Shepard Gardner (Youth Interlock)
The Mid Atlantic AAU Regional’s Final Four kicked off today and Basketball Spotlight was on hand for the semifinals. We had a chance to watch the 12U, 13U and 14U rock. Here’s a breakdown of the action.
13U Semifinals Recap
Youth Interlock 61 Philly Select 53
Team Kobe 50 Team Nelson 40
Shepard Garner Guard (Youth Interlock)- Philly Select tested Youth Interlock’s armor early and Garner was ready for the challenge. The explosive combo guard made PS pay in transition with strong left handed finishes while also attacking the rim in the half court set. Garner’s toughness carried over to his teammates as he raised their level of play like special players should do.
Wamere Murphy Forward (Youth Interlock)- This kid has some serious talent and made a living scoring on the baseline and in transition. Once again his athleticism stood out on both ends of the floor. On defense he got after it by making some impressive blocks and eating the glass for rebounds.
Jahyde Gardiner Forward (Philly Select)- This kid was a thorn in YI side all afternoon. He was very effective in the post by scoring in the lane and hitting the offensive boards. On defense he was the human rejecter as he punched shots repeatedly. I was very impressed with my first look at Gardiner.
Anthony Rhem Guard (Philly Select)- Rhem is not the same player he was when he rocked with Team Kobe. His ball handling has improved tremendously. He had the YI defenders on skates trying to guard him. He got to the basket at will and finished off most of the plays.
Shakeem Stevens Guard (Philly Select)- Stevens is another guard with a lot of swagger to his game. He has a wicked handle and body control that helps him finish amongst shot blockers. His size makes him an instant matchup problem. We will keep an eye on him.
Malik Smith Guard (Philly Select)- Smith has grown a couple of inches but still dances with the rock. He dribbled through YI pressing defense while creating opportunities for his squad. He’s one of the most confident guards in this class.
CJ Wolfe Guard (Team Kobe)- Wolfe carried the load in terms of scoring for Team Kobe. He has improved his dribble moves and they allowed him to get to the cup in a blur. When Team Nelson made a run to get things close CJ took over and shut the door on TN.
Alex Jones Forward (Team Kobe)- Jones is a little undersized for the blocks but he knows how to maneuver the rock away from shot blockers. He took passes from Brandon Austin and either converted or went to the charity stripe.
Brandon Austin Forward (Team Kobe)- Speaking of Austin the talented wing guard still doesn’t have total confidence in his once injured right wrist. He handles the rock primarily with his left hand and doesn’t look to score as much as in the past. Hopefully he will gain the faith before they go to Nationals.
Dion Linton Forward (Team Nelson)- Linton fought hard on the glass today. The rim was kind to him or his teammates but he showed the toughness to keep competing. At times he’s a very active player.