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Posted On: 03/7/18 8:07 AM
With the state tournament officially in the rear view mirror for hoop junkies across the state of Idaho, we are looking back at a memorable few days in the Treasure Valley. For a number of 2019 prospects the state tournament was a stage to showcase their abilities and leadership which is exactly what they did.
As the 2019 class continues to grow in terms of depth and talent, some of the most notable names from the season turned out in a big way last week. We also found some new additions to our rankings who will be players to watch over the grassroots season and next year for sure.
Below are the 2019 prospects Prep Hoops Idaho thought shined brightest late last week in the Treasure Valley with a bevy of excellent performances and overall stellar play.
Shift in the guard
Genesis Prep’s Jonny Hillman took home the state tournament edition of our Player of the Week honor and deservedly so. We came away very impressed with Hillman last week as we were able to get up close to watch him on a couple occasions. We love his confidence and swagger on the court, his ability to take over possessions and flat out get buckets when needed is certainly a bright spot in his game.
Not afraid to take the big shot, or any shot for that matter, Hillman’s defensive play was noteworthy as well. Genesis Prep loves to put pressure on the ball, and it found Hillman in transition often. Overall, Hillman was a stud and averaged 23.5 points over three games while taking home another state tournament title.
Borah’s Ellis Magnuson plays with passion, heart, and an unmatched energy every trip down the court and that was noticed yet again at the state tournament. Magnuson led his team to the third place title at the tournament and his well-rounded game was on display the entire tournament. Just recently, Magnuson was named to the First Team All Conference 5A SIC team, a very deserved honor. We love watching Magnuson play and will be excited for this team to make another run at a state title next season.
With his brother and a plethora of Boise State basketball players in the stands at one point during Century’s Deshun Harwell‘s game against Bishop Kelly, Harwell put on a show and led his team to victory. Harwell followed up his 16 point effort against BK with a 14 point showing in his team’s win over Skyview for the third place title at 4A. Harwell has poise and control when he is handling the ball, and his athleticism allows him to get to the hoop with ease at times. A very solid prospect who should be even better next season as a senior.
Fruitland took home the state title at the 3A level and while guard Jake O’Neil was recently named 3A SIC Player of the Year, he played a huge part in their title run last week as he posted 16 big points in their win over Snake River.
Big and tall
This 2019 class has a few intriguing bigs who took to the stage late last week at the state tournament and certainly made an impact for their teams in their respective title runs. Beginning first with Ririe’s Michael Ure, one of the state’s most dominant players at any level, Ure did as much as he could to help his team plow through the 2A bracket but ultimately couldn’t get pass Bear Lake in the title game.
Ure had 26 points and 9 rebounds in the loss to Bear Lake and was in double figures scoring wise all tournament. He will be one to watch next season in his senior year as he continues to develop his game.
Genesis Prep’s Kon Ajang is perhaps the most interesting player we came across at the state tournament last week. He certainly has the size to dominate at 6’9, and his involvement early and often in their matchup against Dietrich left us impressed. Still a bit raw in terms of offense, Ajang could develop into a big time prospect next season. Keep an eye on him for sure.
Twin Falls took home the consolation title and it was via the play of their big man Mitchell Brizee, who posted 22 points and 3 rebounds in the win over Bishop Kelly. Brizee steadily climbed up our rankings throughout the season and is a big man to track next season as a senior.
Another player who grabbed our attention was Declo’s Bart Gibby who had a very nice outing against Cole Valley Christian going for 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Zane Mussman pops
One of the biggest splashes we saw at the tournament last week came from Valley’s Zane Mussman who was outstanding and went for a series of double-doubles during his team’s run. Mussman posted 18 points and 12 rebounds in his team’s first round win against Riverstone and then followed that up with a 22 point, 14 rebound effort in a win over Ambrose. To finish the tournament off, Mussman again went with a double-double by way of 22 points and 14 rebounds in his team’s loss at the title game to Lapwai.
Great job Mussman, and we are looking forward to watching you more next season.