South Padre Island Sweet 16 Invitational

Greeting from the Rio Grande Valley! It was a great weekend of basketball with 16 teams invading South Padre Island. We had quality teams from the RGV as well as talented squads from the Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas area. The is the seventh year Vern Lewis puts on a superb tournament chalk-full of impressive kids displaying their hard work. The weekend was full of state-ranked teams, as well as several D-1 commits and prospects.
Here is a breakdown of Friday’s action:
Houston HCYA 65               Laredo Nixon 56
San Antonio Antonian 76      McAllen 48
CCJohn Paul 51                   Flour Bluff 44
Houston St. Thomas 54        Roma 42
Spring Dekaney 98               Brownsville Hanna 54
Converse Judson 80             Brownsville Rivera 53
Brazosport 60                      Houston Sharpstown 49
Flower Mound Marcus 54   Harlingen South 22
Laredo Nixon 65                 Mcallen 61
SA Antonian 72                   HCYA 65
Roma 54                             Flour Bluff 49
St. Thomas 49                     John Paul 48
Hanna 68                            Rivera 62
Judson 57                           Dekaney 56
H. South 71                        Sharpstown 57
Flower Mound 73               Brazosport 43

Here are some highlight kids who played outstanding this weekend:
Corpus Christi John Paul
Damarcus Whittington

Harlingen South

Josue Gonzalez (left): 6’0″ F, Sophmore newcomer onto Varsity. Gonzalez has the ability to get to the hoop easily and score with quick layups. He can shoot from the inside or net a 3-pointer. This young man has some serious hops and has already begun his count on shot blocks. With some more work on ball-handling and a step up on defense, Gonzalez could be the Newcomer of the Year in 31-5A.

Sebastian Monjares: (right) 5’11” G, Senior, Monjares has several titles that everyone would agree on as soon as you watch him play, Mr. Defense, Mr. Hussle. He clearly is an example of what a Team Captain should entail. Monjares is the type of player who never stops playing even after the game is over. He dives for every loose ball, boxes out for every rebound, and will fight you tooth and nail for every jump ball. His leadership on the court is admirable. (*Note* against Flower Mound he scored four 3-pointers with a team high of 12 pts.)

Flower Mound Marcus: (Came into the tournament ranked #1 Team in the State, #5 Nationally)
Philip Forte (left), 5’11” PG, Junior, All-Tournament Selection. This is one of the best point guards I’ve seen in awhile. Great court vision, pure shooter, knows how to create for his team. Forte never skipped a beat, looking well-conditioned, with great handles, he kept the offense moving. Look to see Forte keeping his team nationally ranked throughout the season.

Marcus Smart (right), 6’4″ G, Junior, Smart can attack from many different directions. He can drive to the basket, shoot a jumper, slam the ball with a power dunk, and can shoot free throws. Smart is a weapon that any coach would love to have. His size and strength do not slow him down on defense. He was a lead scorer for the Marauders.

Nick Banyard (below), 6’8″ F, Junior, Size, strength, speed, power and drive. These are a couple words that describe the play put forth by Banyard. He can go from dunking on one end, to playing defense on the other. His explosiveness to the basket is impressive.

I’ve been reading about this team and their amazing duo and I was very excited to see them LIVE at Padre Island, Jonathan Holmes and Darius Hamilton.

Antonian Apaches Bench

 San Antonio Antonian
 Jonathan Holmes (Texas), 6’8″, Senior, All-Tournament Selection

Darius Hamilton (Boise State) 6’9″, Senior


Justin Brickman 5’7″ PG, Sophmore, I was very impressed with the quickness and fire this point guard embodied. Brickman was fiesty and handled the ball well.

Houston HCYA

Justin Jackson 6’5″ F, Freshman, This young man caught my eye from the beginning of warm-ups. Sometimes freshmen are regarded as mentally immature, but Jackson can put all that to rest. His leadership and motivation is outstanding. I see many great things yet to emerge from Jackson.


Danrad Knowles 6’10” F, Junior, Just by the pictures you can see how powerful, agile, and aggressive Knowles can be. Knowles was another great asset to the HCYA team. His strength under the basket was intense.

Houston St. Thomas
Christian Sanders, All-tournament selection
Converse Judson
Raynell Ishman, All-tournament selection
Cameron Griffin, All-tournament selection
Trent Matthews, Most Valuable Player
Saturday’s Matchups:
Flour Bluff 63         McAllen 53
HCYA 71              John Paul 60
Sharpstown 69       Rivera 65
Dekaney 93            Brazosport 76
Nixon 68                Roma 53
St. Thomas 56        Antonian 46
Hanna 44               South 35
Judson 52              Flower Mound 50
Consolation Championship
Hanna 69               Nixon 59
Third-Place Game
Flower Mound 73  Antonian 45
Championship Game
Converse Judson 36     St. Thomas 34
Converse Judson Tournament Champtions 2010

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