Coach Steve Smith may have been battling a lingering cold, but his Oak Hill Academy Warriors were "red hot," shooting 71.7% to defeat Centereach, N.Y. Our Savior New American 99-53 last night for their second consecutive championship in the Champions Classic Tournament in Boone, N.C. Oak Hill was led by spectacular junior point guard Tywon Lawson.
Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill Academy concluded their 2004-04 basketball season in triumphant fashion Saturday night by dismantling a competitive team, Centereach, N.Y., Our Savior New American 99-53. Led by the outstanding play of 6-foot junior floorleader Tywon Lawson, who earned Most Valuable Player honors scoring 32 points (13-16 FG, 4-6 3-point shots, 2-2 FT), 6 assists, and 4 steals, Oak Hill Academy repeated as champions of Wayne Otto's Champions Classic Tournament at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
Unsigned senior, 6-foot-4, 225-pound guard/forward Jamont Gordon had another strong game for Oak Hill with 21 points (8-14 FG, 1-4 3-point shots, 4-5 FT), 6 rebounds, and 8 assists. Gordon is not a good perimeter shooter, but he is a superb passer, and is overpowering going to the hoop.
6-foot-9 junior forward Kevin Durant was again masterful, hitting 8-9 FG, and grabbing 8 rebounds enroute to a 20 points performance; and McDonald's All-American, Syracuse-bound 6-foot-4 Eric Devendorf had 16 points (5-9 FG, 4-7 3-point shots) for Oak Hill.
The Oak Hill Academy Warriors finished their season with a 34-2 record, and considering the tough competition and road games, not high school team in the nation played a more difficult schedule. In my opinion, Oak Hill is again the nation's best high school basketball team.
The leading scorer for Coach Ron Stelzer's Our Savior New American team was most promising freshman 6-foot-8, 230-pound center/forward Samardo Samuals, a resident of Jamaica, with 16 points, and 7 rebounds. Fresno State signee, 6-foot-8, 265-pound center James Tchana had 13 points, 8 rebounds.
In the Saturday night Champions Classic Showcase Game, Durham, N.C., Mount Zion Christian Academy defeated Stockbridge, Ga., Community Christian School 84-73. 6-foot-6 wing forward Brandon Rush led Mt. Zion with 25 points (8-15 FG, 8-9 FT), but, again, displayed little intensity on the court. Rush was given the game MVP award. Iowa State recruit, 6-foot-10 center Shawn Taggart had 15 points, 7 rebounds; and "recycled" junior to sophomore, 6-foot-8 center/forward Tracy Smith added 13 points for Mt. Zion. Auburn signee, 6-foot-4 second guard Jarvis Hill, reportedly, had a sprained ankle, and did not make the trip.
The most impressive player for Community Christian School was talented Canadian freshman, 6-foot-6, 220-pound Olu Ashaolu, earned game Most Outstanding Player honors, scoring 21 points (8-12 FG). Athletic junior, 6-foot-5 second guard Carlos Morais (committed to Kansas State), had a very good performance scoring 18 points (7-11 FG, 2-2 3-point shots). We were not as impressed with Kansas State signee, 6-foot-8, 250-pound center/forward Ousmane Cisse, who has very limited offensive skills, but can become a force inside. Also, 6-foot-5 junior forward Solomon Tat appeared to be very over-rated.
In the Champion Classic Third Place Game Roanoke, Va., Catholic High School held off Middleburg, Va., Notre Dame Academy 56-50. 6-foot-3 junior wing guard Napies Alleyne was the leading scorer for Coach Joe Gaither's Roanoke Catholic Celtics with 20 points; and promising 6-foot sophomore point guard Deangelo Robinson added 11 points, and 5 assists.
The standouts for Notre Dame Academy were 6-foot-3 senior wing guard Marcus Sugars with 20 points; and 6-foot-7 senior forward Ed Jones with 12 points.
Oak Hill Academy's Tywon Lawson won the Echota Three-Point Shooting Contest.
Champions Classic All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player--Tywon Lawson Oak Hill Academy
Most Outstanding Player--James Tchana Our Savior New American
Kevin Durant--Oak Hill Academy
Jamont Gordon--Oak Hill Academy
Samardo Samuals--Our Savior New American
Napies Alleyne--Roanoke Catholic
Marcus Sugars--Notre Dame Academy