The exciting 2015 Hoophall West High School Invitational held at Chaparral High School was a tremendous sucess this past weekend, as the event featured an excellent venue of top-rated high school basketball programs - from in-state and abroad. The event featured loads of experienced staff, excellent hospitality for everyone involved and also a very professional and big-time atmosphere for the event.
After taking in some of the action on Friday evening, the Arizona Preps staff was in attendance for the entire day's action on Saturday. Anyone in attendance on Saturday were in for a treat, as many of the state's top high school basketball programs competed against some of the top high school basketball programs in the country - providing for an atmosphere that fans, scouts and media could appreciate. For Arizona basketball fans, players and scouts/media, it was an excellent opportunity to see basketball played at the highest level in America.
While each Arizona team on Saturday struggled overall against nationally recognized teams they competed against on the day, Hillcrest Academy would turn in the performance of the tournament - defeating #4 ranked Advanced Prep International (TX) in the final game of the evening, 69-66. The game was filled with jaw-dropping action and exciting plays and brought fans out of their seats, as the game featured 4 or 5 different future pros.
A future NBA Lottery draft pick, 7-foot junior post Deandre Ayton proved definitely why he could become the #1 draft pick in the future, as he put on am exhibition in the contest - finishing with a game-high 24 points in the win. Ayton scored inside and out in his team's huge victory, as he displayed a feathery soft touch from deep consistently on the evening. Ayton is a huge presence and was an absolute joy to watch on Saturday night. Look for huge things from this young man in the future.
Another future NBA lottery draft pick and the nation's top point guard, Trevon Duval of American Leadership Academy, put on an absolute show on the night. The superb ball hallhandler, passer and finisher electrified the audience on the night with numerous highlight reel plays, which included the best dunk I have ever seen in a high school game. In the third period of the game, Duvall would crossover dribble around his defender and dart to the lane, only to take off from deep and throw down a monster one handed dunk over the giant Deandre Ayton. The dunk would cause fans to jump out of their seats. ESPN would feature the dunk on Sportscenter in their Top 10 Plays of the Day.
In the top game of the day, Shadow Mountain HS would face top-rated St. Anthony's HS (NJ) in an exciting match-up. Shadow Mountain would fall short in the game, as St. Anthony's Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hurley Sr. would throw an intense defensive pressure all game on the Shadow Mountain guards. The relentess intensity level and pressure would take it's toll on Shadow Mountain, as St. Anthony's would pull away in the second half behind 28 points from 6-foot-3 senior guard Jagan Mosely (Georgetown signee).
6-foot-2 senior guard Michael Bibby Jr. would knock down a three-pointer with 2 minutes left to play in the first half to pull to within 3 points of St. Anthony's. The two teams would go into the half with a 23 all tie. St. Anthony's would outscore Shadow 37 to 25 in the second half to pull away. Shadow Mountain 6-foot-4 senior guard JJ Rhymes would finish with a team-high 20 points in the loss.
After a big performance on Friday evening, Corona Del Sol HS 6-foot-2 star junior guard Alex Barcello would face serious defensive pressure all game in his team's matchup with Seattle Garfield HS (WA). Garfield has a loaded roster once again this season, led by the play of 6-foot-3 junior guard Daejon Davis (University of Washington commit), 6-foot-4 junior guard Jaylen Nowell, 6-foot-7 senior post Alphonso Anderson and 6-foot-3 freshman guard Philip "PJ" Fuller. This loaded roster would prove to be too much for an outmatched Corona Del Sol team.
Amidst very athletic and gifted guards, 6-foot-2 junior guard Saben Lee would pour in his best performance of his young career - scoring a game-high 26 points in a 76-66 loss to Garfield. Barcello would finish with 14 points in the game - scoring some of his points late in the game.