By: Evan Rogers

The second day of action at the John Wall Holiday Invitational featured a number of memorable performances. Here’s a look at some of the key players and their thoughts from the full slate of games.

2025 Jackson Keith (Southern Durham)

In Southern Durham’s statement win over Holly Springs, Jackson Keieth shone above the rest in the consolation game. The crafty guard found success from all three levels on the court, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and flushing a two-handed slam. Keith also held his own against Holly Springs forward Colin Kuhl, a matchup the young Spartan voiced he enjoyed playing in.

“(Kuhl’s) a big guy — that’s a big guy,” Keith said. “He got some of his buckets because I had to help off. And then he’s so strong when you come back he puts that shoulder into your chest… He’s a good player, but I had fun guarding him.”

2023 Silas Demary Jr. (Combine Academy)

In Combine Academy’s dominant win over Greenfield High School, a number of players from the GOATs stood out — as four players reached double figures. But no one may have been more impactful than guard Silas Demary Jr. The USC commit only took three shot attempts but dished out 10 assists, displaying his selfless play. Head coach Mike Wright voiced the importance of Demary Jr.’s unselfish mentality. 

“I’ve had (Demary Jr.) for two years and I’ve won no championships until I had this young man as my point guard,” Wright said. “I cringe every time I see combo guard because I don’t know too many combo guys that will have three shots tonight, back home in Raleigh. Silas (Demary Jr.) is a lead guard, that’s what he is. And that’s what we pride in; that Silas is going to make the right decisions with his shot, but he’s always looking for his teammates.” 

2023 Mayar Wol (Word of God)

The play of the day came from forward Mayar Wol in the afternoon slate. Late in the third quarter, the College of Charleston commit drove baseline and flushed a full-extension dunk over an Eagles defender. According to Wol, the highlight-reel slam stands alone on his notable plays from his young basketball career.

“I feel like I was letting that game come to me and I was attacking the rim,” Wol said. “They gave me baseline and I took (the) baseline and I got on the rim. That’s probably, if we’re ranking, that’s probably my favorite dunk — it was a really good dunk.”

2024 Drake Powell (Northwood)

The feature matchup of the day came between Drake Powell and DJ Wagner, the top-ranked prospect in the 2025 class. Despite Wagner and Camden besting the UNC commit, Powell found success on both ends of the floor and finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The do-it-all guard earned Most Outstanding Player honors for the Coby White bracket and noted the showcase matchup taught him a lot. 

“I respect DJ Wagner a lot, obviously the No. 1 (ranked) player in the country going to Kentucky,” Powell said. “Playing against him in an atmosphere like this is pretty crazy. He’s really good. I take pride in my defenders and playing a great offensive player like him, that was very surreal.”

2023 Jared McCain (Centennial)

The Huskies cruised to an opening tournament win over host-school Broughton. Centennial’s defense was tenacious throughout the night — holding the Capitals to three points in the first quarter — and Jarden McCain served as the lead guard for the Huskies’ defensive efforts. The Duke commit also added 11 points and eight rebounds but acknowledged Centennial’s lockdown defense as the main building point for the tournament. 

“Coach Giles wants us to (play defense like that) every game, so it’s always nice to make Coach Giles happy.” McCain said. “That’s pretty much our goal every game. To do it this game was amazing to start the tournament off right.”