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Donofrio Classic Report: Wed, April 12, 2023

04/13/2023, 1:45am EDT
By CoBL Staff

CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

CONSHOHOCKEN — The 2023 Donofrio Classic’s quarterfinals began on Wednesday night with a field of eight trimmed down to six. The other quarterfinals take place Thursday followed by the semifinals April 17 and the championship game April 18.

Here’s a roundup and notebook from Wednesday night’s competition; CLICK HERE for all of CoBL’s 2023 Donofrio Classic coverage:


Keystone Blazers 112, Team Awesome 97

Wednesday’s first quarterfinal was a chippy and chirpy one, which Team Awesome led 46-41 at halftime before the Blazers rallied from behind and broke things open in the second half. The Archbishop Wood trio of Jalil Bethea (28 points), Carson Howard (26) and Deuce Maxey (17) steered their team to a victory for the Blazers. Jake West (2025 | Archbishop Carroll) scored 21 points and Thomas Sorber (2024 | Archbishop Ryan ) added another 14. Despite coming out on the losing end, Saint Louis bound Cian Medley (2023 | Camden, N.J.) stole the show with a 38-point performance, knocking down seven threes, including quite a few long ones. Recent St. Joe’s commit Dasear Haskins (2023 | Camden, N.J.) and Davion Hill (2023 | St. John Neumann) added another 18 apiece and Jaron McKie (2025 | St. Joe’s Prep) and Cornelius Robinson (2023 | Camden, N.J.) both scored 10.

M-Sport 124, PA Hoops 104

Despite a torrid shooting start from PA Hoops’ Trey O’Neil (2024 | Hill School), who had five first-half threes, M-Sport proved too much in Wednesday’s second game of the day. Ryan Williams (2024 | Malvern Prep), Adam “Budd” Clark (2023 | West Catholic) and Milan Dean (2025 | Archbishop Wood) were all terrific, finishing with 25, 24 and 21 points, respectively. M-Sport led 60-46 at halftime before Devon Prep’s Jacen Holloway (2024 | USMAPS), who led PA Hoops with 28 points, led the comeback charge, cutting the deficit to 68-65. O’Neil added another 26, finishing with six makes from three, but M-Sport closed strong to pull out the win. Amyr Walker (2023 | West Catholic) and Tariq Jennings (2024 | West Catholic) both scored 13 points, Julian Sadler (2024 | Perkiomen Valley) had 12 and Jayden Byrd (2024 | Norristown) had 11 to round out M-Sport’s double figure scorers. Lucas Orchard (2024 | Perkiomen School) finished with 14 points and Charlie Thornton (2023 | Radnor) finished with 10 points for PA Hoops.

Radnor seniors, from left, Charlie Thornton, Danny Rosenblum, Cooper Mueller and Jackson Hicke suited up together for the last time Wednesday night at the Donofrio. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Radnor senior quartet finishes out time on court together

Cooper Mueller couldn’t help but get one last joke in.

“I would like to say my last game with Jackson ever, I scored more than him,” he boasted to anyone who would listen Wednesday at the Fellowship House. Mueller estimates it’s the only time in the last several years of playing with Radnor teammate Jackson Hicke and fellow Raptors seniors Charlie Thornton and Danny Rosenblum that has occurred, scoring 11 compared to Hicke’s eight after a pair of late threes.

Following a season in which the four seniors guided the Raptors to first Central League and District 1 titles in decades and a 28-1 campaign that ended in the state quarters, the group’s time together on the court came to a conclusion with PA Hoops’ loss to M-Sport in the Donofrio Classic quarterfinals Wednesday.

“It was awesome,” Hicke said. “Not a great outcome obviously, but it was great to play one more after the season. It was a lot of fun. A great event here to have the Donofrio. A tough loss, but it was great to play again with these three who I’ve been playing my whole life with.”

Most members of the PA Hoops squad have been playing travel ball together since elementary and middle school. Radnor’s seniors, with the exception of Princeton lacrosse commit Mueller, have been playing year round together for quite some time now.

Thornton recalls one of his first memories of Rosenblum was him euro stepping then going behind his back for a layup during a middle school AAU game — and recalls the fact that they lost that game after a kid on the other team hit a shot well after the buzzer that counted.

“Even the guys not on the team from Radnor, we’ve been playing with these guys since middle school,” Rosenblum said. “We have great memories, we have great chemistry, and it’s just fun to be out there. We like to play with each other.”

Mueller and Rosenblum are members of Radnor’s nationally ranked lacrosse team, but couldn’t miss the opportunity to suit up together with each other one last time, heading to Conshohocken after afternoon practice.

“We love each other,” Mueller said. “We played together for so long. To have one last game where it’s not playoffs or a super intense high school league … that was super nice to play together in this environment.”

“I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity, the last time to get on the court with my teammates,” Rosenblum said.

Hicke will join Mueller at Princeton next fall, playing hoops for the Tigers. Rosenblum is headed to Rochester and Thornton is headed to Randolph-Macon, where their basketball careers will continue as well.

The four seniors put the caps on four terrific careers and a historic Radnor season on Wednesday night before heading their separate ways.

“It was awesome,” Thornton said. “There’s not much more you can ask for from a team. We had great coaching, and outside those three guys that I’ve been playing with forever, everyone on this team was a really special group and it was an awesome season.

Upper Dublin's Ryan Mulroy and the Keystone Blazers advanced to next week's semifinals. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Upper Dublin's Mulroy enjoying Donofrio debut

Upper Dublin sophomore Ryan Mulroy didn’t find out about the Donofrio Classic until a few friends played in the event last spring. Then this winter he was invited to play for the Keystone Blazers with help of local talent scout Allen Rubin and team managers Ryan Washington and Nelson Stewart, who he trained with this past summer.

After a breakout season in the Suburban One League, the All-SOL guard is embracing the opportunity to play with and against some of the best the area has to offer.

“When I saw the roster, Thomas Sorber, Jalil Bethea, those are some big-time names,” Mulroy said. “I was excited to play with them, be around them, see how they play because they play in a whole different style than our league does.”

Bethea (Archbishop Wood) and Sorber (Archbishop Ryan) are both nationally ranked prospects and high-major recruits who have put big games together to help the Blazers into next week’s semifinals. On the other side Wednesday were Camden’s three Division I commits and quite a bit more DI talent. 

Mulroy saw limited action and while the Cardinals’ big-time scorer didn’t put his name in the scoring column, he’s trying to do whatever he can to keep his first Donofrio experience going.

“Just to play with all these guys, it’s a great experience,” Mulroy said. “They’re giving me advice out there. I’m used to scoring a lot on my team, but here I just gotta play defense and bring the energy. And it’s fun. As long as we’re winning, that's what I’m happy about.”

The 6-3 guard said his focus this offseason is improving his strength and consistency in his shot. 

Mulroy hopes to continue the momentum from the breakout high school season into the spring and summer. He is playing with the Philly Revolution 16U team this season with guys like Kasey Fleming (La Salle), Kevin Beck (Father Judge) and Cameron Smith (ANC) after taking down some sneaker-level teams last summer at the 15U level.

“Right now, I’m kind of just focusing on my game and winning championships,” Mulroy said. “Winning Donofrio would be really cool. Winning AAU tournaments, but especially, I want to win a Suburban One championship and District 1 first. I’ve got two years to do that."  — Owen McCue

Family roots swaying decision for St. John Neumann’s Hill

Davion Hill was likely the furthest person from home inside the Fellowship House on Wednesday evening.

Hill, a four-year star for St. John Neumann Academy in Williamsport, made the three-hour drive down state to play for Team Awesome. It’s a trip he often makes on weekends to attend workouts at Camden High School.

“I’ve been working out at Camden High most weekends,” Hill said. “Getting right with the guys and everything. Then Coach Toom[ey Anderson] called me about this and I drove down here. I was coming down for the weekend anyway to work out, so I got down here for the game.”

Hill followed through with an 18-point outing in a loss against Keystone Blazers, showcasing his complete game with a healthy mix of strong drives, tough defense and clean makes from deep. Coming off a historic career at Neumann which saw him set Lycoming County records in career points (2,801), single-season points (925), points per game (26.9) and points in a game (60), Hill looked like a player ready to contribute at the next level.

Division I schools have been in contact with Hill for a long time, with Kent States and Towson offering after his freshman season. As he is closing down his recruitment, he is still hearing from schools, most notably Arkansas-Little Rock, Kent State, Towson, Maryland and Missouri State. But it seems the leader in the clubhouse is Missouri State, a program he is all too familiar with and offered him after his sophomore season.

Hill’s older brother, Alize Johnson, starred at Missouri State from 2016-2018, a two-time all-Missouri Valley Conference first team selection and eventual second round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. Another brother, David Hill, is a current freshman on the basketball team.

“I’m big on them, Missouri State, my brother Alize went there,” Hill said. “Missouri State is my Top 1 right now I’d say.”

When talking about the kind of environment he’s looking for at the next level, Hill said he wants to experience “a family, a competitive edge. I like to play physical, like to play inside, get to the basket and stuff. So definitely a physical team and a big family-oriented team.” 

Hill said his commitment will come within the next two weeks. In the mean time, he says he wants to focus on being more involved on both sides of the ball as he gears up for college ball.

“I want to become more [adept at] controlling the offense. When I’m on the floor with players who are more offensive based I can kind of disappear in the offense. I want to keep trying to be more involved and keep picking up full court and playing 94 feet.” — Gedd Constable

Archbishop Wood sophomore Deuce Maxey had 17 points on Wednesday night. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Wood’s Deuce Maxey’s game continues to grow

Archbishop Wood sophomore guard Deuce Maxey took his late-season momentum into the Donofrio Classic and put it on display Wednesday night in the Keystone Blazers’ quarterfinal win over Team Awesome. Maxey recorded 17 points on the evening, 15 of which he scored in the second half.

In that way, the uptick in production later in the game mirrored his climb in the season for Wood.

“I started off the season slow,” Maxey said. “I wasn’t shooting the best, but then I locked in, stayed in the gym, got more reps up, and it went good.”

Playing more minutes in the Catholic League provided Maxey valuable experience.

“Playing in the Catholic League is like playing in no other division,” Maxey said. “We played in the Palestra, semifinal game, there’s 10,000 people there. ... . Playing with [Blazers and Wood teammates] Jalil [Bethea], playing with Carson [Howard], playing with all these guys has just gotten me way better.”

Entering his sophomore season, Maxey targeted ball handling as an area of offensive improvement as he was forced into taking over some of the point guard responsibilities for the Vikings, who didn’t have a true PG this season. He hopes to continue growing more comfortable in that role throughout this offseason and heading into his junior campaign.

“Personally, honestly ,I just want to become more of a facilitator and help my teammates out and help my teammates get better just like they help me get better,” Maxey said. “And our team next year, we should be nationally ranked. We should have a really good squad next year. We’re looking to make it all the way back to the Palestra and actually win it this time, and get to the state ‘chip and win it this time.”

Maxey already has the attention of a pair of in-state Division I coaching staffs. He took a visit to Lafayette in late October and a visit to Saint Joseph’s in November, securing his first two DI offers on both trips.

“Chills ran through my body when I got my first offer, and my second offer, actually,” Maxey said. “Two great schools, Lafayette and St. Joe’s. Pretty good programs, good coaches, and I feel like they’re good schools for me.”

Maxey won’t be able to hear directly from college coaches until the June live periods. Along with playing for Wood during the scholastic periods, he will play for Team Final Red on the EYBL circuit this spring and summer.

“It’s gonna be a really good one,” he said of the summer circuit. “Looking forward to playing all the games with my guys, going on the trips, staying in the hotels with my guys. It should be a good summer and the ultimate goal is to make it to Peach Jam.”  — Daniel Steenkamer

Quick Hits

— Milan “Mir” Dean (2025 | Archbishop Wood) punctuated his 21-point outing Wednesday night with a high-flying baseline dunk as the final seconds ticked away. Along with reigning PCL MVP Jalil Bethea, sophomores Deuce Maxey and Mike Green, and junior Josh Reed, Dean is a big part of an impressive nucleus expected to return to Wood next season. The goal, Dean says, is to win Catholic League and PIAA state championships in 2024 after falling in the semifinals of both tournaments this past winter.

Dean says he wants to improve his ball handling and shooting stroke this summer playing for Team Final Red 16U on the Nike EYBL circuit. Although there’s been no activity in his recruitment as of now, he’s sure to turn some heads this summer with his combination of eye-popping raw athleticism and savvy offensive game. — Gedd Constable

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