Posted On: 12/12/18 6:06 PM

 SCOTTSDALE, Az.  – Melo Ball, away from the “high school scene” for what would have been his junior season in 2017-18, showed Friday night that had considerable growth – literally and figuratively – in that time while playing for the Spire Institute prep school team from Ohio at Chaparral High during the second day of the HoopHall West event.

   Ball, now “6-foot-5ish” after playing at about 6-2 or so two years ago as a sophomore at Chino Hills in Southern California before heading to Europe for the start of his “professional” career, had some dazzling moments as a scorer, passer and rebounder during his new program’s 85-69 over Bella Vista, a prep school program based in Arizona.

   Ball went for 18 points (while hitting eight of 20 shots from the floor, including a couple of 3s) to go with 10 assists, nine rebounds, five steals and just one turnover.

   Other standouts among seniors whose teams played just one game at the event included:


Cameron Brown 6-6 Greenbelt (MD) Roosevelt

  There weren’t many folks in the gym at the time (at 9 a.m., it was the first game to tip off on Saturday) but he was spectacular (lots of dunks) while scoring 33 points in his team’s 77-66 win over Tempe Corona del Sol.

Myron Gardner 6-5 Geneva (OH) Spire Institute

   A lot of the Friday night, SRO crowd may have shown up to see Melo Ball (and dad LaVar, of course). But Gardner earned plenty of oohs and aahs of his own with 20 points. Two of those came via the most spectacular dunk of the event over the top of University of Arizona-bound Terry Armstrong.

Chris Koon 6-6 San Pedro (CA) Rolling Hills Prep

  The left-handed forward (who has started for two CIF Southern Section championship teams) scored 14 points in his team’s 63-58 win against Goodyear (AZ) Millennium.

Carl Lewis 6-9 Phoenix Hillcrest Prep

  Lewis, who spent the past couple of years at Lynwood High in Southern California and was also a standout for the Nike/EYBL “The Truth” program, scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter of his new team’s 80-74 to Denton (TX) Guyer Saturday night.

Oscar Lopez 6-4 Phoenix Hillcrest Prep

  Lopez, who signed with DePaul in November, was at Lynwood High as a freshman before spending his junior year at another SoCal high school, Bishop Montgomery in Torrance. He only scored five points Saturday night but had a couple of nifty passes and did a reason job of defending Oklahoma-bound guard De’Vion Harmon.

Terrance Marigney 6-6 Las Vegas Liberty

  He only scored four points but grabbed 13 rebounds with five blocked shots in his team’s 64-51 loss to Corona del Sol.

Rocket Watts 6-3 Geneva (OH) Spire Institute

  Watts, from Detroit and bound for Michigan State, scored 10 points (including a couple of deep 3s) while serving as part of the sideshow for the Ball Family Show that the program is right now.