KETTERING, Ohio – Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas)
has had better days, and Thurgood Marshall (Dayton, Ohio)
is better than most people think.
Trailing after the first quarter, nationally ranked Grace Prep (No. 4 in the Jan. 8 MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Boys Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
) used a 15-2 second quarter to propel itself to a hard-fought 60-42 win in the final game of the 10th annual Good Samaritan Flyin to the Hoop boys basketball invite at Trent Arena in suburban Dayton. Marshall trailed by single digits late in the third quarter before succumbing in the fourth.
"We played OK, but we've played better and we had too many turnovers," Grace Prep head coach Ray Forsett said. "But we got a win at a big-time event and I'll take a win anytime. It's better than a loss."
Since losing to Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) before Christmas, Grace Prep (14-2) has won five straight. Its latest victory was an impressive one.
The Lions outrebounded Marshall 36-25 and made up for 22 turnovers by dominating defensively. Grace Prep forced 17 Marshall turnovers and held the Cougars to 15 of 57 shooting from the floor (26 percent).
Offensively, four Grace Prep players reached double figures, including Baylor recruit Isaiah Austin
. A 7-foot, 210 pound senior post ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps
, Austin scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked five shots.
"I played bad, coach was frustrated as you can tell," Austin said. "We came out tentative and didn't come out and attack. Once we started to attack we got some easy baskets and that got us going.
"We got the win and that's all that matters."
Junior forward Jordan Mickey
scored 12 points and had eight rebounds for Grace Prep, while guards Jelon Hornbeak
(senior) and Emmanuel Mudiay
(sophomore) each had 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.
Missing its best player (Joe Thomasson) due to suspension, Marshall (4-6) was led by junior forward Mark Alstork
(16 points) and senior forward Joe Ballard
Thomasson, a 6-5, 160-pound senior committed to Wright State, missed both of Marshall's FTTH games due to a two-game suspension, per OHSAA rules, for being ejected (unsportsmanlike conduct) in a Jan. 10 win. Thomasson averages 11.8 points.
Marshall, ranked No. 2 in the JJHuddle Division II Ohio Power Poll, had to forfeit three prior wins because of an ineligible reserve. The Cougars' other on-court losses are a 58-57 setback to unbeaten Dayton Dunbar in the season opener and a 55-39 loss to Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) on the first day of the FTTH. Dunbar is ranked No. 25 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and Findlay Prep is No. 2 in the MaxPreps Academy Top 10 National Basketball Rankings
. LA LUMIERE RALLIES
Trailing Westerville North (Ohio)
40-38 entering the fourth quarter, La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)
, ranked No. 7 in the Academy Top 10, rallied to post a 58-54 win and improve to 15-2. Westerville North fell to 9-3.
Southern Illinois recruit Antonio Drummond
scored a team-high 18 points for La Lumiere, while Purdue recruits Jay Simpson
and Raphael Davis
added 10 and 13, respectively. Indiana-bound Hanner Perea
chipped in 10 points.
Senior forward Taivon Thomas
led Westerville North with 19 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals. SUPER SOPH DELIVERS AGAIN
posted another incredible stat line as HCYA North (Houston)
beat Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio) 83-69. The 6-7 sophomore guard hit 8 of 11 shots, was 2-for-4 on 3-pointers and made 12 of 13 free throws en route to 30 points. In leading HCYA to two wins at FTTH, Jackson had 51 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and three blocks.
Houston recruit Danrad Knowles
added 17 points, 11 rebounds and four assists against the Rams.
Trotwood (2-4) put four players in double figures, including junior Jamar Hammonds
(21 points) and senior James Brown Jr.
(17 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals).CLOSE CALL
In a game that had 14 lead changes and 11 ties, defending Georgia Class 5A state champion Norcross (Ga.)
survived Greeneview (Jamestown, Ohio)
56-53. Junior guard Brandon Goodwin
scored 15 points and junior forward Harold Givens
had 13 for Norcross (8-6), which scored 22 points off 15 turnovers.
Junior forward Evan Bradds
(Ohio University verbal) had 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for Greeneview (9-3). Senior guard Eric Green
added 14 points. Bradds is the grandson of former Ohio State great and ABA star Gary Bradds.MOVING ON UP
An NCAA D-II power for years,
Northern Kentucky University will join the Atlantic Sun Conference and play its first season as an NCAA Division I school next season. At FTTH, several NKU recruits showed the Norse have a bright future.
In its 66-34 win over Chillicothe (Ohio), Chaminade-Julienne (Dayton, Ohio)
was paced by senior forward and NKU signee John Staley
, who scored 34 points. Staley shot 13-for-17 from the floor and hit 8 of 10 free throws. He pulled down eight rebounds.
Junior guard Zach Johnson
scored 22 for Chillicothe (9-4), which was outrebounded 26-15. CJ (9-3) outscored the Cavaliers 34-22 in the second half.
Two other NKU recruits – 6-8 twins Jacob and Justin Rossi – led Franklin (Ohio)
to a 64-49 win over Medina (Ohio). Jacob Rossi
had 22 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, while Justin Rossi
chipped in 16 points and five rebounds. Standout freshman point guard Luke Kennard
, a top 2015 prospect, added 20 points and seven rebounds for Franklin (11-0), which outscored Medina by 12 at the free throw line (17-5). The Wildcats are ranked No. 7 in the JJHuddle D-II Ohio Power Poll.
Playing without senior center and Michigan State recruit Kenny Kaminski (out for season with a torn labrum), Medina (1-7) was led by junior guard Billy Geschke who scored 21 points.ALMOST PERFECTButler (Vandalia, Ohio)
junior forward Jake Greer
put on an efficiency clinic and led the Aviators to a 63-43 win over Lakota East (Liberty Township, Ohio). Greer hit 8 of 9 shots from the floor and was 6 of 6 from the free throw line. He finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Butler (5-7) hit 59 percent of its shots (23-for-39), scored 17 points off 17 turnovers and rolled to a 36-20 halftime lead.
Lakota East (5-7) was led by junior guard Robbie Harpring
who had 13 points.