South Kent Shuts Down High Profiled Prospect by CTHoopsNews

By: Robbie Goodrich

Word of God Christian Academy (NC) 80, South Kent 87

The of Work of God Christian Academy rolled into its star’s, Rawle Alkins, stomping grounds of New York City and wanted to take the Big Apple Classic as a home game. South Kent had other plans, defeating the Holy Rams 87-80.

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Alkins, a 6’5 guard with a pro body, has schools such as Kentucky, Louisville, St. Johns and a host of elite D-1 schools chasing him. Him and his teammates received a rude home coming from the more than ready South Kent Cardinals.

Alkins was hampered by early foul trouble and only logged 26 minutes, scoring 11 points.  

South Kent was the aggressor all night. Tremont Waters led the Cardinals with big help from Seton Hall bound Myles Powell.

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Powell, a 6’2 shoot guard, lit up the Holy Rams from deep all night. He finished 5-for-11 from behind the arc, having an overall stat line of 26 points, four rebounds and three assists.

“Coach had a great game plan and we followed it,” mentioned Powell and when asked about Alkins ineffectiveness. “Knowing that Rawle is a drive first player, we decided to put Eli (Hughes) on him. He is one of our best defenders.”

Tremont Waters, an elite 5’9 PG in the 2017 class, pressured the Holy Rams defense all night. Waters was effective from three going 4-for-7 and finished with 18 points, while dishing out seven dimes.

The first half was simply a three parade for South Kent. The Cardinals hit 8-of-15 from and raced out to 45-38 first half lead. At times their lead was pushed into double digits, but the Holy Rams gave chase putting together some scoring streaks with help from senior guard Mikeil Watkins and junior guard Blake Harris. 

Watkins hit 5-for-11 form behind the arc and finished with 23 points, and grabbed rebounds. 

Blake Harris went 9-for-9 from the charity stripe and finished with 23 points himself.

The highlight of the first half was a monster jam from South Kent’s senior Matthew Moyer.  Moyer will be attending Syracuse next year and this jam was next level stuff that exemplifies why he earned a spot on the Orangemen roster. Moyer finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Check out the pictures in our gallery of the thundering slam.

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The second half was more of cat and mouse. The teams played even, but without a steady third option the Holy Rams couldn’t catch the Cardinals from South Kent.

Blake Harris for the Holy Rams received the Big Apple Sportsmanship Award for the game and South Kent’s Myles Powell was the game MVP.  

Poised Canterbury Saints Execute in Overtime by CTHoopsNews

By: Nathan Rubinstein (@Nate_Rubinstein)


Wilbraham & Monson 105, Canterbury 110 (OT)

The Canterbury Saints may have been 2-5 going into their matchup against the NEPSAC class AA powerhouse Wilbraham & Monson Titans, but that record did not describe the play Coach Rado’s Saints exemplified Saturday afternoon.

Rado mentioned how the team had a strong week of practice in preparation for the game. Division 1 prospect Shawn Montague returned to the lineup after missing the first seven games of the season. Both of these factors allowed Canterbury to come out with the energy and excitement that was necessary for success against the Titans.

The fans at Piggott Arena on Canterbury’s campus were in for a thriller, witnessing a back and forth contest that was packaged with highflying dunks, and clutch shots that would ultimately decided the outcome.

Down the stretch, the Titans began to figure out their offense and took an eight point lead. As soon as they thought they were in the clear, Canterbury regained the momentum and made a run in the final two minutes.

“We needed to stop settling for three pointers down the stretch,” said Coach Rado after the game. “When we came down the court and made one pass and a shot, or no passes and a shot, we were unsuccessful. When we ran our offense and took better shots we had better results.”

The Saints pushed the game into overtime off of a DeAnte Bruton three pointer, made possible by a steal on the defensive end by Zach Jacobs. In the overtime period Canterbury was able to capitalize and put an impressive win on their resume for the 2015-2016 campaign; capping a 110-105 victory.

The Saints were able to create offense out of defense with their high-pressure guard play, and the ability to stop Kentucky Wildcat commit Wenyen Gabriel. Canterbury was able to hold the 6’10 forward to 14 points. 

Brenden Vessicchio was the leading scorer for the Titans bringing in 24 points, with 12 of those points coming from three-point land. He is ranked number 20 in the state of Massachusetts for the senior class per New England Recruiting Report.

The Saints offense was propelled by their other division 1 talent DeAnte Bruton, who knocked in 41 points, proving that he is a high quality prospect in New England. Bruton has been the nucleus of Canterbury’s scoring this year having a plethora of games scoring over 30. The 6’0 senior guard knows how to score all different ways, and is able to lock down any guard in the NEPSAC.

Bruton’s partner in crime, Shawn Montague, had a strong opening game for his senior season putting in 22 points. Montague was able to expose his leaping ability with highlight dunks, including a euro step jam while drawing the foul to earn a trip to the charity strip.

Athletic is an understatement when describing the 6’5 Montague. He is a strong wingman who has already received a multitude of offers, with serious interest from high conferences such as the Atlantic-10. Now that he is officially back, look out for Montague to make even more noise in the New England prep circuit.

Along with Bruton and Montague, the Saints have a couple of talented juniors in their arsenal as well. Combo guard Keith Rado, Jr. has a high basketball IQ, making superb decisions and creating scoring opportunities for his teammates in a crafty way. Rado chipped in 10 points in the victory over Wilbraham and Monson.

Mike Sulik is another junior guard has potential to be a hidden gem for this Canterbury roster. Standing at 6’6, Sulik has the length that college coaches dream to have in their back court. He was able to net 15 in the contest. Look for Sulik to make a name for himself in the next two years.

The Saints continue their journey to defend their NEPSAC Class B title on Wednesday as they host Trinity-Pawling.



GFA Holds Off Hopkins In Final Seconds by CTHoopsNews

By: Brent Pelella & Nick Daniels

Hopkins School 62, GFA 63

Dom Cristiano, Sunday Okeke, Elvin Rodriguez, Edens Fleurizard. You don’t know these names yet? Get to know, Connecticut. Get. To. Know.

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As CTHoopsNews sat on hand for its first NEPSAC game of the year, Hopkins School and Green Farms Academy tangoed. In the first stanza, it was Hopkins who came out with the “peskiness” as Coach Doug Scott (GFA) described. 

“You know that Edens Fleurizard? He’s the real deal man.” Edens was on Thursday night, that’s for sure. Besides pouring in a game-high 21, he headed a vicious monster that was Hopkins half-court press.

Edens had early help in the form of sharp-shooting Charlie Zane. He connected on three triples within a two minute span and added one soon after, while Hopkins jumped out to a comfortable lead. 

A crucial moment occurred towards the end of the first half when Sunday Okeke picked up back to back fouls that sent him to the bench, and allowed Fleunzard to dominate the glass. 

Dom Cristiano, Green Farms Academy’s leader, said, “We were ready for the challenge, but they did a great job. In the second half, we were able to get some stops, and that helped us get in transition.”

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In order to make those stops, GFA turned to Isac Manton and a change in mentality. With a daunting full-court press and Manton blanketing Zane, they found a once 15-point deficit shrink to eight. 

It was then that an aura of “invincibility” came over 2017 guard, Elvin Rodriguez. A series of breakouts, only interrupted by a couple long balls, gave Elvin 16 of his 20 game-points. He told me, “All I wanted to do was play as hungry as I could to satisfy my family, coach, fans, and the team.”

GFA came within two at the five-minute mark and that’s where it would stay until an injury forced future Hobart Statesmen, Edens Fleurizard to the bench with under 30 seconds to play. GFA inbounded and gave it to Rodriguez, or “Mr. Unstoppable” (as I think I heard parents and children muttering alike).  He darted into the lane and as he has so many times before, he found the cup. 

On the ensuing possession, it was Rodriguez again! With the game tied at 56, he came up with a steal and put up a high arching heave from half court that had the crowd gasping as the ball just fell off the left side of the rim at the buzzer.

Overtime was sloppy to say the least, but Charlie Zane dropped a deep one that put Hopkins up 1. The slim lead would stick until Rocco DeMaio said one thing too many to the lead official, resulting in two free throws for Cristiano. GFA wouldn't relinquish it and with 5.9 seconds left Hopkins was faced with its final possession. 

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The Hopkins inbound went to Zane, who was covered by Okeke on a switch.  A pump fake by Zane got him past Sunday and into the lane, but his runner hit a little too high off the glass, and GFA held on for a 63-62 victory.

Recruiting Tid Bits:

Dom Cristiano- Aside from being a terrific player, Dom is also a high-honors student in the classroom. He is being recruited by a TON of high academic schools and will likely make his decision after the season.

Edens Fleurizard- Hobart is lucky.

Elvin Rodriguez- A very talented guard with division 1 talent. Class of 2017. Continuing to become more physical and crafty at the rim.

Sunday Okeke- Unfortunately Okeke was in foul trouble and wasn’t able to play as much as people would have liked in his season opener, but look for big things to come from him as he continues to get healthier. Top five talent in the state.

Isaac Menton- Menton is a defensive stopper and a playmaker in transition who is committed to Harwick College; choosing from six offers.