Posted On: 11/23/20 11:22 PM

WILDWOOD - I made the trip over to Wildwood High School for the opening day of the FHSAA regular season at the annual Holiday Hoopsgiving event.

There were seven games played on Monday and I watched the final three of the evening.

Here are the results.

Wiregrass Ranch 57, Mosley 47
Forest 74, Sickles 61
East Lake 84, Wildwood 37

Here are the top notable standouts.

Brenen LorientBrenenLorient6'7" | PFForest | 2022StateFL Ι 6-8 Ι Forest

A slow start out of the gates didn’t stop Lorient from taking advantage of a height advantage against Sickles. The 2022 forward is a heck of an athlete who has power and good feet to finish inside. He had six points in the first half and tacked on 14 more over the final two quarters as he had a trio of dunks to help Forest pull away and score 20 points. Once he improves his ballhandling further, he will be well on his way.

...2022 6-8 forward Elijah RussellElijahRussell6'6" | PFForest | 2022StateFL pairs nicely with Lorient and has bulked up since playing football for Forest. He had 17 points and hit a few mid-range shots in the opening half that were impressive.

Brenen LorientBrenenLorient6'7" | PFForest | 2022StateFL Ι 6-8 Ι Forest A slow start out of the gates didn’t stop Lorient from taking advantage of a height advantage against Sickles. The 2022 forward is a heck of an athlete who has power and good feet to finish inside. He had six points in the first half and tacked on 14 more over the final two quarters as he had a trio of dunks to help Forest pull away and score 20 points. Once he improves his ballhandling further, he will be well on his way. ...2022 6-8 forward Elijah RussellElijahRussell6'6" | PFForest | 2022StateFL pairs nicely with Lorient and has bulked up since playing football for Forest. He had 17 points and hit a few mid-range shots in the opening half that were impressive. Anthony BittarAnthonyBittar6'4" | CGEast Lake | 2021StateFL Ι 6-4 Ι East Lake East Lake scored 69 points in the opening half and it was Bittar who set the tone as the main ballhandler and floor pusher. The 2021 guard simply looked natural in his regular season debut running the offense and playing a physical style of basketball. A transfer from Countryside, Bittar had 23 of his team-high 26 points in the first half alone. Most of the starters sat for the second half with the game well in hand. Dean GabrelcikDeanGabrelcik6'4" | CGEast Lake | 2021StateFL Ι 6-5 Ι East Lake In the conversation as a top shooter in the 2021 class, Gabrelcik was locked in as he buried 3 pointer after 3 pointer, netting all 21 of his points in the first half in the win over Wildwood. He is stronger and jumpier on his attacks which helps his all-around game. Plus his defense is always a key asset. ...Another steady shooter was Mikey ShaneMikeyShane6'0" | CGEast Lake | 2021StateFL, a 2021 6-0 guard. The transfer from Countryside added 16 points and will be leaned upon to hit jumpers and dish out crafty passes. Dominic GoodenDominicGooden6'0" | CGPHS Academy | 2022StateFL Ι 6-0 Ι Sickles Battling all night long in the loss to Forest, Gooden was really good. He ended with a team-best 22 points and was at his best when he went to the basket for nifty lay-ins and floaters. The 2022 guard is the top-scoring piece for Sickles, a team with a lot of pure speed. ...I came away pleased to see the performance of 2022 5-10 guard Zach JohnsonZachJohnson5'9" | CGSickles | 2022StateFL. He flat out played hard with 16 points, plenty off of his seven steals and turnover first mentality. Also, 2022 6-2 guard Javohn ThomasJavohnThomas6'1" | CGSickles | 2022StateFL (seven points) did all he could on defense against a Forest team that had way more size. He looks stronger and more aggressive fresh off a football season. Quincy SmithQuincySmith5'11" | CGWiregrass Ranch | 2021StateFL Ι 6-0 Ι Wiregrass Ranch Smith started the game fast and put things away with a pair of 3’s in a win over Mosley, adding a team-high 19 points. The 2021 guard is a gifted leader and shooter. His smart shot selection and patience as a point man certainly helps everyone around him. ...Pacing Smith was 2022 5-9 guard Josh MartinJoshMartin5'9" | PGWiregrass Ranch | 2022StateFL, a speedy guard who hit some big shots on his way to 18 points. His 3-pointer at the end of the first half was a nice momentum swing for Wiregrass Ranch. Jake Piorkowski Ι 6-2 Ι Mosley Piorkowski was the guy for Mosley in the 10-point loss to Wiregrass Ranch. He was decisive with the ball especially late in the second quarter and on. He tacked on 20 points and got to the cup for lay-ins and jumpers. Justice RobinsonJusticeRobinson6'2" | CGWildwood | 2021StateFL Ι 6-3 Ι Wildwood In a forgotten nightcap loss to East Lake, Wildwood played without its top three players due to football still in contention for a state championship. Add in the fact that the Wildcats played a game earlier against Covenant Prep due to a team dropping out due to COVID-19 (2020 right?), it was special to see this young group fight till the final horn blew. Robinson, a 2021 guard was the best player rolling with 16 points and a few really highly contested jumpers in the opening half falling in.

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