HOLIDAY SLAMFEST RECAP
DECEMBER 15-16, 2018
The Alliance’s Inaugural Junior Varsity Division Holiday Slamfest was a huge success. Six teams throughout the Tri-County area competed over the course of 11 games. When the dust settled Cypress Bay High School (Lightning) stood victorious by going undefeated and earned the title of the Holiday Slamfest Champions! The Lightning team is led by Coach Gabe Pean, a former Broward standout himself and Florida Gulf Coast Point Guard from 2003-2006. Coach Pean does an outstanding job coaching this talented squad from Weston.
to the FHSAA for allowing the Alliance to host our Inaugural Junior Varsity Division. Our second event, the
, is scheduled for December 29-30 in Coral Springs. As of Thursday, December, 20th we have room for 2 more teams! Interested teams can obtain information at
JUNIOR VARSITY CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
CYPRESS BAY LIGHTNING
Cypress Bay Lightning
came out draining 3’s from the start. In the first half alone they hit six 3’s which set the momentum and the Lightning’s quick start made it difficult for The Eagles from Atlantic High School to recover as the game progressed.
Cypress Bay is loaded with talent and showed why they went 4-0 over the weekend! Nicholas Yanckowitz proved to be a prolific scorer from beyond the arc. His 17.0 PPG average included twelve 3’s for the weekend. The Lightning averaged 64 points per game for the tournament with 3 players averaging double digits.
Jaylon Tolbert, another deep threat, is an all-around skilled player. A nice Euro step with the ability to get to the basket in traffic. Defensively, Tolbert’s quickness creates turnovers and allowed him to lead his team in steals. Rebounding comes naturally with his athletic ability. The only statistical category I haven’t mentioned is his ability to get his teammates involved. Yes, he averaged 3 assists per game as well. It’s safe to say that Jaylon Tolbert is the epitome of an all-around player and your iconic stat stuffer.
Nicholas Almonte is a player with great court vision and the ability to make a hard pass look easy. He is a tough-minded player who is not afraid to take a charge. His 12 points, 6 assists and 6 steals proved to be the difference against a tough Miramar team in their semi-final game. Offensively, Almonte can get to the basket off the dribble and finish with contact.
Maxwell Gordon is another double-digit offensive player. Gordon had his game high of 22 in pool play. Coincidently, Gordon’s shooting percentage is rather high by taking high percentage shots. His tournament high of 22 points came while converting on 9 for 11 from the field!
Cypress Bay’s Junior Varsity is loaded with talent. They came in with 15 solid players. If this weekend is any indication of what’s to come, their future is very promising.
Atlantic (Eagles) High School
has a core of players that can flat out play. I had the opportunity to watch all 5 of their games and this team is filled with athletes that can play 94 feet of basketball.
Midjonson Andreveil is an extremely skilled player that can score consistently and control the boards with his exceptional rebounding ability. Andreveil has a nice flow for the game and can score inside and out. Andreveil was the second leading rebounder in the entire division just 1 behind his teammate Aubin.
Kenny Aubin fits the description of an athlete! Very elusive in the open court with exceptional ball handling skills and a slasher that’s hard to defend. Outside shooting, he can do that too. Aubin led the entire JV Division in rebounding grabbing 24 rebounds.
Tyrese Blue led the team in scoring and total points scored for the entire weekend. A true 3-point shooter with range and consistency. Defensively, Blue along with Tyler Burke provide intense defense. With everything that Blue does for the team he still manages to find a way to average 3 assists per game.
Tyler Burke was my personal favorite player of the weekend! A lightning fast point guard that plays with the two most important attributes all coaches ask for, energy & effort! Burke is an accomplished football player playing basketball at a very high level. Burke’s demeanor is calm yet always aware of the situation. Defensively, he can guard 94 feet. This kid doesn’t get tired and plays harder than any player I watched the entire weekend. His attitude is great! He’s a very respectful young man on and off the court who even took the time to shake my hand to say
. I wish him the best of luck in his athletic career!
4TH GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
ELITE BASKETBALL ACADEMY
Alejandro Bird is a very talented player! A definite outside threat from beyond the arc and can get to the basket and finish in the paint. He had a game-high of the weekend with 21 points in pool play. As good as he is offensively his defense is equally on point! He managed to come up with 10 steals throughout the tournament to go along with superior offensive skills. Bird is definitely a player to watch as the year goes by.
Felipe Ariza is another solid all-around player who scores when needed and averaged 8.3 PPG. Ariza showed he is not afraid to battle down low, rebound, and bring defensive heat as needed. In the championship game Ariza came up big with 5 rebounds to help solidify the win!
Alex Morris is a team contributor in all statistical categories. His 13.3 PPG proved he’s capable of averaging double digits in scoring. On the defensive end, Alex’s instincts allow him to record 3-4 steals a game.
Naya Hardisson is the definition of a team player. I watched her consistently reach out to her teammates and give them high-fives throughout the tournament. She’s 100% engaged while on the bench cheering and waiting for the coach to call her name. When the call came, Naya put in the work and handled every situation with a calm demeanor. She was one of the most fundamental 4th graders of the weekend. In the championship game, she scored 6 points. Naya dished out some nice assists as well. Her patience and decision making as the in-bounder is far beyond her age. Her jump shot is what caught my attention!
Elite Basketball Academy
is a competitive team with some outstanding young talent. All-Tournament recipient Lucas Crespo played great all weekend! He’s the glue that keeps the team rolling. All weekend his ball handling ability was tested against intense defensive pressure. Crespo calmly dealt with every situation resulting in positive results. Defensively Crespo was able to create multiple turnovers with his defensive presence.
Rafael Diaz led the entire 4th-grade division averaging 14.7 points for the entire weekend. If that wasn’t enough, Diaz also led the division with his 21 rebounds. Diaz is a multifaceted basketball player. Young Diaz is one of Elite Basketball Academy’s leaders in every statistical category.
Oscar Rey does a little bit of everything. He’s a steady solid player with a feel for the game. Rey had two double-digit games in scoring while consistently rebounding and providing defensive pressure resulting in steals.
5TH GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The fifth grade championship was probably the most intense game of the weekend! The championship game provided big shots from both teams! Thunder controlled the early portion of the game. Team Edition fought their way back and took the lead late in the first half. The second half was a nail biter! Both teams exchanged shot after shot all the way down to the last second. When it was all said and done Thunder Select prevailed as the Holiday Slamfest Champions!
Thunder Select has one of the best coaches I’ve seen in my many years in the business. The way he manages his players is an example for all to emulate. His mannerism with the referees is something I wish I could say I see more often. His favorite phrase is “no problem.” My point is this, the coach made an observation to the official in a cordial manner and the official gave his explanation. Once the dialogue was completed the coach said no problem and moved on. Never once brought it up again, never once allowed his parents or players to make excuses, never once blamed the table, moved on and won the game. Great job coach! You’re the coach I’d want to coach my kids when they were younger.
Thunder Select’s success isn’t because of one dominant player. Their success is derived from a total team effort. Their roster features 5-6 players that can step up and be the MVP. Their variety of scorers creates defenses to commit to their player and react slow on the help side defense.
Jake Ribera led the team in scoring with his 8.3 PPG average. Ribera was able to score from beyond the arc in 3 of his 4 games.
Anthony Blezo is another scoring option for the Thunder. Blezo can flat out score from deep range! He went 4 for 6 from beyond the arc against Team Edition during pool play. His 14 points were his tournament high as well.
Alex Morris, yes you guessed it, is another scoring option from beyond the arc! Morris had his game high of 12 points in pool play.
Patrick Gonzalez is a gamer! He saved his best performance for the last game and his 13 points led the Thunder to their Championship! Despite only hitting one 3 he still found ways to get to the basket and score. His 100% free throw percentage was big. Gonzalez will battle down low and grab key rebounds.
Lucas Diaz had a nice game in pool play scoring 11 points. Diaz will get you some nice steals, assists, and blocks. A player to keep your eye on as we progress through the season.
Team Edition’s Tari Miller is a defensive specialist who had a game-high 8 steals in pool play! Miller is a tough player willing to do the dirty work in the paint. He 100% owns the glass with his aggressive rebounding!
6TH GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
is loaded with talent which reflected in their 5-0 weekend record. Scoring comes from every player on their roster.
Yes, Ben Hall & Ray Estay are two very good players that contribute in many ways, however, Mike Valdes is a scoring machine when he gets hot! He averaged 11.4 PPG and contributed in more ways than just scoring. He scored a game-high 16 points in 2 games. Defensively, he’s a great on the ball defender as well. Thunder Select had a relatively easy weekend but I’m anxious to see them in the future against other teams.
Drake (DJ) Sandi is an all-around exceptional player. He led the entire 6th-grade division in scoring with his 14.5 PPG average. It’s not so much his scoring average that should get one’s attention, it is how he scores. From beyond the arc he’s very comfortable with his shot off the dribble or a pass. What’s most impressive is his dribble drive step back pull-up jumper. I can tell he’s practiced that move countless times because of his natural footwork and quick release. DJ has exceptional court vision as well. Some of his passes I wouldn’t expect from a 5th grader to make, (yes, he’s a 5
grader), however, DJ is very comfortable with the ball in his hands against pressure. DJ always seems to make my re-caps for a reason. This kid can play!
Zacuras Dawson is one of the toughest players I’ve ever seen. He will dive for every loose ball, guard 94 feet and play at a high tempo the entire game. This kid is so mentally strong nothing ever phases him. Very rarely is he the high scorer, however, he’s capable of putting up double digits. His tournament high of 11 points in pool play while connecting on three 3’s. Young Dawson carries the load offensively as the team leader. Great all-around player with outstanding guard skills. As a facilitator, Dawson has the ability to make a difficult pass look easy. Dawson is your ultimate teammate!
Isiah Trelles is a scoring machine! He had games of 20, 16, 17 & 6 points. A natural shooter with deep range. He hit 11 3’s throughout the tournament. Trelles is a catch and shoot player with the ability to get to the basket as needed.
7TH GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
BAD BOYS BASKEBTALL
Bad Boys Basketball
is an exciting team to watch! They have multiple scoring options and play together as a team. Yes, they have 2 players in Casey Etienne and Jordyn Kee that can dominate the game as needed, however, you can’t sleep on Colton Heinrich or Romae Brown. Brown had a 19 point game in pool play! In the Championship Game Kee & Etienne carried the load scoring 33 of the Bad Boys 47 points. Heinrich put up 8 points to balance out the attack. Although Kee can score at will he’s very comfortable being a facilitator as needed. Kee leads the team in assists and is a smart, talented player. Etienne controls the boards and rebounds extremely well in traffic. Overall, a very talented team!
Ramez Zayed has a nice defensive game to go along with his 3 point shooting. Zayed will distribute the ball as well. Nice player to watch as we progress through the season.
Carlos Santana has made the recap for the second time. His game-high of 22 points in pool play against the eventual Champions Bad Boys is all you need to know. He hit five 3’s against arguably the best defensive team in the 7th-grade division. A true point guard with a high basketball I.Q. Carlos is an enjoyable player to watch simply because he understands the game and different situations.
Ramiro Pando-Tristan is a very interesting player! You never know what category he’s going to dominate until the game starts. He can easily lead his team in scoring as he did with 17 points in pool play or in rebounds. Defensively, he’ll surprise you with deflections and steals.
Lucas Hernandez is a steady player that simply just gets the job done! Lucas is a streaky hot shooter from beyond the arc. If that wasn’t enough, you can count on him to do the dirty work in the paint.
Jordan Del-Rio is the defensive player of this team. Del-Rio will turn his opponent over at will. Plays the defensive angles extremely well causing havoc for his opponent. Offensively, Del-Rio can do that too. In the Championship Game, Del-Rio saved his best game for last. He hit four 3’s to keep the game close.
Adrian Olivera is your typical steady player that will contribute in many ways. He may not lead in any category, however, his overall contribution is huge. Olivera is good for 5-12 points and will definitely get his share of rebounds.
In the two games he played, Tavaras “TJ” Capers completely dominated offensively. He averaged 15.5 points and 15 rebounds! Defensively he is good for 2-4 steals and will come up with some big blocks. Exciting player to watch!
8TH GRADE DI CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
WELLINGTON WOLVES BLUE
have a deeply talented group of players that play very well as a team. Offensively, they share the ball and will make the extra pass to ensure the offense creates the best percentage scoring opportunity. They’re a difficult team to defend simply because they have 4-5 players that can carry the load as needed. Defensively they held their opponents to under 40 points for their tournament average.
Gregory Spate, a player that leads by example, led his team in steals, blocks, and assists. I would definitely categorize Spate as an athlete. Offensively, on the perimeter, he can take his defender off the dribble with his quick first step. Once in the lane Spate has mastered a nice Euro step. Along with his many attributes Spate has a nice outside shot with range and consistently hit 3’s the entire weekend. Watching him play I’d call him a team leader as well.
Jessiah Johnson can put up numbers at a high rate. He averaged 19.5 points for the weekend. From a rebounding standpoint, Johnson had some big games controlling the glass and dominating the paint both offensively and defensively. You can count on Johnson to put the work in on defense as he’s good for 2-3 steals a game.
Dreyon Cephas is the most consistent rebounder on the team. He’s not afraid to mix it up with bigger players and will do whatever it takes to extend a possession with a key offensive rebound. I’m not surprised to see that Cephas led the entire D1 8th Grade Division in rebounds. Offensively Cephas is good for 6-14 points a game. I guess it’s safe to say Cephas is your typical all-around player.
, not sure where this team finds all their players, however, I will say this, they have a lot of weapons on their team. In the majority of their games, they had 3-4 players in double digits in scoring. They’re a very tough team to defend when you have so many offensive threats. They can score inside and outside which makes it difficult for teams to defend.
Ryan Kane is the most consistent scorer and averaged 12.3 PPG. His tournament high of 20 points in pool play to go along with his four 3’s was his best offensive performance. He also grabbed 6 rebounds. From what I saw on Saturday, Kane is one of their best perimeter scorers from beyond the arc.
Kareem Khaliq is quite a scorer himself. He had 3 games in double digits in scoring and managed 6 steals in one game. He also connected on a few 3’s during my Saturday morning evaluation.
Jake Lynch does a lot of little things to contribute to his teams' overall success. He had his tournament high of 13 points while making his presence felt on the defensive end. Lynch is one of those players that may not lead you statistically, however, he’s that one guy that will get you that key rebound or key basket in crunch time. He’s a player to keep your eyes on as we progress through the season.
Lorenzo Zachery had a really nice Saturday performance as a major contributor in their 2-0 start. He came up big in a 4 point win in pool play with 10 points, 2 steals and 1 block.
8TH GRADE DII CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
showcase multiple players that really play team basketball! In almost every game they had 8-9 players that contribute to scoring. They run a really nice offense with multiple scoring opportunities. Their patience on offense consistently sets them up with a high percentage shot. Defensively, their help side rotations make their opponent's offense struggle.
Jackson Bear is a true point guard that can light you up from beyond the arc. Bear can handle defensive pressure with ease and is a crafty point guard with a tight handle. After his shooting ability, I’ll take his superior passing as one of his many strengths.
Tanner Wodraska is a tough defensive minded player! Down low he has natural instincts allowing him to block and alter shots in the paint. Wodraska has a nice all-around game. His defense resulted in 6 steals in a pool play game. Solid player!
Ben Cahill is another do everything player on the Jaguars. Consistent 3 point shooter, rebounds and comes up with deflections and steals on a regular basis. Cahill does a nice job finding his teammates with his assists.
Caleb McQuitter might be the best outside shooter on the team. Bear would definitely make a run at the title as well. Regardless, McQuitter, Baer or Cahill I honestly don’t think it matters to them anyways. I’ll give McQuitter the edge on the boards, his presence in the paint is a great attribute to the team.
is led by Joseph Middleton. Middleton led the team in every category minus free throws. Middleton can score at will in the paint, rebound like there’s no tomorrow, block shots just to have fun and dish out a few assists to round out his game. Middleton is your typical stat stuffer.
Craig Perry is another all-around Wolfpack player. He averaged double digits in scoring for the weekend. His game-high was 15 in pool play. A solid performance by Perry all weekend.
HIGH SCHOOL TRAVEL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
SOUTH FLORIDA HEAT ELITE
The Florida Hornets from West Palm Beach have multiple players that will get your attention as complete players. Almost every game they had 3-4 players in double digits. The majority of their points came from Tristin Willis, VeDan Cowan, Chris Karlson & Lionel Dwyer. Any one of those players can easily lead the team in scoring.
In pool play against South Florida Heat Elite, they ran into a player named Krishawn Henry who scored 18 points and made three 3’s. Henry had a game of high of 27 points along with his teammate Jack Anderson. Henry & Anderson aren’t the only players that are capable of putting up numbers on South Floirda Heat Elite. Amir Douglas had a solid game with 11 points. Redio Risell controlled the boards along with his 12 points.