Wednesday, February 18, 2015

East vs West President's Day Battle: You Asked For It - You Got it

One of the preeminent rivalries developing in all of middle school basketball is occurring in the class of 2021. The newly reclassed duo of Paris Dawson and Ty Ty Washington of the West Coast Stars have dominated the headlines on the west coast and are the current toast of the town.

Well their eastern counterparts as always look to carpe diem – and have a more than an impressive pairing of their own; boasting the nationally renowned tandem of Jaden Springer (North Carolina) and Zion Harmon (Washington DC) .

Zion Harmon (DC) & Jaden Springer (NC)
The excitement and establishment of the rivalry was limited to “what ifs” and “maybe’s” previous to this weekend in Portland, Oregon.  We waited with baited breath a few weeks ago in California as this match-up was possible but never came to fruition as scheduling conflicts prevented the grouping from actually getting on the floor.  Making this even more interesting and tantalizing was the surprise appearance of Jaden Jones (Texas) who suited up for the West Coast Stars in this event – the many in attendance were very anxious to see how he fared on such a big stage.  The ultra-talented Jones hasn’t been seen on the circuit on such a star-studded stage since appearing at Maryland Mania over two years ago were he impressed many; prior to spending all of last year in his home state honing his skills; presumable for this exact type of moment.  

In listening to the combatants the passion, emotion and intensity of this rivalry is hard to match on any grade level but the eventuality of the game itself requires documentation more so than conversation and with the provision of the actual game score sheet the country can see with its own eyes who did what.  With respect to that point, men lie, woman lie – but numbers don’t lie.  All viewing said document can make their own determinations after viewing.

The game itself was played at a remarkably high level but there was a clear delineation of talent if only for this game in the series that we all will be lucky enough to witness many times over the next several years.  We trust that next time up the West Coast will be looking to re-establish itself as the superior coast; unfortunately that time isn’t now as the Soldiers took the chip 63-47.


#12 Jaden Springer: Obliterated the WCS frontline as if there were not present at all, making plays from all over the court. Frankly speaking he was a man amongst boys as there wasn’t any answer whatsoever for the nation’s most dominant 2021 player.  With a season under his belt at the JV level in Carolina Springer man light work of any one who dared step in front of him.  At times it looked as if fear was a factor as Springer intimidated his west coast counterparts with blocked shots, stole the ball, and controlled both boards. Springer ended the night with 23-points on nearly 60% shooting finishing with a triple double.

#1 Zion Harmon: It almost seemed if this trip was personal as the Pound for Pound champed looked for the knockout blow early and often.  Harmon took care of the light work and the heavy lifting slicing and dicing through the defense as it they were gym cones in a workout session.  If this was a test WCS had no answer and would have received a failing grade as the guard from the east dropped 26-points in the first half alone; while still finding time to toss a few dimes to his fellow teammates.  The second half Harmon “coasted” to a team and game high 38-points leaving no doubt as to who rules the class at the current moment.

#19 Paris Dawson:  You could tell that Dawson wanted it; the dynamic of the team and style changed as they approached this game differently then we saw in the previous games in the tournament.  Missing his running mate in the first half (again due to scheduling conflict) the stage was set for a big time performance from the dynamic Californian representative.  He pierced the defense and finished well, looked good in transition, and should solid progress with his mid-range game in route to a 20-point performance in the loss.  Dawson can no doubt flat out get the job done; but in situations and stages such as this when the eyes of the nation are wide open we would have like to see WCS with its full contingent – Dawson didn’t disappoint but must be provided adequate support when going up against some of the toughest challengers in the country; it’s not a game when you this much talent on one court. 

# 24 Jaden Jones:  It’s great to finally see Jones back on the circuit competing at a high level – having always like the diverse array of skills that this kid possess the fact is iron sharpens iron and Jones got better simply by being in the gym and on the court competing at this level.  There is tremendous excitement about his future assuming the lone star state isn’t his only destination for 2015 – we have not seen close to the best of Jaden Jones and we are looking for two just that!

#1 Ty Ty Washington:  Arrived late after another championship effort on a split 2021 group; he dropped a solid 8-points in the 2nd half and the entire package that he brings was greatly missed in the first half.  We don’t have a complete grade for the combo guard but was more than solid in the brief glimpse that we did get of him.  Looks stronger and quicker already and we will grade him IC for incomplete and hope to see him for all 4 quarters the next time this match-up occurs.

Two classy organizations and a impressive multi-dimensionally talented group of kids; couldn’t ask for more and knowing that each club and player WILL do so much more – it is a pleasure to watch them grow as they are all winners before the ball was tipped, after the buzzer sounded, and will be well beyond this weekend. applauds the Soldiers & West Coast Stars, we look forward to seeing more as the year goes on!


  1. did the person that wrote this article watch the game with his own eyes?

  2. Actually TyTy Washington arrive late due to helping 2020 WCA win the Championship!!!

    Thanks for time!!!