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Raffa Watch 2008

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This from the National Prep Showcase going on this weekend in Lowell.


"Winchendon School, Mass. 83 - Hargrave Military, Va. 73


This was to feature a battle of heavyweights in Winchendon and Hargrave Military, but Winchendon was without their 7-foot-2 post man John Riek-Suas who twisted his knee earlier this week. It's unsure whether he would have made any difference to the final score as Hargrave broke open a 34-28 game five minutes left in the first half with a 12-2 run to finish the half to head to the intermission up 46-30 over Winchendon.


The second stanza started with both clubs exchanging buckets until 6-foot-1 Anthony Raffa, an Albany signee, a Winchendon charge that closed the Hargrave lead to two, 58-56 with 13:07 to go. But, Hargrave jumped right back to double digits at 71-61 behind Marshall signee Damier Pitts and Mississippi State signee Dee Bost who combined for 8 of the next thirteen points. It was never closer than seven after that as Hargrave won an 83-73 decision over Winchendon.


Hargrave Military was led by 5-foot-11 Damier Pitts who finished with 22 points and 8 assists. He got solid support from 6-foot-2 Dee Bost who added 17 points, while 6-foot-3 Dexter Moore, 6-foot-10 Roscoe Davis, and 6-foot-8 Chris Braswell added 12,11, and 10 points respectively.


Winchendon's top gun was 6-foot-5 Larry Anderson who finished with a tourney high 29 points and 7 boards. He got solid support from Anthony Raffs who finished with 16 points and 5-foot-9 Jansy Crews who chipped in with 12 points."



Dee Bost is going to Mississippi State, Roscoe Davis to West Virginia and Chris Braswell to Georgetown. I'd say Raffa is seeing a pretty high level of competition this weekend.

Edited by Dane Pound
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Sweet update, but I guess you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to beat DP to a Raffa post.


Nice research with the school choice for the opponents. With that LOI signed there are going to be some real good ballers at UA next year.


One thing, though: The report had me thinking Winchendon won with the headline the way it is.

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American Christian, PA 89 - Winchendon School, MA 85




In the early going it looked like American Christian might run away and hide as they built an early 31-17 lead with Tyreke Evans and his back court mates Jeremiah Kelly and Lamont Jones playing well. But it wasn't in the cards as Winchendon bounced back with a 10-2 run to close the gap to 33-27 with 7:16 to play. Six-foot-5 Larry Anderson from Winchendon and 6-foot-5 junior Oscar Griffin and 6-foot-7 Martez Walker from American Christian traded baskets as Winchendon closed the gap to two points, 47-45, at the intermission. Tyreke Evans led American Christian with 16 points, while 6-foot-3 Ozan Dilik had 10 points for Winchendon.




The second half was a real battle as American Christian built a 66-59 lead midway through the stanza before Tyreke Evans bumped knees with a Winchendon defender and missed about three minutes of the game. When he returned to the game, it was a one-point game, and Winchendon was threatening to take hold of the game. But Evans went on a tear, scoring six of the next eight Christian points to put them back on top, 83-78, with 2:14 to play. Winchendon fought back to tie it at 83-83 on a Luis Leao three-point play. Tyreke Evans stole an inbounds pass and hit Lamont Jones for a lay-in, then the 6-foot-4 wing drove to the hoop to put American Christian in front, 87-83, with 27 seconds to play as Christian held on to win a hard-fought 89-85 victory.




American Christian was led by Evans with 32 points and six steals. He received solid support from 6-foot-2 DePaul signee Jeremiah Kelly with 16 points, while Jones and Walker added 13 and 12 points, respectively.




Winchendon's top gun was 6-foot-5 Larry Anderson, who finished with 25 points and 10 boards. Leao added 15 points while 6-foot-1 Anthony Raffa chipped in 12 points and Ozan Dilik and Jansy Crews scored 10 points each in the loss. Winchendon committed 34 turnovers and were at times their own worst enemy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

ESPN's scouting report on Anthony Raffa has been updated and has this to say.....


"Evaluation: December, 2007: This combo-guard is probably better suited off the ball as he is much more of a scorer than a distributor. Nevertheless, he does have the skill set necessary to provide some minutes at the point. He is an extremely tough and hard-nosed kid who brings good intensity to both sides of the floor. He is an excellent medium range shooter, either off the catch or the bounce, and a better than average three-point shooter despite mechanics where he arches his back. Defensively, his best attribute is his work ethic as he really gets after people. Overall, he is someone who should make an immediate impact in the America East thanks to his extremely competitive nature and impressive offensive skill set."

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Raffa is playing against some GREAT competition!!!!!



Thursday, December 13, 2007

Winchendon star’s game is backing up his talk



Fred Sullivan Sports Rap




The 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds sat on the edge of their seats as the Notre Dame Prep basketball five exited from their locker room, for they knew what was going to happen in the next few moments. The Crusaders were going to put on a dunking exhibition which would suck the air out of the Fitchburg State Gymnasium as youngsters like Terrance Jennings, Melquan Bolding, John Higgins and Kimmie English soared. And that is exactly what happened.


But it takes more than fancy dunking exhibitions to win basketball games, as Notre Dame Prep would learn last Saturday evening on the campus of FSC. Outstanding basketball teams need playmakers who can feed the ball to their teammates, who can then smash the ball through the hoop, and Notre Dame did not have that player last Saturday, but The Winchendon School did. His name was Anthony Raffa from Strathmere, N.J., and he is a cocky tough kid, who showed those youngsters sitting in the stands how the game of basketball should be played. Anthony played nose-to-nose on defense with Kimmie English who stood three or four inches taller than Raffa, but the tough New Jersey kid never backed off once during the contest. His defense included constant chatter, which was just quiet enough so that the referees could not slap him with a technical foul, but could be distinctly heard by English and his teammates.


If you are going to have a mouth, than you have to back it up with your performance, and that is exactly what Anthony Raffa did. When Notre Dame put on its full-court pressure, Anthony dribbled with great confidence through N.D.’s press to give his teammates easy baskets underneath the hoop. And with his 32 points, Anthony Raffa showed that he can put the basketball through the hoop. What kind of player is this kid from Jersey? He is the kind of guy that you always want on your team and the kind of opponent you just love to have, simply a pain in the butt. And Coach Mike Byrnes of The Winchendon School knows exactly what he has in Raffa, and the coach lets the kid run the show. The Winchendon School has players from nine countries, which are found upon three continents. Their featured player is John Riek Suas from Khartuom, Sudan, who is truly a giant, standing 7-foot-2. How would you like to have been Terrance Jennings of Notre Dame when you jumped center at the beginning of last Saturday’s contest? Terrance, who stands 6-foot-10 and can leap through the roof, had to look up at Winchendon’s center as the referee stepped into the circle. Bet that was a first. Riek Suas, who is reportedly going into the NBA draft this spring because he has already reached the age of 20, is a very rough work in progress. I would think that the youngster form Sudan could use two or three years in a good college program refining his game, but you know the lure of big bucks and fast-talking agents. His efforts in Winchendon’s victory were minimal when compared with Anthony Raffa’s, but you know how things are. Anthony will go to the University of Albany and probably have a fine career in a second-tier college program while Riek Suas could very well be a first round draft choice. That’s the way it goes!



When you watch the play of Ozan Dilik from Turkey, Luis Leao of Brazil and Romaric Lasme of Gabon, you can begin to understand why American basketball teams are being challenged all across the globe. These guys can leap and dunk the ball, but they also have very good basics which allow them to make great passes, play strong defense, and block out on the offensive and defensive rebounds. It is no longer a cakewalk for basketball players when they put on that uniform which says, “USA.” Just ask Larry Brown about the Olympics in 2004!


Much of this column covers the exploits of Anthony Raffa and his Winchendon School teammates, and that is rightly so, because their 75-59 victory over N.D. Prep was very impressive, but let’s not forget about the squad located on South Street in Fitchburg. There is a very good reason why these kids will be playing at schools like Louisville, Missouri, Duquesne, Syracuse and UMass; they are very good. Rick Pitino of the Cardinals of Louisville knows that he has two blue-chippers in Melquan Bolding and Terrance Jennings, who simply play a game of basketball with which most of our local players are not familiar. They play above the rim, and their quickness is superior. You will watch them on ESPN during the next two or three basketball seasons.


Coach Pitno can only hope that these two kids can have the impact that Michael Beasley is having at Kansas State University. The N.D. graduate has been an early-season sensation for K-State and some ESPN guys are saying that Michael will go Number One in the NBA draft in June 2008. That is the type of reputation that Notre Dame Prep players are acquiring across the country. Kimmie English and John Higgins, who will go to Missouri and Duquesne, respectively, in 2008 will also be seen playing on ESPN on Big Monday or Saturday afternoons over the next few years. Unfortunately, Notre Dame does not play many local contests, but if you see any tournaments listed within 50 miles in the next three months and you consider yourself a basketball fan, go.

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