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.

Blogs
*
More HSOT Today
*
More On The Trail
HighSchoolOT Forums
More HighSchoolOT Forums
  1. ZachMayoHSOT: Random football thought as I work all night on #HSOT24... Circle Hunt vs. Fike on Nov. 7 as one of the Top 5 best games of this season.
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:59 PM
  2. ZachMayoHSOT: So, no more championship football at UNC, but ALL championship basketball in Chapel Hill this season. http://t.co/OJMTfYUyIw
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:16 PM
  3. ZachMayoHSOT: I'm going to rank all 150+ teams in our coverage area as the best team this preseason. Then I'm not biased towards anyone! #science
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:55 PM
  4. HighSchoolOT: Changes made to NCHSAA football, basketball, baseball championships http://t.co/clsZRgLUHj
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:45 PM
  5. NickStevensHSOT: Having dinner with the one and only Tom Suiter. Almost time for #FootballFriday!
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:34 PM
  6. NickStevensHSOT: Basketball state champs can't be at Reynolds while the facility is being renovated. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:22 PM
  7. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: NCHSAA Commissioner Davis Whitfield says the basketball state champs will be at Dean Dome & Carmichael at UNC next sea…
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:22 PM
  8. NickStevensHSOT: NCHSAA Commissioner Davis Whitfield says the basketball state champs will be at Dean Dome & Carmichael at UNC next season. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:21 PM
  9. HighSchoolOT: 24 Hours of HS Football starts one week from tomorrow (at 12:01 AM) on http://t.co/9qqseesaE4. Be sure to tune in! #HSOT #HSOT24
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:55 PM
  10. ZachMayoHSOT: Oh no. @NickStevensHSOT wants football polls. Let the angry messages begin. #FootballSeason #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:22 PM
  11. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_BASE: .@MStrooo7 dealing against the Red Sox, tossing a no-hitter through 6. 7 Ks, 2 BBs & 91 pitches for the former Blue Devil. #…
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:55 PM
  12. Chris__Edwards: RT @ACCBaseball: Hey @Duke_BASE fans: http://t.co/3Iz6XbiznA
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:55 PM
  13. Chris__Edwards: RT @ACCBaseball: RT @NCAACWS: Baseball Rules Committee recommends changes to help umpires get calls right: http://t.co/eP8rbUTBeA
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:08 PM
  14. NickStevensHSOT: RT @HighSchoolOT: Story from @NickStevensHSOT on @LeesvillePride's @intangiblechild becoming an all-star: http://t.co/TbucSPQbxW
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:58 PM
  15. HighSchoolOT: Story from @NickStevensHSOT on @LeesvillePride's @intangiblechild becoming an all-star: http://t.co/TbucSPQbxW http://t.co/xcg3TNsvlt
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:56 PM
  16. JamesAlverson: RT @HighSchoolOT: ALERT: NCHSAA won't hold football state finals at UNC this year; baseball finals won't be played at NC State
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:34 PM
  17. HighSchoolOT: ALERT: NCHSAA won't hold football state finals at UNC this year; baseball finals won't be played at NC State http://t.co/kaAOgglGNM
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:31 PM
  18. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Whitfield also said Doak Field at #NCSU will not be a baseball state championship location. Likely to move to Greensbo…
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:22 PM
  19. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: NCHSAA commissioner Davis Whitfield does expect #UNC to return to the rotation in the future. Construction at UNC this…
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:22 PM
  20. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: NCHSAA says football state champs this year will be at #NCSU and #WakeForest, but NOT #UNC. Games on Friday & Saturday…
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:22 PM
  21. NickStevensHSOT: Whitfield also said Doak Field at #NCSU will not be a baseball state championship location. Likely to move to Greensboro instead. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:22 PM
  22. NickStevensHSOT: NCHSAA commissioner Davis Whitfield does expect #UNC to return to the rotation in the future. Construction at UNC this year though. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:21 PM
  23. NickStevensHSOT: NCHSAA says football state champs this year will be at #NCSU and #WakeForest, but NOT #UNC. Games on Friday & Saturday. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:21 PM
  24. HighSchoolOT: After stepping up for Leesville, Hitchcock becomes an all-star http://t.co/XyLepgP6yU
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:04 PM
  25. HSOTPAC6: EAST CHAPEL HILL: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 23, 2014) http://t.co/o8qvtS5SLF
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:04 PM
  26. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Here's my story on @intangiblechild's road to becoming an all-star. Video inside: http://t.co/K7pg3eQvzR #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:51 PM
  27. HSOTCap8: LEESVILLE: After stepping up for Leesville, Hitchcock becomes an all-star http://t.co/d4R7qizKF9 #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:48 PM
  28. HSOTCap8: LEESVILLE: Stevens: Pride's Hitchcock played his way to all-star game http://t.co/iEkOJXaTF4 #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:48 PM
  29. NickStevensHSOT: Here's my story on @intangiblechild's road to becoming an all-star. Video inside: http://t.co/K7pg3eQvzR #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:47 PM
  30. HighSchoolOT: STORY: Leesville's Hitchcock stepped up when his team needed him most & played his way into the all-star game: http://t.co/0voppEFYuj
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:37 PM
  31. JamesAlverson: Triangle Pigskin Preview coming up on @999TheFan at 1 as coaches from ECU, NCSU, UNC, Duke & NCCU have a little fun http://t.co/tg7cyT2z7X
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:17 PM
  32. HighSchoolOT: PHOTOS: East & West football all-stars tie after West hits FG with no time left: http://t.co/p0Y2hWlb4M #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:16 AM
  33. HighSchoolOT: VIDEO INTERVIEW: Marcelius Sutton of James Kenan enjoyed the all-star game & all the people he met: http://t.co/pZr9WOOGSl
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:15 AM
  34. HighSchoolOT: VIDEO INTERVIEW: Clayton kicker Nick Christiansen talks about his experience at all-star week: http://t.co/kzS2vOUHgn
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:13 AM
  35. HighSchoolOT: VIDEO INTERVIEW: Leesville Road's Malcolm Hitchcock didn't expect to be playing at all-star week: http://t.co/luRB0IkNKw
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:11 AM
  36. HighSchoolOT: VIDEO: Here are the highlights from last nights all-star football game. See crazy play that led to East TD: http://t.co/9cM0uooJ1K #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:10 AM
  37. HighSchoolOT: STORY: East, West battle to 10-10 tie in all-star football; second tie in 66-year history: http://t.co/zD37z3SYQ7 #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:08 AM
  38. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Just finished a feature on @LeesvillePride's East All-Star Malcolm Hitchcock (@intangiblechild). See it Thursday on @H
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:08 AM
  39. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: The West finishes All-Star week with a 3-1-1 record over the East. Only East win was in men's soccer. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:15 AM
  40. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: FINAL STORY: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie. http://t.co/0O9UhFBuRM
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:15 AM