Pangos All-South: Dramatic Ending!

The Pangos All-South Frosh/Soph Camp never disappoints and this year’s edition produced the most dramatic ending in the camp’s history. In a camp loaded with new faces on the national scene, 6-foot-6 freshman Pheonix Woodson took home Most Outstanding Player honors after contributing to his team’s come-from-behind all-star game victory.

One can always expect the unexpected at a showcase came for underclassmen, particularly when it comes to the Pangos Frosh/Soph series. The All-South version has produced memorable moments in recent years, including last year’s defensive slugfest to a memorable Texas vs. Everybody Cream of the Crop Top 30 game in 2017 that will go down as the best all-star game in the event’s history.

During the camp’s second day of action, there were not tons of fireworks or emotion on the court and it was noticeable during the Cream of the Crop Top 60 game reserved for the camp’s second-tier players. At times you could hear a pin drop. That all changed during the Top 30 game, as the participants selected as the camp’s top performers were spirited and vocal on the bench and gave an all-out effort on the hardwood. It was only fitting that the game-winning points came down to a play made by 6-foot-6 2025 (sophomore) Jed’Ethan Nansha of Hillcrest (Dallas, Texas) because he was the hardest working and most encouraging among the 200 plus campers.

After a clutch 3-pointer with 7.7 seconds remaining by 6-foot-6 2026 (freshman) Jalen Montonati of Owasso (Okla.) gave the white jersey club a 74-73 lead, Nansha streaked down the court and was met at the rim by at least three players on the white club. One of them was whistled for a shooting foul with .2 seconds remaining to put Nansha on the charity stripe with the game in the balance. For the sake of evaluation purposes and to keep the game action flowing, a free throw is worth two points in this Pangos Camp setting. Nansha stepped to the line for his shot at camp glory, but his high-arcing attempt was way off and it appeared the white club had won the game…until the referee signaled a lane violation of the white club that is. That gave Nansha a chance to redeem himself. On the second attempt, it appeared the attempt with bounce high off the rim as the first one did. However, this time he got a softer bounce, as the ball went straight up towards the top of the backboard and gently fell through the rim to give the black jersey-wearing club a dramatic 75-74 victory.

The black club then celebrated and mobbed Nansha as if the team had just won a Texas University Interscholastic League playoff game at the Duncanville Fieldhouse in Dallas.

The talent level wasn’t quite on par with the Texas vs. Everybody all-star affair that included future No. 1 NBA Draft pick Cade Cunningham, but Sunday’s affair will go down as arguably the most intense all-star game in the annual frosh/soph camp series, as players were talking and sliding their feet on defense on each possession. Nansha’s game-winning free throw culminated the black club’s come-from-behind victory and leading the way in that effort was the player voted camp Most Outstanding Player. Phoenix Woodson, a 6-foot-6 freshman (2026) from Crossing Christian (Oklahoma City, Okla.), scored three field goals and made winning plays throughout the second half comeback and impressed with his basketball I.Q. and overall feel. It’s not easy to predict what type of player Woodson will be down the line or to make a position-specific comparison to a current or former player. The only label that Woodson needs is “basketball player” and the one thing a scout or college coach needs to know about him is he’ll be an immediate impact player at the high school level. Woodson finished the Cream of the Crop Top 30 game with ten points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. 

Scoring a team-high 13 points for the black club was 6-foot-2 2025 Jason Scott of Westbury Christian (Houston, Texas). Leading the way offensively for the white club with 15 points was Montonati, who canned three 3-pointers including the final one from straight-away that gave his team the lead until Nansha’s “heroics”. The other double-digit scorer (11 points) for the white club was 6-foot-3 2025 Camden Cowgill of Brennan (San Antonio, Texas).

There were players representing 13 different states in attendance, yet three of the Top 30 all-star selection’s came from former NBA player Randy Livingston’s program at Isidore Newman (New Orleans, La.). Included in the trio was the camp’s top post player, 6-foot-8 2025 Christopher Cenac Jr., while another Christopher, 6-foot-7 2025 Christopher Birden also displayed terrific potential. The third Newman player selected was 6-foot-4 2025 Kobe Butler.

Joining Scott and Cowgill in the group of top camp guards were 6-foot 2025 Mike Williams of Hillcrest (Dallas, Texas) and 6-foot-5 2025 Dietrich Richardson of Manual (Peoria, Ill.). Williams, the son of former NBA guard and current Jackson State head coach Mo Williams, netted eight points in the top all-star game for the victorious black club.

Woodson, of course, was in the “basketball player” category all to himself with his ability to score in the front court, handle the ball well enough to keep perimeter defenders honest, drop soft passes in the interior and rebound on both ends of the floor.

Joining Cenac and Montonati among the top front court players in attendance was bouncy 6-foot-7 2025 Ethan Carter of Arlington Christian (Fairburn, Ga.) and 6-foot-6 2026 Isaiah Ward of Brennan (San Antonio, Texas). Because of travel considerations back home, Ward was unable to play in the Top 30 game but was easily the top prospect participating in the earlier Cream of the Crop Top 60 game.

The white jersey-wearing club came away with a 83-66 victory over its black counterparts in the Top 60 game. Named MVP for the white club was active wing Cortez Graham-Howard, a 6-foot-5 2025 from Hillsboro (Nashville, Tenn.). While Nansha was the hardest-working front court player at the event, the guard that turned heads the most with his defensive effort was black MVP Nehemiah Lawrence. The 5-foot-7 2026 from Allen (Texas) got in a stance every possession and made things happen throughout the event. He was selected to the Top 60 game mainly based on his defensive effort and like the all-star games themselves, did not disappoint.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at ronnie@ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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