(VIDEO) Ryan and Milton Academy Outlast Brimmer & May
By Nate Weitzer for Mass Prep Stars
NEWTON, Mass. – Two of the top 100 recruits in the Class of 2018 met in a NEPSAC battle on Wednesday night with Milton Academy’s Cormac Ryan and Brimmer and May’s A.J. Reeves facing off.
While Reeves struggled in the early going, his teammates picked him up and he came alive late to keep the game close, but in the end, Milton Academy’s size and depth proved too much for the Gators in a 74-65 victory for the visitors.
“We locked in and we got easy buckets off our defense,” stated Milton Academy head coach Lamar Reddicks. “We made the right adjustments and the guys bought in and did their jobs.”
A native of New York City, Ryan (19 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals) is the eighth-ranked shooting guard in the country according to ESPN60 and he holds offers from a multitude of Division I programs including Boston College, Indiana and Michigan.
Cormac Ryan goes coast-to-coast for the basket.
With their captain leading the charge, the Mustangs were able to keep Brimmer and May star A.J. Reeves off balance, as the Roxbury native missed seven of his first eight shots from the field, all four of his initial free throw attempts, and turned it over three times in the first half.
Reeves (24 points, 9 rebounds) is the top-ranked prospect from the state of Massachussetts and the 13th overall shooting guard in the country according to ESPN60.
A.J. Reeves scores and is fouled.
He stands 6-foot-6 and is a matchup nightmare with his explosive first step and silky jump shot, but Ryan readily accepted the challenge of guarding Reeves one-on-one throughout most of the game.
“[Ryan] is up for a challenge,” said Reddicks. “He’s our captain and he knows he has a target on his back, so he wants to take it right to an opponent when they’re also a great player like [Reeves]. I think he did a great job tonight.”
Cormac Ryan came up big on the defensive end of the floor as well.
With University of Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie (pictured below) in attendance to scout Reeves, the junior struggled early, but he would eventually wake up and found his offensive rhythm.
Reeves led an 8-0 run with six quick points to give Brimmer the lead early in the second half and a three from junior Jimmy Yfantapulos (7 points, 3 assists) gave the Gators a 38-32 lead.
Yet that’s when the Mustangs came storming back with a balanced attack that didn’t necessarily depend upon Ryan.
With their star in foul trouble, Milton Academy received great contributions from big men Daniel Schlakman (10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) and Rhett Carter (12 points, 4 rebounds).
They were actually led in scoring and rebounding by 16-year-old small forward Cameron Shockley-Okeke (20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists), while junior captain Tom Urquhart (6 points, 3 assists) sealed the win at the free throw line.
Stars Who Shined
Cormac Ryan‘18 G – The Mustangs captain may look like a clean-cut player from the suburbs, but he competed like a New York City kid who must’ve proved his abilities on the playground time and time again.
The 6-foot-5 guard set the tone early with seven quick points in the opening minutes and he was right in the face of Reeves, forcing his fellow top recruit into a few bad-looking turnovers.
Daniel Schlakman‘19 F + Rhett Carter‘19 F – Milton Academy has an impressive duo of sophomore bigs and they played very well together down the stretch.
Schlakman handed out three of the Mustangs 15 team assists and Carter displayed great patience and toughness while finishing in the paint against Reeves and Brimmer center Stone McLaren (10 points, 10 rebounds).
“Daniel Schlakman and Rhett Carter have really good hands for big guys,” asserted Reddicks. “In practice we work on them getting the ball in the low post or creating in the high post and they have an innate ability to find cutters.”
Carter finished through contact on a great pass from Ryan to make it 63-57 with two minutes to play and that effectively sealed the win for Milton Academy.
Carter finishes the pass from Ryan for the big hoop.
Cameron Shockley-Okeke ‘18 F – On a night when players on both sides of the ball struggled to find the range from deep, Shockley-Okeke hit two of his first three attempts from downtown to keep the Mustangs offense churning.
Shockley-Okeke finishes the pass from Ryan
He had a huge put back in the second half to help Milton Academy pull away and made plays on both ends of the floor against Reeves after Ryan fouled out.
“Cameron Shockley-Okeke is an active player who is a catalyst and plays different roles for us,” Reddicks explained. “He was huge on the boards tonight.”
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