Throughout live period, I will be sending out a recap of what I saw each day. On Saturday, I was at the adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which ended with a familiar face providing fireworks in the championship game.
Compton Magic 69, Texas PRO 59
For the second consecutive morning, PRO got off to a slow start from which they were not able to recover. After trailing by double digits early, Durey Cadwell gave the team a spark off the bench late in the first half, and PRO cut the Magic lead to 30-24 at the break. Unfortunately, that was as close as PRO would get, as Magic started the second half hot and led by double digits for most of the way. Cadwell finished with 13 points, and has improved noticeably since the first live period in April. He played well throughout the weekend, making threes and finishing at the basket. Kevin Obanor added 12 points, and his toughness on both ends of the floor kept the margin of defeat from being much larger in this one.
Brookwood Elite 87, Dream Vision 80
This was an entertaining matchup that featured an extended head-to-head battle between Luguentz Dort for Brookwood Elite and Matt Mitchell for Dream Vision. The two often took turns attacking the basket, and Dort ended up with 19 points in the win while Mitchell had 34 points in defeat. Dort has perhaps the strongest body of any guard in the country, and easily absorbs contact at the rim. I first saw Mitchell at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas in December, and he remains one of the most underrated and productive players in America. Recent USC commit J’Raan Brooks was impressive with 22 points and 8 rebounds for Dream Vision, while teammate Bryan Penn-Johnson added 12 points. Brooks is excellent at using his body to create space around the basket, while Johnson has tremendous length at 6’11’’ which allows him to get easy buckets and alter shots at the rim on defense.
Urban DFW 82, Urban ASAK 66
This was a game of runs, as DFW scored the first 13 points betore ASAK rallied to lead 33-30 at the half. DFW reasserted themselves early in the second half, and remained comfortably in front until the final buzzer. Feron Hunt scored 17 points for DFW, while Kennedy Milton added 16 and Jakobi Pearson chipped in 14. Hunt is productive nearly every time I see him, and Milton continues to prove he is one of the best passers in the state and would be a great get for any school looking for a pure point guard. Caleb Golden (2020) scored 20 points for ASAK, Dillon Gooding had 15, Darius McBride 13, and Brock Cunningham 11. Caleb Golden put himself on the map in this one, leading all scorers while attacking the basket at will and getting to the free throw line repeatedly. I got an extensive look at Golden at UT Team Camp last month, and he is among the ten best 2020s in the state. Golden already has the size and athleticism to be an asset at the 17U level, and will become an even bigger threat as his perimeter shooting improves.
Yes II Success 69, Team Loaded NC 68
In the title game of the adidas Gauntlet Finale, Nigel Hawkins delivered his best performance of the summer to lift Yes II Success to the championship. The game was tied late in the first half when Hawkins rattled off several baskets to give YIIS a 39-30 lead at the break. Team Loaded NC put together a persistent rally early in the second half, but a steady diet of buckets from Hawkins kept YIIS narrowly in front. With about 4 minutes remaining, Hawkins scored 8 points in just over a minute, which pushed YIIS to a 66-61 lead that they were able to hold onto in a frantic final sequence that ended with Team Loaded NC missing a deep 3 at the buzzer. Hawkins finished with 26 points (9-12 FG, 4-6 3P) on just 12 attempts in 19 minutes. Larry Wise added 14 points for YIIS while Charles Bassey finished with 6 points and 13 rebounds. After being named MVP of the state tournament as Cy Falls won the 6A state title, Hawkins added to his big-game resume in this one while showing off his best in front of a ton of high-major coaches.