Find My Team >>

Log in to High School OT with one click using your favorite social network:
OR
Log in using your High School OT account:



Wrong email/password combination.

Forgot password?

Register with High School OT using your favorite social network:
OR
Register for a High School OT account using our web form.
Log In
Register

Zach Mayo

Trinity Christian representing an entire city in HSOT Invite finale

Published: 2013-12-28 02:16:00
Updated: 2013-12-28 08:17:44


Dec 28, 2013

Trinity-HCYA

Alonzo Tyson goes up for a slam dunk. Trinity defeated the Homeschool Christian Youth Association 82-73 on the second day of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational in Raleigh, NC on December 27, 2013. Photo by: Jerome Carpenter

The HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational is in its 42nd year. In that time, the historic tournament has seen a wide array of winning teams. Some teams caught audiences by surprise while others were led by future stars of the NBA. None of the teams were from Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Prior to this year in the tournament's history, only two boys' basketball teams have ever come from Fayetteville to compete. Both teams played in the 90s, and neither won a game.

Fast-forward to this year's tournament, and not only have the Trinity Christian Crusaders won--they've won their first two games to advance to the championship game of the Summit Hospitality bracket.

The Crusaders don't have a future Tar Heel. They don't have a seven-footer, and despite winning a state championship in 2011 and making it to the title game again last season, Triangle-area audiences knew little about the identity of the team before the start of the week. With the field stacked the way it was, it was easy to overlook the Crusaders. But with two big wins against talented HSOT Invite teams, Trinity has quickly jolted the spotlight in its direction.

It began when the team took the court against Seventh Woods and Hammond on Thursday night. Trinity showcased its aerial attack by soaring above the rim throughout the game, and while the most noise of the contest came in the final eight minutes when Woods pulled off the remarkable feat of nailing seven three-pointers in one quarter, the crowd was just as engaged when Trinity connected on countless alley-oops, displaying its superiority and sailing to a 79-65 win.

In Friday night's game, Trinity stuck with the theme of the unexpected when, trailing by nine points to Houston, TX Homeschool Christian Youth Association and North Carolina recruit Justin Jackson, sophomore guard Dennis Smith Jr. broke out for 30 second-half points and a team-high 42 points in the end to snag an 82-73 win.

In the press conference after the game, HCYA head coach Leonard Decker said he knew nothing about Smith Jr. entering the tournament, other than the fact that he wore the number four on his jersey.

Now two days deep in the tournament, Trinity will no longer come as a surprise to other coaches or players--no matter how many late points a specific player decides to put up. Smith Jr. has 64 points through two games. The 6-foot-2 sophomore is seeing his stock rise in each minute he plays.

Kwe Parker, Trinity's other 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, has already made a name for himself. Ranked third in North Carolina's Class of 2016, he already has offers from Clemson and Virginia Tech. Parker scored 10 points in the Crusaders' win over HCYA.

Alonzo Tyson, a 6-foot-8 junior, also contributes solid minutes to the Trinity lineup. The big-man will be called upon during Saturday's championship game when he faces 7-foot sophomore Thon Maker, the star of Virginia Carlisle. The one-on-one match-up between these two players will be a crucial component of the title game.

Lee Moore and Kylia Sykes are also focal points of Trinity's team. Moore adds more scoring for the Crusaders and Sykes is oftentimes used to guard talented scorers on opposing teams.

The Shavlik Randolph bracket championship game will be played at Broughton High School's Holliday Gymnasium on Saturday night at 7.

Trinity is in the company of a 1992 Terry Sanford team and a 1999 Douglas Byrd team as the only other Fayetteville squads to play in the HSOT Invite, though the Crusaders have already far surpassed their hometown predecessors. The pieces they bring to the court, the buzz they have already drawn and the anticipation of their championship appearance on the tournament's biggest stage has truly given the city something to rally around.

Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT

Back to Zach Mayo
COMMENTS

0 Comments



This blog post is closed for comments.

HighSchoolOT Forums
More HighSchoolOT Forums
  1. JamesAlverson: RT @BleacherReport: A 6’3”, 200-pound high school QB has 108 TDs, a state title, 4.0 GPA and 0 scholarship offers http://t.co/uK4fDWVzXn ht…
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 9:34 PM
  2. NickStevensHSOT: RT @GreenArmycghsnc: Heard that @NickStevensHSOT is coming to watch the #LoganBuckets. Let's show him how the best student section shows ou…
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 8:28 PM
  3. Chris__Edwards: #GoDuke #BeatTheIrish
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:58 PM
  4. Chris__Edwards: Grant McCabe joins me for our latest installment of Pepper with @Duke_BASE http://t.co/u9YXDyPH1k @BlueDevil_NTWRK
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:57 PM
  5. HighSchoolOT: Kinston's Ingram selected to McDonald's All-American Game http://t.co/TZy8RETJPM
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:37 PM
  6. HighSchoolOT: RT @BCHanks: As usual, @B_Ingram13 takes another honor in stride; one of most humble kids I've ever covered. Congrats to he, @bigdaddy4693
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:34 PM
  7. NickStevensHSOT: RT @HighSchoolOT: Kinston's Brandon Ingram is among the players selected to the McDonald's All-American Game: http://t.co/7Rjm5TUwFl
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:33 PM
  8. HighSchoolOT: Kinston's Brandon Ingram is among the players selected to the McDonald's All-American Game: http://t.co/7Rjm5TUwFl http://t.co/M66r2Tpzml
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:33 PM
  9. NickStevensHSOT: RT @HighSchoolOT: ALERT: Kinston's Brandon Ingram selected to the 2015 McDonald's All-American Game http://t.co/9tYGja6zgr
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:09 PM
  10. HighSchoolOT: Ingram will play on the West team in the #McDAAG. Three-time state champion, four-time #HSOTInvite player.
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:09 PM
  11. HighSchoolOT: ALERT: Kinston's Brandon Ingram selected to the 2015 McDonald's All-American Game http://t.co/9tYGja6zgr
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:08 PM
  12. HighSchoolOT: @dcaldwell1906 ESPNU
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 5:48 PM
  13. HighSchoolOT: The teams for the 2015 McDonald's All-American Game will be announced at 6 PM.
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 5:47 PM
  14. Chris__Edwards: Happy birthday @PatrickKinas! Hope you've had a great day, thanks for everything.
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 5:18 PM
  15. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_BASE: Catchers worked on receiving today using our new Spinball Sports ProLine Three Wheel Pitching Machine @RawlingsSports
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 5:17 PM
  16. HighSchoolOT: AP Analysis: Youth concussion laws pushed by NFL lack bite http://t.co/Bxcikt4Ym0
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:19 PM
  17. NickStevensHSOT: RT @HighSchoolOT: ADs & Coaches: Please send your spring sports schedules to us at highschoolot@wral.com. #HSOT #NCHSAA @WCPSS
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:41 PM
  18. HighSchoolOT: ADs & Coaches: Please send your spring sports schedules to us at highschoolot@wral.com. #HSOT #NCHSAA @WCPSS
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:40 PM
  19. JamesAlverson: RT @DerekMedlin: Story on Steve Logan becoming 49ers QB coach. Good quote on Tomsula thanks to @jgravleyWRAL: http://t.co/33T95gxKwN
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:05 PM
  20. HighSchoolOT: A big second quarter helped Middle Creek past Green Hope, 76-67: http://t.co/C0jg4njbmR #HSOT http://t.co/lGXjUZda5O
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:01 PM
  21. JamesAlverson: RT @TheBenSwain: “The Ladies’ Man” with Mark Gottfried. #LoganZoneReplacements
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:58 PM
  22. JamesAlverson: Going to be a little less exciting after my Saturday AM Show next football season but congrats to .@steveloganshow on the 49ers gig
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:57 PM
  23. HighSchoolOT: Donte Tatum & Cory Gensler both scored 20+ points to lead Cary past Panther Creek: http://t.co/4AyOBVdWgn #HSOT http://t.co/x00KGpoY5p
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:57 PM
  24. HighSchoolOT: Broughton's girls basketball team cruised past Leesville Road, 61-49: http://t.co/qwm0MY04BQ #HSOT http://t.co/w1EYGJYBN6
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:55 PM
  25. JamesAlverson: RT @jgravleyWRAL: BREAKING: The .@49ers and .@steveloganshow have reached a 2-year agreement. Coach Logan leaves tomorrow to sign contract …
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:52 PM
  26. HighSchoolOT: Clemons gets 1,000 pts, McInnes gets win 300 as @MillbrookMBB beats @WakeForestBBall: http://t.co/UmJoRB1Pig #HSOT http://t.co/7s82fGFN77
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:51 PM
  27. HighSchoolOT: .@LeesvillePride upset No. 2 @CapsBasketball on Tuesday night, 58-51: http://t.co/cZesmk3uRg #HSOT http://t.co/ZNq73YWcrF
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:47 PM
  28. Chris__Edwards: RT @RaleighSports: @Duke_BASE is set to host its 3rd annual #FirstPitchBanquet on Saturday! Tickets can be bought via http://t.co/0F56a0DWgV
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:38 PM
  29. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_BASE: Sneak peek at one of the new uniforms for 2015! @Uniformswag #lookgoodplaygood http://t.co/ak2GhhpEob
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 2:00 PM
  30. JamesAlverson: messed up how the NFL fines Marshawn Lynch before even talk to Tom Brady about deflated fb. Not that either should warrant discipline
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12:08 PM
  31. JamesAlverson: RT @J_Klinsmann: Hot day in Rancagua, Chile, but team is ready for a challenging match vs Chile tonight !! #USMNT http://t.co/xNer9S8mVZ
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12:03 PM
  32. JamesAlverson: RT @999TheFan: .@AGoldFan hands out some mid-season ACC Basketball accolades. http://t.co/VHqcTLhD8L #999thefan #BuzzSportsRadio
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12:02 PM
  33. JamesAlverson: RT @sobberatduke: Progress & transformation continues in Wallace Wade Stadium! #transformation #dukegang http://t.co/BSZPS1ZoNv
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 11:57 AM
  34. JamesAlverson: FULL GAME ARCHIVE of last night's come from behind win for .@LRHS_Basketball over @Caps_Sports http://t.co/xU1Ivx5Gma #HSOTscores
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 10:16 AM
  35. HighSchoolOT: Clemons reaches 1,000, McInnes wins 300th as Millbrook downs Wake Forest http://t.co/KAfc6h9J3P
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:37 AM
  36. HighSchoolOT: Tatum, Gensler help Cary past Panther Creek http://t.co/JaiSWQW3FH
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:37 AM
  37. HighSchoolOT: Middle Creek holds off Green Hope, 76-67 http://t.co/PLGZ3S1I2c
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:37 AM
  38. HighSchoolOT: Leesville upsets Broughton, 58-51 http://t.co/gr6bHzdVDv
      — Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12:03 AM
  39. HighSchoolOT: Broughton girls cruise to win over Leesville, 61-49 http://t.co/9mPHFQP9SR
      — Tuesday, January 27, 2015 10:55 PM
  40. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Blow the Cap 8 standings up. Sanderson beats Heritage 54-51, Leesville beats Broughton 58-51.
      — Tuesday, January 27, 2015 9:02 PM