Al-Darraji Hits Buzzer Beater for Green Wave
Last night the Mass & NH High School Basketball Report took in a matchup of top 5
Here's our analysis of the top players in the game:
Class of 2010
#1 ranked Alex Burt of Dover is known for being one of the state's top scoring guards. Last night he only scored 10 points, but still led his team to a big win. He had 6 assists, including an assist on the game winning shot by Al-Darraji. Burt acted as a decoy on that play, since everyone in the gym expected him to take the last second shot. This enabled Al-Darraji to get a wide open look at the basket. The 6'0" combo-guard also grabbed 5 rebounds and scored 8 of his 10 points in the second half. Included in those 8 points was the game-tying free throw. He also showed some versatility to his game by driving to the basket and finishing against much bigger defenders. Burt is known by some as "just a shooter" but last night he really showed that he does many other things well.
#12 ranked Phil Hayden (pictured above) of Trinity is a very smart, savvy player. This was evident on one particular play last night where he gave Trinity the lead 50-49 with 2:12 left in regulation. He made a nifty move where he caught the ball on the low block, up-faked and then laid it in off the glass. Hayden had a much bigger Dover player coming up from behind and would have blocked the shot if he had gone right up with it off the catch. He sensed the defender was back there though, and made an up-fake with the ball. When he did this, the defender flew by and out of the way giving Hayden a wide open layup. A savvy play by a savvy player. The 6'1" Hayden finished the game with 12 points.
Class of 2011
#1 ranked David Madol of Trinity showed exactly why he is such a tough matchup in last night's game. He was being covered all game long by Dover's Morgan Faustino, a very good defender. But the 6'6" Madol was just better, totaling a game-high 17 points. If his defender gave him any room, he nailed the jump shot, and if his defender played up on him, he put the ball on the floor and attacked the rim. Madol was very aggressive offensively all game, taking it right to Faustino, stepping up to the challenge of having an elite defender covering him.
#10 ranked Zach Stevens of Trinity only had 7 points on the game, but 3 of those 7 came on a huge three-pointer that started a 10-0 Pioneer run. The 6'2" wing player played a good all around game, and is a very much improved defender.
#17 ranked Morgan Faustino of Dover's stock continues to rise in his junior season. The 6'4" forward is one of the state's best rebounders, as he finished last night with 9 boards to go with 10 points. He also played solid defense against Madol.
#19 ranked Kenaan Al-Darraji of Dover has the ability to play either guard position. He can run the offense himself, but he's also a deadly shooter so you can play him off the ball and set him up for a shot. The latter is exactly what the Green Wave did on the game's final play, with Burt setting up Al-Darraji for the game winning shot from just inside the top of the key. The 6'0" guard had a team-high 15 points, including 4 three-pointers.
Class of 2013
#3 ranked Travis Descoteaux of Trinity is one of only a handful of freshman in NH who are seeing significant playing time on a top team. The 5'11" guard was the team's 6th man and had 7 points, including a big three in the second half.