East meets east in west in hoops at Bishop Gorman

LAS VEGAS – Some of the best very of the East Coast prep hoops talent will be on display on one court Sunday morning in western locale.

One of the four Fab 48 Invitation quarterfinal playoffs in the 17-Under division in the Bishop Gorman gymnasium will pit the Team Rio and the New York Renaissance programs.

The 9:10 showdown (on Court 2) pits an Under Armour-fronted and New Jersey-based Team Rio squad paced by Class of 2019 standouts and Tinton Falls Ranney School teammates Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine against the Nike/EYBL N.Y. Renaissance team led by one of the Class of 2018’s elite guards (Luther Muhammad/Jersey City, NJ, Hudson Catholic) and one of 2019’s dominant centers (Kofi Cockburn/Middle Village, CA, Christ the King).

It should be a dandy.

The other quarterfinals include Nike Team Florida vs. Under Armour’s C2K (from Ohio), also at 9:10 and on Court 1, along with – at 10:20 – a clash of Under Armour’s teams New Heights of New York vs. Earl Watson Elite of Southern California, on Court 1.

The last of those, also at 10:20, matches Southern California’s Coastal Elite and Under Armour’s Memphis-based Team Thad on Court 2.

The semifinals tip at 12:40 p.m. with the final set for 3 o’clock.

Semifinals and finals are also scheduled at Bishop Gorman Sunday in the 16s and 15s Invitation divisions.

The adidas Summer Championship 17-U semifinals are being contested Sunday morning in the northern reaches of the city at the Cashman Center, where the Compton Magic Elite team faces Team Loaded of Virginia at 9 o’clock, followed by the New England Playaz and Iowa Barnstormers at 10:20.

The championship game is scheduled, also in the Cashman Center and televised by ESPN, is set to tip at 2:20.

The most compelling game I watched Saturday was in the Bishop Gorman gymnasium (Court 3) where New Heights edged Big Red (Santa Ana, CA’s Mater Dei High players), 72-69.

The hook, of course, was the matchup of 7-footers and each of them offered glimpses of immense talent.

And it proved as compelling as I hoped it might be, with Big Red’s Bol Bol scoring 21 points (including three 3s; he was nine of 15 from the floor) to go with four rebounds and five blocked shots – three of those coming against his counterpart, Moses Brown.

Brown (Briarwood, NY, Archbishop Molloy) scored 14 points – despite missing seven of nine free throws and 11 of 17 field-goal attempts – with 13 rebounds and five blocks.

But a bunch of guys impressed in the game, including Big Red’s Harvard-bound point guard Spencer Freedman (14 points and six assists) and 2018 forwards Michael Wang (17 points, including five 3s) and Harrison Butler (11 points).

New Heights also got strong efforts from 2019 prospects Precious Achiuwa (Newark, NJ, Saint Benedict’s), with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists, as well as guards Rob Higgins (Middletown, NJ) and Lester Quinones (Brentwood, NY, Upper Room Christian), who combined to hit nine 3s.

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