Tuesday, April 4, 2023



Orlandis Lawful scored 16 points including two treys and Nate Kirby added 10 markers as Maplewood MS defeated Northstar Academy 63-35 to win the J.E.M. Middle School Classic Championship (Peace Division). Elton Njoy finished with 15 points for Northstar Academy in the loss. 

Top Performers

MVP Nate Kirby Forward (MAPSO)- Kirby didn’t lead the team in scoring but he impacted the game the most. He reminded me of a young Toni Kukoc, the way he control the rock in the middle of the floor and usually finished plays with scoring drives or nice passes. He moved well without the ball and made the extra pass when needed. He showed a complete floor game.

Sportsmanship Award Elton Njoy Guard (Northstar)- Njoy dazzled the crowd with his handle and his ability to breakdown defenders. He got to the cup with ease while showing the ability to score in traffic. He didn’t fear the multiple defenses he saw against the multiple teams he faced.

All Tournament Selection Zach Alexander Guard (MAPSO)- Alexander showed good play making skills especially in their semi-finals matchup. He flourished in the open floor by scoring the pill and dropping some dimes. I love his confidence with the rock and willingness to put pressure on the defense. He finished with 15 points in the semifinals.

All Tournament Selection Assad Mclean ((Northstar)- Mclean is a big wing who loves to pull up from deep or drive the lane to score. I also enjoyed watching him play defense in the passing lanes and occasionally help out on the glass.

Orlandis Lawful Forward (MAPSO)- Lawful was a huge finisher inside during the chip he scored from drop offs and after grabbing offensive boards. He also stepped out and drilled a couple of three balls during the finals. He was a huge asset for this squad.

Manny Yirenki Guard (Northstar)- It’s something about this kid’s game that tells me you will be reading about him later on. Manny is very fluid with the rock and uses a slick handle to get anywhere he wants on the floor. He showed he could finish in the lane even through contact. Early foul trouble hampered him in the first game.