The Great Atlantic Conference: Session I
Peak Skills Academy – East Berlin, New Jersey was the center of the ultra-competitive world of big-time high school/prep basketball yesterday afternoon. The occasion was the first of four featured triple-headers this season by the Great Atlantic Conference (GAC). The event stockpiles the talent of the league members, Mt. Zion Academy (MD), Olympus Academy (NJ), Patrick School (NJ), Perkiomen School (PA) Scotland Campus (PA), and West Nottingham Academy (MD) under one roof for college basketball coaches to evaluate in hopes of finding their next all conference player. Unlike your typical high school setting, there is a focus and business-like atmosphere that comes with big-time prep basketball… and the Great Atlantic Conference maximized this focus and has shown it is all business when it comes to securing exposure for their student-athletes. If you could not make it to Jersey yesterday, we have a breakdown of the action for you. However, lock these dates and locations in your calendar for the next three GAC triple-headers: December 11 @Mt. Zion, January 15 @Scotland Campus, January 25 @Perkiomen School
In the opener, The Patrick School (NJ) defeated Mt. Zion Academy (MD) 64-62. This was the closest game of the day and very evenly matched. The size of Mt. Zion was not enough to edge out the strong guard play of The Patrick school in the closing minutes. Mt. Zion was led by 6-8 Syracuse -bound Woody Newton with 13 points and the sensational night on the glass by unsigned 2020 David N’Guessen, who had a double-double pulling down 15 boards. Other players to watch were 6-10 Center Jo Smith and an explosive wing in Otis Frazier. For the victors, wings Terrence Jones (6-3), scored in side out and Matteo Strikker (6-5, 2021) with the long ball, combined for 27 points and 12 rebounds. While Bendji Pierre (2020) and Babacar Diallo (2021) battled inside all night scoring in double figures. Pierre was a work-horse inside using his width to gain position and keep the rebounding margin respectable.
Scotland put on a dominant performance from start to finish in game two. If anyone wanted to argue, they are the best team in the State of Pennsylvania people would have to listen… and listen hard. They have put together a nice early season resume. West Nottingham led by Sophomore Yan Ferell’s 20 point effort is their latest victim. Scotland just had too many weapons for a West Nottingham group looking to restore the program to their early 2000’s heyday. Scotland’s ability to create turnovers and nail the long ball were the difference in this one early. Jayson Woodrich (12 points) knocked down his first 3 triples to push the lead out to 27-9 minutes in. Norance “Trese” Berry got the job done on the defensive end, leading the team with 3 steals and 6 of his 11 points in the lopsided 55-32 first half. Scotland had a very balanced scoring attack and played 15+ players in the 102-65 victory. 6-10 Obou Ousmane tossed in 6 of his 13 points and 6 rebounds in the first half for the Knights. He also demonstrated a real soft touch on his mid-range shot 15 feet and in, in the early stages of the game. Scotland was led in scoring by 6-3 Dee Marriweather who knocked down 4 threes in the second half. Other players to note for West Nottingham were 6-4 Caudy Desmornes 10 points (high academic kid, 1300+ SAT). He also had 18 the week before when I seen them verse Covenant Prep. 2021 Glen Osemeha shot the ball well from deep again, efficient and 6-6 Tomiwa Sulaiman competed on the glass just short of a double-double.
The host of the event, Olympus Prep trailed by seven points at halftime and eventually lost 70-59 to the SUPER 25’s #11 ranked, Perkiomen School. York, PA’s Clovis Gallon, Jr. was one of three Olympus players in double figures. He knocked down 2 three’s on his way to 11 points.
6-4 Tyree Barbara-Bey was instrumental in keeping his team withing striking distance. The former NJ Panther (1st SCENE) Barbara-Bey did a little of everything out there, ending with 16 points and teammate Jahmir Tyrell closed out with his own 15, many of them at the rim.
In true winners fashion and without a shadow of a doubt, Perkiomen’s 2021 Honor Huff continues to impress this season. The former Allentown Dieruff standout has been lights out each time we have seen him. The little guard came up big again yesterday with 5 triples, 4 in the first half on over .500 percent shooting from deep and 3 steals on his way to a 23 point outing. Teammate 6-6 Josh Odunowo added a double-double. Other Perk players to note include Steve Payne. The 6-1 guard does multiple things well to help his team win, adding 8 rebounds and several assists to his 13 point effort… and last but not least 6-4 Gil Otto scored his 13 from all three levels and continues to clamp down at the defensive end.