Hargrave Military and Oak Hill Academy had their annual exhibition matchup last night at West Wilkes High School. The game was full of firepower with high level prospects on both sides as these two powers prepare for a rigorous season ahead. Let’s take a look at some of the takeaways that Hargrave can take from this matchup.
- KD Johnson and Ashley “AJ” James are dynamic at the top of the press
When Hargrave gets into their zone press after a make they make it incredibly difficult to gain any ground. If you’re going to get across half court you’re going to have to earn it. KD Johnson and AJ James are both incredibly active at the top making life hell for opposing ball handlers. They went up against KK Robinson, Cam Thomas, and Evan Johnson, three really capable ball handlers and they found a way to force a bevy of turnovers when they got into that set. If they can maintain that intensity throughout the course of their schedule, expect big things from this defensive set for Hargrave this season.
2. Loaded with creators and shot makers
Along with their defensive prowess AJ James and KD Johnson are versatile offensive weapons. Combine that with uniquely talented wing Corey Walker and talented guards Mark Sears and Bryson Childress, this team has a bevy of guys that can get it going from all three levels. Johnson is essentially unguardable when making outside shots like he did last night. Mark Sears runs the team to a tee and possesses deep range with craftiness around the rim. James and Childress didn’t have great nights shooting the ball, but found a way to create offense, especially James with his slippery nature as a ball handler. Gabe Wiznitzer is a capable outside shooter as well, giving elite wing Corey Walker room to operate in isolation possessions.
3. KD Johnson and Corey Walker get the headlines, but Mark Sears runs this team.
The talk of the town after the game was the way that Mark Sears ran this Hargrave offense. His ability to keep things under control while coming up with timely jumpers was vital to this teams performance against Oak Hill. He currently holds offers from Troy, Elon, Stetson, South Alabama, UAB, and Missouri State. Expect that list to grow considerably for the Alabama native if he continues to play like he did last night.
4. Gabe Wiznitzer and FiFi Quansah are different, but equally important.
The big man duo of Wiznitzer and Quansah bring a different but essential element to this Hargrave team. Wiznitzer showed noticeably improved footwork and fought on both backboards throughout the game. He can shoot the ball from the outside and should continue to build his profile as a prospect throughout the course of the year. Quansah is an elite rim protector that provides an intimidating presence on the defensive end. These two will split time and provide a unique element with their presence on the floor.
I’ll have four storylines for Oak Hill based on the game tomorrow and be sure to keep up with all of the action on phenomhoopreport.com throughout the high school season.