By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Parkview Vikings want to prove themselves among the nation’s best this weekend. They hope the results can match the memories.
In the words of their senior center…
“It’s super dope,” said Parkview’s Latre Morrison. “It’s always fun to play on the big stage. It’s always fun to play in front of the people. We’re trying to show out for Springfield and do good here.”
Parkview battled back from an early 14-point deficit, but Memphis East prevailed 55-41 in Thursday’s Tournament of Champions quarterfinal at JQH Arena.
Memphis East senior center James Wiseman led all players with 21 points and 19 rebounds. He’s ranked by most recruiting services as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2019.
“It’s a great environment here,” Wiseman said. “I had fun. Our team came out with a win, so that’s the great thing.”
Wiseman had seven of Memphis East’s 10 dunks. The 7-footer played 27 minutes and shot 9-for-19 from the field overall.
Teammate Malcolm Dandridge, who has also signed to play at Memphis, added three dunks and finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
“Watching (Wiseman), nothing surprises me,” said Memphis East coach Jevonte Holmes. “I see it all – in practice and all the things he does in a game.”
Memphis East, ranked No. 29 nationally in the Fab 50, jumped out to a 14-0 lead. The Mustangs led 35-14 by halftime.
“We started out pretty hot… our guys were ready,” Holmes said. “Second half, we got out of it mentally. I’ll take the blame for that.”
Parkview fought back in the second half. The Vikings outscored Memphis East 15-5 in the third quarter, and twice drew within nine points in the fourth.
Parkview forced Memphis East into nine turnovers in the third quarter.
Junior Nakai Johnson led Parkview (9-7 overall) with 10 points.
“I think we earned some respect for Parkview,” said Parkview guard Dontae Taylor, who had six points and four assists. “(Memphis East) were ranked, what, No. 29 in the nation? We’re not ranked, but we still kept up with them… We just didn’t get to finish it.”
Parkview had 17 turnovers, 11 of which came in the first half. The Vikings shot 15-for-40 overall and were out-rebounded 37-20.
“I was extremely proud of the way we battled back, especially after the slow start,” said Parkview coach Landon Cornish. “Their pressure was really, really good. You don’t see that every day.
“Once we settled into that and realized we need to make some more cuts, handle the ball and do a couple of better things, we had a couple of good quarters that brought us back in. We never quit and kept fighting.”
Parkview faces Rainier Beach (Wa.) at 4:30 p.m. in Friday’s consolation round. Memphis East takes on Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) at 8 p.m. in the first of two semifinal games.
Memphis East 55, Parkview 41
Parkview 6 8 15 12 — 41
Memphis East 16 19 5 15 — 55
Parkview – Nakai Johnson 10, Latre Morrison 9, Anthony Green 7, Dontae Taylor 6, Jon Franklin 3, Xzameion Beal 3, Jevin Huddleston 2, Javeo Tolliver 1
Memphis East – James Wiseman 21, Malcolm Dandridge 13, Antonio Thomas 7, Nautical Harwell 4, Isaiah Cathey 3, Derrei Merriweather 3, Markese Washington 2, Kylan Washington 2
Sunrise runs past Rainier Beach
Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) was dominant in transition and around the rim in a 66-45 quarterfinal win over Rainier Beach (Wa.).
Nfaly Dante, a top-10 recruit in the Class of 2020, led SCA with 18 points plus five rebounds. He was six-for-six from the field and went six-for-eight at the free throw line.
The Buffaloes outscored Rainier Beach 38-23 in the second half.
Dante will go head-to-head with Memphis East 7-footer James Wiseman, the top recruit in the Class of 2019, at 8 p.m. in Friday’s semifinal round.
SCA had a 46-16 edge in points in the paint. The Buffaloes also scored 21 points off 16 Rainier Beach turnovers.
Sunrise Christian Academy 66, Rainier Beach 45
Sunrise 13 15 14 24 —- 66
Rainier 15 7 6 17 — 45
Sunrise – Nfaly Dante 18, Austin Crowley 15, Grant Sherfield 13, Noel Coleman 8, Jordan Turner 4, Gethro Muscadin 4, Kenny Pohto 2, Davonte Jennings 2
Rainier – MarJon Beauchamp 11, Stevie Smith 8, Jamon Kemp 8, Micah Monroe 5, Julien Agusto 4, Kenny Curtis 3, Lemeul Armstrong 2, Naysean Clemente 2, Javion Garrett 2