Prep Tour: Oak Hill/Hargrave Scrimmage

MOUTH OF WILSON, Va. – With its championship banners and retired jerseys providing the nostalgia, Nolan Smith and his frontline friends chipped in with the scoring as Oak Hill bested Hargrave in the team's annual scrimmage.

Two weeks ago they were students, now they've become teachers.

As poorly as the Oak Hill frontline showed out against The Patterson School earlier this month, they were that dominant against Hargrave Tuesday in the annual Oak Hill-Hargrave scrimmage.

For the first time in a few years one team swept the pair of 20-minute scrimmages 2-0. Oak Hill handled Hargrave 57-42 in the opener before salting away a 53-45 win in the second game.

How'd they do it? Ask Nolan Smith, Julian Vaughn and Howard Thompkins for starters.

Smith, the senior leader of the team and possibly the best chemistry/glue/teammate in the country, hit for a game-high 29 points. Frankly, there wasn't anything he did "loud" in the game other than standout in just about every way possible from a pure basketball sense.

"I don't think Nolan Smith has made the wrong play yet," said one assistant college coach in his praise of Smith. At both ends, Smith wore guys out. He back cut Dorenzo Hudson for a hoop then locked his man down on defense.

Hargrave coach Kevin Keatts said Smith's experience in this annual fall ritual showed.

"He's a kid that has been involved with this scrimmage for 2 years. Last year he didn't have a great game in the scrimmage and he bounced back and showed what type of player he is.

"The thing about this scrimmage is if you don't play (hard), you don't look good. This year he stepped up and played well. He was the man. He played within the team framework and played hard and made shots."

As good as Smith was, it was Vaughn and Thompkins who set the tone early. Coming into the game, one would think a veteran like Jeff Allen would be in for a huge day. Vaughn and Thompkins had other ideas.

Thompkins, the junior, and Vaughn, the senior, dominated the glass, throw dart-like outlet passes and controlled the flow of the game as Oak Hill took it right at Hargrave in the paint. After 20 minutes, Thompkins and Vaughn had outscored Allen, Mike Scott and Jeremy Jacob 24-11, not to mention the dominance they showed on the glass.

When it was over, Smith was credited with 29 points. Vaughn had a monster 20-point, 18-rebound effort and Thompkins had 21 and 9. For two guys who struggled against Patterson they sure brought it against Hargrave.

Jordan Crawford turned in the strongest performance of the day for Hargrave. Playing the point opposite Brandon Jennings, Crawford was intense. He finished with 21 points on 6-fot-13 from the floor. A score first guard, he struggled at times with his accuracy from downtown and shot selection. However, he's a talent in the backcourt and will play a combo role in college. Without him in the first game Hargrave goes down much harder.

Keatts got 19 points from Hudson, 18 from Allen and 10 from Scott. Good numbers but again, when matched with Oak Hill's frontline they don't reflect what happened in the paint.

Jeff Allen had 16 and 7 for Hargrave. He come out strong to begin the 2nd game but couldn't sustain the effort. … Eric Wallace has an official visit date for Florida: Nov. 4th. …

Assistants from Georgia, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest and Florida made the trip to picturesque Mouth of Wilson. …

Jennings finished with 14 points (4-13 FG). When he's wired to play as an assist man he's at his best. … Alex Legion struggled to find his range and scored 9 points on 3-for-11 from the field. … Terrance Boyd, a sophomore, continued to look like he belongs with 12 points. …

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