25 May 2023

Battle at the Beach: 16U Rpt II

More notable players from the 16U Division at this past weekend’s Battle at the Beach in Wesley Chapel.

Cornelius White, Born to Impact: A 6’5 burly sophomore from Buchholz in Gainesville, White got a lot done both inside and outside.  He got numerous putback points, created “and one” opportunities, and dropped in a couple of threes.  White is a very good athlete, takes the ball quick and hard to the basket, and seems to seek out physical contact.  He plays with a non-stop motor and finds multiple ways to impact the game.

Ethan Hicks, Heart & Hustle: If ever a player has embodied the spirit of the “Heart and Hustle” moniker, it is the 5’11 sophomore from Wesley Chapel.  Every possession seemed life or death for him.  He made shots from behind the arc and blew past defenders on the dribble.  Defensively he is very active with quick hands and feet, more than once stripping the dribbler of the ball and coasting in for an easy basket.

Nick Womack, Showtime Ballers: A 6’0 sophomore from Tampa Wharton, Womack got hot on various occasions in a late Sunday game.  Playing with a ton of confidence, he drilled threes both the dribble as well as the catch.  Womack is also quite quick and slick with his dribble moves, getting into the lane and either scoring or earning a drip to the foul line.  He also showed off a pretty decent mid-range game.  Defensively he is active and alert for opportunities to force turnovers.

Dakota Izard, Wellington Wolves: A 6’3 sophomore at Wellington, Izard with his combination of ball skills and athleticism.  He used excellent body control to make some tough finishes in traffic.  Izard has a nice stroke from the perimeter on either side of the arc.  He rebounds well for his size and is quick to get the ball up the floor in transition.  Wellington has a history of having “that guy” step up each year and by the time he is a senior, it wouldn’t surprise if Izard fills that role.

Willie Piggott, Born to Impact: A 6’3 sophomore at Sports Leadership And Management Academy (SLAM) in Tampa, Piggott is a high level athlete with an “all gas, no brakes” mentality and playing style.  While he did connect on his one perimeter shot attempt from beyond the arc, he was most impactful when getting downhill and attacking the rim.  He creates a lot of free throw opportunities for himself that way.  Piggott is also quick to get down the court in transition, finishing above the rim on most occasions.  His physical gifts make him a potent defender both on and off the ball.

Iryan Francis, Showtime Ballers: A 6’6 sophomore out of Munroe in Gadsden County, Francis is a “robo-rebounder” that refuses to be blocked out and chases down rebounds until the ball is secured.  Most of his points come on putbacks but he has shown some basic scoring tools inside.  Francis may not block a lot of shots but he certainly challenges and changes many that he goes after.  It will be interesting to see how his perimeter game develops over the next couple of seasons.

Jeremy Tovar, Wellington Wolves: A 6’0 sophomore, Tovar filled our notes with positive plays.  A strong finish inside, a floater coming down the middle, a pair of threes, assist on the drive, you get it.  He doesn’t appear to hunt scoring opportunities but when they become available, Tovar is ready, willing and able to take advantage.



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