In the second exciting match-up of the evening on Thursday @ The Hoop Hall West event, two more of our elite teams in the state would face off in another exciting contest. Desert Mountain High School, our #4 ranked team in the state overall, would face off with Notre Dame Prep, our #5 overall team in the state overall. Desert Mountain was looking to debut their new high school season, while Notre Dame Prep had already knocked off St. Mary's High School in their season debut, and on the road in fine fashion.
Notre Dame Prep would be looking to defeat another one of the state's elite teams early in the season, but unfortunately for Notre Dame Prep, they would lose the services of 6-foot sharp-shooting junior guard Brennan Peterson in this match-up. Peterson would suffer a knee injury in the first half of the win over St. Mary's, after he would start the game on fire. Without Peterson in the lineup, the Notre Dame Prep team would have to adjust - placing talented 6-foot-3 junior guard Bryce Quinet at the point position. But Notre Dame Prep did have the full services of 6-foot-4 senior stud Anthony Batson (Rice University signee) in this contest. Batson would put his Superman cape on in this game, and explode for a very dominant performance on the evening - giving Notre Dame Prep Head Coach Luke DallaRiva and his coaching staff an excellent chance to win this game.
On the other end of the floor, Notre Dame Prep was facing the state's top young duo, "The House Twins." Desert Mountain's super sophomore guard tandem of Kaden and Kalek House, combined with the new addition of "The Bardwell Twins," freshman guards Jabron and Javon Bardwell and also 6-foot-9 junior post Jaylon Johnson, and this would make for a very interesting contest.
Desert Mountain 6-foot-3 sophomore high-scoring phenom Kaden House was among the nation's leading scorers last season, and he would get right back to it in this game - finishing with a game-high 9 points after the first period, and leading his team to a 24-14 lead.
In the second quarter, it would quickly become evident that Kaden House and Notre Dame Prep's Anthony Batson would be heading for a big shootout and two strong performances. The two competitors would face off during the second period, on a couple of occasions - both talking to one another and competing hard. Despite's Batson's strong play, Desert Mountain would take a nice 47-36 lead into the half, behind 22 first half points from Kaden House. Batson would finish with a team-high 18 points in the first half, which included a couple strong dunks in traffic.
House and Batson would both continue to lead their respective teams in the third period, with both performers giving the fans what they desired. Desert Mountain would hold on to a narrow 59-57 lead after the third period, while House would go into the fourth period with 30 points, and Batson posting 31 points heading into the game's final quarter.
Both teams would battle hard down the stretch in the fourth, trading big baskets consistently. Notre Dame Prep's athletic 6-foot-3 junior Will Feagles would come up big late for his team, as he would finish a strong two-handed dunk over Jaelon Johnson on the baseline with 4 minutes remaining, before another layup by Feagles would tie the contest at 72 all late. The game would however finish with overtime, as both teams would struggle to take the lead as regulation concluded.
In overtime, Feagle would come up big again, as he would hit a three-pointer in transition to push Notre Dame Prep ahead 77-72. After another basket inside by Batson, Desert Mountain would storm back again late. After a steal and a basket by Kaden House with :40 seconds left to play, which would result in a potential three-point play, House would miss the free-throw, but Desert Mountain would take a 80-79 lead. Notre Dame Prep would struggle to get the ball in the hands of Batson late, and Desert Mountain would finish off a 83-81 victory.
Kaden House would pour in a team-high 35 points and 12 rebounds in the win, while Javon Bardwell would finish with 19 points. Kalek House would also have 19 points in the win. Notre Dame Prep's Batson would finish with an impressive performance, as he poured in a game-high 39 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. Batson had a strong spring and summer, and proved in this contest that Rice is getting an absolute steal next season. Bryce Quinet would finish with 15 points also for Notre Dame Prep.
Both teams proved again that this will be a great season, and also that Notre Dame Prep is a force to be reckoned with, especially when they get Brennan Peterson back later this month.