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Hoop Group Lehigh Valley Showcase Standouts (Jan. 29)

01/29/2018, 12:30am EST
By Josh Verlin & Owen McCue

Ryan Young (above) was one of several standouts at the Hoop Group's Lehigh Valley Showcase on Sunday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) &
Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

The Hoop Group’s Lehigh Valley Showcase consisted of four games at Parkland High School on Sunday afternoon, mixing some of the Allentown area’s best teams with some Philly flavor and a little prep school action as well.

Here are our standouts from the action, which saw Harrisburg beat Parkland (62-52), Archbishop Wood top Bethlehem Catholic (68-55), Massanutten Military Ac. (Va.) beat Westtown (84-82 OT) and William Allen beat Liberty (72-64).


Rasir Bolton (2018/Massanutten Military)
Bolton, a 5-foot-10 guard from Virginia Beach, Va., is headed to Penn State next season. With teammate Tyrese Martin going off for 31 points, Bolton’s performance was a bit lost on Sunday, but the ESPN four-star recruit had a fine performance himself. Bolton finished with 21 points, four assists and five rebounds. In Massanutten’s 84-82 win against Westtown, Bolton knocked down a three from several feet behind the 3-point arc with 58.6 seconds left to put Massanutten up by three, then knocked down two free throws down the stretch to seal up the victory. Bolton was very good in transition, speeding by the Westtown defense on multiple fast breaks. He showed great body control around the rim to finish in the lane.

Tony "Big-Game" James went off for 16 of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter of Harrisburg's win over Parkland. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Tony James (2018/Harrisburg)
“Big-Game James,” as he’s known out in the Harrisburg area, lived up to his nickname with an impressive 24-point, 14-rebound, four-assist outing to help the Cougars power their way to a win over the Trojans in the opener. James exploded in the opening quarter, hitting his first five shots (including a 3-pointer) en route to 16 points in the opening eight minutes; though his scoring pace didn’t keep up for the remainder of the contest, his effort and energy inside didn’t cease, as he grabbed eight offensive rebounds throughout the game. A 6-foot-1, 170-pound wing, James can guard points and combo guards on the defensive end but plays more of an interior role offensively, where he specializes as a mid-range operator who can break down a zone and find his teammates.

Jalen Gaffney (2019/Westtown School)
Gaffney has several Division I offers as a junior, including St. John’s. He finished with 16 points and four assists on Sunday in a loss to Massanutten. Gaffney was a bit quiet offensively to start the game, but he came up big for the Moose as they battled down the stretch. He knocked down a three to give Westtown a three-point lead midway through the fourth and then knocked down two free throws with 17.8 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Gaffney scored five points in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter and then added four more in overtime. As the point man for Westtown’s offense, Gaffney, a 6-foot-3 guard, also showed off his passing ability. He set up Jake Forrester, who finished with 18 points, multiple times for easy buckets down low.

Tyrese Martin (2018/Massanutten Military)
The William Allen product, who is spending a prep year at Massanutten before heading to Rhode Island next year, received a warm welcome for his return to the Lehigh Valley and he rewarded those who came out with a performance to remember. Martin, who is rated a three-star recruit by ESPN, scored 31 points, including seven 3-pointers. With 1:11 left in regulation and Massanutten trailing by one, Martin let one fly from five feet behind the arc and a hand in his face, knocking it down to give his team a two-point lead. He rolled his ankle after scoring his only bucket in OT, possibly limiting an even bigger performance. While Martin obviously showed himself a lethal 3-point shooter, the 6-foot-6 guard also showed off his athleticism with a baseline drive and dunk, which brought the crowd to its feet in the second half.

Tyree Pickron (2018/Archbishop Wood)
The future Quinnipiac guard was cooking on Sunday, right from the get-go. Pickron opened the game with a pull-up 3-pointer and then had a strong take to the hoop, then followed that up with two more 3-pointers before the game was even four minutes hold. He finished with 22 points -- 18 in the first half -- on 8-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, adding four rebounds and two assists. He also showed why he’s able to still be an effective 3-point shooter despite teams planning for it, with a nifty side-step to dodge a defender on one deep ball, plus a few one-dribble pull-ups and takes to the hoop as well.

Cameron Reddish (2018/Westtown School)
Reddish’s 32 points weren’t enough to give the Moose a victory in their loss to Massanutten Military, but he played a great game in front of a hostile crowd. ESPN ranks Reddish as the No. 3 player in the country as not many other players his size have his handle and shooting ability to go along with his athleticism. On Sunday, the 6-foot-8 guard made six threes, most of them coming off the bounce. He added five assists and five rebounds to finish off his statline. Reddish had 16 points before halftime, scoring eight of them from the free throw line. After five points in the third, he scored eight points in the fourth quarter as the two teams traded buckets before going to overtime.

Logan Rindock (above) slashed his way to 23 points for Parkland. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Logan Rindock (2019/Parkland)
Rindock had a solid first half in Parkland’s game against Harrisburg, hitting a 3-pointer as part of seven first-quarter points. But he exploded in the third quarter, getting much more assertive off the bounce and getting into the teeth of the Harrisburg defense, finishing around defenders with some nifty spin moves and jump-stops to clear space. The 6-foot-5 junior wing finished with a team-high 23 points in the loss, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists as well. Form on his jumper is a little funky, but he knocked one down from the corner in the first quarter; otherwise, he got his production off the bounce, both in isolation and screening situations.

Alex Serrano (2018/Liberty)
Serrano, a 6-foot-1 senior guard, came into the weekend averaging more than 20 points per game. He nearly matched that in the first half of Liberty’s 72-64 loss to William Allen with 17 points during the game’s first 16 minutes. Serrano added 13 more to his total in the second half to finish with 30 points as one of the highest scorers on the day. He did most of his damage from behind the arc, knocking down six threes, but he was also effective driving to the basket, where he both finished and got to the line. With the defense focusing on stopping him, Serrano also picked up four assists. Serrano’s big scoring effort on Sunday moved him closer to the 1,000-point milestone; he’s just 29 away.

Ryan Young (2018/Bethlehem Catholic)
Those living in the Lehigh Valley should go see BeCaHi if they haven’t yet, because Young alone is worth the price of admission. The 6-foot-9 forward, bound for Northwestern next year, has become an absolute workhorse in the paint over the course of his high school career, and the double-double machine turned out another one with a 16-point, 14-rebound performance. He absolutely attacks the glass, grabbing six offensive rebounds and going up for each and every one of them, and he used a variety of moves in the post, including spin moves in both directions, to get around Wood’s 6-11 senior Seth Pinkney and to the hoop. Also a terrific passer who’s starting to make plays off the bounce, Young added five assists and picked up three steals.


Honorable Mention: Jake Bartholomew (2018/Parkland), Nyzier Bannon (2018/Harrisburg), Rahsool Diggins (2021/Archbishop Wood), Jake Forrester (2018/Westtown School), Andrew Funk (2018/Archbishop Wood), Justin Paz (2019/Bethlehem Catholic), Julius Phillips (2019/Archbishop Wood), Mekhi Long (2019/Massanutten Military), Roy Ortega-Varagas (2020/William Allen), Jasiah Lopez (2019/William Allen)

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