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Imhotep Shows Dominance at HoopGroup Showcase
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (10:31 AM CT, Sat December 10, 2016)
2019 F Donta Scott had a big night in a win against Reading.
2019 F Donta Scott had a big night in a win against Reading.
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

Future150 GM / Senior National Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball.

Reading, PA (Future150) -- The Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase had significant buzz building this season, with its headline matchup showcasing two of the top teams in the state of Pennsylvania, Reading High & Imhotep Charter. With a convincing 70-53 win for the Panthers, they proved their status as an elite team on the state and national level. 

- In The PIAA 4A Classification, It's Imhotep...Then Everyone Else: After watching what they were capable of last night, I'll be absolutely shocked if anyone other than the Panthers is holding gold at the end of the season. They have a deep roster with star power, size and role players, and they don't get rattled. With several notable division one prospects on the roster, they are the team to beat in 4A.

- Reading High Will Have Another Dominant Season: While they couldn't handle the Panthers, the Red Knights have a lot of positives to take away from the game. They are a deep, disciplined team with several players ready to help superstar wing Lonnie Walker. While they may have started the season with a loss, I don't expect them to accumulate many more of them in 2016-2017, as they should be in contention for a district title and a state championship in 6A. 

- The Key To Berks Catholic's Season Is The Development Of Their Talented Sophomore Class: Just how hight the Saints' ceiling is this year will depend heavily on the development of their talented sophomore class of Bryce Calloway, Casey Jack, Luis Garcia & Luke Painton. While they may not hit their ideal stride in 2016-2017, there's no denying how good they can be next year and the season following.

Hoop Group Showcase Standouts:

Daron Russell, 2017 PG, Imhotep (PA): The Rhode Island signee was firing on all cylinders Friday night, finishing with 18 points, six assists & five rebounds. He's the catalyst for the Panthers, and proved his status as a top two point guard in the state. He's a steadying force on both ends of the floor, and is set for another dominant season.

Tyrone Nesby, 2017 SG, Reading High (PA): With the losses of Khary Mauras & Damon Stern, the Red Knights needed another scorer to help Lonnie Walker this season, and they got one in the Berks Catholic transfer. A smooth 6'5" wing, he played a solid game Friday night, showing that he can be a dangerous complimentary piece this season, finishing with 13 points in the loss.

Mark Flagg, 2017 PF, Pennsbury (PA): A surefire division two prospect with division one ability with more development, the 6'7"- 6'8" post played very well at the showcase, finishing with 21 points, eight blocks and seven rebounds in a 15 point win. He also won MVP honors for his team, and should see his recruitment to continue expanding this season.

Donta Scott, 2019 SF, Imhotep (PA): The sky is the limit for the 6'7" sophomore, who shined bright in the heavyweight battle at Albright College. The versatile small forward finished the game with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while showing his ability to score on the perimeter and around the rim.

Casey Jack, 2019 G, Berks Catholic (PA): The MVP winner for his team in a loss, the 6'2" sophomore shot the ball very well on Friday night, finishing with 21 points. This season, he's handling the ball more often, making him a legitimate combo guard, which makes for an interesting scout. He'll be monitored throughout the season.

David Beatty, 2017 SG, Imhotep (PA): The South Carolina signee left a lasting imprint on the game and proved his status as a nationally acclaimed wing prospect. The muscular 6'3" shooting guard not only stood out on the defensive end of the floor, but he made some spectacular moves offensively as well, finishing the game with 17 points and six rebounds.

Wesley Butler, 2019 PG, Reading High (PA): The key to the Red Knights season could be the emergence of the sophomore point guard. At 6-foot with a strong frame, he didn't back down to Daron Russell, and more than held his own, chipping in with seven points and eight rebounds on Friday night. If you're looking for Reading's next stud, this is the guy.

Gary Francis, 2019 SG, Pennsbury (PA): The 6'4" sophomore was an eye-opener for us on Friday night. Not only does he pass the eye test as a physical and athletic wing, but he produced as well, finishing the game with 16 points on several strong drives and a few outside jump shots.

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