Username or Email Address
Posted On: 05/31/18 2:37 PM
The Compton Magic Memorial Day Festival’s 15u Battlezone gave hoops fans a heavy dose of the future of the region’s hoop landscape. Teams from California and surrounding regions, most fronted by Adidas (and a couple of independent programs) matched up in the 32-team, eight-pool event.
In the end, Team Lillard from the Bay Area won the crown in a 48-39 win over Coastal Elite Slayers in the championship game.
Prep Hoops gives you some of the standouts from the 15u division.
We could easily just give a game ball to the entire team, as top to bottom, there was no more complete of a team than Lillard, which dismantled several teams en route to the championship. But Alvarez’s timely and accurate shooting, Watson’s versatility and Flowers’ court vision and feel stood out. Alvarez, a 6-1 shooting guard, hit big shots all weekend, displaying very fluid mechanics and a quick release. Watson, a 6-4 wing from New Mexico, handled the ball and scored at will off the bounce, primarily with his left. Flowers, a 5-11 point guard, made solid decisions, rarely was sped up and set the table for teammates all weekend.
Watch out for two eighth graders on Lillard, 6-4 wing Jeremiah Dargan and 6-5 power forward Darrion Williams.
Powell’s Cal Supreme Team dropped a surprising quarterfinal game to the West Coast All Stars, but you can’t blame him for the early exit. Powell, a 6-5 wing from St. Bernard, dominated the field for much of the weekend. He has a strong frame, an explosive first step and great athleticism, which allows him to finish plays above the rim in the halfcourt and transition. His perimeter skill set continues to improve, and he can score it capably from all three levels.
Love, a 6-1 combo guard from El Camino, had a strong weekend on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Love continues to grow confidence in his three-point shooting, which complements his assertive straight-line drives to the rim, where he can finish strong through contact. Defensively, he has prime length and lateral quickness, and doesn’t allow dribble penetration. Gamepoint also got contributions this weekend from 6-7 C Dillon Wilhite (improving post presence) and 6-3 W Nikko Taylor (lefty playmaker).
Coastal Elite’s back court trio was huge in the team’s upset win over Compton Magic, and even bigger in Monday morning’s semifinal win over Pump-N-Run. Howell, a 6-5 guard from San Marcos High, has elite court vision and feel. He does a good job turning the corner, drawing double teams and locating shooters with pinpoint passes. Solis, a 5-9 guard from La Jolla, was the recipient of many of those passes and consistently knocked down shots from three. The lefty’s feisty defense also was huge all weekend. McKinney, a 5-10 point guard from Lake Oswego, OR, has excellent burst in the halfcourt and can finish through contact, and also is a smooth shooter off the catch. McKinney also possesses prototypical length, quickness and athleticism.
Compton Magic dropped an overtime thriller to Coastal Elite Sunday night, ending an impressive spring. This weekend, back court duo of Andrews (6-1 2022 PG) and Byers (6-0 2021 PG) and the interior presence of Wright (6-8 2022 PF) was impressive. Andrews has good scoring instincts and shows flashes of good court vision, Byers is an explosive lefty who can get into the paint at will and score with a creative layup and finishing package. Wright has impressive hands, footwork and athleticism, which allows him to be a dominant presence at this level.
The Pump team’s backcourt has three very different members. Wilds, a 5-11 guard from Fairfax, is wired to score. He has a quick first step, finishes with either hand, and can score from all three levels. Knapper, a 5-9 guard from Colony, does most of his damage from midrange and around the rim, using his crafty handle to get into the paint, and can surprise defenders with his deceptive bounce. Gladney, a 6-0 lefty from Fairfax, is a solid slasher who also does most of his damage in the paint, where he finishes drives with his dominant hand.