Merry Roundball, Dec. 22

by Paul Honda on December 22, 2012

10:45 p.m. First, the ‘Iolani Classic All-Tournament Team.
Rodney Elliott, John Carroll (Md.)
Darrion Martin, Yates (Texas)
Kalei Zuttermeister, Kalaheo
Ishmail Wainright, Montrose Christian (Md.)
David Kadiri, Coolidge (D.C.)
R.J. Curington, Oak Hill (Va.)
Treyvaughn Newell, Coolidge
Troy Williams, Oak Hill
Jordan Swopshire, Montrose Christian
Sindarius Thornwell, Oak Hill
Stanford Robinson, Findlay
Sam Lockwood, La Lumiere (Ind.)
Gavin Schilling, Findlay
Jalen James, La Lumiere
Most outstanding player: Detrick Mostella, La Lumiere
Most valuable player: Nigel Williams-Goss, Findlay

Holy moley, it’s three days until Christmas. Watching a lot of basketball is not really a good excuse for procrastinating on gift buying.

But in the meantime, the ‘Iolani Classic was, indeed, classic. No. 1 Findlay Prep (Nev.) was as good as advertised, so to speak. The Pilots simply weathered the storm and outlasted a game, hustling La Lumiere (Ind.) squad 61-53 in tonight’s final.

Would Oak Hill (Va.) have given Findlay a tougher game? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on which Oak Hill team shows up. When they’re pressing and playing at a high intensity level, there aren’t a lot of teams that can stay a game with them. That’s what the Warriors showed tonight with a solid win over Montrose Christian (Md.) in the third-place game.

But Findlay is the best, even if they aren’t the most stylish. They simply work the ball inside-out, dominate the boards most nights, and let their guards lead the way. Nigel Williams-Goss was a true court leader tonight, hitting 9-for-10 from the foul line in the final quarter. All swishers. Simply clutch.

La Lumiere got solid efforts from their guards, Jalen James and Detrick Mostella (18 points apiece), but Findlay was prepared to contain them best they could. Mostella hardly got an open look from the arc after hitting six treys in the semifinal win over Oak Hill.

Like Williams-Goss said, La Lumiere belongs in the Top 5 nationally. Can an unranked team move up that high so quickly? The Lakers are 14-2 now with some great performances on their resume. Coach Alan Huss smiled when he heard what Williams-Goss said, but kept his perspective grounded.

“We’ll see,” he said.

It’s closing time at the Raider palace. More on the rest of the day (and night) later.

Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser

closing time

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