skip navigation

Donofrio Classic Report: Tues., March 26, 2024

03/27/2024, 12:30am EDT
By Andrew Robinson + Kevin Gamlin

Andrew Robinson (@ADrobinson3)

The 2024 Donofrio Classic continued Tuesday night, the second of the five first-round nights to take place over this week and into next, with 25 games ultimately determining the champions come April 16 at the Fellowship House in Conshohocken.

CoBL will be there for coverage every night as we get our recruiting coverage started this offseason; CLICK HERE to access our 2024 Donofrio hub. Read ahead for game recaps and a notebook featuring several of the players who took the court Tuesday night:


Game One: PA Hoops Academy 110, WeR1 102

Fans of buckets, and the acquisition of said buckets, certainly would have enjoyed this game. Both teams traded shots and runs for almost the entire game, We R 1 jumping out early, PA Hoops Academy rallying back at the half. A second half scoring duel between PA Hoops’ Cam Wallace (2025 | Westtown) and WeR1’s Tommy Vaughn Jr. (2025 | Phelps) had plenty of secondary helpings on both sides as four players tallied at least 24 or more points in a game that taxed the Fel’s scoreboard to keep up. Wallace went off for 29 points, only using one three-pointer to do it, while Jordan Dill (2027 | Germantown Friends) was right behind with 28 to lead PA Hoops. Vaughn Jr also finished with 28, Kevin Rucker (2024 | Bonner-Prendergast) on his heels with 24 as the high scorers for WeR1. Lucas Orchard (15), Amir Nelson (13) and Joe Badejo (10) were in double figures for PA Hoops while Reece Brown (17) and Jaylen Bernikow (15) were WeR1’s top secondary scorers.

Game Two: Positive Image Blue 89, Just Clean It 75

A tight game opened up late as Positive Image Blue shared the wealth offensively and made the most of some opportunities to run off turnovers. Just Clean It had it going in the first half with a similar kind of balance but ultimately couldn’t keep pace in the second half. Jalen Chiles led Positive Image with 19, the Friends Select guard also throwing some great passes, Fazl Oshodi rode some hot early shooting to 18 points and Mushin Muhammad had 15 including a powerful second half dunk as the Friends' Central duo stood out. Ryan Mulroy led Just Clean It with 11, Nigel Pierman adding 10 and while nobody else hit double digits, Xavier Spears, Xavier Peters and Kamari Brashear all tallied nine.


Vaughn Jr. ready to build after first year at Phelps School

Tommy Vaughn Jr. knew he needed to challenge himself.

An athletic and talented 6-foot guard out of Delaware, Vaughn was on a solid trajectory playing at the Sanford School but he wanted to see how he truly measured up. Vaughn opted to reclassify to the Class of 2025 and jumped across the river, landing with the Phelps School’s National Roster for the 23-24 season. 

Tommy Vaughn (above) poured it on during his first Donofrio game of 2024. (Photo: Andrew Robinson/CoBL)

It was a step up in many ways, but it was just the challenge Vaughn Jr needed as he looks to continue a strong family legacy in basketball.

“It was a pretty hard adjustment at first,” Vaughn Jr said. “The players are so good, they’re so disciplined and so well coached, so it was a big difference from where I was coming from. My first year at Phelps was good, but I feel like the second is going to be way better.”

Vaughn had a good showing Tuesday, scoring 28 points in We R 1’s high-octane 110-102 loss to PA Hoops Academy. The guard lamented that his team’s unified first half effort wasn’t able to carry over into the second half but he nonetheless felt good about his individual performance in his second year playing in the Donofrio.

“I think we played hard, at the end of the day, I’m not mad at the way we played,” Vaughn Jr said. “It’s a tough loss, that stuff happens.”

Vaughn’s roots in basketball go way back and carry some historical significance in Ohio. His grandfather was Cleo “Chico” Vaughn, the first African-American to play for and earn a varsity letter for the Ohio State men’s basketball team. Cleo Vaughn, who passed away in 2010, is an inductee to the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame and early this year was nominated by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame to be considered for induction.

Tommy’s father, Tommy Vaughn Sr., has a long hoops background as well while working to share his father’s story through the Cleo Vaughn Sports Group. The younger Vaughn called his father and grandfather his biggest inspirations.

“My dad was always my biggest role model, I was always in the gym with him,” Vaughn Jr said. “Every time he had a practice, I was in the gym with him and I fell in love with the game from there.

“My grandfather being the first Black man to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes, that’s a huge inspiration to me.”

Cleo Vaughn, who broke the color barrier at OSU in 1953, was regarded as a superb athlete and leaper. His grandson inherited some of that, Tommy Vaughn Jr. showing off some excellent body control slashing through the lane and hanging in the air long enough to turn a couple whistles into and-one opportunities.

Vaughn Jr. is also a jumper, while he didn’t get a chance to show it off much Tuesday, he does have some impressive dunks on his highlights. What the guard is looking to add is a more consistent perimeter game, which he aims to do playing for We R 1 this summer.

“I think I really improved on my playmaking ability, but I still want to improve on that, I think that can always get better,” Vaughn Jr said. “I think my jump shot has also gotten better, but I want to work on that too.”

Playing with Phelps’ national team, Vaughn Jr. got the opportunity to play against bigger, stronger and older players all year. While he was doing well playing in Delaware, it was exactly the kind of measuring stick he felt he needed.

It wasn’t always  easy, but Vaughn Jr. felt like he learned some valuable lessons this year.

“I realized I’m tougher than I thought,” Vaughn Jr. said. “Playing against guys who are way older, way bigger, it showed me how tough I am. It showed me I can go out and compete against these guys and I’m just as good as they are.”

Vaughn Jr. said he doesn’t have any offers yet and his interest has been limited, although he does want to play at the next level. He’s hoping a good summer playing with the confidence he gained this past season will help change that.

“Confidence is key,” Vaughn Jr said. “If I’m not confident in a shot I’m going to take, then why am I going to take it, it’s not going to go in.

“I’m always confident in the shots I take.”


Upper Dublin’s Mulroy hoping to raise profile

Ryan Mulroy certainly took notice of the extra attention a long playoff run can bring.

The Upper Dublin junior was at the forefront of a historic season for the Cardinals, helping UD reach its first District 1 title game since 1985 and it’s first state playoff appearance since 2002. While the Cards’ first state game in 22 years ended in defeat, it was the kind of push Mulroy had been waiting for.

Ryan Mulroy (above) will be playing on the UAA circuit with ShoreShots this spring. (Photo: Andrew Robinson/CoBL)

This summer, he’s taking on the challenge of the Under Armour circuit for the first time and hoping to capitalize on his strong junior year.

“I feel like more people are aware of Upper Dublin basketball now,” Mulroy said. “We had the community coming out to our games, it was really cool to see that.”

Mulroy announced he’ll be playing with the NJ Shoreshots Rio over the weekend. The junior said Jalen Harper of St. Joe’s Prep is the only player he knows from the area, so the chance to play alongside some new teammates from New Jersey, New York and the surrounding area is appealing.

“It’ll be my first year on the UA circuit, so I’m looking forward to it, it’s a good chance to put my name out there,” Mulroy said. “I was playing on the Hoop Group circuit with the Penn Warriors, we lost a couple guys, so I thought it’d be best for me to put myself in front of some college attention. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Last year, Mulroy was on a pretty stacked Keystone Blazers team that went on a deep run in the Donofrio Classic, so his minutes were a bit limited although he did get to start in the semifinals. This year, his stay was just one game, Just Clean It losing its opener to Positive Image Blue despite a very Mulroy-like effort that featured 11 points, a bunch of rebounds, some good passing and lots of activity on defense.

The junior said he doesn’t have any offers yet, but he’s been drawing some strong interest from all three levels. Lafayette, Manhattan and Wofford have reached out from Division I dating back to last fall, Cal U in the PSAC was interested and a collection of Division III programs have shown interest too.

“I have to put myself out there, get some exposure and hopefully that leads to me getting in touch with more coaches,” Mulroy said. “I’m keeping my options open but happy to have the interest and conversations that I have had.”

Mulroy, who did have a pretty nice dunk on Tuesday, was a first team All-SOL Liberty selection this winter. He said quite a few of his Upper Dublin teammates are already back in the gym, the group motivated by their losses in the District 1 5A title game to Unionville and PIAA first round to Exeter Twp going into the summer.

“I gotta work on consistency,” Mulroy said. “When I’m open, I have to shoot the ball. I put the ball on the ground too much, so when I’m open, I just have to shoot it.

“I’m looking forward to next year, we have a lot of guys returning, so it should be fun.”

D-I Coverage:

Small-College News:

Recruiting News:

Tag(s): Home  High School  Andrew Robinson  Boys HS  Friends' Schools (B)  Friends' Central  SOL Liberty (B)  Upper Dublin