SPRINGFIELD, Mass.– The Spalding Hoophall Classic national slate got underway on Friday with national power Oak Hill Academy crushing Prestonwood Christian in an inspired team effort led by savvy point guard Tyler Lewis.
Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 85, Prestonwood Christian (Texas) 55
Prestonwood Christian, who is considered one of the top teams in the country, never had a chance against an Oak Hill squad hitting on all cylinders.
Point guard supreme Tyler Lewis, who is headed to North Carolina State, led the charge out of the gate with some nifty passes and a deep three. He continued his inspired play throughout the game going for 15 points (3-of-4 from three) and dished out a game high nine assists.
Lewis’ feel for the game is rivaled only by Kyle Anderson in the 2012 class, his shooting range continues to extend and his defense is constantly improving. In other words he is establishing himself as a top point guard in the class and as a player who will likely dazzle basketball fans for years to come
Purdue-bound 7-foot center A.J. Hammons exerted his presence defensively against Julius Randle and Zach Peters from the get go. The official stats had him for only three blocks, but it seemed like much more and he altered a bunch of shots. He played with strength and disciplined positioning throughout the game.
Playing what has to be one of the better games of his career, Hammons finished with six points on 3-of-3 shooting and eight rebounds to go along with his three blocks.
Jordan Adams, a UCLA signee, was on point with his jumper from deep. He hit 5-7 three pointers to finish with 23 points.
On a less than efficient shooting night, Georgetown signee D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 16 points and also had four assists.
Charlotte signee Darion Clark played his usual strong and physical game, scoring 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbing six rebounds.
On a dismal night for Prestonwood Christian, Randle labored for 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
Gonzaga College H.S. (D.C.) 77, Riverside (La.) 65
Class of 2013 forward Kris Jenkins battled highly regarded Ricardo Gathers and got the better of the 2012 four-star forward. On 12-of-16 shooting from the field, Jenkins scored 30 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds.
More than his impressive numbers, Jenkins helped his stellar 2013 point guard Nate Britt control the game with his physical play in the paint and poised play on the perimeter. Jenkins isn’t overly athletic or long, but he controls space and has an advanced feel for the game.
Britt, a North Carolina commitment, was careless with the ball and erratic on his finishes at times, but overall he had a strong game, especially in the second half. He scored 16 points and had five steals but had eight turnovers to two assists.
Along with his management of the high ball screen, Britt, who is a lefty, impressed with his ability to complete tough finishes with his right hand.
For a spiritless Riverside team, Gathers put up 22 points and eight rebounds, but did not play with his typical energetic and physical dominance.
Riverside does have a couple extremely promising young prospects in 2015 point guard Charvon Julien and 2016 post player Khalea Turner.
Julien had 11 points, and Turner went for seven points.
LaVerne Lutheran (Calif.) 68, St. Patrick (N.J.) 66
Arizona signee Grant Jerrett exploded for 23 points and 10 rebounds after a lack luster first half to lead his team to a two point overtime win. On the game Jerrett had 30 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
A skilled finesse player, Jerrett made plays with his length, given enough space. Putting on weight and improving his explosiveness will be essential for him to make plays in traffic at the next level.
With a game similar to Ryan Kelly at Duke, Jerrett might need some time like Kelly did before he is physically ready to make an impact at Arizona. Regardless as to how soon, Jerrett will make an impact for the Wildcats.
Class of 2013 Arizona commitment Eric Cooper contributed 17 points with a solid shooting game from the shooting guard position.
A trio of prospects carried the brunt of the load for St. Patrick. 2012 forward Elijah Davis had a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds. Class of 2013 prospect Jaren Nickens put up 15 points with his smooth shooting stroke. And 2013 prospect DeAndre Bembry served as the glue guy putting up nine points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal.
DeMatha (Md.) 78, Northwest Catholic (Conn.) 57
This game was never close as DeMatha raced out to a 26-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Foul trouble and Jerami Grant handcuffed Kuran Iverson, and Northwest Catholic had no answer for massive post prospect Beejay Anya.
Anya, a four-star prospect in the 2013 class, pounded Northwest Catholic for 24 points and nine rebounds.
On top of his stellar defense, Grant, a Syracuse signee, scored 14 points.
Pittsburgh signee James Robinson took a backseat to his teammates in the blowout but played a solid game with eight points, four rebounds and four assists.
Iverson, a 2013 four-star prospect, struggled for four points, three rebounds and two assists.
Connecticut had an assistant coach on hand to watch Iverson.