Posted On: 05/5/19 10:48 PM

The Colorado Titans came to Phoenix with a goal and when Owen Koonce put away Powerhouse Hoops Rise with a game ending 10-0 run the Titan mission was accomplished. 

The Finisher Owen Koonce

In the quarterfinals against Powerhouse Hoops Black, the Titans won 60-57 and it was the And1 from Owen Koonce that put his team over the edge.  In overtime facing California Select, Owen sunk an elbow area jumper putting the Titans ahead 66-62 securing a spot in the finals.  And in the finals against Powerhouse Hoops Rise – a team with several division one offered players – the Titans were able to withstand a late PHH charge because Koonce went on a personal 10-0 run to close out the game. 

So who is Owen Koonce and where did he come from?  He’s a 6-foot-5 junior from Centaurus High School in Lafayette, Colorado where he led his team with 18.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.  Koonce shot 52 percent from the field, 77 percent at the foul line, and 35 percent at the arc. 

Owen is also a track & field standout, he was the Bolder County Basketball Player of the Year, and he was also one of the top players at the Spring Kick Off in Denver, another event on the Prep Hoops Circuit. 

Where do things go from here?  It’s time that Owen’s college basketball future take a jump for the better.  Players with this type of mental toughness that want to succeed when the game is on the line don’t come around very often.  Especially players that are willing to outwork and out-perform opponents like Koonce did on Sunday. 

Owen led his team in scoring commonly but he did it within the team structure forcing nothing but making the best of the attempts he was given.  And when games were on the line Owen made big foul shots, hit threes at the arc, and scored over the top of positioned length to move his team to a championship. 

Osasere Ighodaro

4-Star on the Prep Hoops Circuit

Osasere Ighodaro raised his stock in the month of April earning four-star status because of his potential and production as a skilled 6-foot-9/6-foot-10 frontcourt player.  USC, Stanford, and Vanderbilt have all offered scholarships and based on the weekend Osasere just had we think a lot more quality options will come his way. 

Comparisons are a funny thing.  People take them and then hold them over people like it’s the standard that must stick.  In watching Osaere play this weekend I continually thought to myself “this young man has watched a lot of tapes of Tim Duncan”.  No we are not saying that Ighodaro is about to be an All American, the number one pick in the NBA Draft, and an all time basketball great.  What we are saying is that several of the offensive moves that Ighodaro made looked pattered after the great one. 

For example: Osasere is very comfortable at the elbow putting the ball on the deck quickly and then using his frame to contact while softly touching in shots on balance.  Ighodaro is also a jumpshooter with range and a very soft touch.  His percentages were outstanding all weekend because he shot the ball well from 17 feet and he moved within the high/low framework of the PHH offense in an educated way for scores at the rim.  Things that Tim Duncan did for the Spurs. 

Again, not Tim Duncan, but a player that looks like he’s been taught very well in the skilled arts of big man play.  And those three high major offers are about to multiply fast.  Maybe Wake Forest will be next? 

The Rest of the Titans

Anybody that saw the Colorado Titans knows that they were far from one man show.  Owen Koonce grabbed the spot light in the final minutes but the Titans double figure victory over Powerhouse Hoops was the result of good coaching and outstanding team basketball.

Two guys that may not get big recognition from the weekend but deserve an even piece of the championship glory are 6-foot-8 center Peter Boyle and 6-foot-3 Isaac Jessup.  Boyle did a fantastic job working around the talented PHH posts and either denying a pass or deflecting entries for turnovers.  Boyle also hit a late game triple,  Chances are it was Jessup that put the ball in Boyle’s hands as Issac is the key screener, the quick ball rotation guy, the open shot maker, and a top defender. Forward Jalen Page and guard Caden Gigstad were also vital pieces to the Titans weekend championship. 

Ethan Hirsch

Colorado Kids Make Nets Dance

The Colorado Cardinals made the 16u final four which is an incredible accomplishment when you consider the massive size difference between them and the rest of the teams that made a 16u run.  How?  These Cards are Net Charmers, they made nets dance at a 60 plus percent rate against the Colorado Titans. 

Six-foot-3 Quint Geck scored 24 points on 9 of 11 field goals (plus 6 of 6 foul shooting) and the majority of his shots were from 17 feet and out!  Geck is from Rock Canyon High School (CO) as is his Cardinal teammate 6-foot-1 Ethan Hirsch.  Ethan put up 25 points with nine boards and five assists on 9 of 13 shooting and most of his makes were at the arc.  Six of them in fact!  What’s amazing is that Ethan was that good from distance but only took 11 shots choosing to feed Geck and others as well.  

Bash in the Desert Standouts

Today’s Basketball in Bullet Points runs through several other standout players that stood out competing in The PHHacility.

  • Tay Boothman‘s speed with the basketball was the difference in the PHH win over Gamepoint as the California players didnt have anybody that could move with Boothman.  The eventual result was seven assists and four buckets.  
  • Matthew Rivera of Gamepoint took on the challenge of competing against a shoe circuit team with a smile.  Competitors love to play against other top names and Rivera not only held his own against PHH, at times he was the best player on the floor.  Rivera scored a game high 20 points on 7 of 13 field goal shooting with four of five foul shots made and a couple threes. A 6-foot-4 guard. 
  • Does it get any smoother than Deandre Henry working at the elbow or on the block?  I’m 100 percent solid.  If you are a team that uses a high-low Henry is a guy you must take a look at.  
  • Give me a Wyoming hooper and I will give you toughness.  Laramie, Wyoming 6-foot-3 guard Christian Mickelson plays with the Colorado Titans Gold 16s and showed off a deep, confident stroke.  His four threes and 18 points overall had defenders throwing hands up in frustration. 
  • Another prospect I really liked was 6-foot-7 2021 Fallou Cisse who is playing up a level with the California Selet 17s. Cisse’s recognition of the defense shifting while facing leading to attack often equaled production for his team with scores or as a passer.  His timing in the paint blocking/contesting shots as well as grabbing boards at the right spot also looks improved from previous viewings. 
  • TJ Green was good each time we saw him play.  Green put together a 23 point, five rebound game in the 8am loss to the Titans shooting 9 of 10 from the floor.  Keep in mind, he never came off the floor because of limited numbers but still shot a high percentage and competed.