San Anotnio, TX-
The bracket format has set up two very nice semifinal matchups in the 17U division and pool play has shown which 15U and 16U teams are peaking for the final stretch. Here’s the breakdown along with our preview.
West Texas Force Elite (3-0)
FAOT Allstars (3-0)
The Force steamrolled through the competition with their narrowest margin of victory being 16 points. Plenty of young talent with one of the top 2023’s in the State, KJ Lewis (Chapin HS), showing his overall game. Young 2022 sharpshooting guard Coco Rose (Odessa HS) put his range on his display, but Shy Stephens Deary (Permian HS) a 2021 point guard that we’re very familiar with, has averaged 17pts in their three wins. Including a 25 piece in their opening 830am game, where they pulled away from SAF National, 68-52.
For the Allstars, this team has continued to impress on the summer circuit. Some would say an unheralded group that just keeps plugging away and finding ways to win. Their two wins on Saturday came over competition with plenty of size and talent, topping the Houston Top Guns Red, 84-76, and edgeing out THP Elite Blue, 62-58. The combo of Jonas Carlisle (South San HS/2021) and Angelo Samudio (McCollum HS/2021) have been the catalysts. Carlisle continues to ball and play very efficient. So far this weekend has been in a slasher’s mentality attacking and pushing the pace from the point guard spot. Samudio continues to bang down low, get dirty and physical, and produce. Both big reasons why FAOT is in the semis.
Texas Hardwork UAA 16U (3-0)
Proskills Austin 17U (3-0)
Like it or not, Hardwork is the expected favorite. With a roster loaded of D1 prospects, 3 of whom have D1 offers already, this teams talent and depth is real. The competition has not had any answer for Top 30 National Prospect Vince Iwuchukwu (Cole HS/2022). The 6’11” big man has averaged 20ppg and has dominated on the boards and had more than a few thunderous dunks so far. Jasean Jackson (Wagner HS/2021), Zayden Height (Smithson Valley/2023), and Trey Blackmore (Cole HS/2022) have all added to the depth and talent, each registering at least one double digit game in their three wins.
Prior to their final game on Saturday evening, Proskills had cruised, winning by 34 and 26 points. In the end they battled a tough D1 West TX club, and fended them off for the win, 67-66. What Proskills lacks in height, they make up for in their guard play. Their guards have been some of the best we’ve now seen in 3 events over the last few weeks. Trendon Stewart (Ellison HS/2021) dropped 20pts in their win over NBA Bound. Braedyn Dawes (Vista Ridge HS/2021) continues to light up defenders and competition, nailing a combined 11 three-pointers in their first three wins. In holding off D1 West Texas, it was Jayce Wright (Killeen Ellison/2021) who answered with key buckets, hitting 3 big treys and finishing with a team high 17pts. Jayden Guevara (Dripping Springs HS/2021) also has to be accounted for putting up 17 and 16 respectively in two of their W’s. The matchup will be Proskills guards and shooting ability, versus the size and athleticism of Texas Hardwork UAA. You'll want to be in the stands for both matchups.
ATX Lockdown 2022 (2-0)
In case you’ve been under a rock, this 2022 group is one of the better teams in all of the Tri-Regions and beyond. Still missing 3-4 key players, their squad is impressive. TJ Johnson (Belton HS/2022) remains consistently at a high level. He dropped 25pts in their win over the Tigers, has averaged 19pts in their first two wins. The head of the snake is Jacob Swaboda (Cedar Park HS/2022) who had a team high 13pts in their victory over Houston Top Guns. Next opponent: Louisiana Extreme 2022
Lonestar United 16U (2-0)
With recent Oklahoma State target, Malik Pressley (San Marcos HS/2023), the United are a young, but very talented bunch. Pressley’s athleticism is insanely off the charts, and when he attacks his quickness, length, and ability to finish are what make him a him major prospect. Quick footed guards Kaden Gumbs (San Marcos HS/2023), Malachi Goodlet (Homeschool/2023), and Mac Goodlet (Homeschool/2024) are looking to be a good combination of athleticism, speed, and shooting ability. It’s been the equation that’s resulted in two wins of more than 20 points each. Next opponent: Proskills Austin 16U
West Texas Elite Force 16U (2-0)
Getting reps between both squads, KJ Lewis (Chapin HS/2023), along with teammate and fellow talented ’23, Evan Phelps (Duncanville HS/2023), and the range and accuracy of Coco Rose (Odessa HS/2022), are why the Force won both matches by double digits. Lewis has a frame built like that of linebacker, that makes him an extremely tough match-up with a full head of steam and attacking off the dribble. His 23pts were a team high in their triumph over Proskills Austin 16U. Rose and Phelps are quick guards who can create havoc entering the paint as they blow by you or connect from the perimeter. Both have benefited when Lewis draws more defenders. Next opponent: CTX Knights
Texas Hardwork UAA 15U (2-0)
Matthew Soto (Somerset HS/2023) led Hardwork in one win, putting in a team high 18pts and sinking a combined 4 treys so far. 6’7” post Tre Pullins (Harlan HS/2023) has showed flashes working inside. Ryan Garza (Harlan HS/2023) led the squad in their second pool play win with 14, but showed off some serious touch and range, bombing away with 4 three-pointers. Zac Crawford (Harlan HS/2023), another talent that we’ve certainly had our eyes on, hit double digits in their win over Louisiana Xtreme. Next opponent: Texas Tigers 16U
SAF Hybrid (3-0)
Crushed the competition. Smallest margin of victory was 17 points. Dillon Coleman (Roosevelt HS/2023) and Roman Chase (2024) have led the Finest so far. Next opponent: Arnold Elite 2023
Drive Nation Collins 2024 (3-0)
Led by soon to be freshmen, Devin McCloud (SA Veterans Memorial/2024) and Amarie Haywood (Leander Rouse/2024), this group is very formidable for not having a single player who has logged a high school minute yet. Reese Martin (St. Michaels HS/2024) and Javon Toliver (Steele HS/2024) are two other prospects that have stood out for Drive Nation in going undefeated. Next opponent: Centex Attack Lee
At the conclusion of the CenTX Hoopsfest, we’ll have a recap touching on all of the division winners.