Top Performers: Week 8

Week 8 of the FHSAA season saw a slew of very good basketball games.

Here is a look at the top performances I witnessed on the second week of January 2023 between in-person and live stream.

Monday, Jan. 9

Windermere Prep 53, Foundation Academy 44

Windermere Prep – One of the most gifted freshmen in the state, 2026 6-foot-4 guard Brandon Bass Jr. was all over the floor in a home victory over Foundation Academy. Diving for loose balls, leaping for tough rebounds and scoring in bunches, it was a super impressive team-leading 22-point night for Bass Jr. 2024 6-foot-5 guard Chandler Watts was a load at the point of attack with 21 hard-earned points. His mid-range pull-up was working. 2026 7-foot center Sinan Huan has been a block machine this season, he had five rebounds, five blocks and two points. His footwork is very good for a player his size.

Foundation Academy – Another steady outing from a 2026 prospect came from 6-foot-1 guard Isaiah Gillard who has a very fluid outside jumper. He posted a team-best 20 points which included a 3-pointer from the volleyball line in the second half. 2024 6-foot-3 guard/forward Jacob Crain is a gritty athlete who had 10 points and finished around the rim well.

University Christian 64, Episcopal 63

University Christian – Hats off to University Christian who fought its way back all game long playing at Episcopal. 2023 6-foot-1 forward Orel Gray (21 points) had some crafty buckets, but nothing was more clutch than his game-winner with 1.5 seconds left. Off of a timeout, 2023 5-foot-10 guard Peyton Penland delivered a great inside feed to Gray to win it. 2023 6-foot-5 guard Desirrio Riles was active as a deep ball shooter with 17 important points for his side. Riles is very skilled as a ballhandler as well.

Episcopal – The Eagles are a very in-sync group led by 2024 6-foot-2 guard Kent Jackson. The Mercer commit had a game-high 23 points which featured six 3’s. He is not someone you want to leave open as he makes defenses pay. 2024 6-foot-3 guard Declan McCarthy was equally as imposing from deep with 15 points on five 3’s. 2023 6-foot-1 guard Beza Miller (10 points) had a tough finish at the rack late in the game while 2024 6-foot-6 forward Grady Schwartz (9 points) is an intriguing athlete who can get up on the rim.

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Berkeley Prep 61, Carrollwood Day 45

Berkeley Prep – It was a dominant first half of basketball for the host Buccaneers as they led 36-12. 2023 6-foot-1 guard George Kimble had 10 of his 14 points at the break. His vision and IQ make everyone around him better as he sets his teammates up in good spots. Kimble also had nine assists. 2024 6-foot-5 forward Donnie Morris shined inside with 15 points and was at his best when he put his head down and finished. 2027 5-foot-10 guard Gabe Grimsley is a gifted and shifty ballhandler with 10 points and his upside is evident.

Note: Berkeley Prep (13-2) has lost by a combined five points in its two losses.

Carrollwood Day – With top piece 2023 6-foot-5 Tre Lockett out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Patriots have looked to other guards to control the tempo. 2023 6-foot-3 guard Ishaan Bhadouria turned it on in the second half, getting buckets at the cup to finish with 13 points. He is a speedy and smart player who is good on or off the ball. 2024 pair, 6-foot-2 guard Joss Flournoy (14 points) and 6-foot guard Bredell Richardson (10 points) each had bright moments down the stretch for Carrollwood Day.

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Columbus 73, Mater Lakes 60

Columbus – The Explorers were tested aplenty by visiting Mater Lakes in front of another sold-out home crowd. 2025 6-foot-9 forward Cameron Boozer performed at a high level with 25 points. He recorded the first nine points for his team out of the gates and was grabbing boards, getting his teammates open and using his size to clean up misses. 2025 6-foot-5 guard Cayden Boozer performed at a high level with 15 of his 21 points coming in the first half as he connected from the mid-range and finished lay-ins.

Mater Lakes – The game plan was to get Anthony Knowles the ball as much as possible in space once Christian Reid picked up two quick fouls. Knowles, a 2025 5-foot-10 guard was flat-out superb in this game, adding 15 of his team-best 22 points in the opening half. His jumper is smooth and he is shifty enough to create his own space. As for Reid, the 2024 6-foot-4 forward fought for all of his six points and was a lockdown defender despite the early foul trouble. Mater Lakes is a talented in-sync bunch.

Thursday, Jan. 12

Brooks DeBartolo 76, North Tampa Christian 70

Brooks DeBartolo – The Phoenix never got flustered despite trailing for much of the night at North Tampa Christian. Down 58-52 after the third quarter, 2025 5-foot-11 guard Lyrique Sartin (19 points) took over out of the backcourt with his quick pace, skilled handles and outside shooting touch. 2024 6-foot-4 guard Ezekiel Udozorh (26 points) had a quick start with eight points in the first quarter. His ability to slash inside and finish with both hands is impressive. 2024 6-foot-2 Jordin Bell (13 points) found his jumper in the second half and was at his best when he got to rack.

North Tampa Christian – The Titans had a loud home crowd in a back and forth battle with Brooks DeBartolo. 2026 6-foot guard Archie McFarland (20 points) is in full control out of the backcourt and flashed his scoring prowess a ton. 2026 6-foot-9 forward Toni Bryant (17 points) was active as can be with 11 rebounds and seven blocks and is playing at a high level for a lanky freshman. 2023 6-foot-5 guard EJ Bryant (14 points) had some big buckets as a floor pusher and driver while 2025 5-foot-10 guard Sian Morris (10 points) scored seven straight points late in the third quarter to give his side energy.

Jake Perper has been a sports writer since 2010 and a basketball scout since 2015. He was the Southeast Scouting Director for the Prep Hoops Circuit and the lead scout for Prep Hoops’ Florida site for seven years. You can follow him on Twitter @thehoopvibe.