ARCHBALD – Seth Maxwell showed he could hit shots from various spots on the floor when he had the ball away from the basket.
When he did not have the ball, Maxwell showed the ability to go above the rim – and every other player on the floor – to get it.
The 7-foot Abington Heights senior center and JB Hoops 17-and-under Callahan team player put on a show of offensive efficiency during Tuesday’s Lackawanna League Senior Boys Basketball All-Star Game at Valley View High School.
Maxwell went 8-for-11 from the field, hitting a 3-pointer from the left corner, a 10-footer in the lane, an 8-footer from the right baseline, a layup off a post spin move and a tuck in off an offensive rebound during the Blue’s 106-102 victory over the Red.
The other three Maxwell baskets were on the highest-percentage shots, but each of his dunks took athleticism to pull in high lob passes from West Scranton’s Cole Stetzar, a former JB Hoops teammate, from different angles. Maxwell turned those lobs into a two-handed alley-oop dunk; a highlight-reel, one-handed alley-oop dunk and another that he brought down to the floor before going up for the slam.
“We’ve been playing AAU since our freshman year, so we had a lot of fun doing that,” Maxwell of the clear chemistry with Stetzar, who won the pre-game 3-Point Shooting Contest then turned playmaker in the all-star game by doubling the assist total of every other player in the game with a dozen. “We definitely had a connection.”
Coming off a strong state tournament, including a 23-point effort in the Class 5A semifinal loss to eventual state champion Archbishop Wood from Philadelphia, the all-star game performance continued a recent surge by Maxwell.
Maxwell plans to keep developing his game, in hope of becoming a bigger prospect to higher levels of college basketball, in his first year after high school. He recently decided to attend The Hill School, a Pottstown prep school with a strong basketball tradition, next year.
“I kind of wanted to get higher offers,” Maxwell said. “I definitely wanted to get stronger and smarter basketball-wise.”
With a year of prep school ahead, Maxwell will also be positioned to continue playing AAU basketball with JB Hoops to both develop his game and continue his exposure to recruiters.
Playing with the top seniors from around the Lackawanna League Tuesday, Maxwell was the game’s second-leading scorer while making major contributions to the team made up of players from Divisions 1 and 4.
Maxwell finished with 17 points, was third among rebounders with seven and made a steal. Two of his three misses came from beyond the 3-point arc.
His impact was significant, particularly early and late. Maxwell had six of the Blue’s first eight points and the team’s final five points.
In the 14:20 Maxwell played, the Blue piled up the points while outscoring the Red, 46-36. In the 25:40 Maxwell was on the bench, the Red led, 66-60.
Maxwell had six points in the first 2:38 and five rebounds in the first 3:30 as part of the Blue starting unit opening a 16-7 lead before sitting 4:42 into the first 10-minute quarter. He went 3-for-3, including the two alley-oop dunks, during the second quarter.
The Blue was in control, 89-73, with 7:20 left.
The Red hit three 3-pointers in under a minute to start a rally that cut the Blue lead to 101-98 in the final two minutes.
That’s when Maxwell, who sat the entire third quarter, came up with his five second-half points.
Maxwell’s 3-pointer doubled the lead and his dunk with 30 seconds left created an insurmountable lead, closing the Blue scoring.
“We definitely weren’t going to let them win,” Maxwell said of a game that varied in intensity and competitiveness as seniors had fun concentrating on offense more than defense while playing with new teammates in their final high school game. “We knew if it was going to get tight, we were doing to pull it out there.”
Scranton Prep’s Paddy Casey and Mid Valley’s Noah Tanner, graduates of the JB Hoops program, also started in the game.
Casey finished tied for sixth out of 29 players in the 3-Point Shooting Contest, making 10 shots in one minute.
The guard, who is committed to the University of the Sciences, an NCAA Division II school in Philadelphia, also played for the winning Blue team.
Casey, who had three assists, two steals and two rebounds, did all his scoring in the fourth quarter. He was 2-for-3 on 3-pointers for six points during a two-minute stretch in the middle of the quarter.
Tanner, who has committed to play at King’s College, was the leading scorer in the first half for the Red, which featured players from Division 2 and 3. He made half of his 10 shots in the first two quarters while scoring 11 of his 13 points and keeping the Red within 46-44 at the break.
Tanner also had an assist and a steal.