Our Savior Lutheran (N.Y.)'s Dashawn Davis (above) was one of several standouts at "The Warm-Up" on Friday night. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
The opening night of “The Warm-Up,” presented by the All-City Classic and Olympus Prep, took place Friday night at Imhotep Charter, with four games: Abington/Archbishop Wood, Sankofa Freedom/Norristown, Gratz/Camden and the host Imhotep playing Our Savior Lutheran (N.Y.) to cap off the evening.
Here are some standouts from Friday night’s games:
Max Amadasun (2020/Our Savior Lutheran, N.Y.)
One of two 6-foot-10 forwards in the Our Savior starting lineup, Amadasun played more of the ‘4’ in this game, though his true position is probably more as a mobile, skilled ‘5’. The native of Dublin, Ireland impacted the game in numerous ways, finishing with six points, eight rebounds, three blocks, two assists and a steal in his team’s night-ending win over a shorthanded Imhotep squad. Amadasun wasn’t afraid to mix it up with a tough Panthers frontcourt, aggressively going after rebounds and challenging shots; his only downside was missing his only jump-shot attempt, as well as all three of his free throws.
Jerome Brewer (2021/Camden, N.J.)
Brewer got it rolling early in Camden’s close loss to Simon Gratz, hitting three 3-pointers in succession within the first five minutes, setting the tone for a night where he was the was the Panthers’ go-to gunner while star junior Lance Ware was on a visit to Kentucky. The 6-5 wing, who spent his freshman year at West Catholic (Pa.) but is now back playing for his hometown school, finished with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting, going 5-of-10 from deep, adding in nine rebounds, plus an assist, steal and block to the stat sheet. Brewer’s shot is still a work in progress, but he’s got a quick, high release, and he’s becoming a more fluid athlete off the bounce.
Dashawn Davis (2019/Our Savior Lutheran, N.Y.)
Though his backcourt mate Posh Alexander, one of the top junior guards in the country, tends to draw more headlines in the Our Savior backcourt, there’s no doubt that it was Davis who starred for his team on Friday night, and the 6-1 guard was perhaps the best player in the gym all evening. Davis went for 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-6 from 3-point range and 4-of-5 from the line, but it was his overall playmaking that was most impressive; he delivered five assists and came away with four steals, and was all over the court all game long.
Eric Dixon (2019/Abington, Pa.)
The Ghosts’ Villanova commit got off to something of a slow personal start, missing his first four shots from the floor, including three in a row on the same possession. But he settled in nicely after that, hitting six of his next seven field goals en route to a 24-point outing, which saw him do his usual mix of hitting from deep as well as demanding the ball in the post and bullying his way to the hoop; the 6-7 forward also grabbed nine rebounds (three offensive), rounding out an effort that’s become all-too-commonplace from the talented lefty. Dixon finished 7-of-13 from the floor, 2-of-4 from the 3-point line and 8-of-11 from the stripe.
Jaylen Stinson (2021/Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
One of those four sophomores in the Wood starting lineup and the only newcomer of the four, Stinson looks like he fits in just fine after transferring over this offseason from The Haverford School. A 5-11 point guard, Stinson played unselfish all game long, piling up seven assists to go with seven points, and though he only got one steal to his own credit, he was constantly putting pressure on the Abington ball-handlers, helping force numerous other turnovers and transition opportunities for his team. Offensively, though his shot wasn’t falling (1-8 from the floor), Stinson did a good job of getting to the foul line and converting, knocking down 5-of-6 of his freebies.
Elijah Taylor (2020/Imhotep Charter, Pa.)
Taylor had his hands full on Sunday night, the 6-8 post going up against the two 6-10 big men on Our Savior Lutheran, but he certainly held his own. Taylor battled his way to 12 points and seven rebounds, plus a pair of blocks; he did a great job of finding space as the ‘Tep guards moved the ball around, plunging in for layups or getting to the line, where he was 6-for-9 on his freebies. The left-hander is trying to start stretching the floor, as he stepped out to take a 3-pointer, but for now he’s at his most effective getting to the rim in pick-and-roll situations or drive-and-dumps, and he’ll be able to post up more against teams that aren’t so massive.
Vernon Tubbs (2019/Norristown)
The Eagles’ pint-sized guard came up huge, leading the Eagles to a 48-45 win over a Sankofa Freedom squad that’s just as experienced, with state championship hopes in the small-school Class A classification. Tubbs, a 5-7 point guard, paced Norristown with 15 points in the hard-fought win, going 5-of-10 from the floor, with a couple 3-pointers and some impressive takes to the rim. He also was his tea’s best on-ball defender, coming up with five steals, plus four rebounds and two assists, setting the tone for a senior-laden group under head coach Binky Johnson. A first-team PAC Liberty selection as a junior, Tubbs looks primed for another big year.
Fatayn Wesley (2019/Imhotep Charter, Pa.)
Wesley set the tone from the get-go in the finale, stripping Posh Alexander on the game’s opening possession and taking it the other way or a layup. He nearly played hero at the end, with a 70-foot heave clanking off the rim, just a couple inches away from what would have been a game-tying shot at the regulation buzzer. In between, the speedy 5-9 point guard scored 14 more points, grabbed three rebounds and came away with two more steals, pacing Imhotep on a night where the Panthers were without his classmates Dahmir Bishop (ankle), Donta Scott (wrist) and Chereef Knox (college visit). The area’s best on-ball defender held his own against a high-level Our Savior backcourt, playing a big role in holding Alexander to only eight points.
Honorable Mention: Posh Alexander (2019/Our Savior Lutheran, N.Y.), Mickeel Allen (2019/Norristown, Pa.), Rahsool Diggins (2021/Archbishop Wood, Pa.), Bernard Kouma (2019/Our Savior Lutheran, N.Y.), Lucas Monroe (2019/Abington, Pa.), Julius Phillips (2019/Archbishop Wood, Pa.), Jamil Riggins Jr. (2019/Imhotep Charter, Pa.), Marcus Sanford (2019/Norristown, Pa.), Daeshon Shepherd (2021/Archbishop Wood, Pa.), Scott Spann (2019/Sankofa Freedom, Pa.), Yasir Stover (2019/Simon Gratz, Pa.), Ethan Tarte (2019/Camden, N.J.), Khalil Turner (2019/Sankofa Freedom), Derrius Ward (2020/Sankofa Freedom, Pa.), TaQuan Woodley (2021/Camden, N.J.)