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HoopHall Highlights: Top performances from Sunday's action


Springfield, Massachusetts has been offering glimpses into thefuture of basketball since James Naismith put some peach baskets ona YMCA wall in 1891. Every MLK weekend, the town gives us anotherin the form of the HoopHall Classic, where dozens of the besthigh-school players in the country descend on Blake Arena.

The HoopHall Classic is also one of three high-school showcasesthis season that was given the green light for NBA scouts toattend. It's a prime opportunity for the elite talents to separatethemselves from the pack — or for less heralded names to putthemselves on the map.

I checked into the arena at 10 a.m. and caught all eightcontests. These standouts, among many others, caught my eye:

DeMatha Catholic (MD) 66,Bishop Loughlin (NY) 55

Mason So, Bishop Loughlin —Sowasn't the leading scorer of the game or the team MVP, but hereally impressed with the little things he did to help the Stagskeep control. The UNC Greensboro commit finished with 14 points andoperated as a secondary ball-handler and spaced the floor well.

So hit 2-of-5 three-point attempts, but his best play came whenhe initiated the offense, passed the ball away, snuck behind theBishop Loughlin zone to the low block and got it back for an easylayup. The senior also hustled on the glass impressively for a6-foot-2 guard and grabbed 7 total boards.

Mount St. Joseph's (MD)54, North Laurel (KY) 48

Mount St. Joseph wins by 6 over NorthLaurel! 😤🏀 Mount St. Joseph - 54 North Laurel - 48🏆 MVP - Tyonne Farrell 19 PTS - 4 REB - 5 AST-🏟️ - Hoophall Classic 2023cc: @HoophallClassic@Spalding@MSJ_Basketballpic.twitter.com/943lF8n6bW

— Legit Sport Stats (@LegitSportStats) January 15, 2023

Tyonne Farrell, Mt. St. Joseph's—Farrell logged an awesome statement game in frontof the college recruiters and NBA scouts: 19 points, 5 assists, 4blocks and 4 rebounds. The forward (listed at 6-foot-6, though heseems taller) was a monster protecting the rim. Both squads talkedtrash back-and-forth throughout and Farrell's rejections made quitethe statement.

"Scrappy game; they were talking a lot of smack," Farrell toldBasketball News. "It was good to block shots and talk back."

He also nearly brought the hoop down with an emphatic designedalley-oop slam. But Farrell, a junior, was more than a rim-runnerand cutter. He made 1-of-2 triples and was not afraid topower-drive from the perimeter. Farrell grew up playing guard buthas grown and built out his frame. He lists Paul George and JaysonTatum among his favorite pros to watch because of the way they canhandle the ball and use their strength fluidly.

Farrell and Illinois-bound senior teammate Amani Hansberryteamed up for 5 assists apiece; each took turns dissecting NorthLaurel's zone from the middle of the half-court. Hansberry had astrong afternoon of his own with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assistsand 3 steals.

"Me and Amani, we go well together because we both can pass,"Farrell said. "So he'll catch the ball, I'll backdoor slip andhe'll find me. And then, we'll set screens for each other, [and] weboth can handle the ball pretty well for bigger people. So it'slovely playing with Amani. He's a great player."

Farrell didn't dive into his college situation, but he haspublicly posted an offer from Rhode Island and said he's confidentin the direction of his recruitment. He didn't even know NBApersonnel could attend this year's Classic — but it added anotherboost of confidence when he learned afterwards.

"That makes me feel great; I didn't know that," he said with alaugh. "That's amazing... gotta get my name out there."

Reed Sheppard, North Laurel—Sheppard, a four-star senior bound for Kentucky,simply didn't have his shot falling (5-for-21 from the field,3-for-14 from three-point range). But he still ended up with 13points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals by impactingthe game just about everywhere else. He played at a rapid pace thatreally worked in transition, but even his drive-and-kick passesoccurred at blazing speeds. Sheppard follows in the footsteps onhis father, Kentucky legend Jeff Sheppard, but the youngerballplayer looks more than capable of carving out his own path.

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