Four Star Players: C.P.A. vs. Harding Academy

High School

Posted On: 02/21/18 7:45 PM

Wednesday night the fourth seed from out west upended a crisp-passing C.P.A. Lion team, 69-59.  The outcome belies the competitive nature of the game.  C.P.A. lead much of the game and trailed only by single digits for large swaths of the fourth quarter.

The following players dictated play.

2019 F Luke Howard, Harding Academy

What didn’t Luke Howard do?  Howard dropped an enormous three-pointer as the C.P.A. Lions fans roared to distract.  He pushed the visiting Lions into a small lead, which his other teammates added to later.

Howard scored a critical and-1 with 1:05 left to lift Harding Academy to 63-51 heading in to the final minute of play.  The first half ended with a frightening two-handed smack of a dunk from Howard.  At his height, Howard is absolutely a MM-MM+ basketball player.

2018 G Matt Dial, CPA

Sadly the loss marks the end of a fantastic high school career for senior Matt Dial.  Known as a great shooter, Dial showed much more tonight.  He slashed to the tin with toughness.  He rebounded on both ends.  Dial was commonly the recipient of Bryce McCormick’s tight passes.  He can score in so many ways.

2019 G Bryce McCormick, CPA

Countless times junior leader Bryce McCormick made a big play when the Lions of C.P.A. needed it most.  Down six points early in the fourth quarter,  McCormick walked in to a three-pointer.

The junior carries an enormous burden for the Lions.  Even if he misses shots he still holds the honor of most impactful C.P.A. player by breaking pressure, running the offense, and defending with pride.

2020 WG Kendall Thomas, Harding Academy

The big-bodied wing Kendall Thomas continues to collect accolades.  Built like a bully, the versatile guard scores anywhere on the floor he wants.  Against C.P.A. Thomas loaded up in the center of the zone, at the free throw line.  When he turned and assessed the options, Thomas continously made clever decisions.

His natural heft benefits him.  Thomas’ ceiling will be dictated by his quickness with the ball and handles.  Considering his bulk Thomas is really efficient and clever with the basketball.  He doesn’t have blow-by speed just yet, but he probably will get there.

Thomas had many duties for the visiting Lions including breaking the press.

His one mindless play came in the final minute, as Thomas charged into a set defense.

“No more,” shouted Harding Academy Head Coach Kevin Starks.  “Don’t do that any more.  I am trying to win the game.”

Overall, Thomas is not what he first appears.  He is a dominating guard built like an undersized power forward.  He shooting touch makes him a complete weapon.