Laurel County Hoopfest Recap

LONDON, Ky. – Oak Hill, Christ School, Princeton and others converged on the Eastern part of Kentucky for a big day of high school basketball. Among the top standouts were Keith Gallon, Elijah Pittman and Chris Hampton.

The Marshall County Hoopfest has been one of the top high school events year after year. So this year Wazoo Sports and Steve Woodard put together a second Hoopfest in Laurel County.

With a mix of national and local teams, the event, as expected, had a great turnout and was quality event that consisted of a handful of big time showing including a few by Kentucky natives -- Elijah Pittman and George Fant.

Keith Gallon, C, Oak Hill – Give credit where it's due, "Tiny" has done a great job of getting into better playing shape. With that said, there's still a ways to go, and the 6-foot-9 big man realizes that and seems motivated. In Oak Hill's game against Our Savior, he demanded the ball on the block, posted low and used his size, strength and mobility to get buckets. He's got a great set of hands, soft touch and even an ability to step away for jumpers. Gallon was 8-for-11 from the field on his way to 20 points and six boards.

Lakeem Jackson, SF, Christ School – At his best when he attacks the rim, Jackson used his strength and athleticism to overpower and bully defenders at the rim. When he wasn't punking out the opposition on the block, he was playing a point-forward type roll and distributing the ball out to teammates. For the game he was 10-for-16 for 23 points. He also grabbed six rebounds and tossed out four assists.

Mason Plumlee, C, Christ School – For his own standards, this wasn't Plumlee best game of the year. He still finished with a respectable line of 12 points and eight rebounds and made some nice moves at the rim. A trio of times he drove from one block to the opposite side of the rim, using the tin to shield off defenders. For a guy his mobility and ability to handle the ball is impressive. Would, however, like to see him post lower on the block where he can use his size and length to score over defenders.

Williams Has Big Day
Orlando Williams, SG, Princeton – When Princeton needed a bucket, it was usually Williams that stepped up and scored. Working the wing and corners for open looks, the 6-foot-5 guard drained a trio of three-pointers and scored 19 points on 5-for-13 shooting. Down the stretch with Christ School on their heels, Williams hit a contested three that virtually sealed it for Princeton. He's the type of guy that will find a nice role in the MAC playing at Miami.

Scooter Lightfoot, SG, Warren Central – Behind Lightfoot's huge first half, the Dragons built an early double digit lead against South Laurel. The 6-foot-3 senior caught fire and dropped in four three-pointers on his way to a 19 point first half. He didn't put it on the floor much, but when he got an open look he drained it.

Emery Kelly, PF, Provine – Between Kelly and his junior teammate, Jalen Courtney, the two owned the paint and glass against a scrappy Manual team. Majority of Kelly's work was done inside, but he did step out and hit a long-range bomb. He went 13-for-20 from the field and scored 27 in the double-digit win.

Elijah Pittman, PF, Covington Holmes – There's been a pretty good buzz building around Pittman in the state of Kentucky. Playing on what could be the state's best team, Pittman, a 6-foot-7, lengthy power forward, does a lot work inside, but is a guy versatile enough to step away from the tin and knock in deep jumpers. His release is a tad slow, but he's got solid form and buried a pair of three-pointers against Largo.

Adding to his face up game, he's also capable of attacking off the dribble and finishing at the rim, where he can use either hand. He's active inside, especially on the defensive end, where he patrols the paint looking to swat shots. Pittman was 6-for-11 from the field on his way to 16 points, five rebounds and six blocks.

Ricardo Johnson, SG/PG, Covington Holmes – Equipped with a unique, smooth game, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard does a variety of positive things on the court. Capable of playing both guard positions, Johnson is a versatile prospect that sees the floor well, takes care of the ball and finishes well once he gets in the paint, whether it's dropping in floaters or taking contact to score. After a so-so first frame, Johnson attacked the rim more in the second half on his way to a 10-point finish.

Jalen Courtney, PF, Province – In our last viewing of Courtney, he didn't make nearly this many jumpers. Saturday he wore it out from mid-range and proved too much for Manual to handle. Whether he faced up defenders for jumpers, flashed to the free throw line or corralled offensive rebounds for put backs, Courtney was solid and efficient on his way to 30 points and 13 rebounds.

At 6-foot-7, Courtney appears to be an active four-man that will be able to find his role in a mid-level program. He's a good, not great, athlete, but what sets him apart is his mobility and activeness. He's expanding his game and looked good doing so.

Chris Hampton, PG, Our Savior – At first glace this 6-foot-1, shifty lead guard can play. For the most part, he made good decisions in the open court, and learned quickly that driving too deep against Oak Hill wasn't in his best interest. To go with his savvy court awareness and vision, he's a talented shooter that made shots off the dribble and catch. He went for 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting in a 8-point loss to Oak Hill.

Doron Lamb, SG, Oak Hill – Despite getting the games MVP, Lamb seemed to have a relatively quiet 21 points. He scored a number buckets on the break and looked to get out in transition at every chance. Known as a guy that can stroke it from deep, he only shot one three, which connected. Not to be lost in his big scoring effort, the 6-foot-5 two-guard passed the ball extremely well and took good care of the ball under pressure.

Fant Goes For Double-Double
George Fant, PF, Warren Central – Up against Matt St. John, who held a two or three inch height advantage, Fant controlled the paint. When he caught it on the block he made quick, precise moves to the basket, but also showed a face up package that was equipped with face up jumpers to 15-feet. The 6-foot-6 power forward moves well, is active on both ends of the floor and goes to the glass with some intensity. For the game he was 10-for-13 for 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Tony Kimbro, SG, Christ School – Playing in his home state for the first time since transferring to Christ School, Kimbro had a decent showing. The southpaw, that stands 6-foot-4, made a nice move to the basket in the opening quarter, and knocked down a triple from the wing. He showed better use of his off hand and seemed to be more comfortable on the floor than in years past. Despite a low scoring affair, Kimbro affected the game with a handful of timely blocked shots.

Elijah Pittman said there are a host of schools showing him attention. He only mentioned Xavier and Kentucky. He took an unofficial to Kentucky earlier in the season.

Pittman's teammate Ricardo Johnson said he's picked up interest from Xavier, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Tony Kimbro mentioned a trio of schools to the media after Christ School's four-point loss to Princeton. He said he's heard from Louisville, Duke and Oklahoma State.

Kevon Arnold, a 6-foot-5 sophomore at Covington (Ky.) Holmes, has the look of a future Division-I prospect. He's got a pair of long arm, attacks the rim with aggression and showed a nice looking floater. Ricardo Johnson's brother, Jeremiah, had a nice showing on Saturday as well. Similar to his brother, he can play on or off the ball, but is about two inches shorter at 6-foot-2. Matt St. John, a 6-foot-9 post, displayed a nice set of hands and a soft touch around the basket. Glenn Bryant seems to know his role for Oak Hill. At 6-foot-7, he's an athletic, active post-man that does a lot of dirty work for the Warriors. Bryant's teammate, Lamont "MoMo" Jones, can rip it from long range. He dropped in a trio of threes and scored 17. Ohio State commit Jordan Sibert didn't have it working from deep, so he found other ways to score. The 6-foot-3 guard went for 17 points and got to the stripe eight times. Sibert's teammate, Stefon Johnson, works hard inside and flat out makes plays. The undersized post scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and was a big part of Princeton's win over Christ School. Kevin Perry is a high level athlete. The 6-foot-6 power forward had the dunk of the day when he caught an offensive rebound and shoved it back in the rim over Cory Joseph.

Nevada's head coach Mark Fox made the cross-country trip to Kentucky to check out a handful of games at the Hoopfest. He gets extra credit for staying for the nightcap, which wasn't scheduled to finish till nearly 1 a.m.


  • Covington Holmes 69, Largo 62
  • Warren Central 79, South Laurel 67
  • Princeton 64, Christ School 60
  • Oak Hill 87, Our Savior 79
  • Findlay 83, Westbury Christian 58

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