Academy National Invitational: Final Day

Two of the top programs in the northeast went toe-to-toe for the Academy National Invitational crown on Saturday while one local standout added more hardware to his collection in the Texas bracket.

B.J. Holmes, PG, Alief Hastings – The Texas A&M-bound guard has had an up-and-down week. He finished with 19 points in a loss to Christ the King, but didn't shoot a good percentage and struggles with taking quality shots. He was 6-for-19 from the field and just 2-of-10 from long distance in the loss.

Malik Boothe, G, Christ the King – Came up with his best performance in the three days. Some were questioning whether he was good enough to play at St. John's next season. He's not a great shooter by any means, but he knows how to run a team and gets into the lane and makes things happen.

Jeff Francis, F, Westbury Christian – Had a solid tournament despite the team's lack of success over the three days. Francis is aggressive, gets to the basket and can finish. He had a dozen points and 6 boards in the loss to The Woodlands.

Gani Lawal, F, Norcross – The Georgia Tech signee had an off-game with just 9 points and 5 boards in the win against Kingwood. Couldn't get shots to fall, but he's been extremely consistent thus far this season.

Tony Neysmith, G, Norcross – You know it's a good day when the well-built guard whose headed to Oklahoma cans a pair of long-range shots. Neysmith had 14 points and 5 boards in the win.

Mike Singletary, SF, Kingwood – You've got to give the Texas A&M-bound forward his props. He plays extremely hard, has improved his perimeter game and kept his team right in the game against a loaded Norcross club. Had a game-high 22 points and 10 boards in the loss.

Gary Johnson, PF, Aldine – Once again, the Texas-bound power forward produced. This time is was 24 points and 13 boards in a fairly easy win against Klein Forest.

Austin Freeman, SG, DeMatha – The Silent Assassin came through with 20 points in the Stags win against St. Pat's in the title game. He's just a pure scorer who can put the ball in the basket in any way possible.

Jeff Peterson, PG, DeMatha – Extremely underrated. Gets to the basket with his quickness, is able to shoot the ball from the perimeter and also makes his teammates better. Scored 13, had 8 assists and 5 rebounds in the title game.

Erving Walker, G, Christ the King – The recent Florida commit was quiet in the first half and was held scoreless, but then he got it going after the break and managed to finish the game with 15 points. Walker's greatest strength is his toughness – which was clear by the fact that the 5-foot-7 junior grabbed seven boards and doesn't hurt you as much on the defensive end as most players his size.

Ryan Pearson, SF, Christ the King – He doesn't look flashy, but the 6-foot-5 small forward finds a way to get things done. He had 16 in the loss to Kingwood, 10 points and 4 steals in the win against Rainier and finished the tournament with another solid performance with 12 points. Can score inside and outside.

Anthony Jones, PF, Yates – There's no questioning his talent. The kid is long and skilled, but has a tendency to go through the motions at times. He knocked down a few mid-range jumpers, but needs to bulk up and do a better job of scoring in the paint.

Tommy Mason-Griffin, PG, Madison – He really knows how to lead without being vocal. Extremely poised. The earlu LSU commit had 10 points and 9 assists. Had a chance to win the game, but missed a foul-line jumper late in the loss to Yates.

Kemba Walker, PG, Rice – He may have only scored 10 points in the win, but he does so many other things. He's good with the ball in his hands, can really defend on the perimeter and also had the biggest play of the game – a steal and layup with 10 seconds left to give the Raiders the win.

Al Farouq Aminu, F, Norcross – As bad as Aminu was 24 hours ago in a loss to St. Pat's, he came to play in a win over Kingwood. The talented junior finished the game with 17 points to lead Norcross.

Durand Scott, SG, Rice – Played a good all-around game. Took advantage of limited opportunities on the offensive end and finished with 10 points. He played much bigger than his 6-4 size and came down with nine rebounds.

Corey Fisher led St. Pat's with 21 (1-of-9 from long range) in the loss to DeMatha and Jeff Robinson added 17. ... Rye Olson, who transferred in from Fort Bend Baptist, scored a game-high 22 points in Westbury Christian's loss to The Woodlands. Gerald Shaw led The Woodlands with 20. … The Woodlands was without Colton McKey, a Purdue football recruit who suffered a major knee injury at the end of the football season. ... DeMatha is finally getting healthy. Senior shooting guard Austin Freeman had a foot injury that kept him on the sidelines earlier in the year. Talented junior Chris Braswell was out with a sprained thumb and also academics. Kenny Tate, a standout football player, is back after missing some time with a sprained ankle. … Sei Paye, a 6-foot-3 senior shooting guard at Strake Jesuit, is a quality get for Louisiana-Monroe. … St. Pat's has been without two frontline starters – 6-foot-6 sophomore Paris Bennett and 6-foot-8 junior Quintrell Thomas. Bennett, who has been offered a scholarship already been Rutgers, is still getting over mononucleosis, while Thomas is ineligible for the first 30 days of the season after transferring. … A trio of Houston Rockets were in attendance: John Lucas III, Rafer Alston and Luther Head. They made an appearance to watch Lucas' younger brother, Jai.

Rice 6-foot-4 sophomore wing Durand Scott said his top school is Duke, but it's unclear whether the Blue Devils are recruiting him at all. … Dwight Miller, the 6-foot-8 junior at Westbury Christian who didn't play in the event after leaving and re-joining the team, said he's hearing from Houston, Wake Forest and Nebraska. … Aldine junior guard Brandon Williams is getting interest from SMU, Rice and Southeast Louisiana.

Assistant Coaches In The Gym – Louisiana-Monroe, Texas A&M, Texas

SCOREBOARD

  • The Woodlands 72, Westbury Christian 59

  • Christ the King (N.Y.) 65, Hastings 59

  • Yates 57, Madison 56

  • Rice (N.Y.) 57, Rainier Beach (Wash.) 53

  • Bellaire 49, Strake Jesuit 42

  • Norcross (Ga.) 50, Kingwood 47

  • Aldine 65, Klein Forest 49

  • DeMatha (Md.) 58, St. Patrick (N.J.) 49

    "I think B.J. might have to watch out that his brother doesn't eat him" – One fan talking about Alief Hastings little guard B.J. Holmes and his 260-pound brother Tevin "T-Bone" Holmes.


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