Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout

The Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout has emerged as one of the premiere early season Scholastic Basketball events on the eastern seaboard. John Mosco and Archbishop Wood have established this event in honor of his lovely dearly departed wife to provide scholarships to young girls attending Wood and provide much needed financial support for cancer research.

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Diane Mosco Foundation Scholarship Recipient

The Black Cager was able to catch the last three games of the day.

 

Methacton vs Roman Catholic

Methacton jumped out to a 12-2 early lead over the Cahillites. Relying on discipline and patience, Methacton ran their sets with precision until there was a breakdown in the Roman defense resulting in a back door layup or an open 3 point attempt. This strategy has served Methacton very well. Indeed, last year they deployed it with great effectiveness in Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout to upset Neumann-Goretti. While they game Roman all they could handle, the ending would be different this year.

Colgate commit Jeff Woodward (11 points) was able to compete on the low block early in the game. A cerebral, below the rim, old school, low post, back to the basket center, Woodward helped Methacton limit the effectiveness of the incredibly athletic and explosive sophomore Jalen Duren. They used a tried and true proven strategy… They put an ass on him whenever a shot went up… Without fail!

But then Woodward picked up his 2nd foul in the second quarter and was relegated to the bench for the remainder of the first half. Without Woodward’s sturdy 260 pound 6’10” standing between him and the basket, Duren immediately looked like an energetic 9 year old at the playground discovering the monkey bars for the first time.

His dunks are worth more than 2 points. They are true statements… They have a distinct, there’s nothing you can do about this shit element to them… The collapseable rims just give way, the ball comes straight down through the basket and bounces off the floor with tremendous impact not seen in typical high school contests.

By half time, Roman had taken advantage of Woodward prolonged absences and trimmed the lead to a mere 1 point. Playing without their leader, Lynn Greer, III, for a second straight contest, Roman turned to senior Nasir Lett and sophomore Justice Williams for floor leadership. Williams hit some tough mid range jump shots off the dribble on his way to 14 points and Lett made 3 huge 3 pointer to keep Roman within striking distance. Perhaps, the most unexpected offensive contribution came from freshman Xzayvier Brown who finished some tough contested layups in transition and made some HUGE free throws down the stretch.

Whenever Methacton stayed with their sets and moved the ball for at least 20-30 seconds, they got layups or wide open 3 point looks. The Roman Catholic defense would eventually break down. However, in the second half, Methacton was far less patient, they repeatedly took tough contested shots early in the possession.

Roman escaped with a tough, hard-earned 59-62 victory over Woodward, Erik Timko (17 points) and Methacton. Roman moves on to the City of Palms, one of the finest scholastic tournaments in the nation. They will certainly need the services of Lynn Greer III during the course of that event.

Methacton will be very tough out this year in the PIAA playoffs. They have emerged as one of the best high school programs in the region. Timko is fine guard who may catch the attention of some D1 college programs, he would definitely be a welcome addition to any PSAC roster. I am a fan Methacton basketball.

 

Malvern Prep vs Neumann-Goretti

Malvern Prep, for the past 4 years, has been led by their senior Bucknell commit Deuce Turner. Turner is an extremely confident offensive player with variety of tools in his arsenal. Early in his high school career, Turner was primarily a jump shooter with range. These days he is capable of finishing at the rim in transition. He has become adept at creating space using step backs, cross overs and in and out moves. In short, he a threat to score at all times from just about anywhere on the floor.

Neumann-Goretti is on a mission this year. Last year, Malvern Prep defeated Neumann-Goretti 70-69. Carl Arrigale and the Saints were determined to avenge that loss. Everyone in the gym knew that the key to a Saints victory would be keeping the lid on Deuce Turner. Senior forward, Jordan Hall (St. Joseph’s commit) started the game on Turner. Standing along the baseline, one could hear the 6’8” Hall letting Turner know it was going to be a long evening.

After a few minutes, junior Hysier Miller entered the game and assumed responsibility for shadowing Turner. After playing two seasons for Sean Colson at Martin L. King, Jr High School,  Miller is clearly enjoying the limelight that comes with the Catholic League stage. The Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout was sold out and the gym was overflowing with fans, photographers, videographers, scouts and college coaches.

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The Sold Out Crowd at Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout

Upon entering the game, Miller immediately introduced himself to Turner and the spectators. A chiseled 6’2” 185 lb. combo guard, he does a little bit of everything for the Saints. His primary job appears to be to put the clamps on the best opposing guard. Last week, he made life difficult for Jalen Worley as Neumann-Goretti took down nationally ranked Westtown in a wire-to-wire spanking.

Last night, Miller was determined to do his very best to keep Turner from getting comfortable. He was on his ass everywhere he went. He challenged every shot, made him work to get the ball and never let him get comfortable. On the offensive end, Miller asserted himself and displayed the skills that made him one of the top scoring guards in the Public League for the past two seasons.

His handle is very strong, especially when he uses it to create space to score. He lulls defenders to sleep and then explodes into crossovers and/or change of pace hesitation moves. He’s able to attack the rim and recover very quickly if he misses. He rebounded several of his own errant shots and finish through fouls.

He plays a cerebral game, rarely forcing the action and utilizing the formidable skill sets of his teammates. When playing the point guard position, Miller probes and penetrates the defenses and finds Hakim Byrd of Chris Evans for open looks.

I watched the game with Rider Assistants, Dino Presley and Geoffrey Arnold, it became apparent that they were enthralled with Miller’s performance. In the first half, they made the decision to offer Miller a basketball scholarship immediately after the game.

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Hysier Miller immediately after Rider offered a Basketball Scholarship

Miller finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and a Division 1 basketball scholarship offer from the Rider Broncs. Not bad for a kid that enthusiastically accepts his role within the Neumann-Goretti program. He’s not the man… He’s not the leading scorer… He doesn’t start. His job is to do whatever it takes to win basketball games. This year, in most cases that will be to defend the best opposing guard, rebound and facilitate for Hall, Byrd, Evans and Bowling Green commit Cam Young.

Division 1 coaches appreciate and respect his willingness to attack those tasks with ferocity. Even though Miller doesn’t start for Neumann-Goretti, he never complains. Miller doesn’t bitch and moan. Miller does everything he can to help the Saints win basketball games. For that… He was rewarded with a offer to play Division 1 basketball.

There’s a lesson to be learned here…

 

Paul VI (Virginia) vs Archbishop Wood

Mighty Paul VI made the 3 hour trek to Warminster to face Archbishop Wood in the grand finale of the the Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout. That came with a HEAVY rep… Ranked 4th in the nation and featuring 5-star Duke commit, point guard Jeremy Roach (30 points) and 4-star wing Trevor Keels (30 points) holding offers from Virginia, Villanova and Duke. By any reasonable measure, Paul VI one of the most formidable high school teams in the nation.

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Paul VI (Virginia) Boys Basketball Team

However, Wood’s Rahsool Diggins, time after time in big game after big game shows up and shows out… In front of a FULLY PACKED house with Jay Wright (Villanova), Bruiser Flint (Indiana), Geoff Arnold (Rider), Dino Presley (Rider) and Graham Bousley (George Washington) on the baseline and Billy Lange (St. Joseph’s) seated midcourt Diggins came to play.

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Amauro Austin (Philly Pride), Geoff Arnold (Rider), Bruiser Flint (Indiana), Jay Wright (Villanova) and Michael Starling (Raw Sports, holding camera)

Yeah… Yeah… He displayed his usual leadership, calm demeanor, tight handle, NBA 3 point range, elite court vision and all that other traditional point guard shit we all know he has in his bag…

But last night, against the some of the nation’s best, Lil’ Sool displayed some elite athleticism! He came out of scrums with tough rebounds. He was pinning shots against the backboards. He had at least three blocked shots.

It’s as if he can hear the detractors… “I’m not sure if he’s athletic enough to play in the Big 10, ACC or SEC?”

Well… If Roach and Keels can play at Duke… Lil’ Sool can play at UNC, Kentucky, Arizona and Kansas… Plainly stated, there is no space between Diggins and those kids being recruited by Duke… Diggins is as good as or BETTER…

Locally, the matter seems to be pretty much settled… Diggins will have a strong two year reign as the BEST Philly point guard…

When superman was no longer able play after picking up his fifth foul, he literally handed his cape to his running mate Jaylen Stinson. If you looked closely, you could see Stinson undergo a transformation. His focus and drive intensified. He knew the burden was his carry. He knew this was his moment.

His play screamed… “I got this shit!”

He put the Viking program on his back and carried them as far as his 6’0’ 175 point frame would allow. Paul VI attempted to face guard him and prevent him from getting the ball. Stinson would not be denied. He would run and run using v-cuts until he was able to get the rock. Standing near half court he would rock back and forth surveying the defense… The ball going back and forth between his legs until he he decided upon a course of action…

It’s as if the on-ball first defender is not even there… Stinson blows by that guys at will… Where he is separating himself from the pack is his ability to deal with the help defenders…

Before they are able to close out Stinson will stop and rise up in one motion and knock down a pull-up jump shot from 10-15 feet with ease… If they are not closing out he will continue to about 6-8 feet and unleash a feathery soft floater that tingles the nets or go all the way to the rack.

His teammates recognized that if they were going to win this game, they were gonna have to ride on Stinson’s back. Diggins and Stinson continued to communicate with their own unique language of looks, nods and hand signals… Although he was no longer on the floor Diggins remained fully engaged… A true teammate and leader indeed.

The only thing that could slow Stinson down by this point was Stinson… And, that’s what happened. His body betrayed him. His calf cramped up and he collapsed in severe pain and midcourt… Uh-Ooooh…

After a few minutes of stretching and massive Gatorade intake Stinson was able to return to the floor, but his quickness and bursts of speed were no longer the same and he eventually joined Diggins on the sideline after fouling out as well.

Stinson passed the cape to Daeshon Shepard

Shepard had been struggling the first few games. His shots were not falling, he was committing an excessive amount of turnovers and he look indecisive and confused much of the time. But Wood needed him to step up and he delivered.

The über athletic Shepard unleashed an attack on the rim that was beyond impressive. With a 40+ inch vertical leap, he is able to almost look down in the basket when fully exerting himself. He utilized his athleticism almost every possession for the final 4-5 overtime periods. He put relentless pressure on the Paul VI defense. He made a HUGE three at the buzzer to take the game to a fourth overtime period.

Paul VI won the war of attrition. Finally, at the end of the 7th overtime they had more points on the board than Wood.

A GREAT game indeed… Rahsool Diggins is a BAD MUTHAFUCKA… Jaylen Stinson is a mid-major point guard for sure and piqued the interest of Coach Lange at St. Joseph’s… Shepard is definitely one of the most athletic and explosive players we have seen in recent years…

We are barely into to what will surely be a GREAT high school season.

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