Battle For The Blue Grass

LOUISVILLE, KY – Steffphon Pettigrew and Jeff Brooks are the two leading candidates for Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky, so when the pair squared off Friday night there was a lot riding on their performances and neither disappointed.

In front of a crowd littered with MTV cameras and Tubby Smith, Steffphon Pettigrew and Jeff Brooks went right at each other, but it was Brooks who drew first blood.

Brooks opened the game up with a nice alley-oop dunk and then threw down a nasty one-handed tip dunk in traffic. His jumper started flowing as well as he knocked down a few 10 footers and was 6-of-7 from the field at half time.

While Brooks came out charged up, it took a Pettigrew a quarter to get into the flow of the game. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound combo forward did the best he could to muscle up shots inside and did his usual work around the glass.

With Elizabethtown (Ky.) High down double digits Pettigrew turned it up a notch in the second half and was virtually unstoppable going to the rack and around the basket. He also showed off a great touch from the free throw line knocking down at least a dozen free throws.

As Pettigrew picked it up Brooks began displaying his full arsenal. The 6-foot-8 Penn State signee knocked down a pair of mid-range jumpers and a nice jump hook in the lane. But it didn't stop there as Brooks showed the ability to handle the ball in the open court as well as see the floor.

When it was all said and done Louisville (Ky.) Doss got the win and Brooks finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks for the Dragons. Pettigrew put up his average of 36 points and snagged 14 rebounds.

Jeff Brooks – It's tough to watch Brooks with his high school team and see his full game as he doesn't get many touches within the offense. Doss plays him inside and he rarely gets to show off his wing skills. Brooks has long arms and above average athleticism which helps him grab offensive rebounds and get tip-ins around the basket. His mid-range game is very good and he can pull up in traffic and knock down jumpers. Although he didn't shoot a three-pointer in this contest we know he's capable of hitting that shot as well. Brooks projects as a solid wing man at the next level and could potentially help Penn State out right away.

Steffphon Pettigrew – It's hard not to like a kid that plays hard and gives it his all game in and game out. At 6-5 he obviously lacks size to play the post, but he's developing wing skills and if he continues to improve at this rate he should make the transition rather easily. Pettigrew plays to his strengths and knows the game as well as anyone. While his long range jumper needs work he's money around the basket. Against Doss most of his buckets came off offensive boards or drives to the basket, but he did hit a sweet looking jump hook, a 10-foot leaner and a pair of threes.

Tubby Smith, of Kentucky, and Richard Pitino, of Duquesne, were both in the building to watch the E-town star. After the game Pettigrew also confirmed that he'll be taking an unofficial visit to Kentucky this weekend.

He currently holds scholarship offers from Duquesne, Western Kentucky, Bradley and Middle Tennessee State. He's also receiving interest from Pittsburgh, Mississippi, Tulane and Kentucky.

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