2016-17 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 7, 2017 -- The middle child sometimes gets overlooked, but that wasn’t the case for the middle game on Saturday. The encounter featured the nation’s No. 1 team in La Lumiere (IN) and No. 2 Findlay Prep (NV).
The game lived up to its billing for much of the afternoon, but eventually La Lu’s size and depth on the interior was too much for the previously unbeaten Pilots. The Lakers used a decisive 46-29 advantage on the boards and 24 points and 17 rebounds from Michigan State signee Jaren Jackson Jr. to help La Lumiere stay unbeaten with a (69-54) victory. Jackson Jr. eventually was awarded MVP honors.
Jackson Jr. scored eight points in the 1st quarter as he was much more aggressive than he showed in Friday’s win. Jackson, the son of former NBA player Jaren Jackson Sr., is really lethal when he can swoop to his left hand in the paint.
Kentucky signee Paul Washington Jr. knocked down two treys in the opening quarter and looked much more comfortable at the three-spot. Washington’s six points helped Findlay Prep secure a tie at the end of eight minutes.
The 2nd quarter saw the Lakers erase the tie as Michigan signee Jordan Poole and talented junior Kevin Zhang connected on two treys apiece, and junior guard Grant Beucler added another. La Lu held a 34-28 advantage at the break.
The game’s 3rd quarter was where the Lakers started to flex their muscles behind nine points from highly sought after senior Brian Bowen. The 6-foot-8 wing talent had just four points in the 1st half, but delivered over the ensuing 16 minutes. Jackson would drill a triple and Bowen would convert a conventional three-point play giving La Lu its biggest lead at 50-33.
The Pilots stopped the run with an emphatic one-handed facial from Washington followed by a left wing three-ball from DePaul signee Justin Roberts. The Indiana-native would connect on another bonus ball to close out the quarter, but his squad still trailed 54-43.
The 4th quarter belonged to Jackson as the 6-foot-11 senior finished what he started. The Park Tudor High School (IN) transfer closed the quarter with nine more counters.
Bowen put a bow on the victory with a windmill dunk in the closing moments and sophomore guard Tyger Campbell (7 points/6 assists) would spike the ball off the floor directly in front of Roberts as the horn sounded.
Jackson’s top support was Bowen with 15 points and six rebounds.
Washington Jr. and Roberts paced Findlay Prep with 16 points apiece and the future Kentucky Wildcat chipped in six rebounds. Active 6-foot-6 Lamine Diane had 12 points and seven rebounds finishing off a solid weekend for the unsigned senior.
Stat of the Game:
La Lumiere held the Pilots to just 8-of-31 (26 percent) shooting in the 2nd half.