Before you get full of turkey and dressing, Jim Hicks’ annual HoopsGiving will get you stuffed with great basketball action. This year will be no different and some of the top players & teams will square off at Houston Christian High School all day Wednesday. Here are my previews and predictions.
9:30AM- Second Baptist vs Sam Rayburn -Sam Rayburn has been through a lot in the young season, guys leaving, guys staying, and even guys sitting out. They have seemed to right the ship with a balanced attack featuring 6’7 sophomore Keon Edwards(16.1 ppg), 2019 Deunte Walls (14 ppg) & junior Xzavion Borden (10.8 ppg). Second Baptist also has a an even balanced team with seniors Cameron Cohn & Uzo Dibiamaka leading the way. 6’5 Junior forward Miles Goodman gives them versatility up front and will look to slow down Edwards.
Sam Rayburn 57- Second Baptist 62
11Am- St. Thomas vs Spring- The law firm of Kopp, Kopp, & Elliot (St. Thomas), will have their first real test of the season. Senior guard Anderson Kopp, frosh Maddox Kopp and junior PG Elijah Elliott combined for 48 points in their last game vs Dekaney. They will have their hands full with the Spring back court of Keionte Cornelius, who’s averaging 26.7 ppg and do it all Chryston Eugene, 15p, 8r, and 4a per game. I’m excited to see the A. Kopp/Elliot vs Eugene/Cornelius.. I’m sure there will be a lot of back and forth talking between the 4 and it won’t be about turkey and dressing!
Spring 74- St. Thomas 70
12:30PM- Spring Woods vs Dickinson- Expect some fireworks in this one, as two of the top scorers in the city, Spring Woods’ Jesse Zarzuela (26 ppg) & Dickinson’s Tramon Mark (32ppg), clash. Excited to see these two go at it on the big stage, if they perform like they did at the “Season Opener”, then we’re in for a Thanksgiving treat. Deuce Guidry will be a sight for sore eyes for the Gators, as he will lighten the load for Mark. Woods’ Darian Gibson had a a game in his last outing, and will need to continue to play well if his team will have any chance in this one.
Spring Woods 70- Dickinson 82
2pm- Shadow Creek vs Concordia Lutheran– The top 2 teams in the OTR rankings will decide who’s the #1 team in the area. Shadow Creek is coming off of a big week with wins over Klein Forest and a road win at previous #1, Eisenhower by 25 points. Led by 2019’s PJ Henry and Akin Newton, the Sharks look to keep it rolling with another huge win. The defending Tapps 6A champs come into the match up with an unblemished 10-0 record, led by Kansas State commit Montavious Murphy and his 20 points & 10 rebound stat line. Senior guards Evan Palmquist and Pierce Hellums will have the full attention of Shadow Creek as well.
Concordia Lutheran 70- Shadow Creek 67
3:30PM San Antonio Wagner vs Eisenhower– The Ike Eagles coming off a regional run last year, have struggled the last 2 weeks, with losses to Klein Forest and Shadow Creek at home. They look to bounce back as the Redus twins & company square off against a scrappy Wagner team, spear headed by North Texas signee Jalen Jackson. The complimentary pieces will be the key to this game. Can sophomore Jasean Jackson, and 2020 Journee Phillips out produce Ike’s Patrick Punch and Matthew Barber? Ready to watch Jackson and the Redus’ go head to head.
Eisenhower 76- SA Wagner 70
5pm Cy Falls vs Atascocita– Interested to see how coach Richard Flores transitions his Cy Falls program into a new era sans Tra Wesley and the crew. Sophomore Jaden Ross now takes the helms for the 2017 state champs. The Atascocita Eagles are one of the most disciplined teams in the city, and they have the hottest shooter in the state in 2019 Nick Gazelas, who set a McDonald’s Invitational record for 3’s made. He along with Dylan Dawson, and Joe Rollins are veteran leaders primed for a deep run. I don’t think they will have any trouble with a young Cy Falls team.
Atascocita 80- Cy Falls 60
6:30 Morton Ranch vs Yates– The human press break, LJ Cryer, has been on a tear averaging 31 points and 4 assists. Eddie Lampkin should score a ton of points being on the back line of the Morton Ranch press break. Yates junior guards Antown Norman, and Rubin Jones will be counted on to slow down Cryer and in return orchestrate their own offense for the Lions to be in this game. Senior Joqarious Valrie is the glue guy and rock for Yates and he will be counted on to stop big Eddie Lapkin and Adrian Caldwell. Should be a track meet, the one team that fatigues first will probably lose this one.
Morton Ranch 94- Yates 90
8pm Houston Christian vs Bellaire– The night cap of the event, will finish off a great evening of basketball. HC’s Noah Kon has figuratively and literally turned the corner as a player. He’s leading his team in scoring and assists without Sahvir Wheeler. Kobe Haynes has also stepped up and showed leadership for the Mustangs. The back court match up will be fun to watch, and we’ll see where Bellaire’s 2019 guard Doug Young and sophomore Elijah Lawrence really are! It will be Bellaire’s first game on a big stage this year, hopefully the lights aren’t too bright.
Houston Christian 67- Bellaire 60