2013 Holiday Hoops Invitational Recap

28 Dec

comlogoEast Lansing High School was the host of the annual Holiday Hoops Invitational held at MSU’s Breslin Center.  The showcase featured teams the majority of which came from Mid/Western Michigan, but that does not mean there is a drop off in talent.  Just about every game was competitive, and plenty of prospects made names for themselves.

Paw Paw 77 Lansing Christian 50

The Redskins of Paw Paw were flat out more experienced than Christian.  Junior division one recruit Tanner Eubank led Paw Paw with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while senior Kyle Williams added 16 points for the Redskins as well.  The Pilgrims of Lansing Christian were led by senior Jordan Terry, who with Tanner took home the game MVPS, with 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds.  5’10” freshman shooting guard Matt Havey also played big Christian, adding 15 points, most of which came off nice perimeter jump shots.

Lansing Catholic 50 Schoolcraft 43

Catholic used their superior size, coming from the Poljan brothers David and Tony who are 6’8″ and 6’7″ respectively, to defeat Schoolcraft.  Although the two are brothers and tower over their opponents, the two each have a unique skill set.  Tony Poljan played more of the wing position, but still managed to come away with 14 rebounds.  He displayed the ability to handle to ball up the floor on the break and attack the basket in transition, with both power and graceful finishes at the rim.  David Poljan is more of a traditional power forward.  He has active hands that allowed him to deflect passes from the post, which resulted in steals for Catholic, good passer and vision from the post, and hit a few mid-range jump shots.  Central Michigan was in attendance for this game.  To go along with his 14 rebounds, Tony Poljan also had 20 points and 3 assists, good enough for the MVP.  His brother David, contributed 16 points.

Holt 79 Hudsonville 70

Holt does not have one central superstar on their team, however, the Rams do have players that each have their own abilities to impact the game, and 5’10” senior point guard Don’Quall Jackson is one them.  Jackson is a quick lead guard the plays well in space and likes to get into the lane and create plays. He is the type of guard that has the mentality of playing fast but never in a hurry. Another player that made contributions for the Rams was 6’3″ senior big man Colin Jones.  The undisputed vocal and emotional leader of the team, Jones played big and kept Holt in the game when Hudsonville made runs throughout the game.  Jones looks more like he would be a star football player, but makes up for it with his hard-nosed style of play.  He out willed rebounds numerous times from defenders, drew a few and-one post-up moves, and played defense the entire game challenging just about every shot.  Jackson took home the MVP with 26 points, four rebounds and five assists.  Jones also contributed 24 points and 8 rebounds.  Mason Opple led Hudsonville with 20 points.

Warren De La Salle 72 Grand Rapids Christian 64

What won De La Salle this game was their inside play and rebounding, which came from sophomore Kevin McKay, who contributed 27 points and 15 rebounds.  McKay is listed at 6’3″, but is forced  to play a power forward type role due to the Pilots’ lack of size.  Regardless, Kevin, is versatile enough to guard the 1-4 positions and be effective when doing so.  Christian senior center Darohn Scott looked to be a man against boy on the floor.  He caught several alley hoops, dunked everything around the basket, and defended the post well all night long.  Scott brought energy, intensiveness, and athleticism to the game.  Darohn was not only Christian’s MVP of the game, but also won the Invitational’s most outstanding player, adding 25 points, eight rebounds, and 5 blocks.  He currently holds offers from Oakland, Central Michigan, Detroit, and Illinois State.

Ann Arbor Huron 74 East Lansing 56

The junior class is deep for Huron, particularly at the guard position.  2015s Jalen Thompson, Xavier Cochran, and Dave Wren all had big nights for the River Rats, but each in their own separate.  Starting with Cochran, he can score the ball with the best of them.  In the third quarter, Xavier got it going from the perimeter, two three pointers and a long two, that resulted in an 8-0 run by himself.  Cochran didn’t attack the basket like he normally does, but it’s nice to have a dependable jumper that you can lean on to keep a defender honest.  Wren didn’t score much in the half-court set, but where he did gets his points was off steals that he and Thompson got off their traps from East Lansing.  Both Wren and Thompson are solid combo guards that can attack in transition and finish at the rim.  Wren had 16 points, and Jalen Thompson took home the MVP with a 24 point performance.

Consortium 66 Jenison 38

Another Consortium game means another Josh Jackson sighting.  Yes, it is apparent that he can score the ball from the anywhere on the court, rebound at a high level, and block shots with the best of them, but the key for this game was the calm demeanor he had throughout the game given the circumstances.  With Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo in attendance, Josh did not go out and try to put up a 50 point performance like he is capable of, instead, he let the game come to him, not forcing any turnovers, and playing within Consortium’s game plan, finishing up with a nice 21 point seven rebound performance to win the MVP.   Jenison senior Jake Arntson won the MVP, leading Jension with 14 points.

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