2012 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Live Blog

FINAL: DeSoto (TX) wins Summit Hospitality title

Posted December 29, 2012

HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational

FINAL, DeSoto 45, St. Josephs 42 : The DeSoto High School Eagles held on in the final minutes to defeat St. Josephs High School and win the Summit Hospitality Championship on Saturday evening.

St. Josephs scored well in the second half but could not come up with enough stops on defense to battle back into a winning position. The team had multiple chances to hit a game-tying shot in the final seconds, but multiple misfires doomed the Falcons as the buzzer sounded. 7-footer Karl Towns Jr. finished the game with 13 points and 8 rebounds. He shot 3-6 from 3-point range. Also taking on scoring responsibilities for the Falcons were James Ziemba and Marques Townes, each with 10 points in the losing effort.

For the champion DeSoto Eagles, it was Matthew Jones making clutch free throws at the end of the game, just as he has been asked to do all through the tournament. He finished with 9 points, and Terry Masten finished with 14.

ESPN has consistently ranked the DeSoto High School Eagles of Texas as one of the best high school basketball teams in the country. Now, they will have a Holiday Invitational title to add to their already impressive resume. 

END 3Q, DeSoto 31 St. Josephs 30 : A duel between two offensively skilled teams has become a defensive showdown through three quarters. Both schools have seemed rather sluggish coming out of the half and have each missed several easy shots from the field. A highlight of the third quarter came when DeSoto's Matthew Jones leaped up to snag a missed Eagle shot and score on a put-back dunk. In the final three minutes of the quarter, Karl Towns knocked down two consecutive three-pointers for St. Josephs, showing off the range on his jumpshot and bringing the game to within a point.

HALF, DeSoto 21 St. Josephs 16 : DeSoto has executed the gameplan to perfection in the first half, holding the threat that is Karl Towns to just the two points. Towns picked these points up at the end of the 2nd quarter at the foul line.

Devin Wyatt has scored 5 points for DeSoto in an impressive team display that has not seen a single dominant scorer. The Eagles have done an exceptional job of sharing the ball around the court in all three of their games so far. To this point, they have seemed to be the deeper and more 3-dimensional team on the floor.

Center James Ziemba leads St. Josephs with 6 points. Karl Towns has not found penetration in the post and is having trouble getting the ball in scoring position. Credit the Eagles for attempting to get the 7-footer and foul trouble. They are also laying down smothering defensive coverage on the Falcon star when he is on the court.

END 1Q, DeSoto 9 St. Josephs 5 : It took St. Josephs over 4 minutes to score their first points and the DeSoto High School Eagles shot out of the gate to take a quick lead after one quarter of play. Starting guard Matthew Jones scored 4 points for DeSoto. The combination of Terry Masten and Devin Wyatt has done a good job defending Karl Towns to this point. Towns is scoreless, and sat on the bench a bit in the first minutes. The Falcon coaching staff needs to use Towns intelligently, as his foul trouble has been something to watch in St. Josephs' first games.

PREGAME : The championship game of the Summit Hospitality Bracket is all set to begin. The game will feature two out-of-state schools with some big-name recruits, as St. Josephs High School (NJ) and Karl Towns Jr. will face DeSoto High School (TX) and Matthew Jones. Towns is a 7 footer heading to Kentucky, and Jones will suit up for the Blue Devils next year.

The DeSoto Eagles have impressed many on their road to the final game. In their first game of the week, the Eagles defeated defending North Carolina 3A State Champion Kinston High School. Later, they beat a talented Hampton, Virginia team despite hot shooting from NC State recruit Anthony Barber. DeSoto is a team trending upwards. So far they have gotten a good amount of scoring from Jones, a starting guard. The Eagles have also owned the paint this week with big men Terry Masten and Devin Wyatt. 

However, Karl Towns Jr. and St. Josephs might have something to say about this post dominance. The Falcons have had an easier road on their way to the finals, winning a coin toss to defeat Holly Springs after weather and travel problems canceled the game on the first day of the tournament. Since then, the Falcons have played just one game, in which they downed the Broughton Capitals. Towns, one of the top ranked high school players in the nation, will look to assert his dominance and live up to his high expectations by winning the Summit Hospitality Bracket.

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