Jackson and Bridges star at Flyin to the Hoop
There were only two games on the schedule at the Good Samaritan Flyin to the Hoop event on Friday night, and only one of them featured national level talent. It was a game between Napa (Cal.) Prolific Prep and Huntington (WV) Prep. The game finished with Huntington winning 81-65 after pulling away late, but the story revolved around 2016 star Josh Jackson. Jackson finished the game with 31 points and 13 rebounds, and potentially could have had a triple-double if his teammates would have finished open shots and layups. He was that dominant at times, especially in the third quarter where he exploded for 19 points and did it every single way possible. Overall Jackson showed why he is most definitely in the conversation for the No. 1 spot in the class of 2016. He is an elite athlete, an incredible passer, a streaky shooter, and someone who has the length, ability, and toughness to be an elite defender at every level of basketball. It was all on display as Hutington Prep had absolutely no answer for him all game long, even with them lining up some solid defenders against him. While Jackson was the clear star for Prolific, his fellow Michigan native Al Eichelberger was also excellent. Eichelberger finished with 23 points, 21 of them in the first half, and showed his creativity and high skill level. Despite being only about 6-foot-5, Eichelberger has very long arms and broad shoulders which allow him to create space down low. Add in a nice touch out to the mid-range, and Eichelberger showed very well for himself. Even with the strong efforts from Jackson and Eichelberger, it was Huntington Prep that pulled away with the win. The biggest reason why Huntington came away with the victory was the strong play of class of 2016 forward Miles Bridges. Bridges recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He also did an admirable job of making things difficult on Jackson on the defensive end, though clearly Jackson was able to get his points. Always known as a high level athlete, Bridges definitely looks much improved as a shooter knocking in several threes, while also getting a few buckets going to the rim. At times Bridges did settle too much, but that is nitpicking as he had an excellent showing. Maybe the most impressive play of the evening for Bridges came defensively when he rose up to block a shot at the rim from Jackson, which proved to be key in keeping the momentum on Huntington’s side. Along with Bridges, Huntington Prep got solid games from Thomas Bryant with 11 points and 7 rebounds and Curtis Jones who finished 19 points and also dished out five assists. The multi-faceted attack was simply too much for Prolific Prep to handle. Attending the game were assistant coaches from Louisville, St. Louis, St. Bonaventure, and Michigan State.
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