The 2017 annual NY2LA Sports Invitational carried on from Mequon Homestead High School on Saturday. Day two marked the start of bracket play in the 15, 16, and 17U Divisions. Making a run in 15U, Wisconsin Rap fed off their star Brandon Weston Saturday morning. Meanwhile in 17U, one of the tournament favorites, the Wisconsin Swing looked on point as Nick Klug had a stellar effort to lead the way…

Jonathan Davis – 2020 – SG – Wisconsin Playground Warriors

Davis had 14 points in a win over the Wisconsin Surge. A do-it-all guard, Davis is an outstanding defender and shot blocking guard. He sent shots back with authority on Saturday and has been doing that all spring. In a blowout win, Davis racked up steals and assists, often turning defense into quick transition buckets. Always looking to attack, Davis doesn’t settle offensively. He lives in the paint and doesn’t shy away from contact. A likely Division 1 prospect, Davis has high major potential if he can expand his skillset away from the rim.

Marcus Domask – 2019 – SF – Ray Allen Select
Domask had 18 points in a win over Chicago Lockdown. Able to score from all three levels, Domask showcased his vast array of skills. He’ll knock down 3-pointers at a high rate and is his post-up game is advanced for his age and size. Domask will find weaknesses in his defender and then exploit them. Domask knows his team’s system and understands how he’ll be successful. One of the most consistent prospects in the Midwest over the last year, Domask has produced in pretty much the same capacity with few teams able to slow him down. 

Jay Gentry – 2018 – PG – Kevon Looney Elite
Gentry has always been a little overlooked, but has consistently produced in just about every event we’ve covered in him. A strong mid-range shooter, Gentry has a terrific pull-up game. Gentry lives in the 10-12 foot range and will fight through multiple defenders if he has to. He won’t wow you with speed or athleticism, but is built like a truck and plays through contact very well. A shooter with a knack to hit contested looks, Gentry doesn’t even seem to feel contact or notice a hand in his face. Gentry finished with 17 points in a win over Team 1848.

Nick Klug – 2018 – G – Wisconsin Swing
Klug scored a game-high 18 points in a win over the Wisconsin Jets Saturday night. Advancing to championship Sunday, Klug was feeling it and was able to make it a short game during a 20-point victory. Klug has a sweet shooting stroke and is comfortable scoring off the dribble. An underrated athlete, Klug creates good separation prior to his shot and also has enough speed to blow by people and get to the rim in few dribbles. Able to play either guard position, Klug moves well without the ball and is rarely stagnant, hunting 3-point opportunities. 

Xavier Pinson – 2018 – PG – Mac Irvin Fire Elite
Putting together a clutch performance, Pinson wouldn’t let his team die on Saturday. Advancing to Sunday with a win over Illinois Fastbreak, Pinson delivered in crunch time with timely shots. One of the top 17U prospects in the NY2LA Association, Pinson created just about any shot he wanted. The flashy, electric lead guard broke defenders down off the bounce and got to his spots on the floor. He extra help came, Pinson was always one step ahead, immediately making the right pass to a teammate. Pinson’s anticipation on offense was on point. His vision, passing ability, and clutch shooting was a big reason why Mac Irvin Fire is still alive. 

Zach Toussaint – 2019 – G – Kessel Heat Black
Fresh off a 21-point outing on Friday, Toussaint was at it again Saturday morning. The efficient scoring combo guard had another nice effort in a win over MKE Elite. Only 6-foot, Toussaint can play on or off the ball. He’s a slithering attacker that weaves around defenses and doesn’t need much space to get his shot off. An excellent 3-point shooter off the dribble or on the catch and shoot, Toussaint also has a nice floater when he gets into the paint to avoid his shot from being blocked. 

Brandon Weston – 2020 – G/F – Wisconsin Rap
Not known for his shooting ability, Weston surprised with his ability to score outside the paint. The talented, high-upside freshman went on a big run in the second half to help put the game away in win over Caron Butler Elite. A lengthy, 6-foot-4 wing with some explosive leaping ability, Weston is a vicious attacker. However, on Saturday he expanded his range and knocked down a couple triples and some mid-range jumpers off the bounce. Going for a game-high 27 points, Weston also lived on the offensive glass, out-muscling and out-jumping his opponents for second chance opportunities. 

Khalil Whitney – 2019 – SF – Mac Irvin Fire Elite
Whitney had two strong performances on Saturday. The high-upside, athletic wing had 19 points in a win over the Illinois Flash in 17U play. Later that evening, Whitney had the game-winning tip in as time expired to beat Illinois Fastbreak. An explosive athlete, if Whitney gets a lane to the rim, there are few that can jump with him and remotely contest. Expanding his offensive skillset, Whitney knocked down some 3-pointers and showcased a nice stroke from downtown. At 6-foot-7, Whitney is quite effective in a number of different areas. The scary part is that he still has so much room to grow in just about every facet of his game. 

Deonte Billups – 2019 – G/F – Quad City Elite

Billups shot the ball well on Saturday, leading Quad City Elite to a win over the Wisconsin Swing. The 6-foot-3 wing started the game by burying three consecutive triples. A good catch and shoot prospect, Billups has an effortless release and also works well coming off screens. Also a strong slashing presence, Billups rips hard, doesn’t waste dribbles, and gets right to the rack. He finished with a game-high 14 points in the victory. 

Steven Henderson – 2020 – SG – Caron Butler Elite
Henderson’s ability to score 1-on-1 was impressive in a loss to Wisconsin Rap. A 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Henderson can hang and finish around the rim. He made difficult, contested layups look easy en route to a 20-point performance. Henderson has exciting handles and can break people down with ease. The lefty showed terrific body control around the rim, able to hang and adjust in mid-air, even when he was being hit. Henderson was streaky with his outside shooting, but hit a couple of 3-pointers while sizing up his man off the bounce. 

Johnathan Mpanzo – 2018 – G/F – Indiana Faith
A strong, athletic wing, Mpanzo generated a ton of offense in Saturday’s win over MBA Select. At 6-foot-5, 185-pounds, Mpanzo is a nice looking athlete that excels in transition. He’s very quick with the ball in his hands and is able to make things happen at top speed. Mpanzo worked very hard off the ball as well, beating people down the floor and making himself available to teammates. Also a strong defender, Mpanzo moves well laterally and shut down just about every straight-line drive attempt. 

A.J. Palmer – 2019 – PG – Team RWA
Palmer led Team RWA to a comeback victory over Larry Hughes Basketball Academy Saturday afternoon. A strong second half helped his team get going offensively. Only 5-foot-7, Palmer is very smooth with the basketball. He’s not fazed by pressure and in fact will use tight defense to his advantage by constantly changing pace with the basketball. Palmer shot the ball well from the outside, knocking down a couple of triples. He also opened off the offense with the dribble drive, getting into the paint, feeling the defense, and then making good decisions with the basketball. 

Morgan Taylor – 2018 – G – Illinois Fastbreak
In a high level basketball game, Taylor held his own against Mac Irvin Fire. The 6-foot-3 combo guard had his team on his back at times and nearly came out with a big victory. Facing constant pressure up the floor, Taylor cruised past defenders and then finished against size. Despite being hassled most of the game, Taylor never lost steam and made some big buckets down the stretch that looked as if they’d keep Illinois Fastbreak on tape. In what was a very physical game, Taylor kept his composure and played winning basketball, despite the loss. 

Alton Thompson – 2018 – PF – Mac Irvin Fire Elite
Aside from Pinson, Mac Irvin Fire wouldn’t be alive on Sunday without Thompson. The junior forward had a monster stretch in the second half that helped his team escape with a two-point victory. A very athletic forward with a strong frame, Thompson plays above the rim, finishing inside at a high level and protecting the paint. Thompson had a go-ahead dunk in transition late, followed by a huge chase down block in transition to wipe away a bucket. Thompson’s teammates love looking for him around the rim, because all they have to do is throw it in his vicinity and Thompson will go up and get it. 

Terrance Thompson – 2020 – F/C – Wisconsin Playground Warriors
A post prospect with a lot of promise and a chance to be special, Thompson continues to get better in a hurry. He’s already an imposing presence inside with his ability to dunk with authority and block shots. Thompson’s back-to-the-basket game is getting better and he looks comfortable with the basics, showing a nice drop step and able to pump fake and pivot and finish with either hand. Thompson runs the floor well and is a hard worker in transition. After playing varsity at La Crosse Logan, I like the steps Thompson has taken this spring and he’ll be on the radar of many high major schools over the next two years-plus.