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Posted On: 11/24/18 12:50 AM
Corinth, MS. – Fans filled the bleachers at Corinth High School on Black Friday to watch some high school basketball, and none of them left disappointed.
I had a chance to watch the final three games on Friday night. The first game was between Memphis East and Callaway. The second game was between Bearden and Mountain Brook. The finale was between Marshall County and Corinth.
I couldn’t utter a word after watching some of the best talent in high school basketball go at one another for four quarters. I didn’t have a favorite in each of the three games. It was hard to pick one player out of the six teams I watched, so I decided to come up with a list of the top performers from day one of The Lighthouse Classic.
Now, putting together this list was easy. I didn’t have a difficult time trying to figure out who should go on this list. As I was watching each game, I wrote a name down in my notepad. After watching senior combo guard K.J. Johnson score 14 of the Tigers’ 22 first-half points, I wrote his name down.
As James Wiseman kept getting easy dunks, his name went down. Wiseman and Johnson were easy choices. To be honest, everyone else was pretty easy to pick.
Here’s my complete list:
James Wiseman, Memphis East – The Chargers didn’t have the size to matchup with the No. 2 ranked player in the 2019 class. Wiseman, a Memphis commit, was able to score whenever he felt like doing so. He finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks as the Mustangs defeated Callaway, 69-52.
Malcolm Dandridge, Memphis East – Dandridge was another matchup problem for the Chargers. He’s a physical power forward. At 6-9, Dandridge can put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. The guards of East didn’t play well but have improved. As of now, it’s the Dandridge and Wiseman show. The Memphis commit had 10 points, 18 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block.
Daeshun Ruffin, Callaway – The sophomore guard gave the Mustangs trouble from the jump. Ruffin has nice ball handles and can shoot from different areas of the floor, and he’s hard to stay in front of. Ruffin led the Chargers with 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting.
Devion Hunt, Callaway – Memphis East had trouble with a freshman point guard. Hunt, whose 5-9, wasn’t afraid of the Mustangs’ size on the inside. He attacked the basket and found success from the perimeter. He finished with 11 points on 5 of 9 shooting.
Ques Glover, Bearden – The senior point guard plays aggressive and always look to attack. Mountain Brook didn’t do a good job of keeping the ball out of his hands. He finished with 28 points and six assists in a 65-63 loss to the Spartans.
Drew Pember, Bearden – The 6-10 wing has a knack for shooting. He’s a solid complimentary piece to play alongside Glover. He’s another senior who will be truly missed by the Bulldogs. Pember had a bad shooting night, converting on just 3 of 11 shots, but still finished with a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds).
Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook – Watford isn’t flashy at all, probably wouldn’t give you a highlight reel to talk about, but he’s fundamentally sound. By the end of a game, Watford finds himself all over the stats sheet. That is what happened in his team’s win Friday night. He finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.
Colby Jones, Mountain Brook – Jones could be the second best player for the Spartans this season. He allows the game to come to him. He can’t be left open on the perimeter. Jones will make teams pay from the outside. He led Mountain Brook with 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting.
K.J. Johnson, Marshall County – Johnson isn’t afraid of being a leader. So far this season, he’s had to carry the Tigers on his back. The Lipscomb commit finished with a game-high 36 points on 16 of 35 shooting in a 68-62 loss to the Corinth Warriors.