Benton, KY


Prolific, Jemison, Oak Hill sweep pairs of Hoopfest games

Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - Updated: 3:51 PM

By David Green

for theTribune-Courier


  DRAFFENVILLE – Three-year-old Prolific Prep, brand-new Mae Jemison of Huntsville, Alabama and perennial Hoopfest power Oak Hill Academy were double winners in the 21st annual Hoopfest at Marshall County High School’s Conder Gymnasium Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

  Oak Hill notched its 23rd and 24th wins in 26 Hoopfest games since its first visit in 1997. The Warriors topped Tennessee Preparatory Academy of Memphis on Friday and Aspire Basketball Academy of Scottsdale, Arizona, Saturday.

  Prolific Prep, of Napa, California, defeated Hamilton Heights Christian Academy of Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Friday and topped Hillcrest Prep of Phoenix in Saturday’s finale.

  Prolific Prep is now 4-0 after its first two visits to the tournament.

  Jemison, a new school which absorbed the student body, faculty and athletic traditions of J.O. Johnson High School this year, defeated a pair of Kentucky teams – University Heights Academy of Hopkinsville and reigning KHSAA Sweet Sixteen champion Paul Laurence Dunbar of Lexington.

  It was the third and fourth Hoopfest wins for the Jaguars, who won two games last year in the identity of J.O. Johnson.

  The Jaguars, playing in J.O. Johnson uniforms, won the last two Class 5A Alabama state championships.

  Hillcrest Prep was 1-1 in its   first Hoopfest visit, winning against The Tech Academy of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in its first contest.

  Other first-timers found the going rough. Tennessee Preparatory Academy and Hamilton Heights Christian Academy lost their single games and the Tech Academy of Canada lost a pair of games,

  In the most exciting game of the tourney, Chicago Curie edged Althoff Catholic of Belleville in a battle of reigning Illinois state champions. Curie claimed last year’s 4A crown while Althoff was the 3A titlist.

  Althoff was defeated in two previous Hoopfest appearances, by Chicago’s Hales Franciscan in 2004 and by Christian County in 2009.

  Curie, which defeated Athlete Institute of Mono, Ontario, in last year’s Hoopfest, improved to 2-1. Curie fell to Oak Hill in 2012.

  Stars were prominent, with much local interest focused on University of Kentucky commit Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and his cousin, Nickell Alexander-Walker, a Virginia Tech recruit (Hamilton Heights Christian Academy); Kansas recruit Billy Preston (Oak Hill); Duke signee Gary Trent Jr. (Prolific Prep); and Alabama signee John Petty (Mae Jemison).

  Others included Isiah Jasey (Sunrise Christian Academy), who has signed to play at Texas A&M for Coach Billy Kennedy, and Lindell Wigginton (Oak Hill), who will play for Coach Steve Prohm at Iowa State. Kennedy and Prohm, the two previous Murray State head coaches, were Hoopfest visitors.

  Other high-profile players included the First Region’s Chris Vogt, a 7-0 center from Graves County who has signed to play for Northern Kentucky; Western Kentucky recruit Taveion Hollingsworth (Paul Laurence Dunbar); Austin Peay signee Terry Taylor (Bowling Green); Xavier commit Paul Scruggs (Prolific Prep); Oregon signee Abu Kigab (Prolific Prep); Saint Louis signee Jordan Goodwin (Althoff Catholic); and Creighton signee Ty-Shon Alexander (Oak Hill).

  The top-rated recruit in this year’s senior class, 7-0 DeAndre Ayton of Hillcrest Prep, an Arizona signee, did not play in his team’s Hoopfest game.

  In games of area and state interest, this year’s top-ranked Kentucky team, Bowling Green, whipped McCracken County. In other intrastate games, Christian County defeated Graves County and Hopkinsville topped Marshall County.

  The Marshals defeated Massac County for their 22nd Hoopfest victory against seven losses.

  In two contests for girls teams, Marshall County defeated Massac County of Metropolis, Illinois, and lost to Henderson County.

  NOTES: The following tidbits from 21 editions of the Hoopfest, including the first five at Massac County High School’s gymnasium in Metropolis, Illinois, and 16 since 2001 at Marshall County:

  •Two teams have participated in all but one of the events – Massac County and Graves County.

  The Patriots missed the first one held at Marshall County, but have been in every one since. The Eagles missed the fifth one at Massac County, and have been in every tournament at Marshall County.

  •Marshall County has played the most Hoopfest games of any team – 29 games in 18 tourneys – and has the second-best record, 22-7.

  Oak Hill Academy has played in 17 Hoopfest events and has won 24 of 26 games.

  The only other winner of 10 or more Hoopfest games is Graves County (11-9).

  •First-time participants Aspire Basketball Academy (Scottsdale, Arizona), Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tennessee), Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix), The Tech Academy (Sault Ste. Mario, Ontario) and Tennessee Preparatory Academy (Memphis) brought the total of Hoopfest participants to 181 teams.

  One team that was announced in advance as a participant for this year’s event, Prolific Prep North (also of Sault Ste. Marie), did not take part.

  •Chicago Curie’s 81-80 win over Althoff Catholic was the only margin of victory smaller than 10 points in this year’s Hoopfest.

  Average margin of victory of 12 of the 13 boys games was 17.083 points.

  The one-point difference in the Curie-Althoff game lowered that average to 15.846.

  •Top individual performance of the tournament went to Gary Trent Jr. of Prolific Prep for a 36-point effort against Hamilton Heights.

  That added Trent’s name to the Hoopfest record book, in which he joins Brandon Jennings of Oak Hill (2007), Marcus Griffin of Peoria (Illinois) Manual (1996) and Jonathan Scheyer of Glenbrook (Illinois) North (2005) in a group tied for 11th place all-time.

  Monta Ellis of Jackson (Mississippi) Lanier holds the record for most points by an individual in a Hoopfest game, 46. Ellis set the record in a 94-80 loss to Oak Hill.


Christian Co. 68, Graves Co. 57


  Christian County got 21 points from Taivey Mason and 17 from Jaylen Sebree in rolling to a Hoopfest victory Thursday.

  Graves County got only limited playing time from 7-0 Chris Vogt, who is recovering from a foot injury and played 13-1/2 minutes, scoring eight points and pulling down four rebounds. Ryan Mathis led the Eagles with 17 points and Trevor Grant added 12.

  The Colonels jumped out to an 18-9 first-quarter lead and led by 18 at 50-32 after three periods.

  But Graves poured in 25 fourth-quarter points, aided by a technical foul on the Christian County bench, and cut the advantage to single digits at 65-56 with just under a minute to play.

  The Colonels evened their Hoopfest record at 2-2 in four appearances. Graves County is 11-9 after 20 games in the event.


Sunrise Christian 42, Tech Academy 28


  Neither team was able to get its offense rolling, but Sunrise Christian outscored the Tech Academy in the finale of Hoopfest Session 1 Thursday.

  Juan Ignacio Ducasse, a 6-8 forward from Uruguay, led Sunrise with nine points. Shakwon Barrett also scored nine for Tech Academy.

Cousins Matur (6-9) and Makur (6-11) Maker, relatives of the NBA’s Thon Maker, were the premier players for Tech Academy. They scored five and six points and pulled down seven and five rebounds, respectively.

  Thon Maker, 7-1, played for the Athlete Institute of Canada in last year’s Hoopfest. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.


Mae Jemison 73, UHA 62


  Alabama recruit John Petty, a standout in last year’s Hoopfest, had a double-double to lead Mae Jemison of Huntsville, Alabama, over University Heights Academy of Hopkinsville Friday.

  UHA was a late substitute for Aspire Basketball Academy of Scottsdale, Arizona, which did not compete in the first of two Hoopfest games for which it was scheduled.

  Travion Hollowell led all scorers with 24 points for the Blazers. Dekevan Tandy added 19 and Drew McGowan 12, but only five players put points on the board for UHA. A balanced attack by Jemison enabled the Jaguars to pull away in the second half.

  DeVonte Lanier had 17, Brandon McCarver 16, Petty 12 and Brandon Nicholas 10 for Jemison.

  The 6-5 Petty pulled down 10 rebounds as Jemison built a 33-23 edge on the boards over UHA.


Prolific Prep 72, Hamilton Heights 62


  Prolific Prep pulled away from Hamilton Heights in the second half to score its third straight victory in the second game of Session 2 Friday.

  Gary Trent Jr. poured in 36 points to lead the winners. He had help from Abu Kigab with 13 points and Paul Scruggs with 12 points and nine rebounds.

  Kentucky recruit Shai   Gilgeous-Alexander and his cousin, Nickell Alexander-Walker, were the standouts for Hamilton.  Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 points and had six rebounds, while Alexander-Walker had 23 and four.


Hillcrest Prep 62, Tech Academy 52


  Virshon Cotton scored 18 points to lead Hillcrest Prep’s victory Friday in the third game of Session 3.

Tech Academy started out with a 21-12 first-quarter run, but could not hold on on as Hillcrest outscored them the next three periods.

Hillcrest built a 43-37 lead after three quarters, extended it to 54-39, and then maintained the double-digit edge to the finish.

Tech Academy was led by 19 points from Shakwon Barrett.


Oak Hill 80, Tennessee Prep 55


  Powerful Oak Hill won its 23rd Hoopfest victory in 25 games over Tennessee Prep Friday at Conder Gymnasium.

It was the 15th Hoopfest win in a row since a loss to Flossmoor of Homewood, Illinois, in 2004.

  The Warriors misfired on their first six tries from 3-point range in the first half, but they didn’t miss much else, hitting 50 percent overall from the field in the first two quarters.

  Lindell Wigginton led   a balanced attack with 19 points, followed by Billy Preston with 15, Devontae Shuler with 14 and Ty-Shon Alexander with 13.

  Tyrese Patterson led all scorers with 22 points for Tennessee Prep. Jonathan Perrin added 13.


Bowling Green 99, McCracken Co. 67


  No. 1-ranked Bowling Green steadily pulled away from McCracken County in Saturday morning’s session opener at Conder Gymnasium.

  The Purples were led by Austin Peay signee Terry Taylor, who scored 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Zion Harmon added 22, Eli Thurman and Jarius Key had 12 apiece and Trevor Dennis scored 10.

  Cameron Cartwright led the Mustangs with 15, followed by Will Sivills with 14. Tyce Daniel and Nathan Stonecipher each scored 11.


Mae Jemison 67, Dunbar 54


  Dunbar jumped out to a 16-11 lead in the first quarter, but could not hold off a quick and athletic Jemison team Saturday.

  Jemison mounted an 18-2 run in the second period and rode it to a 10-point lead at 38-28. Dunbar cut it to 40-35, but the Jaguars pulled back out to 10 and led by eight, 47-39, at intermission.

  The Jaguars were led by Alabama signee John Petty, who starred in last year’s Hoopfest and who scored 25 points and 12 rebounds against Dunbar.

  Taveion Hollingsworth topped the Bulldogs with 18 points.


Chicago Curie 81, Althoff Catholic 80


  In the only nail-biter of the tournament, Curie took a one-point victory over instate rival Althoff Saturday.

  The winners overcame a 30-point, 11-rebound effort by Jordan Goodwin and 26 points on long-range shooting by Marvin Bateman. Curie hit key free throws in the final seconds to stay on top.

Elijah Joiner had 28 points and Terry Smith Jr. added 23 for Curie.


Oak Hill 57, Aspire Academy 41


  Oak Hill broke away from 26-26 halftime lead to take 37-35 lead after three quarters, then outscored Aspire Basketball Academy of Scottsdale, Arizona, 20-6 in the final quarter to win going away Saturday.

  Aspire shot nearly 48 percent (11-23) in first half, but slumped to 20.8 percent (5-24) in the second half. Oak Hill hit at a steady 40 percent the entire game, 23-57; Oak Hill won rebounding battle 42-30

  Billy Preston 16 points, 17 rebounds for Oak Hill. Matt Coleman added 14.

  Milton Wordlow hit for 17 to lead Aspire.


Prolific Prep 73, Hillcrest Prep 54


  Prolific Prep rolled to a 38-24 halftime lead and cruised to victory in the Hoopfest finale Saturday.

  Paul Scruggs had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Prolific. Abu Kigab added 18 and Amadou Sow 14.

  Gary Trent Jr., who scored 36 points in Prolific’s Friday victory, had only seven in Saturday night’s victory.

Josh Green led Hillcrest with 21.

  Prolific outrebounded Hillcrest 35-19 and outshot them 57 percent to 40 percent, including 60 percent in the second half.

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