Roland Love had 13 for Highlands & Senior Gregory Knight added 12.

Austin/San Antonio Playoff Results

Although relatively quiet compared to the bulk of game swhich will be played tonight, the Texas State Playoffs are under way and already several quality teams have taken it on the chin.  However, the drought of The Century (actually make that the half century) has ended as the Austin High Maroons tasted postseason victory for the first time in 50 years!

Austin High  67  Leander  41
Senior P Mark Nwakamma's outstanding prep career has ended.  He scored 14 points for Leander, but as a team they were no match for Austin High.  The Maroons are now 28-3.  They were led by Seniors Alex Reinking (18) & Eric McClellan (16).  McClellan also picked up a D1 offer last night.  We'll go into that a little later as his focus is on team goals at the moment.
Reinking (left) & McClellan (right) led Austin High to victory.

Leander's Mark Nwakamma ends his school boy career with 14 points.

Austin Bowie  68  Georgetown  59
I thought this was a trick game for Bowie as Georgetown matched up pretty well.  They both have nice 2012 point guards in Bowie's Paul Baxter & GT's Mike Hardge, and they both have nice senior posts in Bowie's Connor Robinson & Georgetown's Logan Webb.  My hunch wa wrong though as one thing on Bowie's side is a history of winning high pressure playoff games.

Robinson is as tough down low as anyone.  He led the Bulldogs with 24 points while Webb finisjed his prep career with 19.  Bowie's supporting cast got the job done as Senior G Jake Varela had 14 & 2012 W Mareik Isom added 13.
Bowie's Connor Robinson (left) led the Bulldogs with 24 points. Logan Webb really came on strong in the second half of his senior campaign with Georgetown.

San Antonio Madison 62  San Antonio Wagner 52
Last year's Final Four team Wagner has been bounced by a Madison squad that is lacking in star power but seems to get better every time out.  They were led by 2012 G Chris Lee who scored 32 points, as he was "can't miss" from the field (12-16) & 7-8 from the three point line.

Private School
Austin Waldorf 61  Houston Beren's Academy 48
Austin Waldorf is quietly chugging along, this time beating Houston Beren's Academy behind 2012 Zach Rosanova who led balanced scoring with 13 points.
Hardnosed Zach Rosanova led his Waldorf squad to an impressive playoff win

All American Prodigy Camp: Houston Award Winners

Over the last three plus years we've had some great players from the City of Houston come and attend my All American Prodigy Camp which has historically been held in Austin.  This past weekend we took the camp on the road to Houston St. Thomas High School.  Under the direction of myself (Max Ivany) & Camp Directors Richard Law & Orin Bailey both of whom coach at St. Thomas we had a total of 45 players in attendance.  I likely planned it a couple of weeks earlier than the desired dates but there was no denying the talent that showed up in the gym.  We had 12 players who were 6'5" or better.

One of the reasons the All American Prodigy Camp is so popular is that I don't evaluate off past reputations.  Lots of "name" guys get mad at me because I don't give a free pass and of course lots of new talent get their due if they earn it.  I promote players based on merit.  You earn it, you receive the accolades.  Plain & simple! (Camp photo was taken late in the day, so several players are missing in action)
 Because of conflicts in schedules, some players could not stay for the entire session, thus they were not eligible for award consideration.  These included 2012 G 6'0" Chase Brogna a lights out shooter from Houston St, Thomas, 2013 F 6'7" Kalvin Singletary of Van Vleck who is a bruiser & banger down low & 2013 P 6'11" Anthony Young from Van Vleck, TX who will quickly go from anonymity to a huge amount of publicity as he heads out on the circuit this spring with the Texas D1 Ambassadors group out of Houston.

However, without further ado, let's spotlight the guys who got it done at the camp!

Four On Four Tournament Champions (Middle School)
2015 Grayson Sheena, 2015 Xavier Williams, 2015 Stephen Skeeter, 2015 Demarius Cress
Four On Four Tournament Champions (High School)
2012 Lawrence Thibeaux, 2012 Jarvis Hickey, 2011 Dominique McKinney, 2012 Alex Caruso, & 2014 Jamie Keating
Hot Shot Shooting Co-Champions
2012 G 6'0" Luke Savoy & 2015 W 6'1" John Coakley
Middle School Top Prospects
2015 P 6'5" J.J. Jones & 2015 PG 5'6" Demarius Cress
Class of 2014 Top Prospects
6'5" P Brandon (B.J.) Jones, 6'3" WG Jamie Keating & 5'8" PG Joshua Reese
Class of 2013 Top Prospects
6'8" F Johnathan Motley, 6'5" W Brandon Blackwell,  & 6'8" F 6'8" Kendrick Morris
Class of 2012 Top Prospects
6'4" SG Devon Turk & 6'5" Combo G Alex Caruso
Class of 2011 Top Prospects
6'5" F Chris Brown & 6'6" F Dominique McKinney
Tomorrow we'll begin to give rundowns on each player-Coach Max Ivany

Monday, February 21, 2011

Texas Playoffs Under Way: Taft & Alamo Heights Thump Opponents

1st Round 4A

Alamo Heights 63  San Antonio Brennan  50

This was a one sided affair as Brennan HS in it's inaugural varsity campaign was overmatched by Alamo Heights.  Brennan's better days are ahead as the school has no seniors in it's first year of existence.  2012 F Christian Davis & 2013 PG Johnny Azzinaro lead the Bears.

Alamo Heights, as mentioned a couple of days ago is one of my co-favorites along with New Braunfels Canyon to make it to the Regional Final & State.  AH had balanced 1st half scoring as they raced to a 40-18 lead at the break. They are just too big and experienced for Brennan as they sport 2012 P 6'7" Shelby Lane, 2012 W 6'5" Jeffrey Rodewold & 2014 P 6'7" Ben Lammers.

At the end of three quarters Brennan has fought back and closed the gap to 48-30, and with a couple of quick second half possessions it's now a 48-35 spread with 7:11 left in the game. The next minute belonged to Rodewold as he scored a bucket, hit a pair of free throws and blocked a shot to run the lead back to 17.  Azzinaro who was quiet in the 1st half with only two points has now added 10 in the 2nd half to cut the lead back to 13 with 4:25 to play. 

Brennan could never get it any closer as the Mules were led by Rodewold who rebounds hard, runs the floor, gets his hands on a lot of balls defensively & also is a tough out on the offensive end.  He finished with 17 points, whil Lane led the squad with 19 points.  "Jersey' Johnny Azzinaro caped an outstanding sopomore season with , while Davis led the Bears with 20 points.

1st Round 5A
San Antonio Taft  67  San Antonio East Central  42

I'll be shocked if this isn't a high scoring affair as the East Central Hornets like to let it fly and San Antonio Taft has more than enough firepower and the ability to run the floor and keep up with them.  Who hits their threes could decide this game, although Taft has to be a 10 point favorite in my books. East Central will be led by Senior sharpshooter Efrain Solis and 2012 F John Baker.  Taft will line up three potent seniors in Deondre Logan and their two D1 signees in Dylan Elias (Northern Colorado) & Marshall Harris (Citadel).

East Central prides itself on it's history of fast paced play and a State Title, but with the score 23-3 at the end of the 1st quarter they're getting run out of the gym by a quicker, hotshooting Taft team which dropped 4 three pointers out of the gate.

More of the same in the 2nd quarter as Logan already has 20.  Senior Carlos Gutierrez is playing with great energy as he's als dropped 6 points.  Taft's players are getting to the hole whenever they want, against whoever they want.

Early in the 4th quarter with the score 63-23 both teams have made wholesale substitutions.  Elias finished with 6 points & 7 rebounds, Logan with 23 & 5 boards & Harris with 2 points, 7 rebounds & 4 assists. Bake finished his season with 6 points & 10 rebounds.  Taft's guards rebound as hard as anyone's that I've seen this year.

Texas 4A & 5A Playoff Predictions

Today marks the beginning of the Texas 4A & 5A State High School plaoffs.  For the third year in a row I will fearlessly predict every game.  There will be 128 games played today and tomorrow alone at the 4A & 5A level.  There's nothing quite like one and done, tournament style basketball. The stakes are high in one of the country's mst fertile recruiting battlegrounds as kids vie for the elusive State Championship and hope that a deep run might also gain them some additional individual attention.

Last year I picked 82% of the games correctly, and you guessed it still got heckled by some of my  But hey, I put it out there and made some pretty good calls, but they only remember the "sure bets" that blew up in my face a la Austin Westlake getting bounced in last year's first round.  So, here goes....................
(Note there are several games I haven't handicapped yet as the final matchups weren't posted.  Should have that handled by 6PM tonight).

Click on this link. It will take you to my Houston Report where all the playoff predictions are posted.  Coach Max Ivany