Houston vs. The Nation - Day Two (Part II)

Top-ranked Brandon Jennings scores 36 while Baylor bound Anthony Jones continues shine

Dec. 30, 2007

By Van Coleman

CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com

Van Coleman

Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
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HOUSTON, Tex. - It was another night of upsets at the Aldine-Campbell Arena as St. Patrick's (N.J.) and Montverde Academy (Fla.) went down to Texas schools. Of the three national powerhouses, only Oak Hill Academy (Va.) bounced back from Friday's games to produce a winner for the out-of-state schools as Houston goes 9-2 versus the national teams over the weekend.


Individually, 6-foot-9 Anthony Jones (No. 51 ranked senior / Baylor) was stellar again, while two of the nation's top lead guards in Brandon Jennings (No. 1 / Arizona) and Tommy Mason-Griffin (No. 81 junior / LSU) put on a show for their respective squads finishing with 36 points each in the final game of the night. 


Houston Wheatley (Tex.) 82- Albany Academy (N.Y.) 53


This one looked like a mismatch from the opening tip, but Albany Academy kept it close for the first six minutes only trailing Wheatley 12-11 with 1:15 to play in the first period.  At that point Carlos Cook took over for Wheatley scoring six straight points to put Wheatley up 18-11 at the end of the quarter.  Both clubs exchanged baskets during the first half of the second quarter with Wheatley holding a 30-21 lead with 3:48 to play in the half.  At that point Cook and his backcourt mate DeShaun Garrett led a 9-0 run that basically put this one away as they closed the half up 39-21.


The second half was all Wheatley as the Wildcats built a 30-plus point lead in the third quarter to lead 62-31 heading into the final stanza.  At that point Wheatley coasted to a 82-53 victory over the outmanned Albany squad.  Wheatley was led by Garrett with 19 points, while Carlos Cook and Joseph Franklin added 17 points each.  Albany was led by Jamel Fields who finished with 19 points and his brother Shavar Fields who chipped in with 15 points.


Spring Klein Collins (Tex.) 45 - Montverde Academy (Fla.) 43


The first of our featured trio of games was living up to its billing in the first half as Montverde Academy and Klein Collins traded hoops in the first quarter.  Montverde was up 13-11 with just over a minute to go in the first stanza when 6-foot-8 sophomore Papa Samba Ndao hit a three-pointer to start an 8-0 run by the Florida club and open up a 10 point lead at 21-11 just two minutes into the second quarter.  The run ended with a putback by 6-foot-8 Bassel Bawji that ignited the Klein Collins squad on a 12-2 run of their own to knot it back up at 23-all with 1:30 to go in the half.  But, Montverde's 6-foot-11 Ruslan Pateev scored twice down the stretch in the first half to give Montverde a 27-23 lead at the intermission.  The Montverde Eagles were led by 6-foot Dashan Harris (No. 96 / Texas A&M) with 12 points, while Klein Collins' top gun was 6-foot-4 wing Derek Craig who had nine points.


The second half started with Montverde going on a 10-5 run to take a 35-28 lead as Steve Tchiengang (No. 64 / Vanderbilt) scored six points to open the third quarter.  They maintained a six to seven point advantage throughout the quarter until Craig knocked down a deep three at the buzzer to pull Klein Collins to within three, 42-39.


The fourth quarter was a real head shaker as neither club could make a free throw, but Klein Collins found the hoop twice with the second by Craig giving them the lead for the first time in the game, 44-43, with just 1:52 to play.  Demetri Goodson hit a free throw, their only one of the quarter to put them up two at 45-43 with 18 seconds to play.  Montverde got a chance to win it with a three, but Harris' shot fell short as time ran out.  Montverde was 1-for-8 in the fourth quarter and it was definitely the deciding factor in the game.


Klein Collins was led by Derek Craig with 20 points including 4-three pointers.  He got solid support from Bassel Bawji and Demetri Goodson who added 11 and 10 points respectively in the win.


Montverde was led by Dashan Harris with 13 points, but he only hit one of six free throws down the stretch.  Steve Tchiengang and Ruslan Pateev added nine and eight points in the loss.


Houston Yates (Tex.) 66 - Elizabeth St. Patrick (N.J.) 60


It's a match-up of high school heavyweights with one trying to prove they belong on top in St. Patrick's and the other trying to prove last night wasn't a fluke and that they belong with best in Texas, as well as the USA, in Yates High. 


Yates came out putting the defensive pressure on the St. Patrick guards early, while St. Patrick's countered with the inside game of Quintrell Thomas (No. 106 / Kansas).  He scored the first six points to keep them even out of the blocks at six-all.  Both clubs continued to trade baskets until Darius Gardner gave Yates a four point lead, 16-12, with a deep three-pointer.  St. Patrick's grabbed the momentum at the end of the quarter as Dexter Strickland (No. 9 junior) threw down a monster dunk at the buzzer over Anthony Jones (No. 51 / Baylor) that brought the mostly Yates crowd to a major buzz.


The second quarter started with St. Patrick's building a six-point advantage, 25-19, behind three baskets by Jermel Jenkins.  But Yates came right back to close it to two at 25-23 on a Jones dunk.  The two clubs then traded baskets over the next couple of minutes.  St. Patrick's extended the lead to 31-28 on two free throws from Thomas, but Yates' high flying 6-foot-2 wing man Brandon Peters drove and dunked with just seconds on clock to close the gap to 31-30 at the intermission. 


St. Patrick's was led by Thomas with 10 points in the half with solid support coming from Jenkins with eight points. 


Yates' top guns were Peters and Jones with 10 points each.  Jones also had five blocks in the first half.


The second half began with St. Patrick's going up five, 37-32, with 5:30 to play in the third.  Yates came roaring back scoring eight straight to take a 40-37 lead on a Jones three-pointer from the NBA arc.  They traded baskets for the next two minutes when Yates called a timeout with 2:40 to play in the quarter.  The Wildcats came out in a full court press, turning St. Patrick's over twice in a row to go up 49-41 with two minutes left in the third.  St. Pat's closed to six at the end of the quarter at 51-45 on a bucket by Paris Bennett.


The two squads traded baskets in the early part of the fourth quarter and Yates held a 59-55 lead with 3:34 to play when St. Patrick's called a timeout.  The Celtics ratcheted up the defensive pressure forcing Yates to the free throw line where they missed the front end of two one-and-ones to cut the lead to one, 61-60, with 1:15 to play.  However, a couple of ball handling miscues and the fact that Thomas fouled out just put St. Patrick's back on their heels as Jones and Xavier Roberson hit 5-of-6 from the free throw line to put it away for Yates. 


Yates was led by Anthony Jones with 25 points and seven blocks, while Brandon Peters and Xavier Roberson added 12 and 11 points respectively in the huge win. 


St. Patrick's top gun was Quintrell Thomas who had 22 points and 13 boards before fouling out with 1:58 to play.  He got solid support from Dexter Strickland with 13 points, while Jermel Jenkins chipped in with 10 points in the tough loss. 


Yates capped a great weekend with wins over two top ten talented squads.


Mouth of Wilson Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 108 - Houston Madison (Tex.) 88


This one started with all kinds of firepower and never really let up, as Oak Hill Academy met up with one of Houston's best in  Madison High. 


The two high-powered offenses traded buckets early as Oak Hill had a 9-7 advantage at the five minute mark of the first quarter.  Then it was just about time for Brandon Jennings (No. 1 / Arizona) to have a breakout end to the first period as he scored seven points during the Warriors' 13-4 run that put them up 26-15 with just under a minute to play.  Tommy Mason-Griffin (No. 81 junior / LSU) scored the last two baskets of the quarter to cut the lead to 26-19 at the break.


The second quarter was all Oak Hill early as the Warriors built their lead to 47-30 behind Jennings and 6-foot-9, 300-pound Keith Gallon (No. 33 junior).  "Tiny" was spectacular at times dominating the glass and finishing with massive dunks.  Once again as the time ran down late in the quarter, Mason-Griffin led a 5-2 run in the final minute to cut Oak Hill's lead to 49-35 at the intermission. 


Oak Hill was led by Jennings with 19 points in the first half, while Gallon added 14 points and 13 rebounds.  Mason-Griffin led Madison with 12 points and Richard Brown chipped in with 10 points in the first half.


The third quarter was all Oak Hill as Jennings, with support from Gallon and 6-foot-8 junior Glenn Bryant, pushed the Oak Hill lead to 72-49 with three minutes to play in the period.  Jennings was the catalyst as he totaled 14 points in the quarter, slashing to the hoop from all angles.  Madison didn't seem to have an answer for Oak Hill inside as well, as Jennings and the Warriors closed the quarter up 83-61.


Oak Hill then scored five straight, including a three-pointer by Jennings, to open an 88-61 lead just over a minute into the final stanza.  However, Jennings' three would be his last points as he left the game with four fouls after a technical, and never returned during the final six minutes of the game.  No matter, the Oak Hill squad held their lead for the rest of the game, being unchallenged except by a 14-point final quarter outburst by Mason-Griifin.


Oak Hill was led by Brandon Jennings with 36 points and seven assists.  He received solid support from Keith Gallon who finished 24 points and 18 rebounds, while 6-foot-2 sophomore Pe'shon Howard added 17 points, Glenn Bryant 15 points, and Byron Allen 13 points in the victory. 


Tommy Mason-Griffin equaled Jennings with 36 points for Madison.  Richard Brown added 27 points, while Chad Jackson chipped in with 10 points in limited action.


We'd like to thank tournament director Hal Pastner for his hospitality over the past few days and for the excellent work of his staff to have info flowing to those of us along press row - it was greatly appreciated.

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