2023 NYS Federation Tournament AA Semifinals Standouts
By David Cordova,
On March 25, we joined the throngs at Shaker High School in Latham for the New York State Federation Tournament Semifinals. This tournament was making a comeback after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, the tournament had three different classifications (AA, A and B) in three different venues. The AA classification, which was held at Shaker, had two semifinal games: Long Island Lutheran, the Independent representative going up against Victor High, the NYPHSAA champions, and Archbishop Stepinac (the CHSAA champion) against Eagle Academy II-Brooklyn (the PSAL champion). It would be Long Island Lutheran and Stepinac, emerging victorious. That set up the following day’s championship matchup where Long Island Lutheran prevailed in impressive fashion, 81-57.
Below are the standouts from the semifinal games:
Jayden Ross 6-8, Forward, Long Island Lutheran High School, Class of 2023 (UCONN Commit) - A forward, that has plenty of athletic ability and has a penchant for hustling all over the court. Is a player that will go all-out on the floor and will attack the glass for rebounds. Knows when to take a shot on the perimeter and can also drive to the basket and absorb contact that will result in him absorbing contact, drawing a foul, and getting to the free throw line.
Jayden Reid 5-11, Point Guard, Long Island Lutheran Lutheran High School, Class of 2023 - A guard that is lightning-quick and will always make the right move on the floor. Has a penchant for making heady plays on the court and can drive to the basket with ease. He led the powerhouse league, the NIBC in assists this season. Is a great defensive player, as he has good footwork that results in him stripping the ball from the opposition and going down court easily.
Godswill Erhiene 6-9, Forward, Long Island Lutheran High School, Class of 2024 - A forward that is mobile that can make his presence felt on the court. Has the ability to impose his will on the floor and has a penchant to obtain rebounds and block shots on the court. Has the ability to dominate in the low post, as he is very explosive around the rim.
Garrett Clar, 6-2, Point Guard, Victor High School, Class of 2024 - A guard that has the ability to make plays when he’s on the court. Is able to move around off the ball and roll around screens as a way to get open for shots. Is able to create for himself off the dribble and can drive to the basket or distribute to his teammates.
Griffen Hopkins, 6-0, Shooting Guard, Victor High School, Class of 2025 - A guard that has a penchant for taking on the opposition with his ability to come off of screens and free himself so he can get his shot off. Is a scorer that is fearless when driving to the basket at all times. Is able to create for himself off the dribble at all times.
Cameron Ryan, 5-10, Shooting Guard, Victor High School, Class of 2024 - A guard that has a penchant for being aware of what’s going on around him on the court. Is able to streak to the basket and is fearless when going to the hole. Has a penchant for shooting from long range and is also able to set up his teammates for passes.
Taj Bryant 6-2, Point Guard, Eagle Academy II, Class of 2024 - A guard that has the ability to make great plays and is fearless every time he is on the floor. Is able to take big shots when he’s on the three-point line. Is able to make strong drives and finish efficiently in the lane. Is also a defensive threat, as he can stay on his man and get steals.
Eddie Munyak 6-0, Shooting Guard, Eagle Academy II, Class of 2024 - A guard that has a penchant for making big shots at the right time. Is able to run off screens and can get open at all times. When left open, he is able to take advantage of the opposition with his shooting prowess.
Eric Acker 6-1, Shooting Guard, Eagle Academy II, Class of 2023 (LIU-Brooklyn Commit) - A guard that has a great sense of awareness on the court. Is able to drive down court after getting a rebound and can get to the basket easily. Has a nice shooting touch and is able to make key jumpers when his team needs it. Is able to absorb contact and will find a way to get to the free-throw line.
Emarquis Jones 6-7, Forward, Eagle Academy II, Class of 2023 - A forward that is always determined to establish his presence in the post area. Is a forward that can run down court easily and is a huge assistance to his teammates with his ability to rebound the ball. Is able to finish at the basket efficiently.
Braylan Ritvo 6-7, Forward, Archbishop Stepinac High School, Class of 2023 - A forward that has a vast presence in the lane. Is able to pull up to the top of the key or within 15 feet out and shoot a jumper. Is able to streak to the basket and score when on the fast break. Is able to obtain rebounds and get blocked shots. Has plenty of athleticism, as he can go to the basket and throw down a dunk.
Johnuel Fland 6-3, Point Guard, Archbishop Stepinac High School, Class of 2024 - A guard that is able to take over games when he has the ball in his hands. Is able to facilitate to his teammates and makes sure they get the ball in their hands when they have the opportunity to score. Is able to shoot from long range and is able to hold his own the defensive end, as he can obtain steals and even block shots.
Jordan Gabriel 6-8, Forward, Archbishop Stepinac High School, Class of 2024 - A forward that has great footwork and is able to help his team in many ways when on the court. Is able to block shots and run down court on the fast break. Is never afraid to shoot a jumper when on the perimeter. Is able to impose his will with strength as he is able to absorb contact and finish strong in the post.
Benjamin Lyttle 6-5, Forward, Archbishop Stepinac High School, Class of 2023 - A forward that is a huge low-post presence that can dominate with his strength at all times. Is able to anticipate the pass and can flash to the basket. Is able to shoot from the perimeter when he has the opportunity to do so. Is a solid rebounder, who is fearless when going up a board.