2016 DMVelite Super Team Showcase Notebook

The DMVelite Super Team Showcase recently returned for its third year, with teams from 14 of the area’s top travel ball organizations gathering for a weekend of high-level competition.

The 14U and 15U action took place on Saturday at Holy Trinity Episcopal, while 16U and 17U teams played Sunday at Bowie City Gym.

The Super Team Showcase has quickly become an anticipated event among area teams, who look to test themselves and earn bragging rights against local counterparts that they don’t often encounter on their respective circuits.

“We were looking forward to this since our first schedule came out,” District Basketball 17U guard Denmark Slay II said. “Then when you scheduled us against Baltimore United Gold and the DC Blue Devils, that was two shoe-sponsored teams, and we feel like we should be one of those teams too. So we wanted to come out here and make a statement and prove a point that we belong with them, and that’s what we were able to do.”

RELATED: VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS + INTERVIEWS

RELATED: VIDEO - DAY 1 MIX (14U/15U)

RELATED: VIDEO - DAY 2 MIX (16U/17U)

RELATED: STATISTICS + BOX SCORES

Here’s a look back at the weekend’s action:

SUNDAY (16U + 17U)

MORSELL DOMINATES IN MELO VICTORIES
Mount St. Joseph (Md.) 2017 guard Darryl Morsell was the best player in the gym Sunday, averaging an event-high 27 points per game to lead Team Melo 17U to a pair of victories.

The 6-foot-3 Morsell simply took over in the second half of a 67-63 comeback win against DC Blue Devils, scoring 23 of his game-high 31 points. He finished 13-of-21 from the field while also grabbing 8 rebounds and handing out 4 assists.

“At halftime we were down by I think 9 or 10, and I just told myself I had to get more aggressive,” Morsell said. “The first half I was settling and I was being passive – settling for jumpers – and in the second half I got to the rim and go to the free throw line and I was converting.”

Morsell followed that performance by posting 23 points and 6 rebounds in a 65-62 win over 6th Man Warriors.

A first-team DMVelite All-Maryland selection, Morsell has established himself as a versatile contributor during the high school season, willing to fill in wherever his team needs him. On Sunday he showed that when pressed into action offensively, he’s more than capable of carrying the load. He plays with an exceptional motor, finishes at the rim and has gained more confidence and consistency in his outside shot over the past year.

“I knew we were a little short-handed; we only had six [players] today, so I knew I had to just come out aggressive,” he said. “I got to the rim and made my lay-ups, got to the free throw line, and my points just came.”

Morsell picked up an offer from Temple last week, making the Owls the latest addition to a list that currently includes Bucknell, Cal State-Northridge, Central Florida, Dayton, North Carolina-Greensboro, Siena, Tennessee-Martin, Towson, UMBC and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

“It’s going good,” Morsell said of his recruitment. “I really haven’t cut anything down. After this summer I’ll cut it down, and I’ll probably make a decision probably around November or December.”

RAFUS SHOWS TWO-WAY PROGRESS
St. Benedict’s (NJ) 2017 wing Andre Rafus made his return to the area with Team Melo 17U, and flashed some of the tools that have attracted college coaches in droves.

The 6-foot-9, 195 pounder - up 15 pounds from his sophomore year at St. Frances - averaged 16.5 points per game and led the 17U Division in made 3-pointers, going 7-of-14 from deep. He wasn’t always efficient, and started slow before finding his rhythm in the second game and going 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Overall he looked stronger and more aggressive on the boards and the defensive end, finishing second in blocks with four.

“My game has gotten way better,” Rafus said. “Coach [Mark Taylor] and them got me a little bigger – I was real skinny coming in. They worked on my handle a little bit. I’ve been able to shoot but they helped me make it more [consistent]. I’m just blessed to have everything that I have now.”

Rafus said he currently has 33 scholarship offers, but has already begun the process of winding down his recruitment.

“I’ll most likely be making my college decision before my senior year,” he said. “I’m just looking for a school that’s an overall fit for me as far as school and basketball; a place that I can come right in and play major minutes. Location doesn’t matter, it’s just the overall fit for me.”

DISTRICT POINT GUARDS LEAD SWEEPS
2017 point guard Denmark Slay II enjoyed a breakout junior year at St. Stephens’s & St. Agnes (Va.), and he’s continued to flash game-changing ability with The District 17U.

Slay averaged 15.5 points in a pair of District victories, and consistently came up with key baskets when his team needed them. His performance was good enough to earn an offer from Division II St. Thomas Aquinas (NY), which was in attendance Sunday. He listed D-I interest from Holy Cross, NJIT, Quinnipiac and Holy Cross.

“It gets to a point where it kind of goes into crunch time, and I take it upon myself, like I feel that I need to step my game up and take it to a higher level,” Slay said. “That’s something that I like to do. Damian Lillard is one of my favorite players, and he always talks about in the fourth quarter, bring out the yellow tape - that’s when you finish teams - and that’s what I was trying to do.”

Slay averaged a team-leading 16 points per game at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes this past season, and said he’s felt his game advance.

“It’s progressed a lot,” he said. “A couple of years ago, I was 5-9 and couldn’t really handle the ball, couldn’t really shoot - all I was known for is defense. But over the years I’ve worked on my ball handling, worked on my shooting and I’ve just been in the gym every day. I’ve put in a lot of work and now it’s finally paying off.”

Slay wasn’t the only District point guard to enjoy a nice day, as St. Mary’s-Ryken (Md.) 2018 D’Angelo Tull turned in an impressive day with the 16U squad. Tull averaged 17 points and 4.5 assists while going 15-of-18 at the free throw line. In a 65-58 win over DC Blue Devils, he scored 18 points and dished out 7 assists.

“It was great playing against different teams, and we did well,” he said. “We kind of started out slow in each game, but we picked it up in the second half.”

Tull’s recruitment really hasn’t taken off yet, but its begun to pick up steam in his first season with The District. He’s the prototypical tough lead guard, and does an excellent job of setting up teammates and getting to the foul line.

“A lot of coaches are showing interest, but that’s really it,” he said. “I’m trying to improve my leadership and talking as a point guard. I mean, I know with my height and size and everything I’m going to be a point guard, so I need to work out there and be a leader.”

TAKEOVER BLACK 16U DISPLAYS TALENT, DEPTH
The loaded Team Takeover Black 16U squad didn’t disappoint on Sunday, picking up comfortable wins over Baltimore United Gold (45-34) and New World (70-41).

Newcomers Jalen Smith (Mount St. Joseph) and Bryce Golden (St. James) have been nice additions to the squad, and holdovers like Myles Dread (Gonzaga; pictured), Justin Moore (DeMatha), Brandon Slater (Paul VI) and Tre Wood (St. John's) all flashed the skills that have made them among the area’s top prospects.

"I think we played tremendous defense," said Moore. "We were trapping, rotating, and we talked better than we usually do on defense, which gave us an advantage on offense."

TTO ORANGE 17U MAKES NOISE
Team Takeover’s Orange squad carried the 17U banner for the program on Sunday, and picked up nice wins over Baltimore United Gold and Virginia Elite.

Cesar Chavez 2017 guard Keleaf Tate led the squad in scoring at 14.5 points per game, including a game-high 20 against BU Gold. 2017 guard David Garey (Maguder) averaged 10.5 points per game and dished out an event-high 7 assists per game while also tying for the lead in steals at 2.5 per contest. National Christian 2017 forward Terence Lewis (13.5 points, 8 rebounds) also enjoyed a strong day.

TEAM MELO 16U GUARDS SHINE
Team Melo 16U picked up easy wins over New World and Randallstown Running Rebels, primarily due to a deep stable of guards.

2018 Noah Locke (McDonogh) led the way with 17 points per game, while Wynston Tabbs (St. Mary’s Ryken) and Demetrius Mims (Poly) also stood out. Montrell Horsey (Joppatowne) led the 16U Division in assists at 5.0 per game.

“I think we can make a big impact at Peach Jam,” Mims said. “This team, its not regular high school basketball – we can rely on more people. Everybody can play on the team, and its not one person whose got to do everything. We can share the ball and we’ve got a lot of trust and chemistry.

Locke currently the most highly-recruited member of the group, and currently lists offers from Cincinatti, George Washington, North Carolina-Greensboro, Southern California and Tulsa.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said of his recruitment. "I’ve always had some dream schools that I want to come and look at me, but right now it’s going pretty good. I like how the college coaches have shown interest in me, and it’s going pretty good right now.”

Mims enjoyed a nice varsity campaign at Poly, and said he currently has offers from St. Johns and VCU, with early interest from Dayton, Georgetown, Kansas and UNLV.

“I think I’ve matured a lot over the [past] year,” he said. “I’ve gotten stronger, better at finishing and I’m taking better shots. … I’m trying to show [coaches] I’m a team player. I like racking up assists, I like rebounding, and I like scoring too, but I just want to do anything a coach asks me to. Anything they need me to do, I’ll do it.”

Tabbs and Horsey have seen their recruitments begin to pick up as well. Tabbs holds an offer from North Carolina-Greensboro, while Horsey picked up his first offer from Tennessee-Martin last week.

UNCOMMON BULLS SEIZE OPPORTUNITY
Uncommon Bulls 16U was a late addition to the event, but showed that they definitely belonged there in wins over Virginia Elite and Maryland 3D.

Virginia Academy 2019 center Qudus Wahab (pictured, bottom) continued his rapid improvement on the offensive end, and was truly dominant on the boards and defensively, leading all divisions rebounders (14 per game) and shot blockers (6.0). Myles Jones led the Bulls in scoring with 15 points per game, while Virginia Academy point guard Shyheim Gilkerson ran the show efficiently.

In an opening 47-37 overtime win over Virginia Elite, Uncommon Bulls rallied to 18 points down to force the extra period, and outscored VA Elite 10-0 in overtime to get the win. 

"I think we individually, like, took it personal, to stop our man," Gilkerson said. "They started turning the ball over a little bit, and that helped us out on the offensive end."

MORE NOTES
6th Man Warriors 17U forward Saiquan Jamison (Wise 2016) led the 17U Division in rebounds with 12.0 per game and grabbed an event-high 18 in a 65-62 loss to Team Melo. … DC Blue Devils 2018 forward Deandre Anderson (Clinton Christian 2018) hit a shot at the buzzer in a 65-63 win over Randallstown Running Rebels. … The Blue Devils featured one of the 16U Division’s most explosive backcourts in 16U scoring leader Donald Brewer (17.5 points per game), Kenneth Tyree (14.5) and Marquis Brown (10).

ADDITIONAL STANDOUTS
17U:
Kobby Ayetey, Team Melo; Darron Barnes, DC Blue Devils; Bryan Boehlert, Team Takeover Orange; Jared Bynum, DC Blue Devils; Manny Camper, Team Melo; J.R. Connell, DC Blue Devils; Jarvis Doles, 6th Man Warriors; Deion Hammond, 6th Man Warriors; Kevin Holston, Baltimore United Black; Brandon Horvath, Baltimore United; Saiquan Jamison, 6th Man Warriors; Jake Kuhn, The District; Terence Lewis, Team Takeover Orange; Amanze Njoku-Ibe, 6th Man Warriors; Terry Nolan, Baltimore United Gold; Dom Sakickas, Virginia Elite; Tyler Williams, Baltimore United Gold

16U: Elijah Bowens, Virginia Elite; Marquis Brown, DC Blue Devils; Karim Coulibaly, New World; Elijah Epps, Baltimore United Gold; Ty’Kei Ferrell, Randallstown Running Rebels; Langston Gaither, Virginia Elite; Jordan Goodwin, Baltimore United Gold; Darius Hines, Team Takeover Orange; Vince Lee, Team Takeover Orange; Ayush Mayur, The District; Malik McKinney, The District; Koran Moore, Baltimore United Gold; Mezzie Offerum, Baltimore United Gold; Daniel Oladapo, Team Melo; LJ Owens, Maryland 3D; Ian Roberson, Teak Takeover Orange; Nate Spurlock, The District; Demauri Warren, Randallstown Running Rebels

SATURDAY (14U + 15U)

DCP’S NEWTON DOMINATES
DC Premier 14U forward Woody Newton turned in one of the most dominating stretches of the event, averaging 21 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Newton led the 14U Division in both categories, providing Premier with an interior presence to complement guard Delonnie Hunt (9 ppg, 2.5 apg, 2 spg) and Carlos Hubb (8 ppg, 1.5 spg).

Newton started out with a bang, going for 24 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 53-49 overtime win over Team Takeover Orange. He followed that up with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a 51-30 win over Baltimore United Black.

“I think I played well,” Newton said. “My shot was falling and I was attacking the rim. I was getting good shot opportunities.”

TEAM TAKEOVER BLACK 14U ROLLS BY 15U COMP
The Team Takeover Black 14U program elected to play up in the 15U Division and turned in dominant results, beating DC Premier 50-28 and DC Blue Devils 70-45.

Earl Timberlake turned in an impressive all-around day for TTO, finishing with 13 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game in the two victories. Josiah Hardy (11.5 ppg) and Jeremy Roach (10.5 points and a division-high 5 assists per game) also starred for coach Keith Stevens’ young group.

TEAM DURANT MAKES EARLY STATEMENT
The new Team Durant program made an impressive Super Team Showcase debut, knocking off Team Takeover Black 15U 58-54 in a tightly-contested Saturday morning showdown.

2019 guard Jay Heath (Bishop O’Connell) had 16 in the win, while Jared White (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) added 13 and Judah Jordan (Capitol Christian) 11.

Team Durant trailed by four at the half but outscored TTO 36-28 in the second half to pick up the victory. Heath averaged 15 points per game for the day, going an impressively efficient 11-of-14 from the field.

MORE NOTES
DC Blue Devils 15U wing Marvin Price (DeMatha 2019) – who recently picked up his first Division I offer from Virginia Tech - averaged 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. … Virginia Elite guard Chingunn Ganbold led the 15U Division in scoring at 17.5 points per game, displaying an impressive outside stroke while knocking down seven 3-pointers. … Team Takeover Orange guard Chace Davis had 20 points in an OT loss to DC Premier. Davis - the younger brother of former Maret sharpshooter Steffen Davis - showed that deep 3-point range may run in the family, going 4-of-5 from behind the arc. He averaged 15.5 points per game and tied for the division lead with 2 steals per game. TTO Orange guard Justin Graham averaged 11.5 points per game, going a remarkably efficient 10-of-12 from the field in two contests. … Baltimore United Black 14U guard Alex Robinson averaged 16 points per game while leading the 14U Division with eight made 3-pointers.

ADDITIONAL STANDOUTS
15U: Jalin Abbott, DC Blue Devils; Domenick Bailey, Team Takeover Orange; RJ Blakeny, Team Durant; Cameron Brown, The District; Jermee Bush-Williams, Team Melo; Caleb Dorsey, Baltimore United Gold; Ronnell Giles, Team Durant; K. Howard, Maryland's Finest; Jarrett Hunter, Virginia Elite; Rajeir Jones, Team Melo;  Xavier Joyner, Team Takeover Orange;  Hunter Kauch, Team Takeover Orange; Casey Morsell, Team Takeover Black; Gerard Mungo, Baltimore United Gold; Chase Paar, The District; Canin Reynolds, DC Blue Devils; Mike Sumner, DC Premier; Tyrone Thomas, Baltimore United Gold; Will Thomas, Team Melo; M. Thompson, Maryland’s Finest; Jordan Toles, Baltimore United Gold; Amani Walker, Team Melo; Washington, Baltimore United Black

14U: Noah Adnan, Team Takeover Orange; Amari Bell, Team Takeover Orange; Chase Cook, DC Blue Devils; Mario Diaz, DC Blue Devils; Tehjuan Ford, DC Premier; Antoine Harrison, DC Premier; Spencer Hayes, Baltimore United Black; Rashard Ray, DC Premier; Anthony Thomas, Baltimore United Black; Elijah Wood, Baltimore United Black; Jayvon Wrenn, DC Blue Devils

PHOTOS BY RON BAILEY