SPRINGFIELD, MASS.- The Spalding Hoophall Classic kicked off the national portion of the event with three national games on Saturday. Stealing the show was Oklahoma signee Keith Gallon.
Oak Hill 65, South Atlanta 58
Keith Gallon (Oak Hill) 22 points on 8-13 shooting, 6-9 from three, 13 rebounds, 1 block in 28 minutes
With his team down 18-8 to South Atlanta at the end of the first quarter, Gallon put Oak Hill on his back for the next three quarters and carried them to a 65-58 win. I've always said if "Tiny" ever got serious about the game, he'd be a pro. Well, it looks like this is beginning to happen. Gallon is still heavier than he needs to be, but his body is shaping up and his conditioning has improved. He is one of the more skilled big men in the 2009 class, and he displayed another dimension to his game with his three-point shooting. Hopefully Oklahoma fans will see a serious Gallon continue is development in the Big 12.
Derrick Favors (South Atlanta) 25 points on 11-21 shooting, 3-6 from the line, 17 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 assist, 4 turnovers in 32 minutes
An inspired Favors came out of the gates strong, leading South Atlanta to its big early lead. As the game proceeded, however, Favors became less of a dominant force. His numbers were impressive, if just solid by his high standards, but he wasn't the force South Atlanta needed him to be when the game was in the balance. Perhaps it was this way because the majority of Favors' offense comes off his rebounding and the transition game instead of his ability to create his own scoring opportunities.
American Heritage 82, Central Catholic (Mass.) 77
Kenny Boynton (American Heritage) 28 points on 9-25 shooting, 5-13 from the field, 5-8 from the line, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 3 assists in 28 minutes
It wasn't Boynton's most efficient shooting game, but he did make his share of contested three-pointers. Solid in the other phases of the game, Boynton never turned the ball over and played strongly around the rim. Overall he looked good and had some bounce to his game.
Montverde Academy 74, Mount Vernon 65
Justin Jackson (Montverde) 24 points on 8-11 shooting, 8-8 from the line, 15 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist, 7 turnovers in 32 minutes
A high energy four man, Jackson attacked the basket with authority throughout the game. His aggression on the boards was impressive as well, and he converted at the free throw line. Averaging 20 points and ten rebounds per game this year, Jackson has the attention of a number of schools. Georgia, Georgetown, Florida, South Florida, Miami, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Central Florida have all offered according to Jackson. The 2010 prospect has his eyes on the Big East, but presently considers Maryland and Clemson his top two schools.
James Bell (Montverde) 19 points on 6-11 shooting, 2-4 from three, 5-6 from the line, 5 rebounds 3 assists, 5 turnovers in 28 minutes
A Villanova commitment in the 2010 class, Bell continues to impress with the development of his game. His long range shooting has improved, but most importantly, his overall decision making has dramatically improved. Bell is no longer forcing plays at the rate he used to and is playing with poise and confidence.
Sherrod Wright (Mount Vernon) 22 points on 6-21 shooting, 1-8 from three, 9-12 from the line, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, 4 turnovers in 32 minutes
Wright, an unsigned senior, was active throughout the game but simply struggled to put the ball in the basket.
Jabarie Hinds (Mount Vernon) 18 points on 8-18 shooting, 1-4 from three, 1-1 from the line, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists, 1 turnover in 30 minutes
An impressive looking left handed sophomore point guard, Hinds has a strong all around game as a floor general. Georgia Tech four-star signee Mfon Udofia comes to mind when watching Hinds.