CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
The West Chester Big 64 took place on Saturday and Sunday as more than 130 teams competed at the university’s Hollinger Gymnasium and Student Recreation Center along with the Glen Mills School.
CoBL had staff on hand for some of the action at the Recreation Center and all of the games at Hollinger on Sunday. Here’s who stood out to the CoBL staff during the day’s events:
Ryan Archey (2023 | Rocktop Acad.)
Rocktop Academy's Ryan Archey put together a pair of 20-point outings on Sunday. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)
Archey, who played at Gwynn Park (Md.) last season and is taking a prep year at Rocktop, plays a controlled game at the point guard spot, which stood out even in losses to Archbishop Wood and Ryan on Sunday as he scored a team-high 20 points in both games. The 6-foot guard knocked down a total of seven threes in the contest. He also maneuvered his way into the midrange and paint for scoring opportunities, showing off some crafty moves to put the ball through the net whether that was pump fakes, turnaround jumpers or finishes near the rim. He plays with really good pace with the ball in his hands and looks like a good decision maker as well, not letting the defense speed him up.
Jalil Bethea (2024 | Archbishop Wood)
Bethea’s recruitment began to blow up in the summer and that has continued into the fall, and the Vikings’ guard showed why on Sunday. Bethea scored 17 points (three threes) in a win over Rocktop Academy and 23 points (four threes) in a win over Olympus Prep to close out his day. He did most of his damage playing off the ball, knocking down shots from the corner and wing, but he also pulled up a handful of times as well from deep. A springy athlete, he used his vertical to help out on the glass as well throw down some impressive jams and even come away with a swat on defense. Also an opportunistic slasher, he finds different ways to score the ball without dominating possession. He showed can pass the ball too as he began to pile up the assists in the second half against Mt. Zion.
Niymire Brown (2023 | Upper Darby)
The senior stretch forward imposed his will and showcased his multifaceted skill set, superb athleticism, and intangibles on Sunday. He handled the ball well and showed an ability to break down his defender. Brown chose to muscle his way when he attacked the basket or used a dynamic gather step. His imposing build and long frame intimidated his opponents and made them hesitate when driving through the lane. Brown’s intangible qualities like his communication, leadership and hustle were evident. Brown put an exclamation point on his day by slamming down a lob from Nadir Myers to put the finishing touches on a 49-35 win over Rocktop.
Xzayvier Brown (2023 | Roman Catholic)
Brown put together a pair of 16-point outings in wins over Reading and Friends Central, leading the Cahillites in scoring in both games. Roman’s senior point guard and St. Joe’s commit makes sure to keep everyone involved in the offense as three others reached double figures in the win over Reading and two others reached double figures in the win over FCS. He flashed his range with a total of four threes in the two games. Brown looks so smooth moving around the court and got to where he wanted with ease most of the time with his quickness and tight handle. He was also impressive speeding down the court in transition, whether it led to him finishing on his own or finding a teammate.
Upper Darby's Niymire Brown and Nadir Myer, pictured right, were both standouts during Sunday's action at the Big 64. (Photo: Jack Verdeur/CoBL)
Jack Blum (2023 | Council Rock North)
By the look of CR North on Sunday, size will be a huge advantage this season. Seven players on the Big 64 roster were 6-2 or taller including senior Jack Blum. The 6-4 guard is a steadying presence for the Indians. He did a bit of everything in a 56-40 win over Downingtown East with nine points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. He went coast-to-coast multiple times off changes of possession, including one breakaway where he rose for a slam, and seemingly always made the correct decision when orchestrating the offense.
Laquan Byrd (2024 | Father Judge)
Byrd’s size and athleticism are eye-popping. His muscular frame and fearlessness in attacking the basket make him a difficult challenge for any defender. He can finish through contact and make his free throws. Byrd flashed an ability to knock down open threes and shot from mid-range. He also uses his size and physicality to impact the glass and always scraps for loose balls. Against Norristown, Byrd finished with 11 points and two rebounds.
Adam “Budd” Clark (2023 | West Catholic)
Clark put a pair of impressive performances together in wins over Westtown and Salesianum. He had the hot hand early for the Burrs in the win over Westtown and finished with 13 points, including three threes. He followed that up by quietly putting together a 20-point outing in a win over Salesianum (Del.). Clark navigated his way through traffic with ease as he has a few different gears he can get into and the ability to stop and start quickly to shake defenders. He set the tone for a Burrs squad that shared the rock and pushed the pace. He has a really good feel for the game, picking his moments/possessions to take over while also letting teammates like Zion Stanford, Shemar Wilbanks-Acqui and MJ Branker fill it up as well.
Ishaan Jha (2023 | Downingtown East)
Jha, with his 6-4 frame, was able to get his three-point shot off over smaller defenders hitting at least six total across two games Sunday. Playing without guard Connor Shanahan (who had 44 points in wins over CB East and Upper Moreland on Saturday before injuring his back), Jha handled the scoring duties in his absence. He had at least 15 points in a 49-38 loss to Neshaminy and tacked on 11 (with three 3s) in a 56-40 loss to Council Rock North. He also showed good strength in finishing around the rim and the willingness to crash the boards.
Collegium Charter's Duce Jackson dribbles up the court at the Big 64 on Sunday. (Photo: Jack Verdeur/CoBL)
Duce Jackson (2023 | Collegium Charter)
Jackson plays with a notable swagger, intensity, and intelligence. The senior forward scored 14 points in a 44-32 victory over Norristown. All of Jackson’s points came within the three-point line. He can finish around the rim through contact and with multiple swarming defenders. His vision and unselfishness were on display, finding open teammates on the perimeter when the defense collapsed on him. Jackson also flashed a willingness to handle rock and confidently ran the Collegium offense. His aggressive defense and passionate play sometimes clash with the officials, but those are good problems.
Nadir Myers (2023 | Upper Darby)
Upper Darby’s success on the court goes through Nadir Myers. The senior point guard is a tremendous and intelligent basketball player. Myers routinely splits double teams by opposing defenders with his quick first step and can navigate on-ball pressure with a superb ball handling ability. Against Rocktop, Myers scored 16 points, six assists, and two steals. He played aggressively on offense and showed that he could score off the drive and sink open threes. But more noticeably, his offensive aggression opened up opportunities for his teammates to get involved with open looks. Myers communicates often and is a leader on the floor.
Malachi Palmer (2024 | Mt. Zion Prep)
The Harrisburg native, who started his career at Central Dauphin, shouldered most of the offensive load for Mt. Zion Prep in games against Neumann-Goretti and Westtown. He scored 17 points (three 3s) against the Saints and had 14 of his team’s 30 points against Westtown. Palmer is a powerfully built 6-5 combo guard and handled a lot of the ball handling duties on Sunday. He can really create for himself whether that is pulling up off the bounce or getting into the lane and using his size and strength. He stood out on the ball defensively as well, using his physical attributes and quickness to stay in front and make things uncomfortable for the Moose ball handlers.
Ruben Rodriguez (2023 | Reading)
The flashy 6-1 Rider commit took over down the stretch of Reading’s 48-34 win against Timber Creek. Finishing with 15 points, he gave defenders fits with his quickness and shooting ability. If they played him close, he started to dance on them with a quick first step and an array of dribble moves. If they sagged off, he was quick to pull up from deep with two 3s in the second half to show for it. On defense, Rodriguez was aggressive in Reading’s half court trap, leading to crucial points in transition.
Father Judge's Ernest Shelton, right, surveys the court as he dribbles the ball on Sunday at the Big 64 . (Photo: Jack Verdeur/CoBL)
Ernest Shelton (2023 | Father Judge)
The lanky guard had an eye-opening offensive performance against Norristown. A known 3-point threat, Norristown denied Shelton good looks from behind the arc early on, but he remained aggressive, attacked the rim, drove through the lane without fear, and flashed a mid-range jumper in the first half. He even pulled down a couple of rebounds. The 6-3 guard found his stroke in the second half, when he scored 15 of his 19 points. His jump shot form was consistent, and he released the ball at the highest part of his jump. Shelton can catch and shoot and create his own space with dribble moves and excellent footwork.
Thomas Sorber (2024 | Archbishop Ryan)
Sorber’s size and physicality were simply too much for Olympus Prep as he finished with 16 points all coming from inside or the free throw line. Ryan went to the 6-9 forward seemingly every play in the first half and he answered the call with several advanced post moves including spins, drop steps, and off hand finishes through contact. On the defensive end, he was locked in and engaged with a couple steals leading to easy points in transition. It was the same story for Sorber in Ryan’s second game against Rock Top Academy, as he dominated inside highlighted by a poster dunk down low as part of a 19-point effort. Olympus neutralized in the second half as they committed to sending double teams at him every time he touched the ball en route to a come from behind win. An underrated passer, Sorber will have to figure out how to continue impacting games once double teams inevitably start coming throughout the season.
Zion Stanford (2023 | West Catholic)
Stanford was simply moving at a different speed than his opponents in a 56-45 win against Salesianum. It wasn’t the amount of points he finished with (14) that was so impressive, it was the way in which he racked them up. He was getting to the rim at will with dribble moves combined with athleticism and body control that allowed him to just glide through the lane and into the air. And-1’s, layups, dunks. He played with the confidence of someone who just committed to Temple.
Se’yphon Triplett (2023 | Westtown
Westtown's Se'yphon Triplett (22) goes up for a layup Sunday at the Big 64. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)
There is certainly plenty of underclassmen talent at Westtown, but it was one of the veterans who helped spearhead a win over Mt. Zion Prep to end the day with a victory. Triplett’s full-court defensive pressure forced a turnover and sparked the Moose offense to a 51-30 win in what had been a defensive slugfest before that. The Stonehill commit was the most consistent scorer on the day, following up a 10-point outing in a loss to West Catholic with a team-high 13 points in the win over Mt. Zion. He knocked down a three and fearlessly attacked the rim, getting to the line three times (6-for-6) in the victory.
Nathan Townsend (2024 | Neshaminy)
A 6-2, big-bodied guard, Townsend led the way for Neshaminy in a 49-38 win over Downingtown East and a 52-42 win over Bishop Shanahan Sunday. He scored 16 points in the first game, showing a tight handle and footwork for his size that allowed him to get to the rim. The height also allows him to chip in on the boards, both offensively and defensively. The trio of Townsend, Sean Curley and Emeer Coombs hope to build off a 14-10 and third-place finish in SOL Patriot last year.
Oliver Schaefer (2025 | Council Rock North)
The 5-9 sophomore Schaefer is one of the youngest and smallest players on CR North, but that had no effect on his efficiency Sunday in the 16-point win over Downingtown East. The sharpshooting guard will be aiming to take a big step up in production in his second season. He knocked down four 3s in the win and finished with a team-high 14 points showing a quiet confidence that should transfer over to the regular season.
Dinero Washington (2023 | Collegium Charter)
Washington, Collegium’s all-time leading scorer with 1,212 points, showed his full skillset Sunday in a 44-32 win over Norristown. He scored at least 11 points and dished out multiple assists after penetrating into the paint. Don’t let his diminutive stature fool you; Washington gets in the lane at ease and has no trouble rising and finishing amongst the trees. Norristown eventually started to double him, which Washington easily broke out of and found a wide-open teammate under the basket for a bucket. His quickness and agility helped him pick up easy steals and transition buckets on defense.
Reid Belcher (2024 | Friends Central), Johnathon Brooks (2024 | Norristown), Alex Brown (2025 | Upper Darby ), Collin Bowman (2023 | Friends Central), Shaun Cain (2025 | Upper Darby), KJ Coles (2026 | Pocono Mt. West), Emeer Coombs (2024 | Neshaminy), Sean Curley (2023 | Neshaminy), Jordan Ellerbee (2025 | St Joeseph’s Prep), Anthony Finkley (2023 | Roman Catholic), Matt Gilhool (2024 | Westtown) , Ejay Greer (2023 | Rocktop Acad.), Myles Grey (2023 | Reading), Tristen Guillouette (2024 | St. Joe’s Prep), Jalen Harper (2024 | St. Joseph’s Prep), Carson Howard (2023 | Archbishop Wood), Jordan Jackson (2023 | Olympus Prep Grey, N.J.), Shareef Jackson (2025 | Roman Catholic), Kevair Kennedy (2025 | Father Judge), Joey Pell (2025 | Downingtown East), Kyhsir Slaughter (2024 | Upper Darby), Bruce Smith (2023 | Neumann-Goretti), Shemar Wilbanks-Acqui (2023 | West Catholic), Jaden Wise (2023 | Norristown), Robert Wright (2024 | Neumann-Goretti)
Tag(s): Home Contributors Owen McCue Sean McBryan High School Boys HS Bicentennial League (B) Collegium Charter Catholic League (B) Archbishop Ryan Archbishop Wood Father Judge Neumann-Goretti Roman Catholic St. Joe's Prep West Catholic Central League (B) Upper Darby Friends' Schools (B) Westtown School SOL Patriot (B) Council Rock N. Neshaminy