Nik Stauskas highlights NEPSAC finals

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.

Standout prospects

Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark’s)

2012, SF, 6-6, 205

College: Michigan

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.

Surprise performer