Check back throughout the weekend for results and analysis from the first Hoophall West at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Oak Hill Academy’s dominant victory over Houston Yates highlights Friday night action.
Friday Spalding Hoophall West Results
(All games @ Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix)
Related: Hoophall West Saturday Analysis | Hoophall West Player Rankings
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 102, Yates (Houston) 56
Some of the national scouts and media in attendance heard preseason whispers that Oak Hill Academy veteran coach Steve Smith was talking down his team. After all, the perennial Student Sports FAB 50 national title contenders were coming off a season in which it finished outside the top 20 of the FAB 50 for the first time since the 1987-88 season.
We knew better, as Smith told us he’d definitely have a deeper and bigger club this season compared to 2012-13. Against a Yates club that opened up the season ranked No. 32 in the FAB 50, No. 4 Oak Hill Academy served notice it will be in the national championship hunt with a dominant 102-56 victory.
“Everyone around school was talking about how Oak Hill lost six games last season and how that’s not a very good season by Oak Hill’s standards,” said senior forward Caleb Martin, who made nine-of-14 shots en route to a 19-point, 10-rebound, five-assist, and two blocked shots performance for the victors from Virginia. “We hope to just keep it at one loss the entire season.”
Caleb’s twin brother, Cody, was just as impressive with a game-high 21 points while shooting 10-of-12 from the field. Cody also had three steals. The twin brothers shot a combined 19-of-26 from the field as Oak Hill Academy continuously beat Yates’ usually vaunted full court press for easy lay-ups and thunderous dunks.
Yates used the same defensive tactic to earn the 2010 FAB 50 No. 1 rating, defeating national teams by creating turnovers and scoring easy points. In this game, however, the Lions were undersized and a bit too young for that strategy to work against a much taller and deeper Oak Hill team. Yates didn’t adjust and the game became a virtual Oak Hill highlight show.
The Warriors led 28-11 after one quarter and the game never really got closer. Oak Hill shot 58 percent (44-76) from the field while Yates shot 28 percent (21-74).
Six-foot-5 shooting guard B.J. Stith and 6-foot-9 Trevor Manual added 15 points apiece for Oak Hill. Six-foot-2 senior Damion Lewis led Yates with 16 points. His shooting (6-of-23) was indicative of the night it was for the Texas power.
Yates opened up its season with a 85-79 loss to No. 13 Prime Prep (Fort Worth, Texas), so it will be interesting to compare how No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) does against Prime Prep next Friday night in Las Vegas in a showcase game at the Tarkanian Classic. Both Findlay Prep and Oak Hill Academy have one loss so far this season.
As for the Hoophall West, Oak Hill looks to be just as impressive against Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), which opened up No. 9 in the FAB 50, on Saturday as it was against Yates on Friday.
“It will be a totally different game,” Smith said. “With their length and ability, we have to execute better offensively.”
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 63, Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) 42
After losing to Curie (Chicago) at the Chicago Elite Classic last weekend, Nevada power Bishop Gorman had a week to work hard in practice and come out focused against an Orange Lutheran club looking for an upset.
Friday’s game nearly took a turn for the worse for the Gaels right off the bat when Gorman’s Stephen Zimmerman, ranked the No. 3 junior prospect in the country by the Hoop Scoop, tweaked his ankle on the opening tip and had to be removed from the game.
Luckily for Bishop Gorman, Zimmerman only sat out a few minutes and the Gaels put forth a fine team effort to knock off the Lancers. They got good looks at the rim (taking only six 3-point shots and making three of them) and most importantly took a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“Cliff Alexander (Curie) was just a bit too much for us,” Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “We also got off to a slow start. Before this game (against Orange Lutheran), we talked about getting off to a fast and I’m glad we did that.”
After scoring 30 points in the loss to Curie, senior guard Noah Robotham led the way for Bishop Gorman with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Zimmerman took 12 shots, making four, and finished with 10 points. Fellow junior Chase Jeter had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Gorman takes on Oak Hill Academy on Saturday and is going to need a higher percentage of field goals made from Zimmerman and Jeter (7-of-21) to defeat a Warriors club that was quite impressive on Friday night.
“We’re trying to learn our identity and what type of team we are going to be. Noah Robotham continues to play well for us.”
According to Rice, Robotham recruitment has picked up and he’s now holding scholarship offers from Idaho, Northern Arizona, and Wisconsin-Green Bay with San Francisco having strong interest.
Bishop Gorman out rebounded Orange Lutheran, 37-23, and committed six less turnovers (17-11).
The most impressive player for Orange Lutheran on the floor and in the box score was junior guard C.J. Hankins. He finished with a team-high 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Fellow junior Rogers Printup added 12 points, two blocks and two steals.
5th place game (Arizona Division) – Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 62, Mesquite (Gilbert, Ariz.) 59
The best game of the evening turned out to be the fourth and final one, as Desert Mountain outscored Mesquite 13-7 in the final period to record a come-from-behind victory. Mesquite got to within one point (60-59) on a 3-pointer by junior guard Conner Exline (9 points) with 50 seconds remaining in the game. Desert Mountain, however, hit two free throws to seal it as Mesquite was unable to convert a last-second 3-point attempt.
Senior Will Goff led three players in double figures for Desert Mountain with 18 points, including 4-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Goff also contributed five rebounds and four steals.
The only player for Mesquite in double figure scoring was 6-foot-2 senior Jake Gaustad with 17 points. He also had a team-high seven rebounds and four steals.
7th place game (Arizona Division) – Westview (Avondale, Ariz.) 54, Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.) 31
Westview had a 31-26 halftime lead and the Knights outscored Millennium 23-6 in the second half to cruise to a win in the event’s opening game. Millennium was outscored by Westview 6-5 in the third period and 17-0 in the final period.
Six-foot-6 senior forward Isaiah Bellamy led Westview with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Andre Adams, a 6-foot-9 left-handed senior with plenty of ability, added 14 points and six rebounds.
Six-foot-2 senior Mike Olexa led Millennium with seven points.
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