OTR Tipoff Classic – Game Notes Pt 1
NORCROSS, GA – Following up Jonathan Hemingway’s great work on standouts, in 2 parts we take a closer look at some game notes from the annual OTR Tipoff Classic last weekend at Norcross HS.
Teams stamped their names on the scene, while others are still a work in progress. Let’s dig in on the first 3 games of the day:
By: Keith Agran
Mount Vernon vs Collins Hill
RESULT: Collins Hill W 64-49
TOP EAGLE PERFORMERS: Kaden McArthur (SR, G, 20pts), Jr, G, Amare Banks (15pts)
TOP MUSTANG PERFORMERS: Dennis Scott III (SO, F, 15pts), Syncere Harris (SR, G, 14pts)
GAME NOTES: The guard tandem of McArthur controlling the pace and Banks getting some timely buckets was key in the win, as McArthur showed why he belongs on a list of underrated floor leaders in the Metro, while Banks makes for an intriguing 2 in a 1-2 Collins Hill punch (that includes senior guard AJ Muller as well) that is difficult to deal with at both ends. Certainly worthy of a spot on an underrated floor leader list would be Harris as well for the Mustangs, who at just 5-7 plays with a high motor and uses speed and creativity to get into the teeth and make things happen.
POTENTIAL BREAKOUT PERFORMER: Scott has arrived at Mt Vernon from Riverwood and has the look of a future star. The Mustangs were without 3 starters, most notably 6-9 center Keith Williams, so the 6-7 Scott picked up some extra slack and has a nice court sense and good genes, plus a growing repertoire to call upon on O.
Meadowcreek vs Sequoyah
RESULT: Sequoyah W 69-61
TOP CHIEF PERFORMERS: Dylan Wolle (SR, G, 22pts), Kyle Keener (SR, G, 20pts)
TOP MUSTANG PERFORMERS: Keishawn Hampton (JR, G, 17pts), Eddie Hendricks (JR, F, 13pts)
GAME NOTES: The Sequoyah backcourt of Wolle and Keener is skilled and experienced, and the two play and score off of each other as well as any pair you’ll find. Keener was particularly brilliant on the day using deceptive speed to carve up Meadowcreek on the break and in the halfcourt, while Wolle had 12 in the 1st qtr and then 9 in the 4th to put his stamp on the win. Hampton continues his ascendance as a PG to watch in the state, as he’s added so much to his game beyond the deep shooting, but the Mustangs are no longer “that intriguing young team” over in Norcross, and if they want to make a deep run this year they must get more consistency from a stable of impressive athletes who are now juniors and seniors.
POTENTIAL BREAKOUT PERFORMER: Chiefs junior wing Preston Parker has built off a solid summer with Wood Elite and can be that critical 3rd scoring piece for a team that has steady bit players in their starting lineup (Fisher Mitchell, Conner Harris), but will need points from more places beyond stars Wolle and Keener.
Providence Christian vs Sandy Creek
RESULT: Sandy Creek W 71-50
TOP PATRIOT PERFORMERS: Vic Newsom (JR, G, 18pts), Amari Brown (SO, G, 14pts)
TOP STORM PERFORMERS: Tony Carpio (SR, F, 23pts)
GAME NOTES: Getting only 5 points from stellar senior guard Chance Thacker is not a recipe the Storm are accustomed to, and just 4 pts combined from their other 3 starters (Thomas Malcolm, Devin Long and Sam Witt), but chalk up a good part of that to Sandy Creek’s defense over the last 3 qtrs. It was a day of backcourts, and Newsom and Brown were as good as anyone there, showing poise and good decision-making as they led the defensive charge as well that blew a 2-point HT lead open with a 15-4 3rd qtr. Both can break down a defense with the dribble or beat you from the mid-range in particular. Carpio was his typical beast self, such a great story of a player who put in the tireless work and not only has seen the results on the floor, but landed his dream offer as well (Citadel).
POTENTIAL BREAKOUT PERFORMER: 6-7 senior transfer Aidan Bevrotte looks like just the perfect complement to rising sophomore star Micah Smith in the Patriots frontcourt as the program reloads a bit post-Jabari Smith, he’s a cerebral guy at both ends who understands when to take over or become the dirty work guy. With a young team down in Tyrone, he appears a beneficial elixir to help ease along the deep pool of talent there still finding its way together.
Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019 and has both a championship-coaching background on the HS-level and daily newspaper writing experience, both from New Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
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