BEVERLY, Mass. -- The New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) held a championship triple-header at Endicott College on Sunday as Salisbury School took the Class A title, St. Mark’s ended Tilton’s championship streak in class AA and Northfield Mount Hermon captured its first New England championship with a victory over St. Thomas More in the AAA final.
Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark’s)
2012, SF, 6-6, 205
Stauskas finished with 19 points but his impact on the game far exceeded that total, as he not only scored the ball in different ways but also facilitated for others in both pick and roll as well as drive-and-kick action. While the complete versatility of Stauskas’ offensive repertoire was on full display, the most impressive part of his performance was that innate star quality that allowed him to make big play after big play at the most pivotal moments of the game.
Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton)
2012, C, 6-10, 215
Noel’s biggest contributions once again came on the defensive end, where he not only anchored the team with his shot-blocking presence but also showed his ability to defend a dominant low-post player as he utilized his quickness and agility to prevent Kaleb Tarczewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Mark’s) from being able to establish any type of seals on the low post. Offensively, his 10 points included one incredible alley-oop finish which he caught literally above the box, in addition to a number of high-level passes.
Chris McCullough (New York, N.Y./Salisbury)
2014, PF, 6-9, 210
McCullough scored a game-high 26 points in the class A final, continuing to show his potentially lethal combination of length, athleticism and skill. McCullough brought good energy throughout the game, running the floor and being active on the offensive glass, while continuing to show a consistently expanding offensive repertoire. He was a consistent threat at the 3-point line, turned the corner in big-to-big ball screen action, and then iced the game with great poise at the free throw line.
Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon)
2012, PG, 6-1, 180
Albrecht showed great resiliency and endurance, playing all 40 minutes of an incredibly hard fought AAA final and serving as the team’s primary ballhandler from start to finish. He was at his best down the stretch, knocking down a deep 3-pointer and two clutch free throws in the game’s final 30 seconds. Albrecht is a cerebral point guard who is super crafty inside and is especially adept at keeping his dribble.
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Rodney Sanders (Linden, N.J./St. Thomas More)
2012, SG, 6-4, 185
Sanders' Division I stock has consistently grown over the last couple of months and it got another boost on Sunday. The big southpaw guard showed an ability to make shots in bunches from behind the 3-point line, which provides only added value for a utility guard who can impact the game by defending multiple perimeter positions, playing with a very high motor and showing general versatility on the offensive end.
Bucknell-bound point guard Ryan Frazier (Baltimore, Md./Salisbury) received MVP honors in the class A final by scoring 13 points, creating tempo with his dribble and putting pressure on the defense by turning the corner in pick-and-roll action.
Wayne Selden (Boston/Tilton) missed Sunday’s final because of an ankle injury, forcing Georges Niang (Methuen, Mass./Tilton) to assume more of a playmaker’s role from the perimeter. Niang finished with a team-high 19 points but was generally forced to operate away from his sweet spots at the mid-post area.
Tarczewski and Noel essentially neutralized each other, finishing with 8 and 10 points respectively, while Stauskas and Niang led their respective teams in scoring. The wild card for St. Mark’s was senior swingma Eli Lubick (Southboro, Mass./St. Mark’s)who finished with 12 points and a handful of assists.