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8th Grade Finale: Standout Performers

By Tony McNiff, 07/22/21, 2:45PM CDT


2025 G Caleb Estes

8th Grade Finale: Standout Performers

Isaiah Campbell-Finch, 2025 Guard, E1T1: Isaiah was vital to his team's success in a huge playoff win over a tough Team Durant squad on Tuesday morning. He formed a tough one-two punch with freak athlete Jamier Jones. Isaiah was shifty, looked to push the pace, and had a deep offensive skill set when it came to scoring the ball. He scored at the rim, distributed to his teammates, created off the dribble, and knocked down jump shots in a big win. 

Derek Dixon, 2025 Guard, Team Durant: Despite a loss to E1T1, Dixon showed impressive flashes of the upside he holds. A big, physical, and versatile guard that does a little bit of everything to help his team. He uses his frame well to absorb contact, finish through it, and frequently draw fouls. He showed flashes of his ability to create off the dribble, knocking down jump shots throughout the weekend.

Jaylen Lawal, 2025 Guard, Louisiana Heights: He had a huge performances in a big win against Nightrydas. Jaylen was scoring on all three levels, rebounding, and giving maximum effort defensively. He showed off a tight handle, elite dribble moves, and the ability to create his own shot comfortably on any level.

JJ Mandaquit, 2025 Guard, Rose City Rebels: Mandaquit had multiple assists on three-point makes to Isaac Carr and Jalen Atkins. Mandaquit got into the lane, penetrated the defense, and showed off an impressive feel for the game. He had a quick first step, polished dribble moves, and a High-IQ that gave the defense multiple issues. He’s able to score at his own will, whether it is on the drive, pulling up for a jump shot, or from three-point range.

Jalen Atkins, 2025 Guard, Rose City Rebels: Atkins is a big, smooth, and skilled guard who had a big performance in Rose City Rebels win over NY Gauchos today. Atkins finished through contact, traffic, or drew fouls. He had a smooth pull up game, and the ability to create his own shot off the dribble. On the perimeter he looked for open space to spot up and shoot, where JJ Mandaquit frequently found him. 

Cameron Boozer, 2025 Forward, Nightrydas: Boozer presents an inside-out versatile scoring threat with major upside. He scores in the post, facing up, on the drive, and has the ability to consistently stretch the floor from three-point range. With his versatility, Boozer is a threat in the pick and roll, or pop. He protects the rim, rebounds on both ends of the floor, and runs the floor at all times. 

Darius Washington, 2025 Guard, Team Rokkout: Darius was a shifty, versatile, and skilled guard who could score in bunches. He had the versatility to play on or off the ball. He had a quick first step, impressive dribble moves, and the ability to shoot the ball off the dribble or catch. He was difficult for opponents to handle in isolation situations, and showed off his IQ operating the pick and roll. 

Damion Cox Jr., 2025 Guard, Team Thad: Damion was a crafty, smart, and pass-first point guard who had a solid performance against Nightrydas. He created off the dribble, got himself into the lane, and scored opportunistically. With his speed, handle, and IQ he thrived at getting into the lane and looking for open kick out passes. He had a good touch around the rim, and finished a few layups acrobatically. 

Johnny Keenan, 2025 Guard, NY Gauchos: Keenan gave Gauchos a great offensive spark in a win over Team Trezz today. He moved without the ball, looked for open space to spot up, and showed off a quick release connecting on multiple three-point makes. Keenan shows an impressive IQ taking advantage of poor closeouts. He can get into the lane and finish with floaters or layups at the rim.

Brandon Hatcher, 2025 Guard, Dayton Rockets: Hatcher had a few solid performances over the course of the 8th Grade Finale for the Dayton Rockets. He’s a lengthy, scrappy, and quick guard that gets downhill in a hurry. He showed off a soft touch around the rim, and the ability to maintain a primary ball handler role in the offense. Defensively, he used his length and lateral quickness to disrupt the flow of an opponent’s offense. 

Travis Upchurch, 2025 Guard, Expressions: Despite a loss to New York Lightning in the Elite Eight, Upchurch played well throughout the day. He directed the offense, created for others, and scored at his own will. With his handle, changes of pace, and speed he can get into the lane with ease. He’s a threat to get to the rim, pull up for a jump shot, or look to find an open teammate. Defensively, he is a dog in the Expression’s press with his elite lateral quickness and uptight pressure. 

Camron Jones, 2025 Guard, CP3: Despite a loss to Expressions in the Sweet 16, Jones showed off a well-rounded skill set. He knocked down multiple three-point shots, finished at the rim, and rebounded impressively well for a guard. He was a great complement in the backcourt for Nathaniel Williams, who frequently penetrated the defense looking for an open Jones on the perimeter. 

Nyk Lewis, 2025 Guard, Team Takeover: Despite a loss to E1T1 in the Elite Eight, Nyk performed at a high level the entire game. He was a downhill, attack-mode, and physical guard who had an impressive arsenal of finishing moves at the rim. He was able to finish through contact, traffic, or draw a foul. Defensively, he used his length and lateral quickness to jump passing lanes and force turnovers.

Amari Evans, 2025 Wing, NY Lightning: Amari is a physically advanced, aggressive, and well-rounded prospect who did a little bit of everything to help his squad take down Alabama Fusion and Expressions. He uses his frame well to post up smaller defenders and absorb contact. On the perimeter, he has the ability to knock down three-point shots off the catch or dribble. Defensively, he has the versatility to guard multiple positions. 

Kiyan Anthony, 2025 Guard, Black Ops: Anthony had a great performance on day three dropping dimes and getting buckets. He had excellent dribble moves that he used to weave through traffic. He could finish at the rim, in the lane, or create space for a shot off the dribble. Anthony did a great job penetrating the defense and creating open shot opportunities for his teammates. 

Caleb Estes, 2025 Guard, Pivot Life Jayhawks: Estes was a versatile, quick, and high-energy prospect that came through in big moments for his squad. He had a quick first step, a tight handle, and the ability to finish through contact or traffic. He was able to knock down jump shots from mid-range and three-point range. Defensively, Estes forced multiple turnovers, jumping passing lanes and getting out in transition. 

Cameron Ward, 2025 Wing, Team Durant: Ward stood out from the jump with his physicality, high-motor, and finishing abilities. He knew when to post up smaller defenders, blew by slower forwards on the drive, and did a great job finishing through contact. He uses his frame well to absorb body contact, and as a result he earns frequent trips to the free throw line. With Ward’s skill level and physicality he has a chance to be special at the next level. 

Amari Edwards, 2025 Guard, Meanstreets: Edwards caught fire towards the end of the second half in Meanstreets win over Avery Bradley Elite. He knocked down two three-point shots, and had a tough layup through traffic to follow. He’s a shifty, crafty, and quick guard who is a threat to shoot off the dribble, get to the rim, or find an open teammate. He did a great job controlling the offense against a zone.

Jeremiah Harshman, 2025 Guard, Avery Bradley Elite: Despite a loss to Meanstreets, Harshman showed off a well-rounded skill set for a guard on Day Three. He was shifty, could create a shot off the dribble, and finished strong at the rim. He knocked down a few mid-range shots off the dribble, and helped create good looks for his teammates. Harshman had the versatility to play on or off the ball, and he did a good job controlling the tempo of the game.

Bryce Heard, 2025 Wing, Mac Irvin Fire: Heard showcased a versatile skill set against Team United on Day Three. He scored opportunistically, rebounded at a high level, and defended multiple positions on the perimeter. He’s an athletic, quick, and versatile wing who can score on all three levels. He finished around the rim, drove by bigger forwards, and knocked down three-point shots today. 

Chadlyn Traylor, 2025 Guard, Team United: Traylor stood out from first glance with his size, length, and feel for the game as a big guard. He controlled the tempo, distributed to open teammates, and scored at his own will. Traylor was able to use his length to finish over or around defenders, shoot over smaller guards, and drive by bigger forwards. He did an excellent job operating the pick and roll in a big win over Mac Irvin Fire this morning.

Nathaniel ‘Q’ Williams, 2025 Guard, CP3: Williams may be undersized, yet he certainly never fails to make an impact. He is lightning-quick, shifty, and has an elite arsenal of dribble moves that get him to his spots on the floor. He uses his speed and handle to blow by defenders, looking to score or distribute. He was able to score in the lane, create for others, and knocked down three-point shots in their win this morning over D.Rice.

Meleek Thomas, 2025 Guard, NY Lightning: Meleek was extremely effective slashing to the basket, finishing through contact, and drawing fouls in a win over TSF. He’s lengthy, can play on or off the ball, and uses an extremely quick first step to propel himself to the rim. At the rim he finishes with either hand, through contact, or acrobatically. He was a nightmare to guard in transition using his speed, handle, and finishing abilities to rack up transition points.

Carby Martin, 2025 Wing, TSF: Martin was an aggressive, physical, and attack-mode wing who earned multiple trips to the free throw line. He absorbs body contact well, and finishes through it strong. He proved to be a threat from the perimeter, knocking down a few three-point shots as well. Martin was a high-motor rebounder on both ends of the floor who handled the load rebounding against a big Pro Skills squad. 

Parker Jefferson, 2025 Forward, Pro Skills: Jefferson hurt the defense in multiple ways whether it was in the post, facing up, or stretching the floor. He was constantly moving against a zone looking for open space for catch and shoot opportunities. He showed impressive vision passing out of the post, and finding open teammates on the perimeter. Defensively, he did a great job contesting shots without fouling. 

AJ Dybantsa, 2026 Wing, Expressions Elite: Dybantsa came through in a huge win against AOT, scoring in double-figures. He’s a lengthy, athletic, and versatile forward who imposes an inside-out scoring threat. He used his length to finish over or around defenders at the rim, and knocked down multiple three-point jumpers in today’s win. Defensively, he was a force in the Expressions press using his length to jump passing lanes and force turnovers. 

Zane Restelli, 2025 Wing, AOT: Restelli may get overshadowed by fellow 2025 AOT star JD Palm, however he proved against Expressions he is a perimeter sharpshooter. He knocked down a variety of three-point shots, whether it was off the catch or dribble. He moves without the ball, takes advantage of poor closeouts, and has the ability to hit pull-up mid-range jump shots. Restelli and Palm were a great one-two punch that provided a variety of scoring, playmaking, and fast break points for AOT. 

Isiah Harwell, 2025 Wing, Rose City Rebels: Harwell is a physically advanced, aggressive, and versatile wing who can hurt the defense in multiple ways. He had a strong second half performance against Team Herro, slashing to the rim, drawing fouls, and finishing through contact or traffic. He likes to create off the dribble and penetrate the defense looking for open kick-out passes on the wing. Look out for the Idaho native to be an immediate star at the next level. 

Benny Fragela, 2025 Guard, Nightrydas: Fragela caught fire in the first half, connecting on four three-point makes. He is a lengthy, crafty, and High-IQ guard that constantly looks for open catch and shoot opportunities. Fragela moves without the ball, looks for space to spot up, and possesses a quick release. Not only is he a perimeter sharpshooter, yet he has the IQ to take advantage of a poor closeout and get to the rim. 

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