SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- In the marquee matchup of the day at the Spalding Hoophall Classic, Tilton (N.H.) Tilton School just didn't quite have enough for Brewster Academy. But Tilton big man Nerlens Noel was a one-man wrecking crew and made a major statement on a national stage.
Brewster Academy (N.H.) 57, Tilton (N.H.) 53
Going against a team loaded with five-star and four-star talent, Noel completely neutralized their play around the rim. He held down Mitch McGary to 1-of-8 shooting from the field. Point guard Semaj Christon, whose game is predicated on getting to the rim, missed all nine of his shot attempts.
Noel was officially credited with seven blocks, but that number is probably low, and it is nearly impossible to quantify the effect he had on the game defensively.
Offensively Noel was no slouch. Along with dunks, free throws and a nifty left handed jump hook, he scored 22 points.
As such an elite talent, Noel faces a couple of tough decisions. Obviously one is where he is going to school. The other is whether he will stay in the 2013 class or move up to the 2012 class.
In regards to his classification, Noel said there is a 15 percent chance he will move to the 2012 class.
As to what school he will go to, he only revealed that Syracuse, Kentucky and UConn were the three schools showing him the most interest. On this night Coach Calipari and assistants from Syracuse and UConn were watching Noel.
The second top performer for Tilton was highly regarded 2014 prospect Wayne Seldon who scored 16 points.
With the interior scoring game shut down, Florida State signee Aaron Thomas was the savior for victorious Brewster Academy. Including a few long range shot clock buzzer beaters, Thomas had a game high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the three-point line. He also had four steals, one of which was a pick pocketing steal of Christon which sealed the game.
Also effective for Brewster Academy was North Carolina State signee T.J. Warren. A natural scorer, Warren went for 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
The other double-digit scorer for Brewster Academy was Jakarr Sampson who had 13 points and also a team high seven rebounds.
St. Mark's (Mass.) 67, Friends Central (Pa.) 57
With four players in double figures, St. Mark's was just too much, especially in the paint, for Friends Central. Anchoring the St. Mark's attack was five-star center Kaleb Tarczewski.
The Arizona signee efficiently bullied his way to 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the line. He also had six rebounds, three blocks and five assists. The only knock on Tarczewski's performance were his six turnovers. Most of those turnovers came on plays when he tried to do too much on post moves. Actually he passed the ball extremely well out of the post and made positive plays when not rushing.
Nick Stauskas, who is headed to Michigan, played a solid game for St. Mark's scoring 16 points and grabbing five rebounds.
Amile Jefferson could never fully get untracked. He did manage 14 points and five rebounds, but nothing came easy for Jefferson.
After the game he did say that he hopes to have a school decision soon but is not on any timetable. The schools he listed as contenders are Villanova, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Kentucky and Duke.
The Xavier commitment unleashed a game high 24 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field and 14-of-15 shooting from the line. As evidenced by his large free throw attempts, Davis didn't just rely on his long range shooting but relentlessly attacked the basket.
Clemson signee Adonis Filer was another Notre Dame guard who attacked the basket on his way to 11 points.
Adams only scored five points and grabbed four rebounds, but his natural talent was quite evident. He has great size, is a bouncy athlete and has a feel for a game that he has only been playing for a short while.
Class of 2014 four-star prospect Jared Terrell was the most effective player for New Hampton. A physical and athletic guard, Terrell scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from behind the arc and grabbed nine rebounds.
Vonleh finished with seven points and nine rebounds. And fellow big man and Notre Dame signee Zach Auguste only scored six points but had a game high 10 rebounds.
Our Savior New American (N.Y.) 87, Mount Saint Joseph (Md.) 64
A strong team effort by Our Savior New American was too much for a young Mount Saint Joseph team. As far as prospects are concerned, 6-foot-8 Christopher Obekpa stood well above the crowd.
Despite playing sick, Obekpa dominated inside grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking eight shots. To go along with his length and athleticism, Obekpa has a knack for rebounding outside of his area.
Offensively, he is still raw (scored 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting from the field), but his jumper doesn't look bad and he has the plenty of potential.
Plenty of schools would love the opportunity to develop Obekpa. Head coaches Jim Calhoun, Steve Lavin and Mick Cronin were on hand to watch him play. A number of other schools are also pursuing him.
Connecticut, St. John's and Virginia Tech were also courtside to watch 2012 wing prospect Felix Balamou play. An explosive leaper, Balamou impressed with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Yet, the top performer for Our Savior New American was 2012 guard Nick Lewis who scored 23 points and grabbed a gaudy 17 rebounds.
Standing out for Mount Saint Joseph was 2013 wing prospect Kameron Williams who had a game high 28 points and seven rebounds. A solid all around player with athleticism, Williams knocked down 4-of-7 three-pointers.
Currently he holds offers from Virginia Tech, Miami, UMass (all three coaches on hand) and VCU. Wake Forest, Clemson, Maryland and Providence are all showing interest.
St. Thomas More (Conn.) 71, Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) 60
New Mexico commitment Cheir Ajou played well in an easy win for his St. Thomas More squad. The 7-foot-1 center used a tremendous height advantage to put up 14 points and six rebounds.
Class of 2013 four-star point guard Jaylen Brantley had a less than inspiring effort for Wilbraham and Monson. Without the competitive edge he showed on the travel team circuit, Brantley managed 14 points, but only went 1-6 from behind the arc and had one rebound and one assist to six turnovers.