Starting on Saturday (1/12) and running through Sunday (1/13), the Empire Invitational will tip-off in New York City.
The event is hosted at 2 locations: Iona Prep High School (New Rochelle, NY) and Mount Saint Michael Academy (Bronx, NY). Plenty of talent will be on-hand, so let’s preview some of these star-studded matchups.
1) Westtown vs. Brewster Academy
Sunday | 12:40pm EST
A Sunday afternoon matchup between UConn commit Jalen Gaffney (Westtown) and NC State commit Jalen Lecque (Brewster Academy) is the key showdown of this weekend’s games. Gaffney is a senior combo guard and Lecque is a flashy and explosive point guard.
Brewster entered this season with massive amounts of hype. The Bobcats came out of the gates blowing teams out; however, they struggled a month ago at the National Prep Showcase in New Haven (CT), where they stumbled twice. Since then though, Brewster has rebounded and has its swagger back.
Westtown took on Roman Catholic and their outstanding point guard Lynn Greer III on Dec 22nd.
In that matchup, Gaffney posted 36 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. People at that game described Gaffney’s performance as one of the best individual performances they’d seen in a long time.
Gaffney is very crafty when he gets into the lane, and he finishes with ease. Smooth is an understatement. Gaffney will need to provide another impressive performance for his squad to win.
Lecque has been dominant this year producing jaw-dropping dunks every night. The NC State commit has plenty of bounce; however, his jumper often gets overlooked. Lecque’s most dominant performance of the season came against against The Patrick School (NJ) where he dropped 25 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and served up 5 assists.
If those names still aren’t enough, be on the lookout for Westtown junior Noah Collier and Brewster Academy sophomore Terrence Clarke.
Collier is an explosive and versatile power forward at 6-foot-7, 200-lbs who can post up and stretch the floor. Collier is a Syracuse-lean and Top 100 recruit in the Class of 2020.
Clarke is a long athletic 6-foot-6 guard/wing who is a game changer and prolific scorer even as a sophomore. At the John Wall Invitational, Clarke was the MVP averaging 15.3 points, 2 steals and shooting 46.7% from beyond the arc.
Other Notable Games:
2) Ranney School vs. The MacDuffie School
Sunday | 4:00pm EST