CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. –
With star point guard Andrew Harrison
slowed by a nagging hamstring injury, No. 18 Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas)
faced the daunting task of playing two games Thursday at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.
Thanks to a pair of big scoring performances by Andrew's identical twin brother Aaron
, the Tigers survived and advanced to Friday's semifinals with an 82-52 win over Miller (Fontana, Calif.)
in the morning and a 55-50 victory over Antelope (Calif.)
in the evening.
Aaron Harrison, who will join his brother as part of a highly-touted recruiting class at Kentucky next season, pumped in 40 points against Miller and 25 more against Antelope – California's defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division II champions.
"If you can have a quiet 40, he did it," Travis head coach Craig Brownson said of Aaron's morning performance, which included a 13 of 18 effort from the field. "He was hitting shots but it was kind of a steady. He's a great player and he can do that where all the sudden you look up and he has 39 or 40."
Antelope, led by 20 points from senior wing
, made things difficult on the Texas powerhouse in the nightcap. After falling behind by 11 in the third quarter, the Titans pulled to within three points in the final minutes only to see Aaron Harrison close things out at the free throw line.
Andrew Harrison's statistical contributions were limited, but he helped set the table for his brother and at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, remained a matchup nightmare at the point guard position.
"(Andrew's hamstring injury) is better than it was, but still not great," Brownson said. "It's still hindering him but he is playing through it."
For the Tigers (14-2), the Thursday doubleheader wasn't particularly unique. Texas schools play multiple games in a single day regularly at tournaments around the state.
"We have tournaments where we play five games in three days, so our kids are kind of used to that," Brownson said. "State rules wouldn't allow us to play yesterday, so this was our first anything in the gym organized for the last five days."No. 19 Loyola (Los Angeles) 65, De La Salle (Chicago) 63
After roaring to a 15-2 lead early in Thursday's quarterfinal matchup against De La Salle, Loyola appeared to be on its way to an easy semifinal berth.
But after a gutty comeback by the visitors from Chicago, it took a bucket by Loyola's junior star Parker Jackson-cartwright
in the final 10 seconds to get the job done.
"He took his time and knocked one down. The kid's a gamer," Loyola head coach Jamal Adams said of Jackson-Cartwright. "I'm blessed to coach such a cerebral, smart and tough player."
Jackson-Cartwright, who played under the watchful eye of Arizona head coach Sean Miller, finished with 15 points and eight assists for the Cubs (10-0). Senior guard Trey Mason
notched a team-high 18 points.
De La Salle clawed back behind the play of seniors Marcus White
and Alvin Ellis
(Minnesota signee). The Meteors took their first lead in the game at the 7:15 mark of the fourth quarter but couldn't hang on.
Loyola will face Fort Bend Travis at 7 p.m. in Friday's second semifinal at Palm Desert High School.Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 75,
Rainier Beach (Seattle) 70Derick Newton
scored 31 points to lead Harvard-Westlake to an upset win over Washington's defending Class 3A state champs.
Newton, a 6-5 junior garnering interest from UCLA, USC, San Diego State and Portland, gave the Seattle power fits driving from the top of the key and using his football-ready frame to absorb contact and get to the basket.
"That's my game. I like to go one-on-one," Newton said. "If you don't pinch in on me I kick to the shooters. If you don't help, I'm taking it all the way to the rim or pulling up."
Playing in the Mission League with aforementioned Loyola and defending Division III state champs Alemany (Mission Hills)
, Harvard-Westlake (8-2) is used to big games. But Thursday's victory may rank at the top of the list for Newton and the Wolverines.
"That win is the best win we've probably ever had," Newton said. "Our coach was just talking about it, saying that was probably the best win he has had in his career."
Tough point man Michael Sheng
added 16 for Harvard-Westlake.Shaqquan Aaron
, a 6-7 junior wing, pumped in a team-high 24 for Rainier Beach (6-2) while Jordan King
added 14.Westchester (Los Angeles) 52, Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) 50
In a matchup of dynasties that have combined for 10 state titles under their current head coaches, Westchester prevailed in a physical, hotly-contested battle.
Trailing 41-38 with under five minutes remaining in the game, Westchester – who used a five-for-five substitution pattern frequently – put together a 14-4 run to seize control of the contest.
"I was really pleased with our second unit that came and I thought Darnell Brown
controlled the game," Westchester head coach Ed Azzam said. "We've been doing that all year long (mass substitutions), but they are trying to make me re-think it, making me think the second group should play and the first should sit."
While Brown applied smothering ball pressure, junior guard Elijah Stewart
paced the Comets with 17 points.
Miller Grove – Georgia's four-time defending Class AAAA state champs – received 19 points from senior guard Kyre' Hamer
. Current UCLA freshman Tony Parker was the backbone of the program's recent title runs. Without Parker, the new-look Wolverine rotation included four juniors, a sophomore and a pair of freshmen.
Westchester will face Harvard-Westlake at Palm Desert High School in Friday's first semifinal at 5:30 p.m.Friday's Invitational Division scheduleAt Palm Desert High School
2:30 p.m. – 5th: Miller Grove vs. Rainier Beach
4 p.m. – 5th: Antelope vs. De La Salle
5:30 p.m. – Semifinal: Harvard-Westlake vs. Westchester
7 p.m. – Semifinal: Fort Bend Travis vs. LoyolaAt College of the Desert
2 p.m. – Dorsey (Los Angeles)
vs. O'Dea (Seattle)
3:30 p.m. – Bellevue (Wash.)
vs. Madison Ridgeland Academy (Madison, Miss.)
5 p.m. – Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.)
vs. Leuzinger (Lawndale, Calif.)
6:30 p.m. – Miller (Fontana, Calif.)
vs. Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)