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  • Jared Exler

High School Standouts 2021 Season: Report #4

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

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Saleem Payne 5’11 Point Guard 2022 (Cheltenham HS): Payne was impressive holding down the lead guard spot full time for Cheltenham in their double overtime win against Wissahickon. Finished the game with 27 points. He is a reliable shooter from long range who the defense cannot go under ball screens against. Had a nice off the dribble trey in the first quarter when the defense gave him too much space from the wing. Nailed another three from the wing in the second half when spotting up. Payne did a good job of using his quickness to be effective in transition as well. Took the ball coast to coast in the second half to finish a slithery layup along with drawing a pair of shooting fouls getting all the way to the rim. He showed he can be dependable at the line making 9/11 free throws. Payne also understands the times when he needs to be unselfish and get his teammates involved. Found his teammates for a pair of treys when they were left open from beyond the arc, as well as making the right decision giving the ball up on a two on one in transition to set a teammate up for an and-1. Had three assists in the contest. Payne gave just as good an effort on the defensive end as well. Used his swift hands to pluck the ball from an opponent twice including on the one, picking up his man full court to strip them and score an easy layup the other way. Also showed some nice athleticism and hustle, coming from behind to block an opponent’s shot off the backboard in transition.

Matt Compass 6’2 Shooting Guard 2021 (Wissahickon): Compass was electric scoring the ball in Wissahickon’s hard fought loss to Cheltenham. Showed more confidence in his long ball hitting two treys in the contest. Popped up to the wing for his first trey when an opponent took away a backdoor cut. Compass made his opponent pay on the other make from deep when they were giving him too much space from the corner. Also showed a smooth mid-range game. Had a nice two dribble pull-up driving from the corner, along with a pair of one dribble jumpers penetrating from the wings. Used his floater to tie the game late and force overtime as well. Compass also thrived in transition throughout this game with the uptempo pace playing to his favor. Caught an outlet pass in the first half to take it all the way for an and-1, in addition to scoring a heavily contested layup in the fourth quarter when running the floor hard. Compass also moves well without the ball. Scored on a backdoor cut and found an opening behind Cheltenham’s trapping defense to draw a shooting foul in the second half. Finished the game with 34 points.

Richard Thomas 5’11 Point Guard 2021 (St. Joseph’s Prep): Thomas ran the show efficiently in St. Joe’s Prep’s victory against Bonner-Prendergast. Is a very good passer who found his teammate, and Holy Cross baseball commit Jimmy King for a number of three-pointers on his way to 36 points. Had two assists early in the game where he used a bounce pass to hit a teammate curling for a trey from the wing, in addition to finding a teammate for another three coming off a screen to the wing. Also had a pair of other nice dishes in the game when he threw a cross court pass to a teammate in transition for a corner three, along with drawing the defense on his penetration in the second half to create a good look for a teammate on the wing. Had nine assists in the contest. Thomas did a nice job as well of valuing each possession and limiting taking unnecessary risks on his passes turning the ball over only twice. Also forced Bonner to respect him as a scorer. Has a soft floater in his arsenal which he used very effectively when getting into the lane. Gave St. Joe’s prep momentum hitting a floater with three seconds left in the third quarter coming off a screen from the wing. Likes to use a hop step when he gets in the lane as well, finishing two other floaters as a result of this. Thomas had 13 points in the game. Also made his presence felt on the defensive end. Loves to play tight on ball defense against opposing point guards, making it difficult for them to get into their offense. Had a great sequence in the second half, forcing a travel and turnover out of bounds against his matchup on back to back possessions when giving them very little space to make decisions. Thomas has quick hands as well, plucking out the ball from opponents to force a pair of steals for his team.

Malik Edwards 6’2 Combo Guard 2021 (Bonner-Prendergast HS): Edwards heated up in the final period, bringing Bonner within one with 35 seconds left after being down 10 with under five minutes remaining. While he did not shoot it great from beyond the arc as a whole, he made two important treys in the fourth quarter. Hit a spot up three from the corner off a good extra pass from a teammate, in addition to draining another spot up from the wing to get Bonner within three with 2:10 left. Edwards took advantage of Bonner getting into the bonus early in the second half, drawing a multitude of fouls both on the floor and when going for shots at the rim to get to the foul line at a very high rate. Made all 12 of his free throw attempts and had 26 points in total for the game. Edwards is also a good passer who can be counted on as a secondary playmaker in an offense. Hit an open teammate for a mid-range jumper near the baseline, in addition to finding another teammate in the corner for a buzzer beater trey to end the first half. With Bonner’s lack of true big man, Edwards helped to mitigate this issue using his intuition to be in the right spots at the right time when the ball comes off the rim. Had seven rebounds in the contest. He also created steals in various ways. Came over from the help side in the first half to get his hand in and force an opponent to lose the ball, as well as snatching the ball away from an opponent when playing full court defense to take it the other way for an and-1.

Roman Kuhn 5’9 Point Guard 2022 (Dock Mennonite Academy): Kuhn was clutch for Dock, hitting the go ahead free throws with 3.6 seconds left to help beat Jenkintown. Got into the paint at a good rate in the game showing some wiggle with his handle. Used a nice hesitation move on an opponent to score an and-1, along with using a through the legs move on his defender to draw a shooting foul giving Dock the lead with under four seconds left. Also showed a smooth stroke on a mid-range pull-up from the foul line in the first half. Scored 12 points in the contest. Kuhn is always keeping his head up to find open teammates for high percentage shots as well. Found a cutting teammate for a layup on a baseline out of bounds play, while also hitting a teammate in stride for a layup after catching the opponents off guard following a made bucket. In addition to making smart plays on offense, Kuhn was a pest on the defensive end as well. He is quick laterally, forcing opponents to work very hard getting dribble penetration on him. Caused a steal in the first half from his tight on ball defense against an opponent leading to them losing the ball. Kuhn also has good instincts when an opponent makes contact trying to get by him or create space, drawing three offensive fouls when an opponent used their elbows too aggressively against him.

Jake Hilton 6’2 Wing 2022 (Jenkintown HS): Hilton provided a scoring spark for Jenkintown in their close defeat to Dock Mennonite Academy. The southpaw has good form on his shot, helping him to make a pair of treys with his first one coming on a spot up from the wing. Showed his ability to make plays off the dribble, driving from the wing and corner to score a floater in the lane and finish a layup at the rim. Hilton made a significant impact on the offensive glass, having three offensive rebounds including scoring putback layups on two of them. Also had a good play moving without the ball when he acted as a decoy screening and then cut to the hoop for an easy layup in the first half. Scored 16 points in the contest. Rebounded well on the defensive glass getting solid position on opponents when boxing out as well, corralling four rebounds on this side of the ball for seven total in the game.

Jahaire Johnson 6’2 Combo Forward (Upper Moreland HS): Johnson spaced the floor effectively for Upper Moreland in their win over Springfield Township. Had three treys in the contest, hitting his first two threes from popping out to corner and wing finding the open spot against Springfield’s 2-3 zone. Johnson’s third make from deep came when spotting up near the corner on a drive and kick from his teammate. Showed good touch, hitting a floater from five feet on a drop-off from his teammate in the lane during the second half. Scored 14 points in the contest. Johnson is a versatile defender with the ability to stay in front of guards with his nimble feet, and hang with bigs from the physical mentality he has from the gridiron. Had a nice play in the second half picking up an opponent full court to pluck the ball away from them to take it the other way for an and-1.

Austin Maggioncalda 6’0 Shooting Guard (Springfield Township HS): Maggioncalda stood out for his performance from deep in Springfield’s loss to Upper Moreland. Made five three-pointers in the game, draining two of them early on spot ups from the wing. Also showcased his ability to shoot on the move, hitting a trey from a handoff on the wing, along with a three from the corner on a baseline out of bounds play coming off a screen as the inbounder. Maggioncalda also scored off the bounce during the game, hitting a one dribble three from the wing, in addition to using a crossover move to nail a mid-range pull-up at the foul line in the second half. Finished the contest with 19 points.

Copyright © 2021 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.

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