Posted On: 07/21/18 1:24 AM

The Premier Summer Championships kicked off at The Hoop in Salem on Friday and PrepHoops Oregon was on hand to take in the first day of pool play. Here are some notes from a full day of action.

Top Team
Seattle Rotary 17U EYBL.  Fresh off the Peach Jam, Rotary came into the tournament as arguably the top team in the field and they didn’t disappoint on the first day. They made quick work of a scrappy Deep III squad in their first game, and then fought off and then pulled away from Team Arsenal 17U Elite in a very intense and emotional game in front of a raucous crowd.

Top Game
Hoop Salem 17U 60, Griffins 56.  Portland State commit Jaden Nielsen-Skinner (2019 South Salem) converted a four-point play with 1.7 seconds left to break a 56-56 tie. Hoop Salem jumped out to a big lead in the first half, but had to stave off a second half comeback by coach John Stockton’s squad before the young man known as “Skinny” came through with his heroics. Gonzaga commit Anton Watson (2019 Gonzaga Prep) was huge for the Griffins with 24 points.

Top Performer
Paolo Banchero, Seattle Rotary (2021 O’Dea).  There was no player we saw that was dominant on both ends as Banchero. He posted up strong and showed off some polished moves down low, faced up and hit shots out to just short of the three-point line, and finished plays at the rim. On defense he blocked shots from the weak side and grabbed every board in his area. In two games, Banchero shot 12-for-14 from the field and pulled down 16 boards. While unquestionably college coaches lined the baselines to watch Jaden McDaniels, there was no doubt they were there for Banchero as well.

Top Rebounder
Nate Rawlings-Kibonge, Rose City Rebels (2021 Jefferson). Rawlings-Kibonge was a force on both the offensive and defensive glass and posted a double-double in each of the Rebels contests. In addition, he proved to be a rim protector as well with a couple of blocks in each game.

Top Outside Sniper
Kenny Curtis, Seattle Rotary (2019 Rainier Beach).  Curtis was a sparkplug off the bench for Rotary, showing off his ability to drain threes from the outside. He hit 7-for-12 from beyond the arc with several of them over defenders taller than his diminutive 5-foot-8 frame.

Top Backcourt
Team Fly Williams. In a 78-69 win over Washington Supreme Cagle, both Isaac Lange (2019 Thurston) and Chase McClain (2019 Mountain View) drained shots from beyond the arc and converted athletic plays around the rim, while taking turns running the point pushing the ball up the floor and creating shots for their teammates.

Rough Day at the Office
Rose City Rebels. The Rebels lost their first game, a tough 48-45 affair where their uniforms didn’t arrive until right before the game and they didn’t get a chance to warm up. The second game they saw a second half lead disappear and a late delay of game technical contributed to a 84-83 loss to Oregon Basketball Club 17U Gold. Aaron Deloney (2019 Grant) in particular struggled with his shot all night, hitting only 5-for-29 from the field and 2-for-9 from three-point range. The two losses dropped the Rebels out of the top A Championship bracket.

On the Sidelines
In attendance we spotted Washington head coach Mike Hopkins and Portland head coach Terry Porter, as well as assistant coaches from Arizona, Cal, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado State, San Diego State, UC Irvine, Gonzaga, Portland, Portland State, Eastern Washington, and a whole host of D-II, D-III, NAIA schools and junior colleges. Hopkins was there doing double duty – in addition to recruiting he was also there watching his son, who was playing on the Washington Supreme team in the field.

Recruiting Notes
Noah Williams (2019 O’Dea) has held an offer from hometown Washington from awhile, but noted that several WCC schools have joined in the mix… Zach Baugher (2019 Santiam Christian) indicated that Carroll (MT) College has offered a full ride, as has Northwest Christian and a number of schools at the D-I, D-II, and NAIA schools are showing interest… Kaleb Anundi (2019 Stayton) is getting strong interest from Chaminade and he recently made a visit to campus where he enjoyed himself. He continues to hear from some other schools as well.

Pool Play continues on Saturday with some bracket action starting late in the evening. Be sure to check back with PrepHoops Oregon for the latest.