Slam Dunk to the Beach returned to action for the first time since 2019 partnering up with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to officially become HoopHall East. The 2021 field features several teams ranked in the top 25 nationally and 21 players ranked in the top 100 of their respective classes including the top ranked player in the class of 2022 (7'1 Dereck Lively of Westtown), class of 2023 (6'3 DJ Wagner of Camden) and class of 2024 (6'8 Naasir Cunningham of Gill St. Bernard). Without delay, let's see what went down in day one of action.
Woodrow Wilson High School vs Roselle Catholic High School
Roselle Catholic 85 Wilson 65.
Wilson: Darren Buchanan 29 pts, 12 rebs, 5 asts, 5 stls
Marvin Brimage 16 pts, 5 rebs
Roselle: Simeon Wilcher 25 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls
Akil Watson 21 pts, 8 rebs
Jamarques Lawrence 20 pts, 7 asts, 4 rebs
Darren Buchanan/ Wilson High School/ 6'6/ Senior
- One of the more versatile players in the DMV, Buchanan utilized that versatility well in a great performance in front of the Slam Dunk crowd, despite the loss. Buchanan bullied his way inside and got to the line early and often which allowed him to get into an offensive flow throughout the game. He scored from all three levels, defended well and was a beast on the boards, which is saying something due to Roselle size and length. Buchanan is a player and one Wilson will lean on greatly throughout the season.
Marvin Brimmage/ Wilson High School/ 6'2/ Junior -
Brimmage had a solid performance, although he settled for a lot of threes in my opinion. He's is a capable shooter with range but couldn't find the efficiency he normally brings to the floor against Roselle, shooting 4-13 from deep. Nonetheless, Brimmage was solid defensively, rebounded well and competed until the final buzzer.
Jamarques Lawrence/Roselle Catholic/ 6'3/ Senior/ Nebraska -
Lawrence was impressive with his all around efficient impact in Roselles win over Wilson high school. While he's a three level scorer, he's lethal in the mid-range and already understands how to find the gaps in opposing defenses to make himself a constant threat to score or to make plays for others when he draws the defense. Nebraska has a good one coming.
Joseph McRae/ Wilson High School/ 5'10/ Sophomore-
McRae only scored 4 points but his impact defensively was VERY loud. He harassed Roselle Catholics guards relentlessly, forcing turnovers and sparking a run out of Wilson in the second half before the game ultimately got away from them. He's fearless and with improvement on the offensive end he has the potential to be lethal on both ends in the near future.
Akil Watson/ Roselle Catholic High School/ 6'8/ Sophomore -
Watson blew the game open for Roselle in the second quarter shooting 3-3 from deep and they never looked back. Watson's combination of size, athleticism and skill just overwhelmed Wilsons smaller front court. He can knock down shots from three, he's obviously a threat attacking the basket and he's a pest defensively. The Sky is the limit for Watson.
Simeon Wilcher/ Roselle Catholic High School/ 6'4/ Junior/ North Carolina (Pictured Above)-
Wilcher may have been the most talented player on the floor. After a quiet first half where he only scored five points, Wilcher EXPLODED in the second half with 20 points on 7-8 shooting from a combination of mid range jumpers, dunks and 3-pointers, while also leading Roselle pass Wilsons tough full court press. Wilcher handled the pressure rather easily and made some crucial plays by finding guys for scoring opportunities. Defensively, he's very active and he picked up 3 steals just by being aware and fundamentally sound. UNC has a talented one coming.
Arizona Compass Prep vs Our Saviour Lutheran School
AZ Compass 78 Our Savior Lutheran 40.
AZ Compass: Kylan Boswell & Joshua Ola-Joseph 15 pts each
Lamar Washington 14 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts
Sadiku Ibine Ayo 15 Pts, 4 rebs
Armoni Zeigler 12 pts, 3 asts
AZ Compass -
AZ Compass as a team deserves a LOT of praise for their execution and balanced attack on both ends in a dominant win over Our Lutheran Savior. When they create turnovers and get out in the open court, it gets ugly quick. Our Savior was rocked early when AZ Compass jumped out to a 17-5 lead early in the first quarter and they never recovered. I could name a few names but then I would be doing a disservice to someone else on the roster. Great TEAM performance and it's easy to see why AZ Compass is ranked 7th in the country.
Archbishop Wood vs Camden High School
Camden defeats Archbishop Wood 73-41.
Camden: DJ Wagner Jr 21 pts, 6 stls
Cian Medley 20 pts, 5 asts, 3 stls
Cornelius Robinson 13 pts
Jalil Bathea 11 pts
Basil Laster 10 pts
DJ Wagner/ Camden High School/ 6'3/ Junior -
It was my first time seeing Wagner in person and all I an say is he's indeed very talented.
He does his damage in a different way than his pops Dajuan Wagner Sr by letting the game come to him than just imposing his will on opponents like his pops did 20+ years ago. What they do have in common is their knack for putting the ball in the basket in a multitude of ways and once they see a few go down, they become more relentless attacking opposition. This is what I saw in spurts from Wagner Jr. Defensively he was very active in Camden full court press, stealing the ball six times. His combination of length, anticipation and quickness had Archbishop Wood struggling just to inbounds the ball at times. Wagner is well worth his top ranking in the junior class.
Cian Medley/ Camden High School/ 6'0/ Junior -
Impressed me by how he controlled the game and ran the team, yet, still understanding when he should be aggressive to score. Medley scored 11 of his 20 points in the first quarter, obviously earning extra attention from Archbishop Wood in the process. Medley didn't panic at all, he adjusted and played like a true floor general while helping make everyone else on Camden not named Wagner, a threat. Medley is a talent and one more programs should inquire about.