#OTRHoopsReport: Hoop Hall Classic Saturday Recap – January 17, 2016

Springfield, MASS., – Martin Luther King weekend is one of the premier times in the high school basketball season where teams can gain national exposure. At the epicenter of all the basketball around the country in the Hoop Hall Classic, which is played on the campus of Springfield College. The self-proclaimed ‘Birthplace of Basketball’ is the setting for some of the nation’s top teams to go head to head. Here is a rundown of Friday’s action.

Catholic Memorial (MA) 74 St. Joseph (IL) 73

This game set the tone of the day with a buzzer beater lay-in by class of 2016 post Stephen Azums to win the game for Catholic Memorial. The 6-6 big man would finish with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the win. St. Joseph big man Nick Rakocevic had a solid outing with 23 points, 18 rebounds and five block shots in the close loss. Rakocevic, 6-11, reported that he plans on visiting North Carolina and Miami after the season per Andrew Slater of 247 Sports.

St. Francis (GA) 94 Lone Peak (UT) 92

This game lived up to the billing and then some as St. Francis pulled out a late win in double overtime. Despite Kobi Simmons fouling out in the first overtime, coach Drew Catlett’s found a way to beat the Frank Jackson lead Lone Peak team. Simmons on the day finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists in the win. Then to put the icing on the cake, he committed to Arizona on ESPN a few hours later. The Knights received big efforts from Chance Anderson who finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds in the win. And Anthony Showell hit the game winning lay-in in double OT to secure the win for the team from the Peach State. Duke signee Frank Jackson of Lone Peak was terrific finishing with 49 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.

Montverde Academy (FL) 74 Roman Catholic (NJ) 44

Coach Kevin Boyle’s team steamrolled through Roman Catholic on Saturday afternoon. He brought waves of talent off the bench, which was all too much for the Cahillites. In the end, Simi Shittu would earn MVP honors with 15 points and 5 assists. The class of 2018 forward is a top of our watch-list for our ELITE rankings in that class. Silvio DeSouza, another elite class of 2018 prospect, added 8 points and 10 rebounds in the win for the Eagles.

Paul VI (VA) 68 St. Joseph HS (NJ) 60

Louisville bound wing VJ King scored a game high 23 points and added 6 rebounds in the win. The 6-7 4-star prospect had his jumper looking as smooth as ever. Teammate Corey Manigault snagged 15 rebounds in the win. Tyus Battle of St. Joseph struggled to find rhythm most of the day, but found a few jumpers in the fourth to finish with 19 points and 8 rebounds. The 6-6 wing is headed to Syracuse. However, one of the best new names of the afternoon was point guard Breein Tyree of St. Joseph. The 6-1 lead guard is headed to Ole Miss and puts us in the mind of Maryland sophomore Romelo Trimble. Tyree is an electric athlete with very good skill to get his own shot.

Findlay College Prep (NV) 73 Athlete Institute (CAN) 59

Markus Howard lit it up in the second half and helped the Pilots cruise to victory. For the game he finished with a game high 25 points while splitting time as a point and shooting guard. Per Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports, Howard could be considering making a move to the class of 2016 following the season. Thon Maker of Athlete Institute brought his trademark energy and finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and 10 blocked shots in the loss.

Foothills Christian (CA) 82 Sacred Heart (CT) 80

TJ Leaf wowed the crowd with his complete all-around game in this win. The 6-11 center did it all. From jump hooks with his back to the basket to pick and pop threes, Leaf showed why he is a 5-star recruit headed to UCLA. For the game he finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in one of the more impressive performances of the day. Auburn signee Mustapha Heron made HUGE threes in the game’s final minute to tie the game at 80. Heron finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in the close loss. However, his foul with :04 left on the clock put freshman point guard Jaren Naferrete to the line. The 5-7 reserve guard, who was only in the game because of an injury to Nikko Paranada, calmly sank the free throws for the win.


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Coach Hemi-100-100Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on  twitter @JLHemingwayPSB

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