Derek Smith Invitational: Saturday Recap

This past weekend kicked off the inaugural Derek Smith Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky. The event featured local programs in addition to talented teams from all over the country. Below, Cam Sample has a breakdown of Saturday's action, which featured a marquee matchup between two of the top teams in the country.



St Frances vs. Bilingual Christian Academy

The start of the inaugural Derek Smith Invitational certainly did not disappoint with this game. Sophomore Guard Jasiah Cannady showed early on why many schools will be after his services with his ability to space the floor with his crafty ability. At 6’2, Cannady has a beautiful jump shot, as he made 6 threes on the afternoon and finished with 21 points. The player who stood out to me the most from St. Frances was 6’0 senior guard Josiah LaGree. LaGree showed a tremendous motor on the defensive end as he went after loose balls and showed his athletic ability by challenging several shots at the rim. The offensive end wasn’t any different, as LaGree finished with a team-high 24 points. Mid majors need to get on this kid as he would be a valuable asset for any program.

Bilingual was led by 2025 6’1 Guard Ruben Esteban Oliveras. After a quiet first half, Oliveras finished with a game-high 30 points and led a ferocious comeback for Bilingual as they cut the St. Frances lead to 4 late in the game. Oliveras showed his crafty ability as a PG with his driving ability. He finished with a few nice floaters and impressed everyone in attendance. I expect his recruitment to take off with more performances like this.


St. Xavier vs. Bardstown

The hometown Tigers were coming off a school record 119 points on Thursday night, and the offensive firepower was still in full effect with a 93-point showing in this one. From the tip, 2026 standout Jeremiah Jackson showed why he is one of the top players in the state from his class. The 6’4 guard had everyone in the gym in awe when he drove to the lane and threw down a nasty dunk in the first half. He had 20 points at halftime and finished with 25 for the game after playing limited minutes in the second half. Another player for St. X that stood out was 2025 big man Will Hanke. Hanke was active on the glass as he finished with a game-high 15 rebounds. Hanke also finished with 19 points and was a factor every minute he was on the court. 2025 guard Chance Dillingham is also a force to reckon with for St. X, finishing with 11 points on the afternoon.

2024 guard Brenton Moore for Bardstown finished with a game-high 32 points and will be a factor for Bardstown staying in contention in a strong 5th Region in Kentucky this winter.


Seneca vs. Shabach Christian

It’s safe to say that this was the big surprise of the weekend, and for good reason. 6’0 unsigned 2024 Guard Quel’ron House showed why he is one of if not the best players in Louisville with his dominant performance. House was everywhere on the floor, as he was a menace on defense and when he shot the ball on offense, it felt like it was going in. House finished with a game-high 37 points, and showed that as he goes, Seneca goes. If he continues impressive performances like this, then Seneca will be another team to reckon with in the strong 7th region here in the city of Louisville. I expect House’s recruitment to blow up from this performance, and every mid-major in the country should take a chance on this kid. Another player who stood out for Seneca was 8th grader Preston Wheatley. Wheatley showed his toughness with going after every rebound and did not shy away from the big moment getting a big rebound with 8 seconds left and hit 1-2 free throws so Shabach had to take a contested three to force overtime.

2026 4-star guard Neiko Mundey showed from the jump why multiple Power 5 schools are fighting for his services, as he finished with 15 of Shabach’s 19 first-quarter points. Seneca did a great job holding Mundey in check the remainder of the game, as he finished with 19 points. Mundey did a great job showing his ability to drive to the basket, play off the ball, and create opportunities for his teammates. 2025 6’3 Guard Cam Kent finished with 12 points, and did a great job staying involved when Seneca focused their defensive game plan on Mundey after a hot first quarter.


O’Connell vs. Southern Coast Academy

The term “defensive struggle” would be the perfect way to describe this outcome, as both teams struggled to get anything going offensively early on, and O’Connell led 10-5 after the first quarter, and 25-13 at halftime. After halftime, 2024 5-star Bryson Tucker showed why he is one of the most sought-after recruits in the country, showing his ability to drive to the basket and hit consistent mid-range and 3-point shots. Tucker showed his tremendous athletic ability with a run-out dunk in transition that awed those in attendance. Tucker finished with 19 points on the evening.

Southern Coast Academy was led by Jacksonville State commit Chase Coleman, who finished with 12 points and showed his tremendous court vision by spreading out the floor and getting his teammates involved on both the offensive and defensive end with his loud verbal communication. 


Prolific Prep vs. Link Academy

If you were in attendance for this one, you saw an instant classic with several players who will be future NBA players. The hometown kid Tyran Stokes wanted to impress in his homecoming and started off the game with two nasty alley-oop dunks that had everyone in attendance out of their seats and had an opportunity for a third transition dunk that would’ve set the place bonkers. The 6’7 wing showed all night why he is the top player in the 2026 recruiting class and why we’ll be seeing him for years to come. The best performance of the night came from the top player in the class of 2025, 6’8 wing AJ Dybansta. Dybansta finished with a team-high 24 points for Prolific and showed why he will be in consideration for the top pick in the 2026 draft with his ability to create space, drive to the basket, and ability to consistently knock down the three-point shot.

Arkansas signee Jalen Shelley led Link with 24 points and was active on both ends of the floor. Eric Musselman is getting a gem with Shelley. Texas signee Tre Johnson also stood out for Link in this game, showing his ability to play lockdown defense and create opportunities at the offensive end. Don’t be surprised to see these two powerhouses face off on ESPN at Nationals later down the road.

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