LITTLE ROCK – In the first two games of this past weekend's 17-and-under AAU state tournament, the Arkansas Wings needed a jump start in the third quarter.
The Wings got just that in the form of Van Buren center Hooper Vint (6-10, 210), who knocked down three baskets in each of those instances to help rally his team to closer than expected wins.
"We really needed to go inside because they were obviously shorter than we are," said Vint, who also rejected a couple of shots in each contest. "They had great guards, but couldn't hold us inside. I hit a few shots and we got going."
The Wings – featuring two 2011 Univeristy of Arkansas commits and featuring a Super Six of college prospects - then turned the intensity up a notch on Sunday afternoon to rout Team Arkansas 86-59 to take home the title.
UA commit Aaron Ross of Little Rock Parkview led the way with 18 points while Ky Madden added 13, Darion Griswold 12 while Razorback pledge Hunter Mickelson, David Rivers and Isaac McCoy added 10 points each.
It was a rematch from a day earlier in which the Wings escaped 69-68 in a pool game.
"I think people are really beginning to understand their roles," Vint said. "Some people may not like their's , but they are doing what they need to do in order for us to be successful. That will give us a chance to go along way."
According to Wings head coach Tim Loring, Vint's role is to come off the bench behind starting center Darion Griswold and establish a defensive presence in the paint.
"He brings a big man in the middle who can block a lot of shots," Loring said. "He is coming on. He didn't get to play much early because he was unable to make practice, but now that he is, he is really coming on."
Vint now has offers from Nebraska, UALR and Wichita State and intentions of going straight to college and not entertaining the idea of prep school.
The son of former Razorback Bobby Vint, Vint is also getting interest from Arkansas and others after a junior season in which he averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.
"I'm getting a lot of looks and people are beginning to find out about me," Vint said. "I think that is the only thing I needed was to be seen and now things are taking off for me."
The Wings will be in action next weekend in Houston.
"I just want to get better on my post moves down low going against bigger guys," Vint said. "I want to work hard on that while we are playing the better competition."
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