Reed Conder Gymnasium in Benton, Ky., is one of high school basketball's crown jewels.
The 6,000-seat arena hosts the Marshall County Hoopfest early each season and is a regular stop on the tour for national power Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
. Big matchups and five-star prospects are the norm on the weekend after Thanksgiving every year in the tiny southwest Kentucky town.
But Class of 2013 No. 1 prospect Andrew Wiggins
of Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
gave the locals something special to remember over the weekend. The 6-foot-7 wing took over Friday night in a 76-59 over defending Tennessee AAA state champion Memphis East (Tenn.)
, piling up 29 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Wiggins followed with 25 points Saturday at the event in a 74-40 over Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.)
, helping the Express – ranked No. 1 in MaxPreps.com's Academy Top 10 – improve to 7-0.
An early offensive eruption Friday from Memphis East Top 100 forward Nick King
may have helped light Wiggins' fire.
"He (King) got hot early," Huntington Prep head coach Rob Fulford said by phone Saturday night. "We put Andrew on him and he didn't score. Andrew always steps up when there is other ranked players or name guys on the other team. I think yesterday he was itching to get that matchup."
Wiggins, a target of John Calipari at Kentucky, was given the rock star treatment by fans in Benton.
"He does a good job with that," Fulford said. "It's not that he necessarily enjoys it – he's a laid-back kid but he didn't want one kid to go home without an autograph. He was there 45 minutes after the game signing and sat in the stands and took every picture."
Huntington Prep was making its first appearance at the Marshall County Hoopfest and Fulford says his program plans to return.
"It's probably one of the best venues we've played in," Fulford said. "There were over 6,000 fans at both games and the atmosphere was great."
The Express – dispatching opponents by an average of 28 points per game this season – also got big performances in Benton from 6-10 Arkansas signee Moses Kingsley
, 6-10 Baylor signee Dominic Woodson
and super sophomore Montaque Gill-Ceasar
.More from Saturday action at Marshall County Hoopfest
* Senior wing Sindarius Thornwell
pumped in 31 points to lead Academy Top 10 No. 4 Oak Hill Academy past Xcellent 25 No. 9 Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.)
89-73. The Warriors beat Curie (Chicago)
on Friday to go 2-0 in Benton.
* No. 2 Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas)
also improved to 2-0 on the weekend with a 64-57 win over Madison Central (Richmond, Ky.)
. Future Kentucky Wildcat point guard Andrew Harrison
led the way with 25 points.