Posted On: 11/8/18 4:12 PM

While everyone was focused on a certain SEC game in Baton Rouge on Saturday, coaches and referees in northwest Louisiana were focused on basketball.  The annual Parkway Super Scrimmage and referee clinic brought some of the area’s boys and girls teams together for a day of scrimmaging.  Boys and girls playoff teams like Captain Shreve (girls), Calvary Baptist (boys), Ouachita (girls), Bossier (boys), and Southwood (boys) played other teams in an effort to get better before the season opens on November 13th.  During the morning session, there were standout players on the boys side.  We will take a look at six of them here.  

Martin McDowell / 5’9″ / Calvary Baptist Academy / Guard / 2022

Shooters need space to get their shot off.  Most of them prepare for their shot before they get to their spot with their footwork.  During the Cavaliers game against Evangel, McDowell showed that even as a freshman, he is a veteran at prepping for his shot.  Martin knows how to read screens and has a knack for curling or fading to the right spot for his shot.  It also helps that his point guard Michael Williams, Jr. (2019) was hitting him in his shooting pocket with passes.  From their, McDowell did the rest.  During the scrimmage, he was draining shots from 24 feet.  This freshman shot the ball well.  I know Calvary will not have their full team until January.  Until then, they should keep feeding McDowell the ball.  His three point shot will help them win more games than not. 

Bobby Baker / 5’7″ / Southwood High School /  Point Guard / 2019

On a team coached by Eddie Hamilton, someone has to be the leader of his defense.  Usually, it is his point guard.  When he coached at Fair Park, it was DeAngelo Clinton (now at LSUS) or Jeremy Johnson.  Now, at Southwood, it is Bobby Baker.  On Saturday, Baker played the defensive end about as well as it could be played against top notch talent.  Against Green Oaks guard duo, he pressured them full court and in the half court.  He also played help defense and took charges.  Against Grambling-commit Jacoby Decker (Bossier), he hounded him into and “0”fer performance from deep.  Baker also grabbed a few steals and assisted on numerous buckets as well.  As far as point guard play, no one else played it better on Saturday.  If he carries this play into the season, Southwood will make plenty of noise in 5A.  

Xavien Beasley / 6’3″ / Bossier High School / Forward / 2019

There probably has not been a more anticipated return of a stud player to begin a season in Shreveport-Bossier’s recent history than Xavien Beasley playing with the Bearkats.  Beasley was a right hand dominate lead guard before his hiatus.  Now he is a 6’3″ utility player who can do several things on the floor.  On Saturday, against Southwood, he showed how versatile he can be.  Beasley displayed the ability to guard four positions on the floor.  He can switch pick and rolls, defend smaller guards, and rebound against big men.  A basketball-playing Swiss army knife is what he is.  Beasley can also score in various ways.  While Bossier was not very successful in the Southwood scrimmage, anyone watching can tell that Xavien Beasley makes the Bearkats a better team.  

Israel Edwards / 6’2″ / Green Oaks High School / Guard / 2020

The Green Oaks Giants came into the super scrimmage having played on Thursday night against Captain Shreve.  Then, in their initial Saturday morning tilt, they drew another 5A team in Southwood.  During the morning contest, one guard stood out more than others.  Israel Edwards was that player.  Edwards was everywhere during the game.  He would make a steal to gain a possession, tip in and errant shot, or gather an offensive rebound.  Israel can score at all three levels and constantly makes plays for his team.   His motor is relentless and he plays hard until the last horn sounds.  There is no quit in this kid.  It really helps that he has the talent to back up his play.  Even in their scrimmage lose, anyone can tell that.  Look for Israel to continue his good play as Green Oaks kicks off their season.  

Cameron Brown / 5’11” / Booker T. Washington High School – Shreveport / Guard / 2021

BTW-Shreveport lost a large portion of their scoring to graduation when Leon Chambers and Le’traveon Jones left to attend Brookhaven College.  With them gone, it looks like sophomore guard Cameron Brown will be one of the pieces used to recoup some of that scoring.  If Saturday’s play at the super scrimmage shows what is to come, Brown may do just that.  For a sophomore, Brown looks very poised on the floor.  He has a nice mid-range jumper to 18 feet.  However, it appears that he is best at getting to the paint.  Brown is not super fast, but he is very strong.  He absorbs contact and gets his shot up.  Cameron has the elements of an “old man’s game” partnered with a high basketball IQ.  Cameron just understands how to score.  He might not be as flashy or as fluent as the graduate departures but Cameron will put up plenty of points for this BTW squad.  

Daniel Ortiz / 6’0″ / Southwood High School / Guard / 2021

A player that was a complete stud during each of Southwood’s scrimmages was Daniel Ortiz.  Ortiz got a chance to play a lot of point guard against Bossier and showed the ability to score at all three levels.  He is especially adept at getting into the lane.  Scoring is definitely not his issue.  A big positive for Ortiz was his defense.  Ortiz displayed the ability to guard man-to-man full court and to guard without fouling.  For a sophomore coming into his first varsity year, that is big.  If Daniel can put in the work to be a star on both ends of the floor, he will be one of the top guards in his class.  From the looks of his play at the super scrimmage, he is well on his way. 

The Parkway Super Scrimmage is a good way to get ready for the season by seeing different styles of play.  These players, and teams, appear to have benefited from the exposure.  Hopefully teams, and officials, will see the benefits and continue to use it for a launching pad into the basketball season.