Dec 27, 2013
The defending-champion Word of God Holy Rams will not have an opportunity to protect their crown in the later rounds of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational's Summit Hospitality bracket.
Five-star recruit and North Carolina signee Justin Jackson scored 36 points and the Houston, TX Homeschool Christian Youth Association Warriors cruised to a 73-55 win over the Holy Rams on Thursday night in Holliday Gymnasium at Broughton High School.
"Coming off the plane, we tried to instill in them that this game would be turned on defense," said HCYA head coach Leonard Decker, whose team flew into Raleigh from Houston on Thursday morning. "I think we played a pretty good defensive game."
The Warriors jumped to an early lead when Jackson scored the team's first two points and Josh Hughes added four more. It took more than four minutes for Word of God to score its first points of the game.
At the end of the first quarter, the Warriors led the Holy Rams, 16-6. Word of God was held without a field goal as all the team's opening points came from the foul line.
HCYA broke the game open in the second quarter with plentiful scoring from Jackson and Warrior guard J.J. Decker. Jackson had 17 points at halftime and his team led 38-20 at the break.
Little changed for Jackson and the Warriors in the third quarter as the team went on a 10-0 run to further cushion the lead. At the end of the third period, HCYA led 56-25. Jackson outscored the Holy Rams by himself through three quarters as he had 29 points entering the fourth.
"One of our strengths throughout the year is that we can usually outlast the other team," Decker said. "Even though they're tired, we usually play better at the end."
Behind scoring from Word of God's Quentin Jackson Jr., the Holy Rams did their best to make the final score respectable and pull closer to their opponent, but there was no climbing from the already-dug hole, and the Warriors cruised to the big win.
"We've got a young group," said Word of God head coach Quentin Jackson, who has just one senior on his roster. "Good experience, good exposure, and all year long we talk about getting better. It's going to be interesting tomorrow how we bounce back to see if we're able to take a good whipping and then come out and compete and win a tournament game."
Jackson's 36 points were a game-high. Starting point guard J.J. Decker added 16 points for the Warriors.
"I think what [Justin] brought was a lot of attention by their defense," Decker said. "They cued in on him and he rose to the occasion."
Jackson Jr. scored 19 points for Word of God in the loss. Jordan Whitfield scored nine more for the team. On the defensive side of the ball, the team found no way to stop Jackson and his scoring in the post.
"You can't," Quentin Jackson said. "A kid that versatile, with his size and the attitude he has about the game--you can't stop good players."
The Warriors advance to the second round of the Summit Hospitality bracket, where they will face Fayetteville Trinity Christian, which defeated Columbia S.C. Hammond earlier in the evening. The second-round game will be played Friday night at 8:30.
The Holy Rams will face Hammond on Friday at 1 p.m.
Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT
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