The second year of the Stars & Stripes has some intriguing match ups and exciting story lines. Teddy Wheeler has done a great job of bringing in quality programs and giving fans an opportunity to see some really good talent. Here’s the OTR preview.
5PM Bishop Lynch vs Woodlands Christian
Bishop Lynch travels down I-45 with two stud guards in tow, William & Marry signee Jake Milkereit, & junior PG Imo Essien. They are both supreme bucket getters, and love to get out in transition & spread the floor. This will be a big challenge for WC’s back court of Bakari Lastrap & sophomore Austin Benigni, who’s been putting up good numbers. Can Benigni rise to the challenge vs an experienced, talented older back court? I think the difference in the game will be the play of 6’7 Tucker Nooe for WC.
OTR Prediction: Bishop Lynch 80 Woodlands Christian 75
8PM Houston Christian vs Village School
This should be an exciting game as the Village comes into the game kind of the under the radar with a talented team. One of the top unsigned seniors in the state, 6’7 Jordan Henderson will have a chance to show people that his early season success has been no fluke. The long, skilled, 4 man will be a match up night mare for HC. Teammate Trace Boling can score it and is versatile enough to score inside and on the perimeter. HC will once again have to rely on its 3 headed monster back court law firm of Kon, Haynes and Bernstein to come out on top. Noah Kon has been the leader and as he goes so does HC. Kobe Haynes will need to knock down shots and Elijah Bernstein has to be able to get in the lane and create for himself & others.
OTR Prediction: Houston Christian 78 Village School 80
11AM St. Thomas Episcopal vs St. Andrews
There’s a saying that in life only 2 things are guaranteed, death and Taxes.. Well anytime STE is playing you can count on one more thing.. Koby Flores and Melvin Holloway IV shooting long trey balls. The state leaders in 3 pointers made so far this season will once again look to get plenty up this game. Both averaging over 20 ppg, these high octane long range shooters will give St. Andrews fits!
OTR Prediction: St. Thomas Episcopal 92- St. Andrews 75
12:30PM Ft. Bend Christian vs St. Thomas
Intriguing game as St. Thomas returned All State junior quarter back Maddox Kopp to it’s lineup last week, and he’s been a sight for sore eyes. He brings them toughness, leadership, & long range shooting. Johnathan Massie has been cooking with the good grease all season long and the junior guard will be ranked in the top 5 of the 2021 winter rankings that will be released soon. His evolution to being a DUDE will be key for St. Thomas. Everett Marlat will be counted on heavily to control the paint in this game. Ft. Bend Christian has an “All Rodney Dangerfield Team” candidate in junior guard Owen LaRocca. He can flat out shoot it, hitting NINE threes in a game earlier this year. This will be a big stage for him, and look for him to have his coming out party. He should get plenty of respect after Stars and Stripes.
OTR Prediction: St. Thomas 75- Ft. Bend Christian 70
2PM Concordia Lutheran vs Universal Academy
CL’s 1-3-1 defense has been giving opponents nightmares the last few seasons, and will be a test for the athletic, physical Universal team. RJ Keene has been playing extremely well, taking over as the leader of this CL group, he recently picked up a SFA offer with his tremendous play. Guards Beaux Brashear and Trey Miller will have to be on their A game, and cut down on turnovers and hit open shots. Kenyon Holcombe, Adam Stewart and Cedric Cook will all need to rebound the ball and play tough interior defense.
OTR Prediction: Concordia Lutheran 87- Universal Academy 81
3:30 Bishop Lynch vs Houston Christian
The back court play of both teams in this game will the point of emphasis. Milkereit/Essien vs Kon/Bernstein/Haynes. I like this match up because of the contrasting styles. Can HC’s group turn the corner against the experience of Bishop Lynch. Neither will back down from each other, and this will be a big time game and atmosphere. Expect a little trash talk between the two as well as neither group has ever been shy about letting you know what time it is. Coach Crandall and his staff will be well prepared for this game. There may be an unsung hero who determines the outcome of this game.
OTR Prediction: Bishop Lynch 72- Houston Christian 75
5PM Woodlands Christian vs Cornerstone Christian
Cornerstone is loaded with talent, including top 25 national players Tre White(’22), Jerrell Colbert (’21), and top 50 guard Austin Nunez (’22). They have been playing really well as of late and look to come back to Houston with another W after beating Yates during the Thanksgiving break. Woodlands Christian will once again get another shot on the big stage. The battle of the Austin’s, Benigni and Nunez, will be a fun one to watch as both sophomore PG’s go at it. The Tre White/Chanse Perkins duel is another 2022 battle worth noting.
OTR Prediction: Woodlands Christian 83- Cornerstone Christian 93
6:30PM Crosby vs Westbury Christian
Crosby’s PJ Haggerty has been setting the world on fire.. The Soph PG has continued to get bucket after bucket. He and fellow double double machine, ’22 Sean Elkinton lead this Crosby group into battle with a finally healthy Westbury Christian team. Junior big man Ja’Vier Francis is back and ready to dominate inside, Chris Felix is a Swiss army knife, and senior Kehlin Farooq will need to have a big game in this one for the Wildcats. The last game of the event should have plenty of fireworks as WC looks to slow down the high scoring Haggerty.
OTR Prediciton: Crosby 72- Westbury Christian 70