Nolan Smith, G, Oak Hill – The Warriors, minus Tywon Lawson who was suspended for multiple games for a violation of school policy, needed Nolan and he delivered to the tune 21 points (7-9 FT), 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Despite not making just one perimeter shot, Smith scored and guided Oak Hill past a scrappy Simeon crew that rallied late. Now the team's primary ball handler, Smith adjusted well and was awarded the game's MVP.
Derrick Rose, PG, Simeon – There aren't many guys as crafty or as lightning fast with the basketball in the high school ranks as Rose. Clearly a special talent because of the speed, vision and passing ability, Rose used all of his tools – except for a jumper that wouldn't fall – in bringing Simeon back. He connected on 20 points to go with 7 boards and 5 assists. Uncharacteristically, he had 6 turnovers (2 in the final minute) but that did little to diminish the sheer talent level and ability that he displayed as one of the premier guard talents in the country.
Even after a sluggish first half which saw him hit just 2-of-8 shots, Rose rallied as Simeon had a chance for the upset late in the contest.
Michael Beasley, PF, Oak Hill – All of his 19 points, 8 boards and 4 blocks were needed against Simeon. He stayed aggressive, even through some tight officiating, to make an impact on the game.
Jeffrey Allen (shown), PF, Oak Hill – His team needed his energy and he made it happen at both ends where he efficiently converted his chances, played sound defense and stayed home to block some shots are crucial times.
He's a strong kid who runs well and physically should be ready to go as a freshman for the Hokies. Friday night was a big stage and he stepped up his play.
Daniel Ard, PF/SF, Marshall County – His numbers would have been much on paper had he not gone 3-for-12 from the line. One of the traits that stands out about this future Murray State Racer is his toughness and desire to play physically. This now former football star isn't afraid to lay the wood on you and will keep defenders honest on the perimeter.
Nathan Novasel, PF, Lexington Catholic – This young post player isn't big (6-5) but he's got a legit post up game and converted 6-for-9 from the floor. He's definitely a Division I prospect at the low to mid level, depending how much he grows the next two seasons. He's aggressive and sure of himself with his offense and those are good signs for a young player.
Former Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins was on hand taking in the action. … Kansas assistant Joe Dooley and Georgia's Pete Hermann made the trip to Marshall County were they were joined by 5,000+ enthusiastic fans in one of the best high school gyms in America. …
Nolan Smith listed Louisville, Kansas, Duke and Georgetown as his primary options. Pittsburgh had also been in to see him this year. …
Give it up for Marshall County soph Travis Spiceland who canned a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining to get his team the victory in a hotly contested game. Needless to say, the hometown fans were thrilled with this outcome.
Oak Hill senior forward Anthony Wright is serving a multi-game suspension for violating school policy (independent of Lawson's suspension). Unfortunately for him, the Michigan Wolverines were slated to come to town and check him out. …
Oak Hill 63, Simeon 57 Marshall County 53, Lexington Catholic 52
Photos courtesy of TimePiecePhotography.com