Dec 27, 2013
Elijah Staley (14) with the dunk. Wheeler Wildcats from Georgia beat North Carolina's Garner Trojans 86 to 60 on the first day of the HSOT holiday invitational tournament. (Photo by: Suzie Wolf/WRAL contributor)
If the opening day of play is a precursor to what the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational will bring this week, we are in for a buckle-your-seat-belt style tournament.
Devin Booker (Moss Point) and Seventh Woods (Hammond School) both posted 42-point performances on Thursday, and both players did so in losing efforts. Moss Point was defeated by Apex 64-59, while Hammond School fell to Trinity Christian 79-65.
Booker and Woods are both tied for seventh all-time for most points scored in a single game at the Holiday Invitational. They're tied with Olujimi Mann (Santa Ana, Calif., Valley) who scored 42 points against Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.) in 1994. The record of 54 is held by Mitchell (SD) player Michael Miller. Miller set the record against East Chapel Hill in 1997.
The two high major players (Booker is committed to Kentucky) reached the 42-point mark in different ways. Booker was 17-of-17 from the free throw line, while Woods hit seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, nearly pulling his team back into the game after trailing by over 20 points.
There were other big performances in day one though.
University of North Carolina recruit Justin Jackson (Homeschool Christian Youth Association) ranks in the top three of three different statistical categories after the first day. Jackson scored 36 points, pulled in 14 rebounds and posted two blocked shots.
HCYA downed defending Holiday Invitational champions Word of God in the opening round of the tournament, 73-55.
Four other players managed to score 20 points or better on the opening day of the tournament. Elijah Staley (Wheeler) had 26 points, and his teammate Jaylen Brown (Wheeler) posted 23 points in a 86-60 win over Garner.
Dennis Smith, Jr. (Trinity Christian) and Justin Tankelewicz (Middle Creek) scored 22 points each. Tankelewicz connected on seven 3-pointers, one shy of the all-time record for most in a game.
The first three games of the day were nail-biters, decided by a combined 10 points. It even included an overtime thriller between Broughton (the defending 4-A state runner-up in North Carolina) and Kinston (the defending 2-A state champion in North Carolina). Kinston came away with the 49-46 win to advance to the semifinals and end a two-game losing streak.
Day two will feature some big time action:
10:00 AM - Hillside vs. Cary
11:30 AM - Dudley vs. Riverside
1:00 PM - Broughton vs. West Forsyth
2:30 PM - Chapel Hill vs. West Craven
10:00 AM - Moss Point (MS) vs. Clayton (Shavlik Randolph Consolation)
11:30 AM - Middle Creek vs. Sanderson (Summit Consolation)
1:00 PM - Word of God vs. Hammond School (SC) (Summit Consolation)
2:30 PM - Broughton vs. Garner (Shavlik Randolph Consolation)
4:00 PM - Kinston vs. Wheeler (GA) (Shavlik Randolph Semifinal)
5:30 PM - Wilbraham & Monson (MA) vs. Carlisle (VA) (Summit Semifinal)
7:00 PM - Apex vs. Lake Highland Prep (FL) (Shavlik Randolph Semifinal)
8:30 PM - HCYA (TX) vs. Trinity Christian (Summit Semifinal)
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