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January 13, 2012

Flyin' to the Hoop: Friday's top performers

KETTERING, Ohio -- A large crowd descended on Trent Arena for the 10th anniversary of Flyin' to the Hoop, one of the nation's premier high school basketball events, on Friday night to watch a double-header. Two Ohio teams were matched up with out-of-state squads, and several high-level prospects lived up to the hype.

Top Performers
1. JAARON SIMMONS, PG, KETTERING (OHIO) ALTER
Simmons starred in his team's loss to Christian Faith Center Academy by scoring a game-high 24 points. The 6-foot Simmons used superior quickness and ball-handling to create midrange looks for himself, where he consistently knocked down shots. When Kettering went to a two-point-guard offense, he was sent to the baseline to go off double-screens, which resulted in him knocking down a trio of three-point shots. He scored over CFC's 6-foot-6 forwards with body control and explosive leaping ability. Simmons also tallied five assists, all coming off dribble penetration and passes out to shooters.

2. KAZA KAJAMI-KEANE, PG, CHRISTIAN FAITH CENTER ACADEMY
The 6-foot-1 2013 guard scored 16 points in his team's eight-point win. Kajami-Keane is a smooth ball-handler who was at his best when changing speeds in the open floor and scoring around the rim in transition. He also showed off nice range, pulling up for jumpers when leading the break in his team's up-tempo offense. The best part of Kajami-Keane's game on Friday night was his distributing. He led his team in assists by drawing help defenders and finding his two athletic forwards in senior Jaylen Pennie and junior Mikyle McIntosh. Georgetown, Marquette, Arizona and Michigan State are recruiting Kajami-Keane.

3. DOMINIC ARTIS, PG, FINDLAY PREP
The Oregon signee played the best all-around game of the evening in the Pilots' blowout win over a local Thurgood Marshall team. Artis, a 6-foot-1 four-star point guard, turned the game in his team's favor early with his defense on talented guards. In fact, three first-quarter steals or deflections from Artis led directly to Findlay Prep dunks. Artis also set up big Arizona signee Brandon Ashley with dishes underneath the rim for easy scores. With Nigel Williams-Goss also getting some time at the point, Artis floated off-ball, resulting in him knocking down consecutive three-point shots from the corner midway through the second quarter.

4. WINSTON SHEPARD, SF, FINDLAY PREP
Late on Friday evening, the crowd got a major boost in energy from Shepard, a four-star forward whose motor and ability to run the floor resulted in several rim-rattling dunks early in his team's win. Shepard also showed off some versatility for Findlay Prep, as the 6-foot-8 forward faced up and attacked the basket, hit cutters out of the post for assists and even knocked in a couple perimeter jumpers.

5. MARK ALSTORK, SG, THURGOOD MARSHALL
Alstork had his full scoring arsenal on display in Thurgood Marshall's loss to Findlay Prep. Alstork, a class of 2013 prospect, tallied a team-high 18 points off strong drives through traffic, midrange pull-up jumpers, three-point shots and second-effort put-back shots under the rim. An athletic and strong 6-foot-3 guard, Alstork has confidence in his jumper and was the heart and soul of his team.




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