Phenom Hoop Report provided opening tap to final buzzer coverage of Session II of the 12th Annual VaPreps Classic last Saturday at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, VA. Let’s take a look at some of the events most impactful players and performances:
Efton Reid (7’0 2021 Steward School) The 7’0 five star center was near perfect hitting on 14-16 shot attempts for 31 points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 5 shots and all of that in little more than three quarters as Steward built a commanding lead. University of Virginia assistant coach Jason Williford was on hand to watch Efton who they offered last June. The junior big man has since been offered by NC State, Wake Forest, VCU, Old Dominion, Hampton. Efton is one of the most skilled big men in the country. He has natural instincts as a scorer inside using his length to establish post position and putting defenders at his mercy when he catches the ball in the post. He has great touch on non dunk finishes and also plays above the rim. Defensively Efton showed his excellent footwork, patience and discipline as a shot blocker. He has the agility and quickness to hedge ball screens. He gets off the floor quickly on initial and repeat jumps and rarely gets caught out of position defensively.
Isaiah Simmons (5’9 2021 Steward School) A cat quick and crafty playmaker Isaiah sliced and diced defenders all game long and dished out 11 assists to help Steward to a convincing win. Isaiah, who holds offers from Canisuis and Drake got into the paint at will dishing to cutters for easy scores and kicking out to shooters with pinpoint passes. Isaiah is able to stop and change directions on a dime and possesses unbelievable balance and body control. A very intelligent playmaker and elite level distributor. Isaiah is tough and plays with great energy which shows with his harassing defensive style.
AJ Walters (6’0 2020 Great Bridge) AJ showed his great quickness and anticipation skills defensively with four steals and his strength and toughness as he often dropped down inside to help with rebounding duties. He scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in a loss to Steward. AJ is a very good scorer on the move who likes to get downhill and is very good making plays off the dribble for himself and for teammates. Also a threat to hit the pull up jumper as he did often in this game.
Sage McLellan (6’0 2020 Churchland) Sage is an efficient scorer who lets the game come to him. Very good spot up shooter with three point range can also make plays off the dribble where he uses good length and a strong upper body to fight through contact. Sage brings great energy on both ends of the floor and his stats aren’t often eye opening but his impact is key in their success. Sage hit 6 of 10 shots from the floor and a perfect 6 for 6 at the line and scored 18 points in the win against Osbourn Park.
Lynquel Dickenson-Glover (6’1 2020 Churchland) A two sport star and bouncy, athletic guard Lynquell is a fantastic defender on and off the ball with a nonstop motor. A good shooter but at his best making plays off the bounce. His first step is extremely quick and he attacks the basket with purpose. Lynquel scored 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting in the win against Osbourn Park. He also had three steals in the win.
Tywon McKenzie (6’6 2020 Churchland) Tywon played big in the win for Churchland, his physical frame, length and excellent footwork allowed him to clog up the lane and help on dribble penetration which was key against the guard heavy Osbourn Park Yellow Jackets. He also was an impact on the glass which allowed Churchland to outscore Osbourn Park 36-16 in the paint. With Churchland shorthanded up front with 6’5 200 pound junior forward Anthony Taylor sidelined with an ankle injury the Truckers got great contributions from Walker Duke and Jamond Scott who combined for 11 points but more importantly 13 rebounds in the win.
Rahim Woni (6’5 2021 Osbourn Park) Rahim had a double/double scoring 13 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. A strong and agile forward he is very good making plays off the dribble using a capable handle, rangy strides and a powerful frame to get where he wants with the dribble. He hit the mid range jumper and was very active on the offensive glass where he is an explosive leaper and shows good touch on non dunk finishes. Rahim has an excellent burst as he slices through the lane attacking the basket with power and some finesse finishing above the rim or using his soft touch laying the ball off the glass.
Tommy Mangrum (6’4 2020 Western Albemarle) Fans not familiar with Tommy Mangrum got a pretty convincing demonstration of shot making efficiency that Western Albemarle fans have been accustomed too. The 1,000 point scorer and Hood College commit blistered the nets with stop and pop jumpers and catch and shoot jumpers showing a quick, high and disciplined release. His form is picturesque, fluid and he is amazingly consistent. Mangrum connected on 12 of his 18 shot attempts, 3 of 5 from deep and scored a game high 31 points while earning player of the game honors in a win over Nansemond River. His versatility is impressive as he defends multiple positions, rebounds and scores from all angles with equal consistency.
Henry Sullivan (6’6 2022 Western Albemarle) Henry shows tons of upside and is already an impact paint presence. He seals his man inside carving out space to accept lob passes where he has great hands and footwork. Uses his body well versus contact, uses quick spins and soft touch finishes off the glass. He has great touch that translates to mid range spots where his mechanics looked sound and smooth. His footwork is crisp and he moved well off the ball cutting behind the defense where he is a lob target. He can score with his back to the basket and on jumpers from the short corner. Defensively Henry showed very good footwork and mobility, sharp instincts and good timing pursuing rebounds. He was attentive to his box out responsibilities, excellent rim protector on hard rotations and stepping up to deter dribble penetration. He’s a player college coaches should get familiar with right now!
Joshua Sime (6’6 2023 Western Albemarle) Joshua is a very athletic forward with nimble footwork He has a very high basketball IQ, tremendous length and he can shoot the ball. His shot mechanics are text book, very efficient shooting catch and shoot jumpers and he can get his shot off the dribble as well. He moved very intelligently, instinctively off the ball and his shot preparation is really good, solid footwork. Shows impressive agility and capable ball handling skills to create against slower defenders. He runs the floor with good speed and fluidity, has great hands and is a good finisher at the rim. He showed a lot of patience and poise for a freshman and an advanced skill set. Very good passer! He defends his position and showed very good athleticism and footwork as an on ball defender and in passing lanes. He gets off the ground quickly and has excellent timing for blocked shots and rebounds outside his area.
Justin Fatherly (6’2 2020 Nansemond River) Justin is an elite athlete with a great motor and fearlessness. He attacks the basket with explosiveness and craftiness and has a great touch at the rim on non dunk finishes although he prefers to just dunk on you. Justin has really developed his body over the last year and has the ability to punish defenders going to the rim. His combination of power and quickness creates matchup concerns. On the defensive end he anticipates nicely and has the quickness the jump passing lanes for steals that turn into fast break dunks. He is an explosive leaper, quick off his feet and is a very good rebounder. Justin finishes with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals but his Nansemond River Warriors came up short against Western Albemarle. We featured Justin two years ago, just as he was beginning to elevate his status among the top players in the 757:
Alphonzo Billups (6’6 2022 Varina) One of the most promising underclassmen in Virginia with a fantastic basketball body, great versatility, high IQ and very good guard skills. Alphonzo can beat you in so many ways offensively. He hits the catch and shoot jumper with three point range, he can get his shot off the dribble attacking the rim or pull up and hit the jumper. He moves so well off the ball to get open and also can drop down and post up many defenders. Also a very good passer! On the defensive end he can guard 2 through 5 effectively and is a strong rebounder. Alphonzo earned player of the game honors in a VaPreps Classic Session I win and had another solid effort in Session II scoring 25 points and also five steals. He spearheaded the Varina come from behind win against Lake Taylor with nine points in the fourth quarter.
Christian Carden (6’4 2022 Varina) Christian has really asserted himself the last month or so for Varina. Gifted physically and very athletic he can impact games in many different ways. He can hit the jumper but is best attacking off the dribble and does the dirty work around the rim creating extra possessions using his strength, powerful leaping ability and quickness to rebound and get steals with instinctive play in passing lanes. Christian gets end to end with the dribble showing very good speed and creativity in space. He attacks the rim fearlessly and has the ability to get to the free throw line at a good rate. Christian had 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, dished out three assists, got a couple steals and blocked three shots showing his defensive versatility and great effort!
Zyrail Mitchell (6’3 2020 Lake Taylor) Zyrail is easily one of the best playmakers in the state! He is quick, changes speeds nicely and has a very good handle allowing him to win isolations regularly. He can hit the pull up jumper with three point range, has a quick release and plays off the threat as a shot maker attacking hard closeouts with rangy quick strides, length and authoritative finishes at the rim. Zyrail finished with 28 points in a tough loss to Varina.