John Wall Holiday Invitational: Day 2

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With the tradition of the John Wall Holiday Invitation, it’s no surprise that all 4 days filled with fantastic basketball. Day 2 was no different as the gym was packed out, the crowd was loud, and the players were competitive. Here’s what stood out: 

 

Ian Dubose comes alive…

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There was literally no answer for Ravenscroft senior Ian Dubose as he had his way with Southern Durham. In regards to scoring, if it was using his solid frame to bogart his way to the basket or knocking down shots from the perimeter, it was clear that there was nothing that was going to be done to stop him. Dubose, a Houston Baptise University commit, finished with a double/double, scoring 29 points and snatching down 11 rebounds.

 

 

DJ Horne catches fire….

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DJ Horne

It’s always a privilege to see when a player gets in the zone. As a spectator you can only imagine what it must feel like when anything you shoot goes in, the basket seems like it’s 10 feet wide and nothing can stop you from scoring. This was Leesville’s 2019 6’0 combo guard, DJ Horne. Once he hit his first couple of shots it was easy to tell that Broughton (Raleigh, NC) was going to be in for a long game. Shooting 60% from the field and 50% from 3, there was not much the opposition could do to contain Horne as he ended the game with 28 points. Horne is a steady shooter from both inside and outside the perimeter and does well finishing at the basket.

 

Lavar Batts Jr runs through Thornlea Thunder…

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Lavar Batts dashing through the defense!

When watching Jay M. Robinson High School’s (Concord, NC) 2017 point guard, Lavar Batts, it’s easy to compare him to the likes of the Road Runner. Not only does the VCU commit have blazing end to end speed, but he also has precision control and is able to change direction or stop on a dime. This throws defenders for a whirlwind because it makes it extremely hard to predict where to cut him off. Batts “stop & pop” was one of the most unguardable moves witnessed today as defenders from Thornlea Thunder (Canada) showed no answer in how to stop, let alone contest when Batts created space and pulled up for the jumper. Finishing with 24 points, Batts made it seem effortless as he helped his team route Thornlea Thunder.

 

 

Jarren McAllister asserts his dominance…

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Jarren McAllister going up for 2!

Heritage High School’s (Wake Forest, NC) 2018 6’4 shooting guard, Jarren McAllister is one of those players that when he makes up his mind, he is literally unstoppable on the court. Touting a solid frame and long limbs, the Virginia Tech commit excels both offensively and defensively. When slashing to the basket, he has good handle that can get him through traffic and exceptional athleticism that allows him to finish at or above the rim. In today’s game against Millbrook High School (Raleigh, NC), it was clear that McAllister was in attack mode from the tip-off and wasn’t giving the defense a chance to relax. Finishing with a team-high 18 points and the win, it’s safe to say McAllister is breaking out of his current shell and coming into his own.

 

Alex Reed strikes again…

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Alex Reed with the fancy finish!

 

The Garner High School (Garner, NC) team, as a whole, plays with an intangible that usually isn’t as widespread as one would think, EFFORT. It’s clear that Coach Grey emphasizes this on a consistent basis to his team because they’ve clearly bought-in. Leading the charge Garner is 2017 6’4 combo guard, Alex Reed. They collectively came together and held 2019 stud, Wendell Moore Jr. to single digit scoring. Reed, on the other hand, finished with a double-double, scoring 21 points (50% from the field and 100% from 3) and snatching down 10 rebounds

 

 

 

 

Jarius Hamilton provides the highlight of the evening…

 

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Jarius Hamilton going up for the slam!

Throughout the entire course of the game against University School (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 2018 6’8  power forward Jarius Hamilton of Cannon High School’s (Concord, NC) was on a mission. Listed as the #3 playing in the state (by ESPN) Hamilton left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he’s deserving. Going up against 2 ESPN top 25 players in 2019 6’10 Vernon Carey and 7’1 Balsa Koprivica, Hamilton did not shy away as he led his team with 25 points and 6 rebounds. The most impressive of him points came in closing seconds in the 4th quarter. Tied up at 59, Hamilton drove to the lane for the go-ahead basket, getting fouled in the process and completing the “And1.” Check out the video here:

 

 

 

Josh Green Jr. steals the show…

 

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Josh Green Jr. soars in for 2!

 

Every so often, there comes a time where a player comes out of nowhere and takes the spotlight. In a packed gym for the last game of the evening, everyone was there to see ESPN #1 player and Arizona commit, 2017 7’1 DeAndre Ayton. However, it was Hillcrest High School’s (Phoenix, AZ) 2019 6’4 shooting guard Josh Green Jr. who stole the show against Northwood Temple (Fayetteville, NC). Green Jr., finishing with 18 points. From electrifying fast break dunks to knocking down shots from behind the arch, he did it all. This comes as no surprise as he is ranked #7 shooting guard in the 2019 class by Scout.

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