Dec 27, 2013
The Martinsville Va. Carlisle Chiefs are one win away from the Summit Hospitality bracket crown after downing the Wilbraham & Monson Academy (MA) Titans on Friday night in the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
The Chiefs never trailed after the first quarter and outmatched the Titans on both ends to run away with the 59-47 win.
"I thought we played much better than we did last night," said Carlisle head coach Jason Niblett, whose team escaped the Sanderson Spartans with a six-point margin of victory in the team's first game of the tournament. "Last night was a very tough game for us and we just couldn't get it going, but tonight our guys responded."
Carlisle was led by seven-foot sophomore Thon Maker, the nation's top player in the Class of 2016, according to ESPN. Maker finished with 26 points in the game.
W&M sprinted out of the gates and showed off its talent-laden roster with University of Nevada, Las Vegas recruit Goodluck Okonoboh, senior guard Taylor Fortin and the team's leading scorer Curtis Cobb III all scoring in the early part of the game. Maker responded by scoring 14 points in the first half of the game and giving the Chiefs a 28-18 halftime lead.
Carlisle did not surrender its scoreboard dominance in the second half. The team led 45-31 in the third quarter and held tough to finish with a 12-point victory.
In addition to his 26 points, Maker recorded 15 rebounds. The seven-footer shot 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and made nine free throws on 14 attempts. Kaleb Johnson added 17 points for the Chiefs
"Thon is a special talent," Niblett said. "I've coached a lot of good ones, but I've never coached a seven-footer who can do the things that he can do. He can post up, bring the ball down the floor, shoot the three and shoot the mid-range. He's just a special talent."
Carlisle will play either Fayetteville Trinity Christian or Houston, TX. Homeschool Christian Youth Association in the championship game of the Summit Hospitality bracket on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
"Anytime you're playing for a championship--wherever it is--it's definitely a pleasure and we just welcome the opportunity," Niblett said.
In the loss, Okonoboh scored a team-high 15 points for W&M. Marcel Pettway scored 11 points for the team and Cobb finished with ten.
"I thought it was a slow, sloppy game for us," said W&M head coach Chris Sparks. "A lot of credit to Carlisle. I thought they came out and attacked us, and I thought they gave a much better effort than what I saw yesterday and were ready to play tonight."
This story is closed for comments.