John Wall Holiday Invitational: Day 2 Standouts Part 1
When it comes to high school holiday basketball tradition, one has to put the 47th Holiday Day Invitational (sponsored by John Wall Foundation) on the list. Played at historic Broughton High School, the John Wall is a must see. It brings a wealth of talent and teams to the Raleigh area each and every year, not to mention one of the best atmospheres in the country. The first day of action was played before sold out crowds with a wealth of talent on display. https://www.phenomhoopreport.com/2018/12/26/john-wall-holiday-invitational-opening-day-standouts/
Now, let’s take a closer look at the standouts on Day 2 at the John Wall Holiday Invitational.
6’1 2019 Chase Graham (Athens Drive)
It’s always great to see a local player use the big stage at the John Wall Holiday Invitational to elevate this recruitment. In the 77-68 win over Athens Drive, Chase Graham was simply outstanding. He was dialed in from deep and literally put on a shooting exhibition. Coming into the event, Graham was averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.0 APG. This past summer, we watched him play for his local travel ball team. We stated, “Graham was arguably the best player for his team, doing a fair amount of everything while showcasing leadership qualities on both ends of the floor. He made intelligent decisions with the ball and accumulated numerous assists in transition. Graham is simply a quality all-around player that makes his teammates better.” The combo guard had a game high 32 points going 8-14 from the floor, 6-11 from the 3-point line, and 10-12 from the free throw line.
6’7 2019 Justin McKoy (Panther Creek)
Justin McKoy has enjoyed a tremendous transformation in the past year. He has gotten leaner, stronger, quicker, which in turn has improved his mobility and agility. He has always sported “soft passer friendly” hands, nifty footwork in the paint, but his work ethic has allowed him to elevate his game a notch higher. The Penn State signee has extremely long arms and an equivalent positive attitude on the court. He is constantly talking on defense, giving encouragement and most of all being a great team player and leader. That being said, McKoy demonstrated in the 66-61 win over Garner just a glimpse of what he will bring to the collegiate table. For the game, McKoy collected a double double. He finished with a game high 32 points going 7-15 from the floor, 3-8 from the 3-point line, 15-17 from the free throw line, not to mention grabbed a game high 12 rebounds. Last, but not least, McKoy also dished out two assists and collected two steals.
Trinity Christian Team
With 3:06 remaining in the game, Trinity Christian trailed Prolific Prep by 6 and an upset was on the horizon. However, Trinity Christian simply enjoys playing in front of the sold out crowd at the John Wall Holiday Invitational. Trinity Christian turned up the defensive pressure and intensity and went on a 14-0 run and eventually pulled off the 67-59 win. In reality, this was a total team effort where the entire starting five played extremely well. Now, let’s take a closer look at the major players for Trinity.
6’7 2019 Greg Gantt (Trinity Christian)
This was just another “vintage” Greg Gantt. Gantt simply brings it each and every game. The hustle, the intensity, the passion. You name it and it has Greg Gantt’s signature all over it. Gantt continues to make huge gains in his perimeter game and once again, he knocked down 3-pointers down the stretch. For the game, Gantt finished with a team high 21 points going 7-12 from the floor, 4-6 from the 3-point line and 3-4 from the free throw line.
6’2 2019 DJ Horne (Trinity Christian)
The Illinois State signee simply had a superb all around game, but his defensive intensity down the stretch was key. No matter the game, no matter the setting, DJ Horne will bring effort, energy, enthusiasm and emotion to the game and to take it a step further, he’s just a winner on the court. Horne had 12 points going 5-10 from the floor, 2-5 from the 3-point line. In addition, he collected five rebounds, dished out one assists and had one steal.
5’10 2019 KJ Marshall (Trinity Christian)
Last January, we wrote the following, “KJ is the heartbeat of this team. this team goes as KJ goes.” This statement couldn’t have been more correct. Simply put, KJ Marshall is the team’s “glue guy,” and yes the unsung hero on a team loaded with D1 prospects. With Marshall, you never have to teach or coach effort and his “never quit attitude” was on full display down the stretch in the come from behind win. Marshall finished with 18 points, going 5-10 from the floor, 5-8 from the 3-point line and 3-4 from the free throw line. However, the biggest 3-pointer came when he had a beautiful shot fake, step back 3-pointer that put Trinity up for good.
6’3 2019 Talton Jones (Trinity Christian)
There’s an old saying, “offense sells tickets and defense wins the games.” For the 6’3 unsigned senior, he does a little bit of both. Jones finished with an efficient 12 points going 4-4 from the free throw line, but it was his stellar defensive play that made the biggest impression. Jones had a game high four steals and disrupted Prolific Prep on numerous occasions. One thing that is for certain, Talton Jones has become Mr. Reliable in the big games.
Be sure to check out the John Wall Holiday Invitational: Day 2 Standouts Part 2: https://www.phenomhoopreport.com/2018/12/27/john-wall-holiday-classic-day-2-standouts-part-2/