Tahj Tate, SG, Wheeler – His team may have lost, but this was easily one of the best performances of the day. On the defensive end he came up with steals and long rebounds, and on the opposite end he completely wore it out from 15 to 18 feet. With Ari Stewart and Richard Howell strapped down with foul trouble, Tate came to Wheeler's aid and did all he could to help them win. Tate was an efficient 10-for-16 from the field and scored 22 points.
Richard Howell, PF, Wheeler – Until he got in foul trouble, Howell owned the paint. In a highly competitive game, Howell was tough inside and seemed to like a little contact. He also attacked from the wing a handful of times and came away with a few buckets. He scored 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
David Wear, PF, Mater Dei – We've never seen this kind of aggression on the boards out of David Wear. The North Carolina commit played tough, hit the glass and knocked in mid-range jumpers. He also threw down a sweet one-handed slam on a fast break. He and his brother appear to be in better shape than this summer, and bother were very effective from the high post in this match up. David finished 7-for-12 from the field, scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Travis Wear, PF, Mater Dei – While his brother was attacking the glass, Travis was seeking out mid-range jumpers. Early on he struggled to find the bottom of the net, but he came up big when the game was on the line. He drained a three-pointer to stop a Wheeler run with under four minutes to go. Then with Wheeler threatening again, he hit an 18-footer from the corner. He went for 11 points in the win.
Noel Johnson, SG, Fayette County – In the second half against Fort Myers (Fla.) High, Johnson was as efficient as a player can be. The 6-foot-6 wing didn't miss a shot and helped F.C. extend a small half time lead to a double-digit victory. For the game he hit five three-pointers and was 8-for-16 from the field on his way to 26 points.
Leslie McDonald, SF, Briarcrest – As the game went on the North Carolina commit got better. He finished with the first quarter with just two shot attempts and zero points. In the second he picked it up and began attacking the rim and mixed in some spot-up three-pointers. For the game he was 7-of-11 from the field and scored a game leading 23 points.
Johnnie Williams, PF, Briarcrest – It's been fun to watch the transformation of Williams' game. Over the course of the last year, Williams has made improvements to nearly every facet of his game. What sticks out the most is his new found aggressiveness inside. He's active, has built his frame and has good touch around the basket. Against Dunbar he worked the baseline for dunks and finished strong at the rim. He went for 19 points and five boards.
Greg Wooten, PG, Briarcrest – Often times he's the guy that gets lost in the shuffle when talking about Briarcrest. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is a steady lead guard that won't wow you with quickness or athleticism, but rarely makes mistakes and is a vocal presence on the floor. He scored most of his points at the foul line and off floaters. He scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in the win.
Wally Judge, PF, ACD – The future Kansas State star put together a monster performance against Olympia, but it wasn't enough to get the win. The 6-foot-9 big man ran the floor looking to score, rebounded in and out of his area and was all over the rim for four quarters. His jumper goes to 18-feet and he's becoming reliable from that distance. For the game he was 9-for-12, including 14-of-16 free throws. He finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds.
Kenny Boynton, SG, American Heritage – Early on Boynton struggled from long range, but as the game wore on and it got down to crunch time he stepped up and made big plays. That's what big time players do and that's how they build reputations as strong as Boynton. The three he hit with under 30 seconds to go sealed the win over Duncanville. He scored 30 points off of 11-for-26 shooting.
Ray Taylor, PG, American Heritage – The little guy headed to Florida Atlantic had it working on Monday. Tough to contain off the dribble, Taylor drove and dished, but also caught fire from long range as he nailed four three-pointers. He finished with 22 points and eight assists.
Shawn Williams, SF, Duncanville – This was the best we've seen Williams play in a long time. Down the stretch he was the guy that got them back in the game and was dialed in from long range. But where he was most impressive was on the glass. He pulled down 14 rebounds and a number of them led to put back opportunities. He used both hands around the rim and finished well inside. He finished with 28 points on 8-for-19 shooting.
Maalik Wayns, PG, Roman Catholic – John Wall is the fastest guard in the country and pushes it as well as anyone, but Wayns has to be second. This kid is fast and pushes the tempo every change he gets. He's relied upon to score for this team, and he's certainly an efficient shooter from long range. The future Wildcat is terrific ball handler and finishes well at the rim with either hand.
Lance Stephenson, SF, Lincoln – It wasn't a flashy performance by any means, but Stephenson got it done on the offensive end. At this stage he's more physical than most at his age and he can over power defenders to the rim. He scored 26 points, with majority of them coming off posting up small guards.
Gary Franklin, PG, Mater Dei – Steady and efficient. Those are the best two words to describe Franklin's effort against Wheeler. He shot it well from deep, made the right passes and didn't turn it over. Franklin was 5-for-10 from the field and scored 15 points.
Tyler Lamb, SG, Mater Dei – One of five players in double figures, Lamb led the way for M.D. with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Lamb got most, if not all, of his buckets in the paint and has a good-looking floater in the lane. On the flip side, he'll need to straighten out his shot selection, as he was just 6-for-15 from the field.
Anthony Mayo PF, Roman Catholic – Before fouling out with under two minutes to go, Mayo blocked a bunch of shots and was extremely active inside. He still needs to develop his skill set on the block, but we were impressed with how active he was attacking the glass. He finished with six rebounds and a handful of blocks.
Jordin Mayes, SG, Westchester – For the Comets, Mayes spends all of his time playing off the ball, and based off what we've seen he's more of a two-guard. He does, however, shoot it very well. He lit up W.O.G. from deep and mid-range. He went 7-for-11 from the field on his way to 26 points.
C.J. Leslie, SF/PF, Word of God – Watching Leslie over the past few years, we've often left the game wanting more from him. On Monday, that wasn't the case. The 6-foot-9, 190-pound combo forward used his size and athleticism to corral rebounds and scored of hooks, mid-range jumpers and offensive rebounds. For the game he was 7-for-12 and scored 17 points.
Bishop Daniels, PG/SG, Word of God – With all of the talent on W.O.G., Daniels doesn't get a ton of shots, but he's full of potential and down the road will be a heck of a player. He showed off his mid-range jumper on Monday, going 9-for-12 from the field and lead W.O.G. in scoring with 19 points. He's also got high level hops and a pretty solid handle.
Greg Wooten said the past three weeks have been big for his recruitment. He's picked up an offer from Morehead State and has interest from San Diego, Samford, UAB, East Carolina and UNC-Greensboro. SMU was in the house to see him today.
Malcolm Brodgen, a sophomore at Fayette County, went for 14 points and 10 rebounds in a win over For Myers. He has the look of a future Division-I guard. Darius Perkins continued his assault on the City of Palms. He scored 18 points in a loss to Briarcrest. His jumper is pure to 22-feet.
Future Western Kentucky forward William Green is a nice athlete with a good-looking mid-range jumper. His teammate Dexter Fields can really shoot it. He went for 27 points in Olympia's win and hit four threes in the victory.
Jamison Sterns had the dunk of the day. The 6-foot guard attacked from the wing, rose up and tossed down a one handed slam. Koron Reed was grabbing rebounds and blocking shots for Roman Catholic. He finished with five points, six rebounds and five blocks.
Dwayne Polee's game against Word of God was the best we've seen him play. He hit three mid-range jumpers and had a big time baseline drive. Austin Rivers struggled from the field today, but still went for 18 points.
Roy Williams was the only college head coach we spotted in the building. Doc Rivers, of the Boston Celtics, was the second head coach we saw. Duke, SMU and Columbia all had assistant coaches in attendance.
Big surprise…John Wall took home the slam dunk contest. He and Wally Judge were in the final. Wall won it with a between the legs slam.
The atmosphere in the gym for the Mater Dei/Wheeler game was among the best we've seen for a high school game. There wasn't an empty seat in the house and guys on both teams were making plays. Big time game!
Mater Die and St. Patrick will meet in the championship tomorrow. The championship game tips at 5:00.
This concludes our coverage from the City of Palms