There are nights when the other teams is just better, and such was the case Friday for Dayton Thurgood Marshall in the opening game of the 11th annual Good Samaritan Hospital Flyin’ to the Hoop. The Cougars came into the contest sporting a spotless (11-0) mark, but quickly found out this wasn’t a usual Friday evening in the Buckeye state.
KETTERING – There are nights when the other teams is just better, and such was the case Friday for Dayton Thurgood Marshall in the opening game of the 11th annual Good Samaritan Hospital Flyin’ to the Hoop. The Cougars came into the contest sporting a spotless (11-0) mark, but quickly found out this wasn’t a usual Friday evening in the Buckeye state.
Findlay Prep (NV), who is ranked No. 2 in the nation by ESPN, used its superior size and talent to make life miserable for Thurgood Marshall en route to a 71-47 triumph, which pushed the Pilots record to (22-0) heading into Monday’s showdown with No. 1 Montverde Academy (FL).
A good sign that it may be a long night is when a kid committed to Mississippi State enters the game only in the closing minutes of the contest.
“We got beat by a better team tonight,” stated Thurgood head coach Darnell Hoskins. “They did exactly what a team of that caliber is supposed to do. That’s a very, very good basketball team and they are very, very well-coached.”
Playing in front of a standing room only crowd inside Trent Arena, Thurgood got off to a very slow start. Perhaps it was jitters, which led to a 12-point deficit, but more likely it was the talent level and size of the Pilots.
“I think some of it had to do with being too emotional,” Hoskins noted. “We were playing the number two team in the nation and with all the expectations, I think we put a little too much credibility into this game.”
The Cougars slow start saw them get behind, 14-2, to start the game, and, 17-5, by the end of the first quarter. Christian Wood, who is a UNLV commit, scored 10 points in the opening stanza. Mark Alstork totaled all the Thurgood points.
After the slow start, Thurgood played the Pilots even in the second period. However, nearly every field made by the Cougars seemed to be answered or trumped at the other end. The Nevada-based school held a 34-22 advantage at the intermission.
The third quarter was much of the same as the teams continued to trade baskets back-and-forth. Thurgood was able to close the gap to, 43-33, but Indiana-bound Stanford Robinson quickly answered with a trey. The Pilots extended the lead to, 53-38, by the end of the period.
As Thurgood wore down in the final frame it began to get sloppy with the basketball and take poor shots, which allowed Findlay Prep quite a few easy leak out buckets extending the lead to, 68-41, which was the largest margin of a game the Pilots led wire-to-wire.
“We settled for jump shots in transition when I thought we had some opportunities to get to the rim,” Hoskins said about the difficulty of getting good looks. “That all comes with experience and playing at this level.”
Wood paced the Pilots with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Robinson added 16 points and eight boards, while UCLA-bound Allerik Freeman totaled 16 points and six boards.
Nigel Williams-Goss was brilliant all night at the point guard spot. The Washington commit scored 12 points and handed out six assists, but his biggest attribute was controlling the pace and not turning the ball over against the relentless pressure of Thurgood.
“I told my coaches about midway through the third that he (Nigel Williams-Goss) is really good,” Hoskins said. “Me being a former point guard myself I always pay attention to the lead guard. I had the opportunity to watch him down in Memphis and he did the same thing he did here tonight. He just steadied the ship, he never was rattled, and he never panicked. He got his guys into sets and got them into positions where they needed to be to be successful. You have to tip your hat to him and call a spade a spade, he did what he had to for his team to win tonight.”
Despite the loss, Alstork was stellar in defeat tallying 23 points, which included a 4-of-5 showing behind the arc.
“Mark was geared up for this game,” Hoskins mentioned. “He can play at this level. Unfortunately as a team we didn’t help him out tonight. He has nothing to hang his head about. I think he opened some eyes of guys at the next level with his performance tonight. He is just a competitor and a warrior, and I was very, very proud of his effort.”
Stat of the Game:
Since two stats were glowing, we decided to list both. Thurgood Marshall shot just 28 percent from the field and 9-of-17 from the free-throw line, while getting out rebounded, 44-25.
*Game 2 featured No. 5 Huntington Prep (WV) versus No. 12 La Lumiere (IN) in what was supposed to be a top tier match up, however, the play on the court didn’t resemble two teams ranked in ESPN’s Top 15.
The teams combined to shoot 57 percent for the game. The Indiana-based school shot just under 32 percent, while the Express shot a brisk 27 percent.
The consensus No. 1 player in America, Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep, was held to just 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting as the Lakers stymied the 6-foot-7 senior and his team on their way to a 46-35 victory. In addition to Wiggins’ struggles, Florida State-bound guard Xavier Rathan was just 1-of-11 from the floor finishing with only seven points.
The teams played even after a quarter (9-9), but La Lumiere won every quarter there after.
While both teams struggled mightily from the field, senior Jalen James made true on 12-of-13 freebies despite a 1-of-11 night of action shots. James added eight rebounds. Junior Sam Logwood chipped in 11 points, but was just 4-of-15 from the floor. Junior Jonathon Wilkins tallied four points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Oklahoma State commit Detrick Mostella didn’t play in the contest.
Stat of the Game:
La Lumiere held a 37-22 advantage on the glass.