Host Marshall County defeated Lafayette of St. Joseph, Mo., and national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy whipped La Lumiere of La Porte, Ind., to go two-for-two in the 16th Hoop Fest Saturday night at Reed Conder Gymnasium.
The Marshals, Warriors and Louisville Ballard Bruins were the three teams that did double-duty in the 15-team, nine-game boys’ portion of the prep basketball extravaganza. Ballard, which won its first game Friday night, lost to Memphis Ridgeway in the tourney finale Saturday night.
The Lady Marshals also played twice, finishing 1-1 after a setback at the hands of Perry County Central Saturday afternoon.
Three afternoon games and four contests in the evening wrapped up the event. Among those on hand watching the action were college coaches Tom Crean of Indiana and Chris Lowry of Southern Illinois.
Massac County 62, Calloway County 42
In Saturday’s Session 2, the Patriots from Metropolis, Ill., led all the way to dispatch coach Bruce Lane’s inexperienced team.
Hot shooting was the key to Massac’s success, as the Patriots shot 57.1 percent from the floor, including a blistering 80 percent (four of five) from three-point range.
The Lakers were a chilly opposite of Massac, hitting only 13 of 43 shots for 30.2 percent. They actually fared better from long range, connecting on six of 18 for 33 percent.
Freshmen led the way for Calloway, with forward Skylar Hunter scoring 11 points and swingman Parker Adams adding 10. Veterans paced the Patriots, with seniors Travis Beck and Malcolm Amos scoring 19 and 18, respectively. Dalton Mitchell, a sophomore, added 12.
Perry County Central 60, Marshall County 43
Sophomore center Kayla Rankin and senior guard Kendall Noble led the way for the veteran Lady Commodores, who gradually pulled away from an 38-34 third-quarter lead to put down coach Joseph Simmons’ Lady Marshals.
Perry Central, in Hazard, dominated the 14th Region and 54th District last year and returned most of that team for coach Randy Napier. They pushed their record to 3-0 with the win over the Lady Marshals, who opened the season in the Hoop Fest opener Friday with a win over Mt. Carmel, Ill.
Taylor Meadows, who hit the game-winning three-point basket Friday to defeat Mt. Carmel, scored 13 for Marshall County Saturday.
The game was marred by an epidemic of whistle-blowing. Fourteen fouls were called in the first quarter and neither team had much of an opportunity to establish any kind of flow, resulting in a disjointed contest. The winners shot 33 free throws, hitting only 14 of them. Rankin hit only three of 10 chances.
But the 6-0 Rankin was a challenge for the Lady Marshals’ front line, hitting 11 of 18 shots from close range to score a game-high 25 points. Noble hit six of nine from the floor and five of eight free throws to score 17.
A stretch of turnovers late in the third period disrupted whatever momentum Marshall County was able to sustain and Perry Central, which edged ahead by four points at the third-quarter stop, pulled away with a 20-9 advantage in the final stanza. The lead grew to as much as 19 points at 60-41 with about a minute to play.
Beech 58, Perry County Central 45
Former Marshall County coach Allan Hatcher’s homecoming was spoiled by a solid performance by Beech of Hendersonville, Tenn., which posted a 9-0 spurt in the middle of the fourth quarter to put down Hatcher’s Perry Central Commodores.
The Buccaneers overcame a 28-19 rebounding deficit, drawing away in the final five minutes of the game after Perry Central closed to 42-41 at the 5:35 mark.
After Kyle Huff hit the second of two free throws to make it a one-point game, Beech answered with a three-point play by Seth Brown, a basket by Rob Chamberlain, another bucket by Brown and a three-point field goal by Ryne Chamberlain to take a 52-41 edge with 3:30 to play.
Brown had a game-high 22 points for Beech. Toby Lee added 14. Trevor Combs led Perry Central with 21 points. Dalton Cornett, a 6-6 junior center, grabbed 12 rebounds and added nine points for the Commodores.
Hopkinsville 60, Graves County 49
Quickness and experience were the primary tools utilized by the Hopkinsville Tigers in a second-half domination of youthful Graves County.
The Eagles, led by sophomore forward Peyton Puckett, hung on gamely in the first half and took a 25-23 lead into intermission. But Hopkinsville’ pressure defense in the second half yielded a rash of turnovers and disrupted the Graves offense. Hopkinsville outscored Graves 20-8 in the third period and never looked back.
Japualis Matlock led the Tigers with 16 points and Jordan Majors was close behind with 15. Trey Edwards added 10 in a balanced attack for the winners.
Puckett led the Eagles with 14. Jacob Hackel, one of only three seniors on the team, chipped in with 10 points. Hackel, a 6-5 center, also had 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Marshall County 58, St. Joseph (Mo.) Lafayette 40
Coach Gus Gillespie’s Marshals won the third game of the year with two things that are becoming trademarks of the First Region’s top-ranked team – air-tight defense and mercilessly efficient offense.
The Marshals shot 57.5 percent from the floor, getting a dozen of their 23 field goals via assists, and shut down a Fighting Irish offense, which got only a dozen field goals for the game, suffering through a 30.8 percent game.
The Marshal attack was quick and sustained. Marshall County took a 12-5 lead at the first-quarter stop, doubled their opponents 32-16 at halftime and cruised to the win.
Lafayette mounted a charge in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 41-30 after a pair of three-point plays by 6-2 sophomore guard Xavier Kurth.
But Marshal point guard Cole Nelson worked the clock down to the end of the period and hit a jumper at the buzzer that made it 43-30, and the Marshals took care of business in the final eight minutes to run their record to 3-0.
Nelson led all scorers with 18, followed closely by Chase York with 16. Kurth had 15 to lead Lafayette, which dropped to 1-1.
Oak Hill 77, La Lumiere 59
A battle of prominent national powers turned into a one-sided affair, as Oak Hill overpowered previously unbeaten La Lumiere behind 24 points from D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
Much of the attention was focused on a battle of big men, with 7-0 A.J. Hammons, an Indiana University recruit, matched up with 7-0 Obij Aget, who will play for New Mexico. Hammons easily won that individual competition, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds for the Warriors compared to Aget’s five points and three rebounds.
Hammons found himself matched up more frequently with Hanner Perea, a 6-9 forward who will join Hammons on the Hoosiers’ squad next year, and Jay Simpson, also 6-9, who will play for IU rival Purdue. Perea scored 14 and Simpson had six points.
But the little men stole the scoring show. Smith-Rivera, a 6-3 guard who has signed with Georgetown, led all scorers with 24 points. Jordan Adams, a 6-5 swingman headed for UCLA next year, added 20 and N.C. State-bound 5-11 Tyler Lewis had 12 for the winners, while Antonio “Bobo” Drummond, a 5-10 guard who will play at Southern Illinois, paced La Lumiere with 15.
Memphis Ridgeway 72, Louisville Ballard 54
Ballard, which flirted with disaster and go away with it in a come-from-behind win Friday night over Wilson Central, had no such luck against another Tennessee team in the Hoop Fest’s final game Saturday night.
A lackluster Bruins squad trailed 17-9 after the first quarter, and then came close to getting skunked in the second period. Quentin Snider, a 6-1 sophomore who has already signed to play for Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals, hit a runner in the lane with 1:15 left before halftime to avert the shutout.
Snider hit another shot and Aaron Murray added one of two free throws with 11 seconds to go, but Ballard went into intermission down 29-14 and was unable to recover from the deficit.
Statistics of the late game were not available.
LATE FRIDAY: Louisville Ballard 82, Wilson Central 76
Louisville Ballard rallied to defeat Wilson Central of Lebanon, Tenn., 82-76 in Friday’s nightcap. The Bruins went ahead late in the third period and held on for the victory.
Coach Chris Renner’s Bruins fell behind 21-12 in the first quarter and trailed 41-33 at intermission. They rallied in the third quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 25-13 to go ahead 59-53.
The Bruins led for the first time in the game on a three-point field goal by Quentin Snider late in the period. Snider, a 6-1 sophomore, hit all five of his three-point attempts and led all scorers with 28 points. Dee Oldham, a 6-3 senior guard, led Wilson Central with 24.
Ballard opened the season at home Tuesday night with an 85-76 win over Scott County.
Full details of the Hoop Fest and more photos will be published in Tuesday’s Trib.