OTR’s Game of the Night (2/5/2019- Shadow Creek vs Hightower)

Walking up to Shadow Creek HS for this game and seeing the line to get in the gym, it gave me a sense of nostalgia. A prime time match up vs a Mo City team, with with prime time players on both sides… It was super packed in the gym, and at times the student section from both schools made some noise but not how I expected for a game of this magnitude, with the “history” between two programs, especially this year, I thought it would be “Bout it Bout” in the gym. It was half Shadow Creek supporters, and half “Let’s see if Bryce Griggs lives up to hype”/Hightower supporters. Shadow Creek jumped out early very aggressive offensively especially on the boards, giving Akin Newton second chances to knock down wide open jumpers. Newton finished with 8 points in the 1st quarter. His backcourt mate of PJ Henry was the orchestrator of the offense, pushing the ball and transition, and getting to his midrange shot. Griggs would get it going for Hightower, knocking down tough shots in the paint, and carrying the load offensively as they trailed 19-14 after one.

The 2nd quarter is Newton and Griggs went shot for shot for a couple of minutes, both scoring 8 in the quarter. Hightower closed the gap with the PG play of 2020 G Chris Harris, and the activity of 2021 G Chris Felix, who always makes the little plays for the Hurricanes. Shadow Creek would lead 32-26 at the half.

Hightower came out focused in the 2nd half on guarding Shadow Creek’s penetration and forcing turnovers. 2910 guard Kevin “Rock” McGaskey & Felix go on a 7-0 run to give the hurricanes a 33-32 lead. Shadow Creek would rely on 2021 Will Young to assert himself in the 2nd half. Young scored 5 points in the quarter and after a couple of ill advised Hightower shots, helped Shadow Creek take a 47-41 lead at the end of 3.

The 4th quarter would show why Shadow Creek is arguably the best team in the city of Houston. Henry, Young, & Newton would attack the Hightower defense, moving the ball, getting in the lane & finding Kyron Drones for a couple of easy layups. Hightower seemed to go in “Fonde” mode and not move the ball around, evident by the fact that McGaskey and Griggs scored 18 of the 19 points their team scored in the 4th. Shadow Creek would pull away due to Young’s ability to get to the line and knock down his free throws.  The Sharks would win 72-61 and clinch the district championship.

I love Shadow Creek, they’re deep, they’re tough, they’re well coached, and now they have a superior offensive weapon in will Young off the bench. They are my 5A favorites to represent Houston in the state tournament. I think they have everything you need to win it. If they don’t make it out of the region I will be shocked.

Hightower is a talented team, Coach Stephen Woods has a young group that will be a scary match up in the playoffs. If Griggs can continue to develop and work on his all round game, if Felix can keep getting better offensively, and they learn how to use everyone’s strengths and play together as a team, they go from scary to a NIGHTMARE.

Shadow Creek: Akin Newton 18 points,  Will Young 15,  Kyron Drones 15,  PJ Henry 13.

Hightower: Bruce Griggs 30 points, Kevin McGaskey 13

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