NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Many of the top postgraduate basketball programs in the country were at Albertus Magnus College this weekend for the annual National Prep Showcase. Sunday’s schedule brought some of the of the tournament’s best matchups, featuring games that included NEPSAC powers Brewster Academy (N.H.), New Hampton School (N.H.), Lee Academy (Maine), Northfield-Mt. Hermon, Tilton School (N.H.), and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.
In total, over 130 Division 1 basketball coaches attended National Prep Showcase to watch some of the top high school hoopers in the nation.
There were no players of higher profile than 6-foot-8 senior forward Noah Vonleh, who helped lead his New Hampton squad to an 82-66 victory over Lee Academy. Vonleh was a dominant presence on the glass and efficient scorer in the post, but he also had plenty of freedom to perform given the great play of his supporting cast: point guard Travis Jorgenson, and guards Anthony Pate, Lincoln Davis, and Mike LeBlanc.
Jorgenson, a senior point guard from Kansas City who decommitted from Missouri earlier this fall, may have been the most consistent player on the floor for New Hampton. He hit several long outside shots and on many occasions fed New Hampton’s slashers and bigs with beautiful feeds that ended in dunks or layups.
“Travis makes us go, he completely controls the tempo,” Huskies head coach Pete Hutchins said, “When he makes a mistake, you’re shocked. He has everyone’s confidence, especially in his ability to go out and lead our team.”
Pate and Leblanc both stepped up with pressure defense, and also came up in the clutch with two three-pointers each in the second half. Davis, a strong guard who got to the rim at will throughout the game, constantly kept the defense in check.
“We just want to focus on taking great shots, and playing a game the way that we practice,” Hutchins said. "If we do that...and play with a level of toughness, I always think we should feel really good about what we should be able to accomplish.”
Vonleh, the No. 8 player in ESPN’s 2013 rankings, recently ended his highly-contested recruitment by committing to Indiana on Nov. 10.
“I don’t know how much it impacts his performance on the court. I think in every other aspect of his life, like for him and his mom, I’m sure [committing] makes things a lot easier,” Hutchins said.
Sharpshooters, Stand Up: Northfield Mount-Hermon senior Sam Donahue knocked down six threes on Northfield’s way to a 17-point win over La Jolla Prep (Calif.). Widely considered as one of the best shooters in New England, Donahue attracted constant attention on the perimeter from La Jolla’s defense, opening things up for scorers Skyler White and Josh Hearlihy.
Rhode Island native Lee Messier had six 3-pointers of his own in a losing effort for Tilton in their closely contested matchup Kiski. The Rams were down by as much as 22 points midway through the second half, but thanks in part to Messier’s four second-half threes, Tilton was able to make the game much more competitive.
Clean Sweep For Kiski: Brewster and Tilton have been NEPSAC royalty the past few years, but apparently nobody mentioned that to the squad at Kiski School (Pa.). Kiski knocked off Brewster 79-77 on Saturday night, behind 29 points from senior Rashad Richardson.
Kiski came with the same type of effort defensively on Sunday afternoon, beating Tilton 94-86 despite a furious second half run by the Rams, who were led by Kansas signee Wayne Selden (33 points) and Messier.
WMA young, but talented: Wilbraham & Monson’s 6-foot-4 freshman Mustapha Heron has already established himself as one of New England’s most promising hoops talents, as has 6-foot-7 sophomore guard Luis Montero. Heron was WMA’s leading scorer in its showdown with New Jersey’s Blair Academy on Sunday afternoon, scoring inside and out, showing a presence on the defensive glass, and nailing two shots from behind the arc.
Montero, considered one of the top college prospects in New England, moves exceptionally well for a 6-foot-7 player with such length. Originally from the Dominican Republic, he will be one of their best players this season as he becomes better acquainted with the players and style of play at Wilbraham.
Brewster Reloads: Syracuse-pledge Chris McCullough is the highest profile player in the lineup for the talented Bobcats, but he isn’t the only highly-touted division 1 prospect that will be featured. Brewster has great size up front with McCullough, NC State commit Kyle Washington, and West Virginia commit Elijah Macon, as well as guards Ron Patterson (Syracuse), Jared Terrell, and Kevin Zabo.