Gilbert vs. Mercer Island (WA) Game Recap
The first game of day 3 started with a must see match-up between big 6-foot-8 sophomore center Truman Moore from Gilbert HS versus 6-foot-8 senior center Joe Rasmussen from Mercer Island HS. Joe is the son of Blair Rasmussen from the Denver Nuggets (NBA), and is on his way to Seattle-Pacific University next year.
The game started as expected, as Truman immediately went to work down low and made a beautiful shot off the glass. Then 9-straight points by Mercer Island - led by Rasmussen who had 6 of the points.
Gilbert HS would find their groove with a small run of their own with 6-foot-3 senior guard Conner Helvig and 6-foot-4 senior guard Tanner Reber both with 3-pointers.
The game would be tied at 23 all at the half. Rasmussen had 9 points at the half for Mercer and Moore had 8 points for Gilbert. Rasmussen is a legit “stretch-4” that seems to be a steal for Seattle-Pacific.
The second half began with Rasmussen lighting it up with 8 points in a row and one deep 3-ball. Then Moore scored five-straight for himself, but didn't score for the remainder of the game. The game became a defensive grind, which was in Mercer's favor as they would build a 6-point lead with 8 minutes left to play. Mercer Island seemed to have possibly three different college-level players at some level and was wearing down Gilbert.
The game came down to two possessions for both teams. Gilbert made two turnovers and Mercer converted 5 points on those possessions. Many missed opportunities for Gilbert down the stretch led to them losing the game, 50 to 45, in a defensive struggle.
Mercer’s “big-3” had 40 of their 50 points - led by Rasmussen’s game-high 23 points. TrumanMoore had a team-high 13 points and Conner Helvig had 11 for Gilbert in the losing effort.
Desert Vista vs Hoover (San Diego) Game Recap
The second game of the day saw Desert Vista take on Hoover HS from San Diego, CA. Hoover would go up quickly with 6-straight points, but 6-foot-3 senior guard Avery Brunson would catch fire and score his team's first 12 points of the game. The problem for Desert Vista, is that no one on the team had any points besides Brunson, until 6 minutes to go in the half.
Desert Vista would go down 34 to 23 at the half. Brunson had 14 points for DV and 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Jordan Alexander had 8 points for Hoover.
The second half began and DV cames out on a mission, as they would go on a 17 to 9 run, led by the play of 6-foot-3 senior SG Kyle Pittman and 5-foot-10 senior PG Greg Carter - bringing down the lead to only 3 points, for a 43 to 40 Hoover lead.
The game lead would exchange between teams, with Hoover taking a 53 to 50 lead with only 6 minutes to go in the game. Hoover's Alexander would begin to dominate inside and out. Some sloppy play for DV on a few possessions would give Hoover the confidence they would need to win the game with only 2 minutes left and a 6-point lead.
The last 2-minutes of the game would be exciting as Desert Vista 5-foot-6 senior guard Kameron Love would hit a deep 3-ball to cut it to a 3-point margin, but Hoover's Alexander would score a bucket to make it a 5-point game. Then a quick two by DV's Greg Carter, and a steal and a lay-up by 6-foot-1 junior guard John Jesse-Dixon, had the DV crowd going crazy - only down by 1 point with a 62 to 61 Hoover lead with 6 seconds left in the game.
DV would foul Hoover immediately, and they would only make 1 of 2 free throws. Greg Carter would get the ball and fly up the court, then stop at the elbow from the free-throw line to attempt to tie it up and send the game into overtime, but Carter would miss the shot attempt and hit the front iron, as DV would lose 63 to 61. It was a great comeback for DV and they showed a lot of fight in the loss.
Hoover was led by Jordan Alexander with 23 points and 8 rebounds. DV was led by Brunson with 20 points. Greg Carter and Kyle Pittman both had 9 points each in the loss.
Red Mountain HS vs Lexington HS (South Carolina) Game Recap
The third game of the day had in-state Red Mountain facing Lexington from South Carolina. This game was expected to be a close game, since both teams have a very good guard prospect. 6-foot-4 senior guard Travis Meeker (Northern Arizona signee) for Red Mountain HS and 6-foot-4 senior Nygel Gates from Lexington, who had been outstanding so far in the tourney.
Lexington would start the game out well with an 11 to 2 lead, which was led by Gates with 4 points.
Finally, Red Mountain would show some fight with 5-foot-9 freshman PG Desi Ethridge coming in off the bench and converting an “and-1” to make it an 11 to 5 Lexington lead. Meeker would finally get it going after being scoreless for 10 minutes. He would score 8 points to close out the half.
Neither team would gain an advantage early, as Lexington would take a 32 to 26 lead, with Gates scoring 7 points for Lexington.
The second half started off extremely slow for both teams, as it became a defensive struggle. In this tournament, Red Mountain had been looking for another scorer to help out Meeker. Enter 5-foot-8 junior PG Colten Ploud, who scored 6-straight points in a nice run for Red Mountain.
The game had been going back and forth, until it started heating up with 2 minutes left to go with a 55 to 52 lead for Red Mountain. Then Lexington would hit two 3-pointers in a row to take a 58 to 55 lead with one minute left in the game.
Travis Meeker would step up his game, and hit a deep 3-ball, all the way from Scottsdale, to tie it up at 58 all with 20 seconds left. Lexington would take the ball out and make an unforced turnover for Red Mountain - getting a chance to win it all with 10 seconds left to play. The last play for Red Mountain was kind of lucky, as Colten Ploud made a lay-up with a lucky bounce on the rim at the buzzer to pull off a much needed win for Red Mountain HS.
Meeker finished with a game-high 17 points, and Ploud had 10 points in the win. Nygel Gates finished with 12 points for his Lexington team.
Colten Ploud really played well in the second half, and hopefully it will help Meeker and the team moving forward.