Peach State: Tompkins vs. Hill

Scout.com took to the road this weekend to Georgia for a couple of key matchupds. Our first stop was a battle between the state's top sophomore, Howard Tompkins, and an emerging junior at East Hall - Walter Hill.

ATLANTA – When you've got a handful of Division 1 coaches, including Georgia Tech head man Paul Hewitt, in a gym about an hour or so north of Atlanta, you know there's got to be talent on the floor.

That was the case last night when one of the top sophomores in the nation, Howard Tompkins, went up against a fellow Atlanta Celtics player who is just starting to get his name out – junior swingman Walter Hill.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Tompkins is the better-known of the duo despite the fact that he's a grade younger.

It wasn't a typical game for Wesleyan's Tompkins, who got off to a slow start but still managed to finish with 29 points and 7 rebounds in the 93-70 loss to East Hall.

However, in all fairness to Tompkins – his team is not nearly as good as Hill's.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Hill spent much of his time in the first half hoisting up 3-pointers as Hewitt, Georgia assistant Desmond Oliver, Florida assistant Larry Shyatt, South Carolina assistant Ken Potosnak and Alabama assistant Eugene Harris all watched on.

Hill connected on 2-of-6 from long range before the break and took just one more shot – a miss from 10-feet – in the first 16 minutes of play.

Tompkins scored 10 points – and also committed a handful of turnovers - as his team trailed, 47-35, at halftime. All of the smooth forward's points came in the paint.

Hill started to become more aggressive on the offensive end in the second half – and more efficient. He began the third quarter with a trifecta and also got to the foul line in the open court and pulled up for one of his trademark mid-range jumpers.

``That's what he does best," East Hall coach Joe Dix said.

Tompkins, 15, tried to carry his team on his back in the second half, but it wasn't enough.

``It wasn't a poor performance," Tompkins said after the game. "But it wasn't one of my best, either."

Hill finished with 21 points – and also left the court with bragging rights.

``He's a versatile player," Tompkins said. "He can do it all."

Tompkins may not possess blow-by athleticism and explosiveness, but he's smooth and reminds some of a young Danny Manning. He runs the court well, has good hands, is unselfish, does the majority of his damage in the paint, alters shots and plays hard all the time.

``He's a monster," East Hall coach Joe Dix said. "He's got great hands. He catches everything. He's got great body control."

Hill, 17, is a versatile scorer who has a strong body and quick hands. He settled too much for his outside shot, which is somewhat inconsistent, prior to halftime - but then displayed the ability to get to the glass and attack with the basketball after the break.

``This was an above-average performance for Walter," added Dix. "He had 40 points against Columbia earlier this year and played really well against Southwest Atlanta Christian. He's just got to get to the point where he consistently plays at that level."


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