Posted On: 12/29/17 10:35 AM
In the finals of the Walter Hardy Holiday Hoopfest it was the host school, Paint Branch, that ended up beating Kennedy, 79-75. We couldn’t of asked for a better championship game featuring two very well coached teams. It was tied 38-38 at halftime and the teams were going back and forth the whole second half. If it was not for 2020 Jordan Alonso’s clutch plays at the end of the game in the final 30 seconds, we could have possibly seen Kennedy take home of the trophy. For the second night in a row, it was 2019 Richard Dudley stealing the show with another 40 point performance.
Here are the 10 best!
MVP: 2019 Richard Dudley (Paint Branch)
He took home MVP honors of the whole tournament as he should, in the semifinals he scored 41 points and in the championship game Thursday night, he finished with 40 points. The junior guard can flat out score in so many different ways. The most impressive stat line of his 40 points might be that 14 points came from the free throw line. He drives to the basket so well which allows him to cause contact and send him to the free throw line. Another 12 of his points came from 3s. Overall, the kid is a natural bucket getter and it is only a matter of time when colleges start to notice his will to score the basketball.
Plays Of The Game: It was all 2020 Jordan Alphonso in the final 30 seconds
Tied at 75-75, 2020 Jordan Alphonso hit the potential game winner for Paint Branch. He used his strong body to allow him to go to the basket where he hit a nice lefty layup right off the glass. Kennedy would never tie or take back the lead after this bucket. Next offensive possession for Paint Branch, he hit two free throws to make it a 79-75 game and with 9 seconds left he put the icing on the cake with a huge block that sent the ball out of bounds.
Best Offensive Performance: 2019 Richard Dudley (Paint Branch)
I usually like to give awards to 10 different people but it is kind of hard to do that after a kid scored 40 points. The past two nights Dudley has scored 41 and 40 points. Every time he has the ball it seems like he is going to do something to excite the crowd. He is not afraid to shoot it from long range as he ultimately has the green light to shoot from wherever. It’s not just his scoring ability though, he had two beautiful no look passes last night and showed that he can really distribute the ball well to his teammates. I fully believe that Dudley has more 40 point games in him this year.
Best Defensive Performance: 2018 Habaccue Regnis (Kennedy)
I could have handed this award out to numerous people but it was Regnis ability to block the ball and be an ultimate rim protector that stood out. Over the past two days he was definitely the best or second best rim protector at Paint Branch High School. Kennedy will look to him the rest of the year to be a leader down low on defense.
Best Guy Off The Bench: 2018 Joel Kamden (Kennedy)
Kamden came off the bench in the late first quarter and immediately made a spark with a very nice assist to a wide open guy right under the basket. He finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds for Kennedy, which are very nice numbers for a guy coming off the bench. Kennedy is not a very deep team so whatever production they can get off the bench will be important for them.
Best Intangibles: 2018 Xavier Reaves (Paint Branch)
Reaves is a 6’4 lanky senior that does all of the dirty stuff for Paint Branch. He dove on the ground 4 times to grab loose balls which all led to fast break points for Paint Branch. He is one of the guys that Paint Branch can ask to do anything and he does it. He isn’t gong to fill the stat line in categories but he is going to play hard each possession, not be afraid to take a charge, dive on the ground for loose balls, finish at the rim and rebound the ball. He can be a very important player down the road for Paint Branch.
Best Under The Radar: 2018 Detrick Ntam (Kennedy)
If Kennedy would have won, Detrick would have been the MVP. This senior can flat out score the basketball! The past two days he was unstoppable driving left after a pump fake. He attacks hard, finishes at the rim with contact and draws lots of fouls. He showed that he can shoot the ball too. He has lots of muscle that allows him to bully his way down to the basket. He brought in many rebounds on offense and defense, too. In the semifinals on Thursday he had 18 points and 8 rebounds and in the championship game he finished with 18 points again with 6 rebounds. College coaches need to take notice of this kid ASAP!
Best Underclassmen: 2020 Jordan Alphonso
This is another guy that could have been my MVP but this category fits him well too! What a performance Jordan had in the championship game for Paint Branch. The sophomore finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks. He is currently 6’4 with lots of muscle that can allow him to work his way down low around the rim. Kennedy did not really have that much of an answer for him in the paint last night as he could pretty much do whatever he wanted to. Look for Jordan to make more noise on the recruitment side of things this summer when he plays AAU.
Best Catch & Shoot Guy: 2019 Myles Lewis
If it was not for Lewis’ shooting in the second half, I do not think Kennedy plays Paint Branch till the buzzer. Lewis finished with 26 points and 18 of those points came from three’s. Whenever Kennedy needed a big shot, they would find Lewis and he would straight up catch and shoot it. It was so predictable too, as I knew his shot was going in, every time he shot it. Lewis will score lots of points this season and next year if he continues to shoot like this.
Best Rebounder: 2020 Jordan Alphonso
I am going to reward Jordan again and this time it was because of his rebounding effort in last night’s victory. Like I said earlier, he finished with 11 rebounds on Thursday night. I expect college coaches to start noticing his efforts down low around the rim later on this high school season and in the summer during AAU.