The City of Palms championship trophy is headed to Plano (Tex.).
The Prestonwood Christian Academy trio of Julius Randle, Mickey Mitchell and Zach Peters were just too much, as they knocked off Arlington (Tex.) Grace Prep in a rematch from last week.
Early on it looked like the game would be a dog fight, but Grace Prep had issues with turnovers and struggled to complete plays in the paint.
After Grace Prep cut the lead from 14 to eight in the third quarter, Prestonwood went on the games biggest run. Mitchell knocked down a three, Peters hit a 15-foot jump shot and they mixed in finishes around the basket.
While Mitchell was championship game standout, Randle is the guy that led them there. Randle, an elite 2013 prospect, was awarded the City of Palms tournament MVP trophy.
Amile Jefferson, PF, Friends Central – Consistency is often times an issue in high school basketball, but not for this 6-foot-8 match up problem. Jefferson’s ability to score is advanced and there aren’t many in the 2012 class that can match his output and stat line game after game.
Jefferson, a five-star prospect, was an efficient 9-for-15 from the field scoring 21 points and grabbing eight boards. Majority of his field goals came off drives from the high post or post ups. His scoring package is versatile and he can get his points in a variety of ways, which is one of the reasons he’s such a special player.
Alex Mitola, PG, Gill St. Bernard – The shooting exhibition continued on the final day at the City of Palms. His shot isn’t conventional, but his high arcing jumpers find the bottom of the net quite often. If defenders gave him space he knocked down jump shots and because his range extends well past the line he’s a serious long-range threat. The Dartmouth signee finished with eight threes and 30 points.
Benji Bell, SG, Blanche Ely – One of the constants over the past three days has been Bell’s ability to score. He pumped in 22 points and got his hands on six rebounds to help Ely win the consolation championship. Bell lived at the free throw line against Gill St. Bernard and hit 11 of his 13 attempts from the freebie stripe.
Michael Frazier, SG, Montverde – The Florida signee broke out against Riverside on Wednesday. In catch and shoot situations, Frazier, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, is pretty good. He still needs to add consistency with a one-dribble pull-up but he’s a weapon from behind the stripe. Frazier finished 8-for-11 from the field and scored 19 points. He also secured 11 rebounds.
Zach Peters, PF/C, Prestonwood – It started with the TV game last week, but Peters is being more aggressive in the paint. This week he pursued the ball off the glass more than I’ve seen in the past. Peters also played through contact and managed a handful of buckets in the paint to go with a pair of 15-footers that helped PCA break the game open.
Kalidou Diouf, C, Urspringchule – During Urspringchule’s two games at the City of Palms, Diouf was the most consistent performer. Diouf, a 6-foot-8, 255-pound low post guy, fights for space on the block and plays physical with the opposition. Despite being a below the rim center, Diouf scores it well and plays through contact. In a loss to Friends Central he hit a pair of mid-range jump shots and showed good touch on his jump hooks. Diouf scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Conrad Chambers, PG, Friends Central – He began to gain notoriety over the summer playing next to Chris McCullough. Now Chambers is the lead guard on a team with another high level post prospect and he’s excelling. On Wednesday, Chamber scored 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting and tossed out four assists to just one turnover. A quick, 5-foot-11 lead guard, Chambers is shifty and a guy that can get to the rim.
Nerlens Noel, C, Tilton – The best defensive player in the country was up to his old tricks against Wilbraham & Monson. The 6-foot-11 lengthy big man turned his attention to the glass, reeling in 21 boards. He also scored eight points – all in the first half – and swatted away six shots. Noel had two impressive games at the City of Palms event.
Julius Randle, PF, Prestonwood – It wasn’t the point total (seven points) that he had put up in the previous games at the City of Palms, but his overall aggressive nature and dominance was consistent with his earlier play. He drew Jordan Mickey on the defensive end and he played a physical brand of ball and made it extremely difficult for PCA’s best scoring threat to get going. Randle turned up his intensity on a big stage and was the primary reason PCA made the run through the prestigious tournament.
Wayne Selden, SG, Tilton – The built wing from the Boston area was tremendous in a 14 point win over Wilbraham & Monson. Not only did Selden affect the game with his scoring (27 points), but he also found guys in both transition and in the half court. He’s an underrated passer. Offensively, Selden has an advanced skill set and the 6-foot-5 wing has built his body to the point where he can punish defenders on the way to the rim. He’s an elite prospect in the 2014 class.
Mickey Mitchell, SF, Prestonwood – The Mitchell showed continued on the final day. Mitchell, a 6-foot-7 versatile forward, isn’t your normal freshman. Athletically he’s impressive, but he also has an aggressive mentality that you rarely see from an underclassman. He finished well around the basket again and swooped in for a sweet tip dunk in traffic during a key stretch. Mitchell finished with a game high 19 points.
*Jabari Bird put together his best stat line of the week on the final day of the City of Palms. The five-star wing went 12-for-14 from the field and scored 26 points in Richmond (Calif.) Salesian’s win.
*Urpsringchule wing Kevin Bright had a team high 18 points and secured eight rebounds in the loss to Friends Central. The Vanderbilt signee is a bigger wing that shoots it well from three. He hit four triples on Wednesday.
*Shabazz Muhammad scored 26 points, grabbed six rebounds and tossed out five assists in a loss to Mater Dei. He shot 9-for-13 from the field. Rosco Allen was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and scored 10 points.
*2014 standout Stanley Johnson had his best game of the event against Bishop Gorman. The 6-foot-5 wing scored 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Katin Reinhardt led the way for M.D. with 23 points and three three-pointers.
Wayne Selden, a top 10 prospect in the 2014 class, said he has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Providence, Florida, Missouri, Boston College, Connecticut, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
Not as many colleges were represented on the final day of the City of Palms. California, Washington, Florida, FGCU, St. John’s and SMU all had assistants in the stands.
*Salesian 76, St. Raymond 57
*Lake Wales 78, Miller Grove 60
*Friends Central 55, Urspringschule 51
*Blanche Ely 73, Gill St. Bernard 69
*Mater Dei 79, Bishop Gorman 69
*Montverde 92, Riverside 80
*Tilton 63, Wilbraham & Monson 47
*Prestonwood 62, Grace Prep 42