LAS VEGAS — It might be only October, but two of the best players in the country, as well as the top two players in the junior high school class, A.J. Dybantsa and Cameron Boozer, went head-to-head Saturday at the Border League.
Dybantsa recently reclassified up to the 2025 high school class and overtook Boozer for the No. 1 spot. A preseason fall ball game had a state championship-like atmosphere with the stands packed with fans and every seat on the sideline filled with a college coach from a Power 5 conference.
It was a one-point game at halftime, but Boozer's Explorers (Miami) came out strong, extending the game to a 12-point lead, leaving Dybantsa's Prolific Prep (Napa, California) scrambling and not having any answers. The Explorers took the win in a commanding fashion, 83-61.
This was the most-anticipated game of the weekend with all the talent on the court. Prolific Prep has the No. 1 player in the 2026 class, Tyran Stokes, as well as Dybantsa and five-star prospects Zoom Diallo, Derrion Reid, Aiden Sherrell and four-star point guard Mikey Lewis.
“Prolific reloaded this year and they got a bunch of talent," Boozer told Yahoo Sports after the game. "Coming in, no one thought we were going to win this game. We know the talent we have and we can play with anyone, and the result speaks for itself.”
— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) October 14, 2023
Boozer was incredible, particularly in the second half, finishing with 25 points (9-for-13 from the field), 16 rebound and five assists in the win. His twin brother, Cayden Boozer, added 15 points and eight assists, while Jase Richardson netted 17 points and grabbed eight boards.
Richardson and his younger brother, Jaxon Richardson, transferred to Christopher Columbus High School over the summer. He looked very comfortable in the backcourt with Cayden, after only a few weeks playing together.
"It’s been really great building the chemistry in the backcourt with Jase," Cayden told Yahoo Sports. "He’s a really good guard and it’s just helping me grow my game and prepare for the college level because you have to be versatile at the next level and be comfortable playing on and off the ball.”
Prolific Prep moved the ball extremely well on offense in the first half and were led by Reid (18 points and four assists) and Stokes (15 points). Dybantsa struggled to get things going and had a very quiet night, finishing with only six points and seven rebounds and shooting 1-for-8 from 3-point range.
"Everyone has their off nights and he [Dybantsa] is a great player," Cameron added. "I love competing against high-level guys and this game was no different."
The Explorers advance to the championship and will face the No. 1 player in the 2024 class, Cooper Flagg, and Montverde Academy (playing as the Florida Eagles during fall ball). This will be the third time Flagg and Boozer have faced one another in four months, with Boozer taking the win in Nike's Peach Jam championship in July.
"It's a rivalry that people like to make, but it's always fun playing against him because of how good he is," Flagg said of Boozer in July. "It's always fun battling at the highest level like that."
The Explorers have a jam-packed schedule coming up during the regular high school season and are looking to win their third state championship in a row.
"We go in with the same expectations every year and that’s to beat the top teams and win a championship,” Cameron said. "It doesn't matter if it's fall ball or the playoffs, we're going to go out and compete and get better."