The inugural D1 Nation Thanksgiving Jamboree has now come and gone. The event was a huge success. As both days progressed the crods grew, culminating in a house that was rocking when the host team St. Thomas Eagles took the court in what turned out to be high energy victories over Brazosport and last night over Houston Bellaire. Despite the fact that many college teams are playing in tournaments of their own this time of year the first time field was strong enough to attract college coaches from Texas A&M, Lousiana State University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Louisville, Lee College, Springhill College (AL), Air Force, Baylor and UTEP. My man, John Lucas was in attendance as well.
The following media outlets were on hand to provide coverage for the event. www.d1nation.com www.areacodesbasketball.com www.westcoasthoopsreport.com www.fivestarbasketball.com www.rcssports.com www.rivals.com www.texashoops.com and www.bbcbasketballplayers.com
Houston Furr 70 Sharpstown 65
Both teams have young coaching staffs and young players trying to make a name for themselves. The opener was a see saw affair. In the end it was too much of 2013 P 6’8″ Bobby Reeves of Furr. As the game wore on, Reeves wore Sharpstown out to the tune of 24 points and 15 rebounds.
Houston Episcopal Baton Rouge Madison Prep (LA)
Episcopal were not good hosts to the young Louisiana squad as they broke open a close game late in the 3rd quarter behind the scoring of 2013 G Ken “Juice” Williams who had 27 points. I was also impressed with the work ethic of one of the State’s top rebounders in 2013 P 6’5″ Kendell Ramrale who had double digit boards and controlled the defensive end. 2013 F 6’9″ Madison Prep’s Jarell Martin had the crowd buzzing as he had several nice dunks, showed off his length and also highlighted his handles, which were pretty impressive for a young man that big. He finished with 15 points. Amazingly, this was only the 10th high school game of his career.
Houston St. Thomas Brazosport
Brazosport jumped out early on the home team, St. Thomas 16-7. That was the highlight of their night though as St. Thomas is just too talented and methodical in getting the shots they want. Their backcourt is polished with 2012 G Christian Sanders (Stanford) leading the way with 18. 2012 PG Chase Brogna had 15. I’ve watched Brogna for awhile now and he is continuing to make strides in his defensive footspeed and improved handles and a little slash to his game. He’s rounding into a more complete player while still maintaining his shooter’s edge. Brazosport were led by 2013 G D.J. Griggs as he scored 16. His shot wasn’t fall tonight and most of his points came from the free throw line.
2012 P 6’10” Jeremy King showed more offensive aggressiveness in a 3 minute span than I’ve seen out of him before as he had two monster dunks, including one off the bounce from the wing. He finished with 10 points. Both King and Brogna are unsigned and have excellent credentials on the academic side of the coin as well.
Houston Episcopal 65 New Iberia (LA) 35
The folks in Louisiana probably have never heard of Episcopal High School before this weekend. Now that they have, it will not be pretty. For the second day in a row they gave a Lone Star whuppin’ to their neighbors from “The Boot”. Once again, Ken Williams showed why he’s one of H-Town’s premiere scorers as he torched New Iberia for 27. 2013 G Jamal Williams added 12 for Epicopal. 2012 P 6’4″ Mark Gary led New Iberia with 20 points as he battled hard all night long on the boards.
Fort Bend Elkins 69 Bryan 60
With Bryan’s roster depleted of a couple of key players (2012 G J. Mychal Reese-Texas A&M, and 2013 F Chris Johnson deciding that football is his future) their trademark full court pressure was limited. When you toss in the fact that Elkins is very talented and physical, it wasn’t that big a shock to see the Knights pounce on the Vikings and hold a 20 point plus lead. The Vikings did show pride under first year Head Coach Chris Jones though and pushed hard towards the end of the game. They closed the gap but ran out of time. The Knights were simply more talented and bigger in their backcourt. They were led by under rated G Branford Jones who scored 20 and physical WG Chance Allen. Jones is signed to play at Long Beach State while Allen mulls countless football and basketball offers.
Houston Westside 56 Baton Rouge Madison Prep (LA) 46
Madison jumped out to a 29-21 halftime lead but the Westside Wolves came roaring back early in the 2nd half to take a 31-29 lead. The rest of the game was spirited with baskets being traded until Westside’s late surge propelled them to the win. Westside’s 2013 PG Robert Hatter led with 16 points in the win. 2013 F Jarell Martin turned in another solid performance with 20 for Madison Prep.
Houston St. Thomas 60 Houston Bellaire 53
This was the game of the night. The energy level was high and you could see that the teams had a healthy dislike for each other. The officials let them play, and play they did. No shot went unchallenged and no rebound was snagged without bodies banging. The Reckling Rowdies, (St. Thomas’ version of Duke’s “Cameron Crazies”) razzed the Bellaire players at every opportunity. It was nip and tuck the whole way but once again St. Thomas’ backcourt was the difference.
It was a healthy dose of Christian Sanders early, followed by Chase Brogna scoring key baskets in the 3rd quarter. With the game on the line, Christian Sanders showed why schools like Texas and Colorado offered him and why Stanford will be lucky to have signed him. Brogna had 18 clutch points and Sanders was dominant with 32 as he hit big free throws, broke pressure and scored after he got in the lane.