DeMatha (MD) 2024 guard Tyrell Ward [MARCUS HELTON]
The Alhambra Tournament celebrated its 60th year after being canceled the previous two seasons due to covid.
Each year, it draws some of the best Catholic high school programs from across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. This year was no different. The tournament hosted two top 25, three top 30, and six top 50 programs, depending on the publication. This year’s field did not disappoint, as fans were treated to a competitive weekend that saw three last-second wins, and 12 games decided by an average of 6 points.
Here's a look at the top performers (video from Monumental Sports):
Most Valuable Player, All-Tournament Team
19.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 3 SPG, 1.3 TO
45.9 FG% (17/37), 52.9 3P% (9/17), 66.7 FT% (16/24)
Headed to Virginia Tech next year, the future Hokie’s ability to make shots off the bounce was on full display throughout the weekend. He repeatedly knocked down shots moving right or left, used the dribble to reach the rim, and created contact to get to the line. Only big man Favour Aire shot more free throws for the tournament. While he was effective using ball screens, he thrived in iso situations that gave him more space to work out top or on the wings.
At 6’3”- 6’4”, Rice ran point for DeMatha all year, and the experience looked to have paid some dividends for the Stags. The natural scoring guard played a sound floor game, took care of the ball, and controlled the pace for his team throughout their three wins.
18.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 1.0 TO
54.3 FG% (19/35), 50.0 3P% (4/8), 81.3 FT% (13/16)
DeMatha Coach Pete Strickland elected to bring Ward off the bench each game, and Ward’s minutes were lower than we were accustomed to seeing throughout the season. No matter. The Xavier signee made the most of his minutes and was arguably the most dynamic player in the tournament.
Bouncy and energetic, he was locked in on winning. He scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half in a revenge game against St. Frances Academy, whom DeMatha had lost to earlier in the year on their home floor. Then put up 22 points and 11 rebounds in the title game against Paul VI. Ward scored it from each level, showed off his elite athleticism, and was both skilled and explosive in the open court.
17.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 3.3 TO
41.7 FG% (20/48), 70.6 FT% (12/17)
Harris-Smith has been the ultimate Swiss army knife for this squad all year, and was nothing less at the Alhambra. A 6’5” bully in the paint, he was able to muscle bigger defenders on the block, even when they knew his plans.
The 6’5” lefty was persistent in his efforts to get downhill going left, and used a mixture of patience, intelligence, and skillful use of his body to hold off defenders to get the ball up on the board. Speaking of boards, his 8.3 rebounds per game were good for 3rd in the tournament; and his 3.3 assists per contest led his team in that category. Add that to the fact that he took a turn effectively guarding virtually every position on the floor and you get a good picture of what Harris-Smith has brought to the court all season.
16.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.3 SPG, 4.3 TO
37.8 FG% (17/45), 33.3% (6/18), 72.7 FT% (8/11)
The Michigan commit's last hurrah in his storied high school career was characterized by supreme skill, energy, and competitiveness. He gave the crowd plenty of moments to ooh and aah, exhibiting his rat-a-tat pat, no look dishes, and several craftsman’s finishes. His motor and endurance were just as impressive. While his team wasn’t able to conjure up the 4th quarter magic in the final against DeMatha that they’d enjoyed all year, McDaniel led them down to his very last possession.
10.7 PPG, 3.0 APG, 2.3 RPG, 3.0 SPG, 0.7 TO
34.6 FG% (9/26), 28.6 3P% (2/7), 83.3 FT% (10/12)
Hammond’s two-way impact has been understated the entire season, but was fully felt at the Alhambra, nonetheless. His ability to handle pressure, penetrate, and operate out of the pick and roll gave the Panthers flexibility on the offensive end, while his defensive prowess continued to allow them to play two sub 6-foot guards without issue. Hammond showed creativity off the bounce, craft around the rim, and the toughness you want to see from your future point guard.
13.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 1.3 TO
46.7 FG% (14/30), 50.0 3P% (6/12), 63.6 FT% (7/11)
Carrington has a unique ability to be effective, but unassuming. If you’re not paying attention, you may miss one of the best one-and-two-dribble pull-up shooters in the area. As usual, he patiently allowed the game to come to him and then took full advantage of his opportunities.
In addition to his mid-range pull-up game, he also gave a glimpse into a potent pull-up 3. 6’4” and rangy, he possesses nice size at the off-guard spot, but showed the skill the take over primary ballhandling responsibilities when needed. Smart, poised, and unselfish, Carrington’s superlatives were consistently evident for all to see over the weekend.
52.5 FG% (21/40), 47.6 3P% (10/21), 90.0 FT% (9/10)
Reid wasted no time in introducing himself to a crowd unfamiliar with his talents. Using a traditional New York blend of quickness, creative handle, and vision, he captivated the audience early and never stopped.
Reid consistently beat defenders off the dribble to either dish to his waiting bigs on the block or finish at the rim himself. He did so with savvy and a clear understanding of how to use his body to absorb contact, hang, and convert. He was able to get to the rim and finish in half-court settings or in transition/semi-transition, where he displayed great speed with the rock.
Not to be shown up by his ball skills, Reid also proved to be one of the better shooters of the weekend. Whether catching and shooting off the standstill or designed movement, the 5’10” guard was consistent. His best outing was in their loss to St. Frances, when he dropped 15 of his 28 points in the 4th quarter.
The Providence-bound Pierre showed a dead-eye mid-range game, excellent athleticism, and a mature mentality of running his team. He was tough off the dribble, using quickness, deception, and long strides to get to his spots and elevate over the defender.
The 6’2” floor general has a really nice way of opening his hips on changes of direction and pushing off to accelerate past the defense. He also displayed that acceleration in the open court, where he got loose for several dunks. While he was able to get what he wanted in the half-court, he often chose to run the offense in order to get his teammates involved. Pierre played with good pace and was selective with his shots, something that will translate well in his transition to the next level.