By JESSIE BREWER
The Marshall County Hoop Fest starts tonight and continues through Sunday. Here’s a look at the matchups for Saturday.
Dec. 3 Session 3
10:00am McCracken County (KY) v Bowling Green (KY)
MC – The Mustangs return three of last season’s key players, Tyce Daniel (2017, with football offers), Will Sivills (2017), and Nathan Stonecipher (2018), and are looking to compete in for the Region 1 title this year. Coach Brower will be looking to fill two open starting spots, junior Rook Ellington (Kentucky baseball commit) could fill one of them.
BG – Bowling Green comes into this season as the state runners-up and will look to make another deep run in this season’s tournament. The talented Purples return many seniors, including Austin Peay signee Terry Taylor. Seniors Kyran Jones, Deangelo Wilson, and Jamale Carothers (Navy football commit) will all be key in the Purples returning to the state championship game
11:30am Marshall County (KY) v Henderson County (KY) girls
MC – The Lady Marshals will look to seniors Lexee Miller (Bethel (NAIA) softball commit), who provides a strong defensive presence, and Paige Henson, who’s athleticism proves to be valuable on both ends of the floor, to be leaders. Junior Chloe Kerrick and sophomores Tera Colson and Lorin Powell will also provide valuable minutes for the team.
HC – The Lady Colonels are coming off of four straight Sweet 16 appearances and have potential to make it five this season. They return many key players including 6’0” center Alisha Owens and forward Emma Lander. Guards Breanna Chester and Jalee Carter return to make up two pieces of the backcourt.
1:00pm Marshall County (KY) v Hopkinsville (KY)
MC – Marshall also returns junior big men Aaron Reed and Matt French, both will be counted on to provide a major presence on both ends of the court. Senior Houston Harvey and sophomore Lucas Nichols, both with varsity experience, will play an expanded role on this team in providing valuable minutes.
Hop – Hopkinsville, always a threat in Region 2, hope to get back to the state tournament after falling just short of that goal last season. They will be led by senior guard CJ Henagan and juniors Jalen Johnson and Shorty Cager. Johnson holds basketball offers from Samford and WKU, but has begun to draw interests in football.
Dec. 3 Session 4
3:30pm Paul Laurence Dunbar (KY) v Jemison (AL)
PLD – The reigning Kentucky State Champions look to defend their title with many returning seniors. The Bulldogs are led by Mr. Basketball candidate Taveion Hollingsworth (WKU signee, 2017). However, they will be missing senior center Dontell Brown due to a torn ACL, Kaelen Whiteside and Star Ifeacho could fill that void.
Jem – Jemison is loaded with eight seniors, a list that includes John Petty (No. 25, ESPN), a player who does it all. Petty decided to stay in his home state for college and committed to Alabama during halftime of Jemison’s home opener. Petty is the reigning Alabama Mr. Basketball and looks to help Jemison (formerly J.O. Johnson) defend their state title. The Jaguars roster also includes forward Devonte Lanier, a senior who is deciding between Alabama and Middle Tennesse. Senior point guard Brandon Crosby will run the offense for Jemison with a backcourt that includes top sophomore guard Brandon Nicholas.
5:00pm Althoff Catholic (IL) v Curie (IL)
AC – The Crusaders returning a slew of talented seniors are looking to defend their Class 3A State Championship. They are led by top guard Jordan Goodwin (No. 48, 247Sports) who is signed with St. Louis. The roster also includes sharpshooter Marvin Bateman, Edwyn Brown, CJ Coldon, and Bryson Strong. Brown and Coldon both hold numerous football offers and Strong is committed to SIU for football.
Cur – Curie, always a talented team that fights to the end, is led by senior guard Elijah Joiner, who has signed with Tulsa. The Condors roster also features the Martin brothers, Treavon and Tyree, who are junior forwards, both with offers to Tulsa and UIC.
6:30pm Oak Hill Academy (VA) v The Tech Academy (CAN)
OHA – The Warriors feature a talented frontcourt, which returns junior Kenny Nwuba (offers include Maryland, VA Tech…, No. 39, ESPN). New to the team this year are elite senior Billy Preston (Kansas commit, No. 8, Rivals) and no. 20 ranked (ESPN) junior David McCormack, who has offers from nearly every major program in the country. Freshman Josh Hemmings is another player to keep watch of this season.
TTA – Senior Shakwon Barrett returns back home to Canada to play for the Titans, and is a guard who handles the ball well and scores when he wants. He looks to build on his rising stock following this year’s summer play. The Titans also include Jahmal Abbey-Wright and Tristan Sadler, two quickly developing seniors.
8:00pm Hillcrest Prep (AZ) v Hamilton Heights Christian (TN)
HP – The Bruins roster includes a slew of seniors who hold D-I offers: Alfred Hollins (Arizona St., LSU, VA Tech…), Shamiel Stevenson (USC, VCU…), and Virshon Cotton (Robert Morris, So. Utah…). Hillcrest also features highly touted guard Josh Green, who hails from Sydney, Australia. Green (No. 39, Scout) is able to run the floor and easily create his own shot, his offer list includes California, UT-Martin, UNLV, and Utah State.
HHC – The Hawks also return seniors Therren Shelton-Szmidt, a Middle Tennessee signee, and CJ Massengill, a point guard who has drawn attention from D-II schools. Hamilton Heights is a talented team with a very deep bench comprised of players that already have D-I offers: junior Kaosi Ezeagu (CS Fullerton, St. Bonaventure), Issa Samake (2019, Iowa St.), and Mahamadou Diawara (2019, VCU).