Our Florida Showdown was an enormous success this past weekend and we’d like to thank all the teams that came out to the Advent Health Fieldhouse in Winter Haven. A big thanks to BioSteel who kept all of the players hydrated for the entire event. Over the next few days, we will highlight some players in the high school division that made an impact.
Machli Fleurissant, Palm Beach Flames 11th: A 6’4 junior from Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast, he proved to be a quick and athletic scorer, whether it be in the open court or in half-court sets. Fleurissant creatively got to the basket and scored in a crowd time and time again. As mentioned, he was very good in the open court and was also active on the offensive glass.
Derek Lovett, Team Swoop 11th: A 6’5 junior from Pompano Beach Ely, Lovett was extremely effective around the basket. He has excellent footwork, post moves, and a soft touch with either hand around the rim. Lovett seemingly had a counter move for everything the defense tried to do to stop him. He has a knack for pursuing and coming up with rebounds out of his area, especially at the offensive end. Lovett plays bigger than his size and deserves a realistic opportunity to play on the collegiate level.
Thaddeus Squire, Team Swoop 11th: A 6’5 senior from Fort Lauderdale Stranahan, Squire is a near-carbon copy of Lovett. The one difference we noted was Squire seems to be a smidge better at putting the ball on the floor from the high post or short corners areas and scoring after a dribble or two. He is very quick off his feet to challenge shots and grab rebounds. Squire plays with great effort at both ends of the floor.
Trent Scott, PHS 11th: A 6’4 junior out of Tampa Alonso, this thin bucket-getter was a pleasant surprise. He craftily got to the basket and scored with great body control and touch. Scott also showed to be a good ball-handler and passer when on the move. While his perimeter shot didn’t find its mark often, he has good form and a solid release. Scott is a player we definitely would like to see more of in the future.
Alex Perry, CP25 National 11th: A 6’5 junior from Port Charlotte, Perry has a high basketball IQ and makes a wide variety of plays. He can score off the drive or with an accurate jumper from the perimeter with range to the three-point line. Perry is an unselfish player that sees the floor well and gets the ball quickly to open cutters in the lane. He rebounds well against bigger foes and can grab the ball and push it in transition without giving it up to a guard. Perry is active on the defensive end where he gets a lot of tips and deflections.
Faheim Meran, Team ME 11th: A 6’4 junior out of Miramar, the combo guard impresses with his ability to creatively score and share the basketball. He uses a variety of change of pace and change of directions moves that he uses to get to the basket and score but also uses them to move the defense so that he can get the ball to a teammate for an easy shot. Moran’s jump shot is reliable to the arc. Adding to his value is Moran’s ability to rebound at both ends and defend a variety of positions.
Moise Balunga (Pictured), CP25 North 11th: A 6’3 junior from Bishop Snyder in Jacksonville, “Mo” is a strong-bodied driver that powers his way to the basket and finishes with touch. He is swift up and down the floor in transition and is a rugged rebounder. A physical defender, he is adept at bumping cutters and bodying up ball-handlers without drawing fouls.