Jacksonville Potter’s House
This crew out of the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association brought a bunch of dynamic athletes to the event. While 6’2 senior Marsei Caston is the most well-known, having played a prominent role with E1T1 this past travel season, a lot of new faces stepped up to be noticed. Junior 6’4 wing Mayoum Mayoum is an explosive athlete that finished ferociously above the rim on more than one occasion. Taelon Martin, another 6’4 junior, got after opponents defensively, turning steals and loose ball retrievals into impressive scores. A third junior, 6’6 Keano Calderon, turned out to be a surprisingly good passer to go along with his athleticism and rebounding prowess. As intriguing as those three junior wings are, Caston is still the guy the makes the team go. An athletic finisher at the basket as well as an improving perimeter shooter, as Caston goes, so goes Potter’s House.
We caught this team out of Clay County in a pair of games; A two point loss on Friday night and a one point win on Saturday morning. The guard combo of 6’3 senior Gianfranco Grafals and 6’0 junior Sebastian Astor put on a clinic both games. Having played together in Puerto Rico before the hurricanes of 2017 forced them here, it’s clear they know each other’s tendencies. On more than a few occasions they superbly executed a baseline back-door play for scores. Grafals can play either guard spot but plays off the ball when running alongside Astor. He didn’t shoot the ball well from the perimeter but he’s a plus athlete and when he got to the rim he tried to dunk on anyone in his way. He has the ability to play either guard spot. Astor is more of a “pure” point guard. He looks to set up his teammates and pass first but will make perimeter shots if given time and space. Aaron Brown, a 6’4 junior, also deserves mention. A chemistry and energy guy, he did a lot of little things the win games. A sneaky offensive rebounder and crafty defender, Brown does a bit of everything on the court.
St. Petersburg Lakewood
The Spartans were missing two of their starting guards this weekend, so it was up to 6’6 senior Jalen White and 6’9 junior Jamille Reynolds to carry the load. White is an overpowering and athletic player whose forte is facilitating from a point-forward position. Much more a scorer than a shooter, he’s most productive within fifteen feet of the basket. White is a good passer on the move and does a good job of getting the ball to open teammates should the defense collapse on him. Reynolds has all the physical tools to be a big time player. His low post offensive game is solid if not played too physically, as he has a nice jump hook. Reynolds also pays dividends as a rebounder and rim protector on the defensive end.
Jacksonville Impact Christian
This squad made it to the final four last season in Class 2A and it wouldn’t surprise if they did it again, not just this year but in 2020 as well. Jordin Jackson, a 5’10 junior point guard, is the catalyst on both ends of the floor. He really likes to push the pace, get to the basket, and challenge opposing ball-handlers. Myles Smith, a 6’5 junior forward, is a tenacious rebounder at both ends. Tim Grant, a 6’2 guard, provides outside shooting when the defense collapses on the drive or into the post. Ivan Lawson, a 6’5 sophomore is a productive post scorer and rebounder. Brothers Calvin Johnson (6’4 sophomore) and Kelvin Johnson (6’5 freshman) are two youngsters to keep an eye on in the future.