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Philly Live I: Day Two Local HS Coverage Notebook at St. Joe's Prep (June 18, 2022)

06/19/2022, 1:30am EDT
By Owen McCue and Matthew Ryan

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue) and Matthew Ryan (@matthewryan02)

The first weekend of Philly Live 2022 continued on Saturday with action taking place on four courts at Jefferson University and three at St. Joe’s Prep. The CoBL staff was on hand all day long checking out a mix of some of the area’s local talent as well as some teams from the Mid-Atlantic and beyond who came to town to show off their stuff in front of dozens upon dozens of college coaches, from Division I through Division III and more. Here’s several prospects who played well in front of CoBL’s staff during Saturday’s action at St. Joe’s Prep:

Here’s a notebook featuring team coverage of some local high school squads from Friday’s action; we’ll also have a recruiting notebook and standouts on site this evening: 

Archbishop Carroll's Su Alleyne will have a full offseason to earn his spot in the Carroll rotation after shoulder injuries cost him his freshman and sophomore campaigns. (Photo: Matthew Ryan/CoBL)

Su Alleyne back to full health, excited to help Carroll

After tearing the labrum in his right shoulder before his freshman season, Su’Meer Alleyne was finally cleared to play basketball. 

He missed his entire freshman year at Archbishop Carroll and went to a scrimmage to play for the first time in a while.

Then it happened again.

On that very first day back, Alleyne re-tore the labrum in his right shoulder. 

The injury forced him to miss the offseason heading into his sophomore year, and he wasn't cleared to play for Carroll until right before the third game of the 2021-22 season. By then it was too late to crack the varsity rotation.

Alleyne played sparingly for the Patriots last season, getting some time on JV. Now, with a full offseason ahead of him,  the 6-foot-4 rising junior guard is healthy and ready to be a key contributor for Carroll next season.

"Seeing people play basketball when you're not out there, it hurts," Alleyne said. "But I'm glad to be back, glad to play with my boys."

"This year, I'm trying to get back on the map because I've been out for a long time," Alleyne said. "Just trying to get my name out there."

Alleyne was a standout for Carroll during Saturday’s Philly Live games against Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) and St. Peter’s Prep at St. Joseph’s Prep.

In Carroll's 64-55 win over Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.), Alleyne scored 13 points, going 4-for-5 from 2-point range and 1-for-2 from deep.

"[I'm] beyond excited," Caroll head coach Francis Bowe said of Alleyne's return.

"It was nice to have him on the floor today, that's for sure."

Alleyne later scored eight points in Carroll's 54-47 loss to St. Peter's Prep (N.J.), knocking down two 3s.

His impact should extend far beyond those box score numbers, however.

"Scrappy, old school," Bowe said of Alleyne's game. "Where he's not going to go up and dunk on you, but he's going to finish craftily up by the basket. He'll pick up 90 feet. He'll run and jump.

He'll dive on the floor. He'll rebound. He'll guard 1-5 if we have him. I call him my utility guy. He's my Mr. Everything."

Adversity hit Alleyne smack on. And he responded not once, but twice. It makes sense he's jazzed about his return.

"I'm very excited," Alleyne said. "I've been waiting a long time. I've been working, working hard a long time."

— After finishing second during the regular season in the PCL with a 12-1 record, West Catholic has a bit of a new-look team. The Burrs will be returning key players such as seniors Adam ‘Budd’ Clark, Zion Stanford, MJ Branker and Shemar Wilbanks-Acqui, but they will be without the likes of twins Kareem and Kaseem Watson, now at Cal State Bakersfield, and Nasir Griffin, who is at East Stroudsburg.

“I bring back four seniors that played,” WC head coach Miguel Bocachica said. “We got a dark horse in Amyr Walker, who’s also a senior who’s been around the program for four years. And I got some young guys that I believe in. So we’ve kind of built this thing on skill development and try to stick with that.”

West Catholic’s Shemar Wilbanks-Acqui, center, goes up for a shot against Saint Ignatius on Saturday. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Stanford and Clark, two players with Division I offers that were first team All-PCL selections last season, will get even more opportunities in 2022-23, along with some players who were lower down on the depth chart. 

On Saturday in West Catholic’s 59-50 win over Saint Ignatius, Branker, Wilbanks-Acqui and rising sophomore Isaac Cole (6-6) got the start along with Stanford and Clark.

Despite the departure of those key pieces, West Catholic is still loaded with talent that has been with the program before and will compete for a spot in the Palestra just like last year.

“A lot of these guys [have] been around,” Bocachica said, “so you just hope that that helps us; the fact that guys [have] been around, the fact that we play a lot of basketball, the fact that we’re in the gym a lot.”

— Central Bucks West has had an atypically down two-year stretch. Following a 4-13 season in 2020-21, the Bucks went 5-13 in 2021-22.

Things seem to be different this offseason.

A win over Mastery North early Saturday morning was another positive sign that C.B. West is in for a turnaround this season.

“The past few years have been super rough,” 2023 guard Charlie Cashman said. “We’ve got a lot of returning guys this year. We’re just hoping to win more games than we have the past two years.”

Cashman noted the second half of games, particularly the fourth quarter is where things often went awry for the Bucks in their recent downturn. 

That wasn’t the case on Saturday when they pulled away from Mastery North down the stretch.

“That’s basically what we’re doing is just learning how to close games,” Cashman said.

Cashman noted things have looked different this offseason. The team won some games in the Plymouth-Whitemarsh and William Tennent Summer Leagues and Saturday’s victory was a continuation of that.

A roster that’s had only a handful of experience in recent seasons has four starters back in 2023s Cashman and Michael Fountain and 2024s Bowen Gugger and Matt Engle.

“We’re getting a lot more wins, closing games,” Cashman said. “Everyone looks more fluid. We’re just looking a lot more like basketball players. The past few years we’ve been nervous, a lot of juniors a lot of sophomores even playing. There’s a lot more experience on the court and we just look better.”

Upper Moreland’s Colson Campbell (33) will be the lone returning varsity contributor next season. (Photo: Nicole Ambruch/ CoBL)

— Upper Moreland took down Chichester 60-50 in the District 1-5A quarterfinals this past February.

In a rematch between the two PIAA qualifiers four months later on Saturday, the Golden Panthers returned just one player who saw significant action in that contest — and it showed.

A Chichester team with most of its pieces set to return next season, took it to an inexperienced Upper Moreland team in a 79-56 win. The loss didn’t dampen the excitement UM coach Dan Heiland has for his retooled roster, however.

2025 Colson Campbell is the lone returning player with significant varsity experience for Upper Moreland, but Heiland has some reinforcements with Sean Murphy and Alex Best coming back to the school district from Archbishop Wood. 

He also noted 2023 Jon Clark is among the list of less experienced rising seniors he’s looking forward to having a big role in 2022-23. 

Nigel Adamson, a 6-foot-5 projectible 2025 forward, is another piece that could help Upper Moreland reload this offseason.

“We’re still trying to build that chemistry, trying to figure out where guys like the ball, how they move on offense, things like that,” Heiland said. “We’ve got some ability. It’s just putting it together now.”

“That’s what this is for. Get that experience playing with each other and hopefully when the season comes around we’ll be ready to go.”

— Lower Merion wasn’t at full strength Saturday, missing recent Penn commit Sam Brown, but the Aces still finished strong for a win over Chambersburg.

Teddy Pendergrass had 17 points, including four first-half threes. Down the stretch it was 2023  point guard Justin Poles with the ball in his hands to help the Aces pull away late.

Poles is one of the few rotation members back from last year’s District 1 champion squad, and he is ready to do what’s needed this summer and beyond to get the Aces right back in Central League and District 1 contention.

“There’s definitely a lot more on my hands,” said Poles, who is a Division I soccer recruit. “I feel like I’ve just gotta get more people involved. Everyone has to be ready this summer to get working, and we’ll be ready for next year.

— Unionville kept things close with Philadelphia Catholic League powerhouse Neumann-Goretti on Saturday … for a half. The Saints pulled away from the Longhorns in the second half, but not before one Unionville youngster made a name for himself.

2026 James Brenner, a 6-foot-4 forward, held his own against the Neumann front court and looks like he should be an impact varsity contributor in the Ches-Mont League as a freshman.

D-I Coverage:

Tag(s): Home  High School  Archbishop Carroll  West Catholic  Lower Merion  Unionville  Central Bucks West  Upper Moreland