Written by: Mike Galu
Saturday, February 13:
Game 1: Mater Dei (NJ) over Notre Dame (NJ) 67-55
Game 1 of the Primetime Shootout goes to Mater Dei (NJ) 67-55 over Notre Dame (NJ). Mater Dei’s overall balance with 4 starters in double figures was too much for Notre Dame. A tight game after 3 quarter’s became a “grind it out” double digit victory for Mater Dei and fine coach Ben Gamble (Former Assistant at St. Anthony). 6-7 Jr. Elijah Barnes led the way with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 blocks. He was helped by Kyle Elliott’s 15 points, Nyke McCombs’ 12 points, and Elijah Mitchell’s 14 points.
Game 2: Ewing High (NJ) over Point Pleasant Beach (NJ) 67-47
Game 2 of the Primetime Shootout saw Ewing High (NJ) beat Point Pleasant Beach (NJ) 67-47. Beach looked like they would run away with this one early, but Ewing Coach Shelly Dearden called a great 30 second timeout down 9-2. She settled her team down and the comeback began. Still down 17-6 after one, Ewing held Point Pleasant Beach scoreless for the first 6 minutes of the 2nd quarter to take a 26-22 lead into halftime. Senior G Deon Hall’s 17 points and Jr F Lawrence Joseph’s 16 points led Ewing’s scorers.
Game 3: Union Catholic (NJ) over Trenton Catholic (NJ) 48-44
Game 3 was a battle of some bigs-6-10 Jr Jordan Pierce for Union Catholic (NJ) and 6-10 Sr. Richmond Aririguzoh of Trenton Catholic (NJ). This one was close the whole way with Union Catholic trailing most of the game. With Trenton Catholic not able to ever really get control, Union Catholic pulled out the win 48-44. Unoin Catholic ‘s George Pappas scored 9 4th quarter points to lead the way. Aririguzoh finished with 10 points, 6 blocks and 7 rebounds, and Pierce had 5 points and 9 boards.
Game 4: St. Anthony (NJ) over Bishop McNamara (MD) 60-42
What more can be said after watching Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley’s Friars race out to a 17-2 first quarter lead? St. Anthony (NH) R.J. Cole’s 18 points and Jagan Moseley’s 11 led the balanced and deep St. Anthony squad.
Game 5: Saint Thomas More (CT) over Patrick School (NJ) 68-65
Shootout number five had Saint Thomas More (CT) grind out a rugged 68-65 win over the Patrick School (NJ). Harvard bound Bryce Aiken’s 17 2nd half points weren’t enough to overcome the tremendous bench scoring of St. Thomas More. 6-6 Sr wing Charles Brown 19 points and 6-3 Sr 2G Zach Radz 11 points provided all the support 6-10 (Villanova signee) Omari Spellman needed to squeeze out this win. Spellman finished with 13 points and showed great range nailing a couple of 3-balls to open up The Patrick School defense.
Shootout #6 had St. Benedict’s Prep take down Huntington Prep 78-68. St Benedict’s balance beat the great effort of Huntington Prep star-6-7 Miles Bridges‘ 28 pts. The Michigan State bound Bridges didn’t have enough help to overcome the tremendous and spirited play of 6-9 Sr C Arnaldo Toro 23 points, 8 rebounds and 6-4 Jr G David Beatty 16 points.
Game 7: Riverdale Baptist (MD) over Linden (NJ) 83-62
The final Shootout of the night was over in a hurry. Linden (NJ) came out stone cold and got buried by Riverdale Baptist (MD). Riverdale Baptist won 83-62 as they blitzed Linden 26-8 in the first quarter. After that, Riverdale Baptist’s coach Lou Wilson had more than enough answers to handle everything Linden coach Phil Collichio tried to pull from his bag of tricks. Since Riverdale Baptist was bigger, faster, and stronger at every position; there wasn’t much left for Linden except to oushoot Riverdale Baptist. That didn’t happen last night.
Saturday, February 14
Game 8: Immaculate Conception (NJ) over St. Joseph (NJ) 51-49
A very young Immaculate Conception (NJ) defeated St Joseph (NJ) and Syracuse bound Tyus Battle 51-49. Immaculate Conception controlled the boards with 6-5 Soph Jalen Carey and 6-6 Frosh Dejourn Cook. They also controlled tempo with Coach Jimmy Salmon switching defenses on Battle who finished with only 2 pts in the 2nd half. Immaculate Conception’s offense came from 6-6 Soph Justin Winston 15 points and 5-11 Jr PG Dehron Mitchell Jr. 13 points hitting three 3’s.
Game 9: Lakewood (NJ) over Newark Tech (NJ) 69-66
Lakewood (NJ) over Newark Tech (NJ) 69-66 in a battle point guards. These two schools battled for 31+ minutes before Lakewood’s 6-1 Sr Amir Tyler hit a tough floater in the lane to seal Lakewood’s win. Tyler finished with 22 points. Newark Tech was led by 5-9 Sr Mustafa Lawrence’s 23 points (including an ESPN Top 10-worthy 3 pointer to end the 1st half).
Game 10: Gill St. Bernard’s (NJ) over Newark Eastside (NJ) 55-50
This game demonstrated the love I have for high school basketball. Take two squads laden with underclassmen, two coaches who gave their kids everything in their heart and soul to win, and you have the formula for a great game. Gill St Bernard’s (NJ) had no business beating Newark Eastside (NJ) but they did 55-50. This was a battle for three and half quarters. The difference was Gill St. Bernard’s execution of end-game situations. Offensive sets resulting in wide open lay-ups, clock management that shortened the game, and allowed clutch free throw shooting. Sr Wing Adam Mitola hit 8 straight 2nd half free throws and finished with 17 points. A Frosh to watch for Gill St. Bernard’s is 6-0 pg/wg Jake Betlow (11 points with a half court buzzer beater to end the 1st half) Eastside has no Seniors on their roster!!! 6-7 Jr Tyrese Jenkins finished with 14 points and gave Gill St. Bernard’s fits inside. 6-1 Soph Hassan Ceesay had 12 first points on 4-3’s. Great high school game that had the entire gym applauding both teams efforts.
Game 11: Montverde Academy (FL) over Pope John XXIII (NJ) 83-43
Montverde Academy (FL) dominated Pope John XXIII (NJ) 83-43. Playing their third game in three nights, Montverde Academy took control early and never looked back. Kevin Boyle barely said two words all night (which is unusual for this talented and very energetic coach). 6-8 Soph Silvio De Sousa led Montverde Academy with 26 points and 6-2 Soph Aaron Clarke had 19 for Pope John XXIII.
Host school for the Primetime Shootout was Roselle Catholic (NJ) and they were paired against Huntington Prep (WV). 6-7 Sr Miles Bridges (Michigan State) had another monstrous game with 29 points including 3 highlight reel dunks, but his individual brilliance was not enough to beat Roselle Catholic. The Lions won 73-69 behind 6-4 Sr Matt Bullocks’ 24 points. 6-9 Jr Andre Rafus hit 4 straight 3-balls in the first half and finished with 18 points off the bench. 6-10 Soph Nazreon Reid had 11 and 6-3 Jr PG Nathaniel Pierre-Louis had 13 and did a great job of running the show for Roselle Catholic.
Game 13: Patrick School (NJ) over Phelps School (PA) 78-41
The Patrick School (NJ) got back on the winning track with an easy 78-41 win over the Phelps School (PA). The disparity in size and speed clearly favored the Celtics. The Phelps School was a late substitution team to the shootout and tonight they in way over their heads.
Game 14: St. Mary’s of Elizabeth (NJ) over Plainfield (NJ) 72-57
The Final Shootout saw St Mary’s of Elizabeth beat Plainfield 72-57. St. Mary’s powered out to a 35-24 halftime lead behind 12 points from 6-1 Sr Rick’keem Mixson and 10 points from 6-8 Soph Calistus Anyichie. Plainfield was led all night by 6-5 Sr Jaleel Simmons who had 27 points, however the star of the game was Mixson who finished with 31 points on one acobatic finish after another.
-Written by: Mike Galu