Five Takeaways from the 2017 Holiday Hoopsgiving
Montverde Academy appears to be the early Dick’s Nationals favorite
Montverde Academy (FL) opened up the season in impressive fashion, taking down Trinity Episcopal (VA) 79-48 and Westside (GA) 103-55 on consecutive nights. Leading the charge for the Eagles was an impressive backcourt featuring 2018 6’ 3” PG Mike Devoe (Georgia Tech) and 2018 6’ 3” PG Andrew Nembhard (Florida), alongside their superstar 2018 6’ 7” SF RJ Barrett (Duke). Devoe demonstrated his ability to stretch the floor, score around the basket, distribute the ball, and cause havoc on defense, finishing with 21 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals in their opener and 25 points, 5 assists, and 6 steals on the following night. The returning senior duo of Nembhard and Barrett shined as well, with Barrett going off for 26 points and 10 rebounds and then 33 points in their blowout win over Westside (GA). Nembhard had an impressive 13 assists in their win over Westside, showing his ability to be a pure point guard for the Eagles. The Eagles not only appear to be the early Dick’s Nationals favorite, but they may be the number team in high school basketball this season.
Trendon Watford and Mountain Brook are dangerously good
2019 6’ 9” PF Trendon Watford went off for 36 points and 11 rebounds in a huge 79-62 win over a tough Norcross (GA) squad in Mountain Brook’s opening night win at the Holiday Hoopsgiving event. In their Saturday match-up Watford had 21 points and 13 rebounds in another big 59-45 win over defending Georgia 6A state champions, Langston Hughes (GA). Watford is impossible to guard on the perimeter, displaying exceptional ball handling skills to go along with his strong post game. He had the defenses guessing all weekend as the elite junior prospect showcased his skills and proved why he is one of the top prospects in the nation.
Mountain Brook left their mark in Georgia knocking off two of the state’s top teams to improve their overall record to 6-0. Mountain Brook will look to continue to improve as they gear up for some big time challenges at the City of Palms Classic where they will open with Canterbury (FL) before likely taking on California powerhouse #3 Mater Dei (CA).
Is Newton floor general Ashton Hagans the most versatile guard in 2019?
2019 6’ 3” PG Ashton Hagans may be the most dynamic guard in the 2019 class and all of his skills were on display at the Holiday Hoopsgiving as he stuffed the stat sheet in consecutive Newton (GA) wins. Hagans put together back-to-back masterful performances finishing with 14 points, 14 assists, and 12 rebounds in Newton’s first win over Columbia (GA) 94-64. The elite point guard’s second game of the event was much closer, as Newton (GA) defeated Pebblebrook (GA) 87-78 behind 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists from Hagans. The junior guard’s lightning fast quickness, excellent vision, and tenacious play-style make him one of the most difficult match-ups in the nation and one of the most coveted recruits regardless of class.
McEachern has the pieces to win GA state title, qualify for Dick’s Nationals
The McEachern Indians have one of the deepest rosters in not just Georgia, but all of the nation. Returning their top nine scorers, and adding talented 2019 6’ 9” PF Jared Jones into the mix? McEachern proved they are worthy of their lofty preseason ranking at the Holiday Hoopsgiving, capping off night one with a hard earned 83-72 win over Christ School (NC) and 2019 budding star Jalen Lecque. The Indians had nine players see 10+ minutes of action in their quality win, with four of those players scoring in double figures, led by 2019 6’ 5” SG Isaac Okoro 28 points and 7 rebounds and talented newcomer Jared Jones who finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds to provide a post presence for the heavy favorites to capture the Georgia 7A state championship. Despite only playing 14 minutes, 2020 standout 5’ 10” PG Sharife Cooper finished with 11 points and 3 steals to lead the McEachern backcourt. Watch for McEachern to continue to make a name for themselves on the national stage competing in the City of Palms Classic, Cancer Research Classic, and Flyin to the Hoop Invitational in hopes of bolstering their resume to earn the school’s first ever Dick’s Nationals berth.
Preseason #10 Wesleyan Christian falls to talented guards of Norcross
Coming off a tough loss at the hands of a talented Mountain Brook (AL) team, Norcross (GA) was determined to get a result at the Holiday Hoopsgiving. Norcross not only got their much needed result, they took down preseason #10 Wesleyan Christian (NC) 71-65. The Blue Devils pulled off the upset behind a balanced attack from their stellar backcourt. All four of their scorers in double figures played 25+ minutes and each of them stepped up big time against a stiff national test, coming on the heels of a disappointing loss. 2019 6’ 2” SG Kyle Sturdivant led the charge, scoring 23 points on 10-19 shooting, while elite 2020 6’ 5” SG Brandon Boston chipped in 15 points as well going 3-5 from deep. The other two game-changers were 2018 6’ 6” SF Jojo Toppin (Georgia) and 2018 5’ 10” PG Dalvin White who contributed 13 points a piece. Although this was a tough loss for Wesleyan Christian to take this early in the season, the Trojans have all the pieces to compete on the highest level once their talented group begins to mesh.
Friday, November 24th
Eagles Landing Christian (GA) over Holy Innocents’ Episcopal (GA) 68-63
Newton (GA) over Columbia (GA) 94-64
#10 Wesleyan Christian (NC) over Gainesville (GA) 76-66
Mountain Brook (AL) over Norcross (GA) 79-62
#2 Montverde Academy (FL) over Trinity Episcopal School (VA) 79-48
#9 McEachern (GA) over Christ School (NC) 83-72
Carmel Christian (NC) over Discovery (GA) 65-49
St. Pius X (GA) over Greenforest Christian (GA) 73-52
Charlotte Christian (NC) over Pebblebrook (GA) 68-65
Meadowcreek (GA) over Trinity Christian Academy (NC) 78-43
Bishop Loughlin (NY) over Aquinas (GA) 45-42
Miller School (VA) over Sacred Heart (AL) 61-53
ABI (GA) over Montverde Prep (Regional) 70-41
Middle GA Prep (GA) over Believe Prep (TN) 108-105
Lincoln Academy (GA) over Hamilton Heights Christian (TN) 73-63
CBD Montverde (FL) over The Skill Factory (GA) 54-43
Legacy Charter (SC) over Potter’s House (FL) 70-54
Mount Zion Academy (NC) over Covenant Christian (GA) 75-74
Saturday, November 25th
Charlotte Christian (NC) over Holy Innocents’ Episcopal (GA) 75-47
Newton (GA) over Pebblebrook (GA) 87-78
#2 Montverde Academy (FL) over Westside-Macon (GA) 103-55
Wheeler (GA) over Buford (GA) 78-65
Trinity Episcopal (VA) over Trinity Christian Academy (NC) 78-77
Norcross (GA) over #10 Wesleyan Christian (NC) 71-65
Aquinas (GA) over Eagles Landing Christian (GA) 65-40
Greenforest Christian (GA) over Sacred Heart (AL) 81-65
Carmel Christian (NC) over St. Francis Academy (GA) 71-67
Mountain Brook (AL) over Langston Hughes (GA) 58-45
Meadowcreek (GA) over Gainesville (GA) 62-61
Bishop Loughlin (NY) over Miller School (VA) 53-49
Warner Robins (GA) over Grayson (GA) 67-64
Hamilton Heights Christian (TN) over Action Sports Academy (GA) 111-65
Believe Prep (TN) over Montverde Prep (FL) 92-88
Middle GA Prep (GA) over The Skill Factory (GA) 84-77
Lincoln Academy (GA) over Legacy Charter (SC) 71-63
Drew Charter (GA) over Grady (GA) 52-51
Mount Zion Prep (NC) over Montverde Prep (Regional) 71-53