Hillcrest Prep Battles To A Win Over AZ Compass

by Tye Jacobs | Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2019

In a star-crossed rivalry match-up between two of the best prep programs in the country, AZ Compass took on Hillcrest Prep.  A game full of star power with high major recruits littered between both rosters, and many division-I coaches littered within the crowd, it was sure to be a highly intense match-up.

With both teams coming off of great performances in last weekend's Super Bowl Prep Showcase, where (6) players in this game earned top performer honors, these teams seemed destined to clash. Throughout that tournament they didn’t get a chance to play each other, but for both teams to watch the other dominate, they were chomping at the bit to face each other.

From the beginning of the game, it was all Hillcrest - building up a lead of 26 points in the first half.  The transition offense of Compass was able to get them back in the game, led by Jalin Anderson, Sadraque Nganga and Carlos Ramey.

The biggest question coming into the game wasn’t if AZ Compass had the talent to compete, but if they could keep up with the toughness to play against Hillcrest Prep.  They showed just what they were made of, fighting back from a big deficit behind the guard play of Ramsey.  He made a countless amount of big plays - getting in transition to cut the lead and after big dunk over a defender, Ramey was able to bring AZ Compass to within six points of Hillcrest.

A key run in the game from the athleticism of the Hillcrest squad, a couple of highlight dunks from Hillcrest's Devan Cambridge and some key finishes by Kyree Walker (pictured) and Dischon Thomas, and Hillcrest would end the half with a 48-30 lead.

The second half started at a furious pace, with AZ compass thriving in transition and Hillcrest answering with dunks and threes of their own.  A key play for Hillcrest was a fast break led by a Dalen Terry steal, which finished with a rim-rocking alley-oop pass to Kyree Walker.  This duo would continue to dominate with their chemistry to find each other in transition.

Kyree has the ability to get to the lane at will, and is one of the best two-hand finishers around the basket I have seen in quite some time.  Dalen has the ability to create for others and constantly uses his length on both ends of the court.

During the duration of the second half, the game would get chippy. This seemed to fuel AZ Compass guard Ishmael Cruz, as he was the person who talked the most trash.  He followed his words with lightning-quick threes.  For every skirmish or argument that he got into, it seemed to fire up his offensive abilities.  The downfall for Compass would be their lack of defensive rebounding and defensive pressure.  Too many times, they allowed Hillcrest to breeze into their offensive sets.  With play-makers like Dalen Terry, Dayton Holman and Kyree Walker being given time to make decisions, it made it a game very difficult for AZ Compass to win.

A couple bright spots for Compass included Sadraque Nganga's young freshman ability to stay aggressive throughout the entire game.  For a 15-year-old kid going against older prospects, he never backed down.  Also Jalin Anderson’s ability to finish in traffic and his decision-making ability to get his guys the ball in open spots.

With the whole city watching the guys from Hillcrest Prep and AZ Compass, they put on a show.  Each team was able to showcase their talent and compete at a high level.  Hillcrest was able to edge Compass by forcing more turnovers and dominating the offensive glass.

It will be fun over the next few years to see these nationally touted prep schools continue to compete against each other.

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