OTR Christmas Crossover Recap

2021 Christmas Crossover Recap

 

As the kids finished up their finals and began their Christmas break from schools, we thought the best way we could celebrate was to kick off the holidays with some hoops. Fallbrook Church was the place to be for as much basketball as you could stand. Fallbrook definitely had us in Christmas spirit because it was ice cold in the gym… but no worries the games were fire.

 

DAY 1

Spring Creek 54 | PSAT 45

Getting us started was definitely some physicality. Spring Creek is a team who everytime we see them they always play hard-nosed, and TOUGH. You can tell they’re in the weight room from the builds of their players 1-12. They play extremely hard and inspired, run their actions, rebound and play physical. The epitome of solid. ’22 PG Joey Ramirez continues his strong play this season. Strong frame and is always efficient with his numbers. He ended with 19pts on 8-14 FG. 6’7 F/C Belal Elshakery has been a huge presence on the inside. He uses mobility and size to hold position on rebounding and has athleticism and protects the rim. Sets good screens and knows where to be on the floor to make himself available for dump offs from his teammates. He had 14pts on 6-12 FG. PSAT was a little short-handed as they had some players under the weather. They just couldn’t seem to get it going as no players finished in double digits. The tale of this game was the rebounding battle as PSAT was outrebounded, 33 to 17.

Grace Christian 47 | Concordia Lutheran 54

We were able to get the first look at Trey Miller back from shoulder injury- and he was back to his usual ways. Impacting the game in lots of ways. Concordia was in their midseason form as we saw a heavy dosage of the 1-3-1, and it proved to be very effective. Grace Christian was forced to play very methodical and had to work hard to dissect the defense and find scoring opportunities. They weren’t able to get into their usual actions that help get Daniel Sanchez and Xavier Owens going. Sanchez was able to find success in the zone because he played the pockets and open gaps well making himself a target in the midrange as well as dump down areas. He had a lot of catch face scores, and finishes around the paint. Daniel is going steady this season and is always productive with his time on the floor. He finished with 17pts and 13rebs. Concordia is all about pace and space. Move the ball quickly, cut fast, and make quick decisions. Getting defensive stops and then transitioning to offense kept for a fast tempo for them. Trey Miller has his imprint all over offensively. His athleticism and leadership paced him in this one. 12pts 8ast (1 TO!) 6rebs is real impact! ’23 F Jesse Fuller followed along with his ability to streak the floor and be a big target that attacks the rim nonstop. He added 11pts 6rebs. ’23 Jacob Hudson finished with 10pts as well. Concordia as a team had 18ast and 10TOs. Usually you see high school teams have negative A:TO ratios because of their carelessness. This goes to show what Concordia values in their offense. They also had 12stls in the contest and held GCA to 37.5% shooting from the field. 1-3-1 was difficult to combat.

Big Tyme Sports Prep 44 | Spring Creek Academy 57

Game 2 of the day for Spring Creek. Big matchup for Big Tyme. These two teams have competed hard all season long so we expected a very good battle between them. However, this game just seemed to be the Joey Ramirez show. Spring Creek lead the entire game. Ramirez just had everything clicking with a SUPER efficient game yet again. 26pts on 9-10 FG (4-5 3FG). Big Tyme just had no answer. Ramirez always found a way to get to the paint. He would navigate the pick and roll often times burning the edge; or even getting downhill in transition. What was most impressive was his body control and ability to maintain balance as he finished time and time again. 2 feet finishes were very much on display for him once he got there. Big Tyme couldn’t find the right adjustments to counter and get them into the game. Solid effort from Jerrell Love and Jaiden Lee both shooting efficiently going for 12pts (6-7 FG) and 10pts (4-8 FG) 6rebs respectively. The end of the first half Big Tyme struggled to find baskets shooting 27% in the 2nd. Then the start of the second half Big Tyme was only able to score 8pts. Those 2 parts of the game hindered them from really making a turn. Spring Creek shot 71% from the field, and 67% from 3pt land. Ramirez and the Spartans just had things dropping their way in this one.

Southern California Academy 61 | Shaun Dumas Academy 51

The night cap is what we were most looking forward too. The return of Amaree Abram had the crowd buzzing as many took that trip from the 409 to come see their very own. Shaun Dumas Academy is one of the more fiery and scrappy teams you will run up against. That’s exactly what we got in the first half. A dog fight filled with energy. A balanced attack from So Cal in the first. 6’9 Michigan State commit Jaxon Kohler showed every bit of why he’s so good. Beautiful shot from deep, and has an array of elite footwork with his post moves. We saw a lot of Dirk fades that had nice touch. I was most impressed with how hard he played and how he continued to run the floor no matter what. Gets elite offensive rebounding positioning on every possession. However, a slow start for Amaree Abram gave SDA some life. A nice run in the 2nd quarter, filled with steals and points off turnovers, capped by a dunk at the buzzer had SDA really pumped and in the swing of things. 3rd quarter Amaree Abram got loose and rallied off 3 straight buckets, and capped the 3rd quarter with a dunk of his own at the buzzer. Abram catching his rhythm made SDA have to really adjust sending traps and doubles and that opened everything up for everyone else on So Cal to operate freely. The 23pts by So Cal in the 3rd were just too much to overcome in the 4th for SDA. What I loved about So Cal was their focus and value on preparation. Their stretching exercises before their warmup. Their actually pre-game warmup was very game speed and game skills; pivoting, passing, drive and relocate, post entries. You can tell the really want to get their guys ready for the game. Even in post game they proceeded to do conditioning after a hard fought game. Running suicides and defensive slides among other things. There is a reason they are a national program!

 

 

DAY 2

Houston Christian 46 | Spring Creek Academy 55

We kicked off day 2 with a rollercoaster of a game. Spring Creek is such a very tough team with size at all positions, and Houston Christian is also tough but play the game right away. The way Spring Creek has been performing we were almost sure that they would be too much for Houston Christian. Not the case in the 1st quarter- Chance Thallman hit a couple threes to get the mustangs rolling.. and we had a close exciting bout. 2nd quarter things kind of flipped and HC struggled to score and find easy opportunities. SCA 6’7 big Kelvin Tamakloe had a fantastic first half with 14p on 7-8FG. He was all over the paint offensively and defensively. He protected the rim and really rebounded out of his range using his long wingspan. Into the 3rd we still saw a struggle from HC, and continued solid play from SCA. Just when you thought the game was in hand, the heroic efforts started to ensure for HC. The mustangs switched to full court trapping pressure to cause havoc and turnovers. Brody Robinson tried to put the team on his back. Brody was impressive off the bounce as he would start the 4th breaking down his defender and getting into the paint for finishes. As he got more in a rhythm, he began to start knocking down jumpshot after jumpshot, possession after possession. He even converted himself a 4pt play. As he started to cook, Spring Creek decided to double and trap him off the ball screens so that he couldn’t score. It was fun to watch Brody battle and compete for his team, but his efforts weren’t enough to bring them all the way back to victory after the huge deficit.

Woodlands Christian 59 | Good Vision Academy 58

Whenever Good Vision you may look at them and think that they don’t have much, but that’s far from the truth. Coach Good has been coaching a long time, and his teams always play hard and keep themselves in games. Without Wyatt Boeker, Woodlands Christian had to find a way to make sure they got as much as they could out of all of their players. TWCA started with spreading the floor and finding the openings in the zone for lots of threes. They got up early, but GVA wouldn’t back down. They came back with a run of their own to put them up at halftime. The 3rd quarter wouldn’t go well for TWCA as they only managed to put up 5 points to GVA’s 16. Kevin Giles & Ibrahim Bah were a big part of GVA’s run. Giles is a super athlete that has an extremely high motor. He rebounds hard and runs the floor hard. His motor always keeps him around the ball and in the paint. Bah is a tough guard who makes timely play when his team needs them. This made for a big deficit for TWCA going into the 4th that they would have to climb their way out of. In the last 3 minutes of the game Woodlands Christian started to make their run. Led by Austin Benigni with his supreme ability to get by his primary defender, and get into the teeth of the defense and make a play. It was almost clockwork how it would get to the paint and dump it off for a bucket. They would press and get a steal or turnover; then do it again. It seemed to be imminent that this game would go to the last possession. As TWCA clawed all the way back to being down by 2 with only about 4 seconds left. After a missed free throw by Good Vision, Austin Benigni pushes the length of the court and looks to shoot as time expires and draws a controversial foul on a 3pt attempt. Benigni makes all 3 and Woodlands Christian escapes with the win. Benigni finished with 16pts 9ast, Chanse Perkins 16pts 5rebs, Josh Bento 12pts 4ast 3rebs.

Legacy 3A 59 | Good Vision 57

Back to back games for Good Vision, yet they came with the same intensity. Legacy 3A was fired up and came out ready to play from the jump. Caleb DarDar got things going as he was knocking down 3s left and right. He has the type of game where if he gets in a groove, he has all the park moves, and he can be really tough to guard. He finished with 23pts on 5-12 from 3pt. Jalen Tomlinson is a big body physical and athletic guard who likes to get downhill and playmake. He also finished with 18pts and 7rebounds. PG James Dearmon may not have had his best shooting night, but his on ball defense, and decision making were everything to the team. He was the calming force when they were being sporadic. He ended with 9pts, but 6ast 0 turnovers in a game that was filled with pressure and aggressive play. The usual suspects were at play for Good Vision. Kevin Giles had a double double with 22pts. Ibrahim Bah had his own double double with 13pts 11reb 8asts. Good Vision had 23 TO’s and only 10ast in this one. Hard to win when you simply don’t have enough looks at the basket.

Dallas Premier Prep 55 | Shaun Dumas Academy 71

Shaun Dumas was back for day 2 doing what they always do. Playing uptempo, playing scrappy, playing defense, and filling the place with energy. Dallas Premier Prep is group that is fiery and tries to make the most out of their opportunities even when they may be slightly outmatched. When we see Dallas Premier play they tend to be down in games, but claw their way back into games and make them interesting. This time they just weren’t able to bring the game close to within striking distance to where they could take the lead. Malik Russell of Premier did a good job of handling the ball and navigating through the pressure of SDA. He was strong on the ball and was able to get into the paint and make the correct reads for his teammates. Jona Anderson is always the focal point for Premier, as he is their main scorer. I like the progression of their time and in time they will continue to get better. They have a coach who is passionate and loves the game. Shaun Dumas is a team who is steadily growing. After seeing their performance vs So Cal, and their ability to stay consistent in all games. They are a team who is building and they are on the rise. Their coaches are invested and committed to the process of getting better and helping these young men grow. It’s evident in how they prepare, how they interact with each other, and how they play. Great weekend from SDA.

 

Southern California Academy 77 | PSAT 41

The score was moreso a product of the 2nd half, and not indicative of how competitive the 1st half was. Big anticipation in this matchup as we were all excited to see ’25 Alejandro Aviles go up against ’22 Jaxon Kohler. Alejandro did not disappoint. His skill and feel were on display as he hit a few midrange fades. He showed extreme poise when playing in the low block even among SCA’s length and doubles. I believe that Alejandro and Kohler are spitting images of each other in how they play the game and their characteristics- the patience, the footwork, the ability to shoot, body type and mobility. In a few years Alejandro could very well look exactly like what Kohler looks like now, maybe even better. At the half Aviles had 13pts and 5rebs going 6-7 from the field. Neither team could get separation from the other in the first half. Allan Tuck hit 2 big threes to keep PSAT afloat. Balanced attack from So Cal, had us ready to see what the 2nd half would entail. This is where the game got away from PSAT and we could see they just didn’t have enough firepower. An explosion of offense came in the 3rd quarter as So Cal shot 80% from the field and from 3pt land. 10-12 FG and 4-5 3FG. Overall in the 2nd half Jaxon Kohler really got active putting his skill from the post on full display. He ended the game with a nice double double of 20pts 15rebs(8-15 FG, 2-4 3FG). Oziyah Sellers, Jaylen Thompson, and Amaree Abram all impacted the game and cruised their team to the easy victory. They finished with 14pts 4ast; 14pts 6rebs; 16pts 4ast 5stls respectively. It was great having Amaree Abram back in Texas. He has been arguably one of the hottest 2022 players in the country as he has reopened his recruitment. All of his family and friends from Port Arthur were there in full support as we closed out the OTR Exposure Christmas Crossover!

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