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National Hoopfest Doesn’t Disappoint

National Hoopfest Doesn’t Disappoint

The annual ARS/Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest showcase made it’s trip to the metroplex this weekend. It travels all across the country to places like Memphis, Tampa, and Dallas and pits the best high school basketball teams of the particular region, against some of the best teams in the entire country. Saturday’s all-day event featured four games and showcased some future stars of the sport. The proceeds from this year’s event will go to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Game one: Sunrise Christian (KS) vs. South Garland (TX)

The first game of the day featured two upstart programs in their respective regions. It’s been a relatively down year for Sunrise, as some of their top talent are younger guys. And their inexperience showed early, behind a quick start from junior guard Chris Harris Jr. South Garland would take a 13 point lead into the second quarter and would never look back during their wire to wire win. 

Sunrise would battle, and managed to make it a highly competitive game. Behind the scoring of Blake Hinson, they got the game within reach in the fourth quarter, but they just could not seem to get over the hump. The South Garland backcourt of Tyrese Maxey and Harris Jr. was just too dynamic and they eventually put the game away, 77-71 in favor of South Garland. 

Tyrese Maxey led all scorers in the game with 27. Maxey is the 17th ranked prospect in the ESPN100 rankings for the 2019 class. His running mate Chris Harris Jr. added 19. Blake Hinson led Sunrise Christian with 22. 

Game two: Whitney Young (IL) vs. Desoto (TX)

Game number two featured two evenly matched teams. Desoto would race out to an early lead behind their star player and SMU commit, Feron Hunt. While Desoto led for most of the game, Whitney Young was able to stay attached thanks to the second half scoring output of Valpo commit Javon Freeman. 

Freeman would finish with 31 points, but the play of the game belonged to Elliot Sieger. With the game tied at 65, Freeman attacked the rim, drew the defense then kicked it out and the ball fell to an open Elliot Sieger who knocked down the huge three to give Whitney Young the lead with just 12 seconds left. They would ice the game at the free throw line and hold on, 71-66. 

An entertaining duel saw Feron Hunt score 20 for Desoto, and Javon Freeman score 31 for his Whitney Young squad. Fellow SMU commits Jahmar Young also added 16 for Desoto, while Justin Boyd chipped in with 12 for Whitney Young. 

Game three: Chicago Simeon (IL) vs. Waxahachie (TX)

The third game of the day featured one of the most prominent names on the high school basketball circuit, Chicago Simeon. Simeon was made famous by the likes of Ben Wilson, former NBA MVP Derrick Rose, and one of the most highly sought-after recruits in recent memory, Jabari Parker. Their current team is ranked 22nd in the country, and isn’t nearly as talented as some of their previous teams just to give you an idea of how much of a powerhouse they can be. 

It was a game Simeon controlled from the outset, but Waxahachie did a nice job really battling throughout. Mar’Qualen Grant spearheaded their attack, and really helped the Indians push Simeon. But the physical presence and flat out dynamic play of Iowa State commit Talen Horton-Tucker was too much to handle and they would eventually succumb to the Wolverines, 66-59.

Horton-Tucker led Simeon with 23. His fellow swingman Messiah Jones had 23 also, on perfect 10 for 10 shooting. Point guard Xavier Pinson only had 10, but had several run halting buckets that were critical to preserving Simeon’s win.

Game four: Oak Hill Academy (VA) vs. Lancaster (TX)

The fourth and final game of the night was the real draw of the showcase. Oak Hill is arguably the most recognizable high school sports brand in the entire country. Their list of famous alums reads something like an NBA all-star lineup, featuring Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, and Stephen Jackson to name a few. The 2018 installment of the team is predictably loaded as well. They boast four prospects in this year’s ESPN100 ranking’s, including the number six overall prospect, Keldon Johnson. So, most assumed that this game would be lopsided in Oak Hill’s favor as they were matched up against a drastically undermanned Lancaster squad. 

But Lancaster was having none of that.

The Tigers came out of the gate playing at a frantic pace, turning Oak Hill over several times. They would cash in on those miscues by Oak Hill by burying 10 first half threes, 5 of which came off the fingertips of Marco Foster. Lancaster would shockingly take a four-point lead into the half. 

In the second half though, Oak Hill would start doing Oak Hill things. Behind future Kentucky Wildcat Keldon Johnson and Florida commit Keyontae Johnson, Oak Hill would clamp down on the three-point line and take advantage of their size and athleticism to cruise to a comfortable 87-78 win. 

Oak Hill was led by Keldon Johnson with 31 and Keyontae Johnson with 28. Kansas bound big man David McCormick also added 14 points and 8 rebounds. As for Lancaster, they were paced by Marco Foster with 21 on 7 three-point makes. His fellow swingman Mike Miles pitched in 21.

Posted by The ARS/Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest Series on Saturday, December 16, 2017


Staff writer covering the Dallas Mavericks, Texas Legends and TCU basketball | Stephen "Reese" Konkle. 21 years old, currently enrolled at UNT working towards my degree in Digital/print media with a sports certification. Have a passion for basketball, and the Mavericks. Looking to bring Mavs fans a fresh, interesting perspective on the greatest game in the world.

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