10.18.18 | News
Top Matchups Days 1-3 of the 2018 Tournament
(Note: team rankings are from the MaxPreps Way-Too-Early Top 25.)
Monday, Dec. 17
The pick: No. 10 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia) vs. Riverview (Sarasota), 8:45 p.m. — Perennial national power Oak Hill makes its first Culligan City of Palms appearance since 1991 when it takes the floor for this game against a Riverview squad that may have more than just proximity to Fort Myers on its side. Rivals.com tabbed Riverview junior Malachi Wideman as the most athletic player at this past summer’s Nike Elite 100 camp in St. Louis. He and his teammates will nonetheless face the supreme challenge of dealing with senior Cole Anthony, who just arrived via transfer and was named No. 2 on the ESPN college recruiting rankings for his class. Three other Oak Hill players are within the top 60 in the ESPN rankings for their respective classes, proof that legendary coach Steve Smith still has his machine running smoothly.
Honorable mention: Woodrow Wilson (Washington, D.C.) vs. Olive Branch (Olive Branch, Mississippi), 3:30 p.m.
No. 1 University School (Fort Lauderdale) vs. Vashon (St. Louis), 6 p.m.
The champions of last year’s Culligan City of Palms Classic begin their title defense with a clash against one of the top players in the Class of 2020. Cam’Ron Fletcher is a 6-foot-6, 195-pound small forward from Vashon listed as the No. 34 junior in the country. Fletcher, perhaps the most decorated basketball player in the history of the school that was once home to boxers Leon and Michael Spinks, will have to contend with University School’s elite big-man tandem of Scottie Barnes and Vernon Carey Jr., both of whom are in the top three of their respective class rankings. The two schools have won three state championships combined in the last three years.
Honorable mention: No. 11 Paul VI (Fairfax, Virginia) Vs. Immaculate Conception (Montclair, New Jersey), 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s pick: Immaculate Conception (Montclair, New Jersey)-No. 11 Paul VI (Fairfax, Virginia) winner vs. No. 4 McEachern (Powder Springs, Georgia)-Miami Christian winner, 6 p.m.
The winners of the last two games on Tuesday’s schedule have a quick turnaround for this matchup that’s virtually guaranteed to be full of elite prospects. Immaculate Conception boasts a pair of highly regarded junior big men in 6-foot-9 Elijah Hutchins-Everett (No. 53) and 6-foot-10 Cliff Omoruyi (No. 60). It’s either them in this game or Paul VI’s top-flight guard tandem of Jeremy Roach, who’s the No. 17 junior, and No. 74 senior Anthony Harris, who just committed to Virginia Tech. On the other side is McEachern’s quicksilver 6-foot point guard Sharife Cooper, the No. 24 junior who tore up the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League this summer. Cooper’s teammate, small forward Isaac Okoro, is the No. 43 senior and has committed to Auburn.
Honorable mention: Edison National Bank Slam Dunk, 8:15 p.m.