WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It will be Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) and Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) for the WCAC title. PVI came from behind to defeat DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), 59-55, in an absolute war. The Stags led almost all the way, but PVI forced a few late turnovers and came out on top.
I have to be honest -- I assume Gonzaga beat St. John's (Washington, D.C.). I left after three quarters with the Eagles up by 35. It was 59-24 in a game most felt would be much closer as the two teams split during the regular season. Gonzaga just absolutely overwhelmed SJC, leading 27-5 after the first quarter, and 43-10 at the break.
Anyone attending the championship is going to see some tremendous guard play.
A few observations:
Brandon Slater: the smooth wing played very well, recording 15 points (including two treys), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and only 1 turnover. He's not a big, physical wing, but can shoot, is putting it on the floor well, and is an above-average athlete. Slater needs to add a lot of strength.
Jeremy Roach: This 6-foot freshman guard came up big in the 2nd half for the Panthers. He'll be a 5-star recruit, and if you're Maryland, you start recruiting him now.
Anthony Harris: This 2G for PVI is going to be a good one. He's a slasher extraordinaire.
Two kids that did not play for DeMatha who will be on Maryland's radar are 6-3 guard Justin Moore, a sophomore who is out with an ACL injury, and 7-0 freshman Hunter Dickinson, who is in concussion protocol.
Prentiss Hubb: The prime Terp target was more aggressive and offensively with 16 points, including 2 long range bombs, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Hubb showed a little burst, some shake and some lift. He was impressive, albeit in a blow out game .
-- Casey Morsell, a 6-3 sophomore guard for SJC, is a nice player, and will be someone to watch.
-- Terp walk on, SJC guard Reese Mona plays hard. He made some plays off the dribble, and dove on the floor a few times, even in a one sided game. He'll be a solid practice player for the Terps.
-- In the crowd, Terps head coach Mark Turgeon and assistants Dustin Clark and Cliff Warren were out in full force. Georgetown assistant Calvin Broadus was there, along with a couple of Villanova assistants, who are pursuing Slater and Hubb hard.
-- Looking back, D.J. Harvey doesn't seem like much of a miss. He's good, he's smooth, but only scored 10 points, and just didn't take over the game as one might expect. He'll be a nice player for Notre Dame, but his stock seems to have dipped a bit this year.
-- Clearly, Hubb and Slater are prime Maryland targets, and both showed well. Neither are college ready of course, physique wise, but they do have very good skill sets. I don't see either as "elite" prospects, but still, they're legit high major recruits.
-- Lastly, DeMatha's best player was Justin Geilen, a 5-10 junior guard whose Dad played for the Stags years ago. He handled the ball well, played hard, and probably had in the neighborhood of 15-17 points.