3 takeaways from Sophie B. Wright vs. McDonogh 35 (Purple Knight Classic Semifinals)

High School
Louisiana

Posted On: 12/29/17 1:54 PM

Sophie B. Wright advanced to the Purple Knight Classic championship with a 68-57 win over McDonogh 35 in the semifinals. The trio of Gregory Hammond, Damiree “D.J.” Burns and Charlie Russell Jr. was too much for the Roneagles as they scored 20, 19 and 17 points with 7, 8 and 12 rebounds, respectively.

All three also played above the rim finishing some monster dunks and they led 38-22 at halftime. McDonogh 35 put together a bit of a run in the third quarter but the Warriors regrouped in time to come away with a comfortable margin of victory.

Sophie B. Wright will face St. Augustine in the championship game Friday at 3:30 p.m. Click here to check out what happened in the other semifinal game between the Purple Knights and Bonnabel.

Sophie B. Wright is a bonafide contender in Class 3A

The Warriors have quietly climbed to No. 3 in the latest LHSAA Class 3A power rankings released on December 19, and they have beaten four Class 4A teams since then. Their record now stands at 15-3 and they only have losses to undefeated Riverside (twice) and Carencro, which is the top-ranked team in Class 4A.

The Warriors were quarterfinalists last year as the 7 seed in Class 2A and coach Jason Bertrand has made it a point this season to step up the level of competition during the regular season. SBW has several quality wins this season including Crescent City (twice), McDonogh 35 (twice), Karr, Southern Lab, Slidell, Salmen and St. Augustine, the team they’ll face in the Purple Knight Classic championship game on Friday.

Wright 2019 trio of Charlie Russell, Damiree Burns and Greg Hammond is special

I believe I’ve said it before but it’s time to re-emphasize as we’ve crossed the halfway mark of the season — these three are a PROBLEM. Russell and Burns both stand at 6-foot-5 and Russell is the primary scorer while Burns brings the attitude and toughness.

Burns is also very capable of having big nights on the offensive end as well but his aggressiveness on both ends of the floor sometimes leads to foul trouble. Russell has the more laid-back personality of the two but he’s never shy about staring down his defender after a big dunk.

Like Russell, Hammond also more of a laid-back vibe but he and Russell are both capable of going for 30 on any given night. All three can handle the ball and mix it up in the paint for rebounds, and their athleticism makes them deadly in transition with distributors like 2020 Scorey Holmes, 2019 Jerome Anthony and 2018 Emmanuel McCoy.

McDonogh 35 2020 PG Antonio Warren beginning to find his way

Warren created some buzz for himself over the summer reeling in an offer from UNO but the young point guard had a few growing pains coming into the season. McDonogh 35 coach Kevin “Woo” Sanders sent the 6-foot-2 prospect to the JV ranks to start the year but he’s been producing on the varsity level for a few weeks now. Warren finished with 16 points against Wright, 11 against Landry-Walker in the quarterfinals and 18 against Crescent City in the Country Day Classic.