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. ZachMayoHSOT: Garner BSB coach Derik Goffena called tonight's 12-2 loss to Clayton one of the program's worst games in years. READ: http://t.co/Wuuot1sdOq
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:38 PM
  2. NickStevensHSOT: Yes, I did just quote the Constitution in a high school softball message board. Somewhere my Constitutional Law professor is proud.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:38 PM
  3. HSOTGNRC: CLAYTON: Clayton bats punish Garner in mercy-rule win http://t.co/rYDmExP1sZ
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:37 PM
  4. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @HighSchoolOT: Clayton baseball mercy-ruled Garner tonight in a crucial GNRC game. Story from @ZachMayoHSOT. READ: http://t.co/dxfud2xAQH
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:36 PM
  5. HighSchoolOT: Clayton baseball mercy-ruled Garner tonight in a crucial GNRC game. Story from @ZachMayoHSOT. READ: http://t.co/dxfud2xAQH
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:36 PM
  6. NickStevensHSOT: @zachmayohsot They don't even know I just took Constitutional Law! Haha… #getatme
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:29 PM
  7. ZachMayoHSOT: @NickStevensHSOT NICK HATES FREE SPEECH!
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:29 PM
  8. NickStevensHSOT: Social studies lesson: 1st amendment protects against govt "abridging the freedom of speech," but not a privately owned website.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:27 PM
  9. NickStevensHSOT: I love when people make the 1st Amendment argument when we delete their comments on HSOT. And it happens regularly.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:26 PM
  10. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: BSB FINAL: Clayton 12, Garner 2. Trojans mercy'd in six innings. #hsotscores
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:57 PM
  11. ZachMayoHSOT: BSB FINAL: Clayton 12, Garner 2. Trojans mercy'd in six innings. #hsotscores
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:30 PM
  12. ZachMayoHSOT: So, Clayton is good at baseball. #analysis
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:00 PM
  13. ZachMayoHSOT: This got ugly quick. Clayton Comets score six runs in T3 and now lead Garner 8-0.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:34 PM
  14. ZachMayoHSOT: I'm at Garner tonight. Trojan baseball hosting the Clayton Comets and trailing 3-0 in T3. http://t.co/772RsJSNVp
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:25 PM
  15. NickStevensHSOT: Congrats @principalcghsnc! RT @HighSchoolOT: Cardinal Gibbons principal Jason Curtis has been named the NCHSAA Principal of the Year.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:31 PM
  16. HighSchoolOT: Cardinal Gibbons principal Jason Curtis has been named the NCHSAA Principal of the Year.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:30 PM
  17. NickStevensHSOT: I think a fun story would be to get a few local HS golfers to teach me how to play golf. And by fun, I mean funny. Because I'm terrible. ⛳️
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:11 PM
  18. HighSchoolOT: Exercises can help speed recovery from vision-related concussion symptoms http://t.co/Jbg7g1Y8xb
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:03 PM
  19. ZachMayoHSOT: If only Clayton-Garner baseball could generate football-type levels of #MessageBoardMadness. Class would be much more entertaining today.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:30 AM
  20. NickStevensHSOT: Happy #roocup day! Today marks the day I add an extra 5-7 minutes to my commute to work just so I pass a Kangaroo. #addicted
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:52 AM
  21. Chris__Edwards: RT @NCGridironNews: Deana King (@NCPreps) Needs alittle help getting the 2014 NC Prep Football Yearbook funded: http://t.co/WvJ7PPwyXr
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:50 AM
  22. ZachMayoHSOT: Don't look now, but Sanderson baseball is streaking. http://t.co/0gzBJfFRZk
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:00 AM
  23. HSOTCap8: HERITAGE: Streaking Spartans rout Heritage on the diamond http://t.co/g6S1YeMGBb
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 1:28 AM
  24. HSOTCap8: SANDERSON: Streaking Spartans rout Heritage on the diamond http://t.co/LlHairaydd
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 1:13 AM
  25. HighSchoolOT: Streaking Spartans rout Heritage on the diamond http://t.co/mtkpuAxz09
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:58 AM
  26. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Sanderson baseball made quick work of Heritage on Wednesday night. They've won 4 straight in the Cap8. READ:
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:32 AM
  27. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: BSB FINAL: Sanderson 8, Heritage 1. #hsotscores
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:17 PM
  28. HighSchoolOT: Exercises can help speed recovery from vision-related concussion symptoms http://t.co/EssDkV0lZX
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:01 PM
  29. HighSchoolOT: RT @ADHSJagClub: Athletic activities are on as scheduled as of now. @JMBpreps @HighSchoolOT
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:38 AM
  30. HighSchoolOT: Due to a power outage, Athens Drive HS will close at 11:30 AM.
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:26 AM
  31. HighSchoolOT: We try. RT @Million_Clay: @HighSchoolOT dropped off
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:00 AM
  32. HighSchoolOT: STORY: Middle Creek beats Panther Creek 4-3 after trailing 3-0 in SWAC baseball: http://t.co/0J1uB6HtjL
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:52 AM
  33. HighSchoolOT: SLIDESHOW: Middle Creek rallied to beat Panther Creek in a SWAC baseball game 4-3: http://t.co/u6C0Ncm6My
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:49 AM
  34. HighSchoolOT: SLIDESHOW: Millbrook's boys LAX team hammered Garner 16-2 on Tuesday: http://t.co/8wSitQqAUb
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:48 AM
  35. HighSchoolOT: SLIDESHOW: Apex defeated Athens Drive 7-4 in baseball yesterday (via @NickStevensHSOT): http://t.co/EM79tHJEmp
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:48 AM
  36. HighSchoolOT: Apex downs Athens Drive in baseball, 7-4 http://t.co/FfnvDwL6FP
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:26 AM
  37. HighSchoolOT: Late-game Mustangs pull through against Catamounts http://t.co/Vil9AZqqwC
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:26 AM
  38. HighSchoolOT: Millbrook boys lacrosse team hammers Garner, 16-2 http://t.co/vdGImdpwlr
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:26 AM
  39. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Trailing 3-0, @CREEK_BASEBALL rallied back to win an important SWAC game over @_Panther_Creek_ tonight. STORY:
      — Tuesday, April 22, 2014 11:55 PM
  40. HighSchoolOT: @mattsholtis Thanks!
      — Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:43 PM