One pair of teams was slated to highlight the Hardwood Classic Showcase, a different pair stole the show. Chicago’s Orr Academy High School and Houston’s Trent Internationale were the two big names featured in the first-ever event at Jacksonville High School last Friday and Saturday. They met each other on Friday night and didn’t disappoint. Orr Academy rallied from 15 points down in the second half to win 76-74. The big surprise came on the second night when Bossier City, La., dominated Trent Internationale 66-42, and the Jacksonville Red Devils outlasted Orr Academy 72-62.
Here’s a brief recap of all games not involving Jacksonville.
Orr Academy 76
Trent Internationale 74
When Orr Academy, which features one of the nation’s best sophomores in TaQuayne Greer, took on Trent Internationale, a team whose lineup fits its name, the game fit its billing.
The Phoenix feature a lineup bigger than most college teams. The school is an actual basketball academy and plays a nationwide schedule, outside of any Texas affiliation. T.I. started three 6-foot-9 players including senior Xavier Dupree, who is signed with Arkansas State, Ahmed Hamdy of Iran and junior Justin Hollins.
But it was Trent Int-ernationale guard Qua Doster, who came to the Texas school via Saginaw, Mich., who drew the most attention. Doster dropped in 31 points in a dazzling display of slashing and shooting prowess. But it wasn’t enough for the win. T.I. led nearly the entire game, but Orr tied it at 74 with 11 seconds remaining when Jamal McDowell got his seventh steal and dished to Amani Ousley for a two-handed slam.
The Phoenix called timeout to set up its last shot, but it never materialized. McDowell got his eighth steal when he harassed Kalim Doster into his seventh turnover of the game with six seconds left.
McDowell then took the inbounds pass, penetrated to the middle of the lane, dished to Marlon Jones, whose jumper from six feet bounced a few times, rested on the rim for what seemed like minutes, then slowly rolled into the basket, giving the Spartans a 76-74 win. Each team entered the game with only one loss this season. Each team’s loss came to Prime Prep Academy, the controversial start-up school in Dallas co-founded by former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders.
Prime Prep school recently withdrew from the Texas high-school athletics governing body and decided to play a nationwide schedule because it was ruled that four of its players, who are all DI signees and played at Grace Academy last year, were ineligible after transferring from another school in August shortly after Sanders hired their coach at Grace.
Each team left with one more loss after Saturday.
Camden Fairview 79
El Dorado 70
The tournament began with a more local flavor. Camden-Fairview (4-4) defeated El Dorado 79-70 in the third meeting between the two teams. Previous games saw El Dorado win the season opener for both teams 72-70. Earlier this month, Fairview responded with a 73-71 win. This one wasn’t as close.
The Wildcats led by one point after the first quarter, but the Cardinals took a 30-27 lead into halftime. Fairview stretched the lead to 12 after three quarters and El Dorado never got within seven in the fourth quarter. Fairview’s Jamarcheon Smith led all scorers with 24 points.
Bossier City 75
LR McClellan 46
The Bearkats (11-2) led this game 34-31 at halftime, but put on a defensive masterpiece in the third quarter. McClellan committed 15 turnovers in the third quarter alone, and did not score until only 10 seconds remained in the period. And that was on two technical free throws after Bossier City’s Rashad Owens slammed the ball on the floor.
The Bearkats scored the first 23 points of the quarter for a 57-31 lead before the two free throws and subsequent buzzer beater made it 57-35 going into the fourth. Bossier City invoked the mercy rule at 74-44 with 2:18 remaining. Tevin Robertson led all scorers with 19 points while Demonta Wills scored 16 and Owens 13. Davion Givens led McClellan (3-6) with 10 points.
Bossier City 66
Trent Internationale 42
This game was a late change. T.I. was originally scheduled to play Putnam City West at 7 p.m., but Arkansas Razorback assistant coach T.J. Cleveland wanted another look at Qua Doster after his 31-point performance on Friday. At his request the schedule was changed for T.I. to play at 4 p.m. It didn’t work out well for the Phoenix or Doster.
The two guard from Michigan managed just nine points and wasn’t as aggressive as the night before.
For the second time in the tournament, The Bearkats turned a close game at halftime into a rout in the second half. Bossier City’s 6-7 point guard Rashad Owens made things difficult for Doster, who stands 6-3.
Bossier City was the one team in the showcase that somewhat matched up with T.I.’s size, having Owens and 6-7 post player Tevin Robertson to battle inside with the Phoenix big men.
Robertson and Devonta Hall led the Bearkats with 16 points each. Guard Deorvian Robinson added 12 and Owens scored 11.
El Dorado 63
McClellan, which has played a brutal schedule so far, rebounded nicely from the disastrous second half the previous day. The Lions’ quickness caused problems for the Wildcats (2-7) the entire game. Guards Chris Early and Tyrin Hollis led the way in scoring. Early scored 21 and Hollis 20.
Putnam City West 75
Camden Fairview 43
Much like McClellan, the Patriots (3-5) have played a very difficult schedule, and finally showed some benefits with a crushing defeat of the Cardinals. After struggling against Jacksonville, Omega Harris showed why he’s Oklahoma’s No. 1 junior prospect, scoring 25 points from all over the floor, and adding eight rebounds and six assists to his ledger.