Lawson, the nation's top-ranked point guard, asserted himself last October when he and Kevin Durant starred during the annual tussle. This year, Lawson watched as Durant skipped off the Montrose and Oak Hill surrounded him with junior studs Michael Beasley and Nolan Smith. Regardless of whom his running mates are, Lawson always plays well in the scrimmage.
However, his 51 points on Tuesday against Hargrave left his coach scrambling for superlatives.
"It's probably the best I've seen him play to be honest," Oak Hill's Steve Smith said. "This wasn't a real game but it was against great, great competition. He was double-teamed, they pressed him full court man and they tried to trap him and that might have been their downfall. He takes that as a challenge."
Lawson erupted for 51 points (15-21 FG, 6-10 3s, 15-16 FTs) as Oak Hill and Hargrave traded wins in a pair of 20-minute halves. Lawson also had 5 boards, 7 dimes, 7 steals and 4 turnovers.
"Tywon Lawson was incredible," Hargrave coach Kevin Keatts said.
While Lawson was outstanding, the event provided a pair of strong teams (one post graduate and one prep powerhouse) to measure themselves against big time players early in the season while upholding a tradition dating back to 1990.
"The best thing that could have ever happened to both teams (was a split)," Keatts said. "We scored 64 points in the first half and we're on a high. In the second half they go and score 61 points and we're on a low. It's a good thing because it shows that if you don't come out and play teams can score against you.
"This was the most productive Hargrave-Oak Hill scrimmage you could have had. I don't that in any other year the game will prepare us any better than this one has."
Smith was equally fired up about the scrimmage. "We usually win a half and they win a half; it's usually a one or two-point game. It was intense and different than most scrimmages because there was a good crowd and a lot of college coaches. It felt like a big game. It was a lot of fun and it was good for us."
NEWS & NOTES
Michael Beasley had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Nolan Smith chipped in with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. … Oak Hill's Landon Milbourne picked up the pace in the second half when he went 3-for-4 from the field and 5 rebounds. …
Hargrave's reserves won the extra period 29-20. … Stefan Welsh led Hargrave with 25 points and backcourt mate Armon Bassett chipped in with 22 points. … Keatts said that Vernon Macklin had 14 and 8. …
Hargrave won the first half 64-46; Oak Hill captured the second half 61-30.