August 22, 2017

High School Basketball Action

OJ Mayo

I was fortunate enough to attend the Basketball Hall of Fame Hoophall Classic this evening in Durham at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was a three game classic pitting two local rivals in Southern High School and Riverside High School along with nationally ranked teams of #3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) against #6 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) followed by #2 Huntington (W.Va.) versus #11 Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.) Two out of three games were incredible and there were many hot prospects participating in the Classic.

Southern vs Riverside: Riverside absolutely blew the doors off of Southern in a yawner. I was impressed by senior guard Justin Burton, junior guard Carlos Sanford and senior forward Sidney Evans of Riverside. Senior forward Caleb Toler was about the only bright spot for Southern who looked out of sorts and completely overmatched. 

#3 Oak Hill vs #6 Mater Dei: This was an exceptional game and came down to the very last shot which unfortuately was a missed three pointer by Mater Dei who lost 71-74 to Oak Hill. Oak Hill had an extremely balanced attack led by the number one rated junior in the country point guard Brandon Jennings who has committed to USC. Nolan Smith a commitment to Duke along with Alex Legion, Julian Vaughn and Howard Thompkins were all impressive in their own rights. Mater Dei was powered by a very impressive player in 6’8 forward Taylor King who dropped somewhere in the vicintiy of 35 points with a lot of them from three point land. King is another player who has committed to the Duke Blue Devils and the crowd was obviously pulling for him. Mater Dei also has twin brothers who are 6’10 and sophomores named David Wear and Travis Wear. 

#2 Huntington vs #11 Artesia: This game had all sorts of hype due to OJ Mayo the top senior in all the nation coming to town, but with uncertainty of whether he could play in this huge game. Mayo was kicked out of Huntington’s last game due to two technicals and then a questionable bump of the referee by Mayo landed him a suspension for this game along with five other teammates for leaving the bench. In the end there was an appeal and at least for this game they all could play after a lot of back and forth discussions because of the appeal. OJ Mayo fouled out with under 3 minutes left in the game and a tight score, but his team stepped up and ultimately won the game 73-66. Mayo was up and down, but dropped in 19 and teammate Patrick Patterson was a monster all game and he had a key dunk towards the end of the game that sealed the victory for Huntington. Artesia boasts the number one rated sophomore in the country with 6’10 center Renardo Sidney along with junior Malik Story and senior James Harden. All in all this was an excellent time and the event showcased some very skilled up and coming basketball talent. 

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