(Beverly) I took in the Class C and Class B finals in the NEPSAC boys’ tournament at Endicott on Sunday afternoon.
The athleticism and action of these prep stars is always a treat. Hardcore fans know that warm-ups will usually produce highlight-reel dunking shows.
Stars of the future take part. A few years ago, Andray Blache was on hand for South Kent.
I went to see Jaymie Spears, formerly of Georgetown High School. I was pleased to see that not only was he on the St. Mark’s Lions roster but he was also a starter.
Once the game started, however, the former MVP of the Cape Ann League as a sophomore, had a nightmare game.
The Lions lost 55-43 and struggled against the spirited defense of undersized Lawrence Academy. Jaymie got into trouble early with three turnovers that led to a couple of baskets.
The third turnover raised the frustration level of Coach Dave Lubick because Jaymie tried to go behind his back down the lane, was stripped and LA got a layup.
Jaymie had a steal and a rebound in the second ten minutesof the first half but missed two free throws, a trey, and a jumper from the left. However, St. Mark’s trailed just 22-20 at the half.
The second half didn’t go well either. Jaymie had good looks at a couple of three’s in the first five minutes and missed, getting pulled immediately after the second miss. He had a couple of more looks at three’s later in the game and reluctantly shot them and missed both. He did make two free throws in the last minute.
Therefore, he ended up with an unimpressive 0-for-6 shooting and three turnovers. However, he’s a sophomore at St. Mark’s and getting a chance to play with top-flight players. One of the seniors has a scholarship to Georgetown.
The dazzler for St. Lawrence (29-0) was Shabazz Napier. This guard is listed as a junior and I can assure you that D1 colleges know all about him. He’s a great defender with speed to get open anywhere he wanted to. His passing was noteworthy as well. He was the MVP of the tourney.
I also saw Tilton School avenge an earlier loss to Marianapolis Prep School (Thompson CT) with a 69-61 win.
Tilton took control early and had depth that was amazing. They started great players, went to the bench, and brought in more great players. They put on an eye-catching pregame show with a freshman named Goodluck Okonoboh (6’7”) and a junior (Ryan Canty) displaying a variety of jams.
Ryan (6’9”) was a dominating presence. He is not only tall but also big and strong. Marianapolis had no one who could deal with him. During the game he did take a very hard fall on a breakaway when one of the Marianapolis players clobbered him to the ground. No foul was called and Ryan got up and played on.
Gerald Coleman (20 points) of Tilton is heading for Providence and it won’t take him long to get there with his speed! This was another player with all the ingredients to be great – shooter, quick, defender, and passer.
Gerald was the MVP of the Class B tournament.