While the 15U end game was just the warmup act of championship Sunday on court 1 of the Camp Darryl/Bankhoops.com Classic, the shootout between Parallel 45 and ACB/Bank Hoops proved to be more entertaining and competitive than the 17U final to come. Parallel 45 held on for a two-point win, avenging an April loss to ACB on this same court.
After missing Saturday’s games and their quarterfinal win over Game Time Elite, Parallel 45’s Denver Cade returned from a track regional to turn in a first-half shooting performance for the ages in the championship game. If he stays healthy, the 6-1 Buckley freshman could be a 2,000-point high school scorer. Those instincts carry over to AAU, as he nailed three-pointers pulling up on the break and kick-outs from the paint, then showed his ability to create mid-range shots when the defense over-engaged. In the second half Cade did most of his damage on the break as he finishes at a high rate for a young guard. He was good enough in the final four to earn the 15U MVP nod on the all-tournament team.
- CDBA Classic 15U MVP: Denver Cade 6-1 Fr Parallel 45 (Buckley)
- Danny Kolp 6-8 Fr Parallel 45 (Petoskey)
- Willie Shanks 6-1 Fr Muskegon Futures-Black (Muskegon)
- Luke Toliver 6-1 Fr ACB/Bank Hoops (Paw Paw)
- Eonte Tornes 6-0 Fr Muskegon Futures-Silver (Muskegon Heights)
Parallel 45 needed all of Cade’s points, as ACB’s Luke Toliver, a freshman guard who played on Paw Paw’s varsity, had a very hot three-point hand himself and is improved putting it on the floor. Toliver, 6-1 Plainwell freshman Luke Morrell and Portage Central point guard Zach Hernandez spread the floor for ACB, who also had a strong championship game performance up front from 6-5 Jenison freshman Colton Ritsema. Ritsema is sturdy on the glass and has both interior and mid-range touch. He gave ACB a pair of grinders with 6-9 Harper Creek freshman Ryan McCafferty. Morrell is a big-time shooter himself with the ease and quickness that’s unsurprising given he’s a college soccer prospect.
Parallel 45’s frontcourt wasn’t as big or strong but countered with superior skill and athleticism. 6-3 Baldwin freshman Braeden Childress has great passing vision and proved he could play physically when challenged. 6-2 Frankfort freshman Matt Loney is a slasher on the break or halfcourt with energy on the glass. 6-8 Petoskey freshman Danny Kolp made the all-tournament team after a weekend of playing like a defensive center on one end, and a point forward on the other. His fluidity, feel and versatility are scarce amongst players his size and age, and Kolp solidified his rep as a top 10 prospect in the state’s 2018 class.
Childress, Loney and Kolp all handled the ball on the break, which is a trademark for the Northern Michigan squad where everyone can get it and go. Cade’s Buckley teammate, 6-2 freshman Austin Harris, was back at 100% after suffering a concussion in the Warriors Jamfest, and does a good job both handling and defending against smaller, quicker guards and is a dangerous spot-up three-point shooter. 5-10 Frankfort freshman Jaylon Rogers rebounded from foul trouble in the semifinals against Muskegon Futures with a strong final, he’s just very tough to keep out of the lane. 6-1 Cadillac freshman Kegan Brooks can check the 1-4 positions and finishes well from the fast break. Despite being just an 8th-grader, 5-10 Xander Okerlund from Maple City Glen Lake was on the floor for the end of the championship game because he doesn’t make mistakes and has an uncanny basketball IQ for his age.
It was a true team run for Parallel 45 to go through the weekend undefeated. Never was that more evident than in the quarterfinals as the run-and-gun small school kids got lost in the fog of the zone defense and stall offense of the Motor City’s Game Time Elite. But with less than 10 minutes to play Traverse City Central freshman guard Zeke Turner came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3s and resurrect his team. Had Game Time not been eliminated in that quarterfinal game, Keith Johnson certainly would have made the all-tournament team. He’s a burly 6-1 freshman from Detroit Loyola who is dangerous from 20 feet and can also get things going downhill.