The Hillcrest High School boys’ basketball team showed again this weekend that it can play with almost anyone when it’s hitting shots.
But, despite the season debut of Jonah Hill in the post, the Hornets also showed how they are vulnerable against a team with size.
University of Kentucky signee Derek Willis, a versatile 6-foot-9 player, went for 27 points and eight rebounds in a come-from-behind 59-55 overtime win Saturday in the fifth-place game at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions.
Willis made two tying free throws late, and then sank four more in overtime for the Chargers (16-4).
Hillcrest (12-5) led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but was outscored 21-8 in the final 7 minutes.
“In the second half, we made them come get us, and we kept stalling the ball, which was probably our fault there,” said Hillcrest forward Roy Hardy, who tied team-high honors with 13 points. “But we’re going to take this into the rest of our season. We like these games because then we take this into our districts and then sectionals, hopefully, and have the experience that other teams might not have, and that can help us out in the long run.”
The Hornets were 10 of 13 (77 percent) from 3-point range in the game.
“I thought we played well for four quarters, actually, but that’s a really good basketball team we lost to,” Hillcrest coach John Schaefer said. “We got too complacent late, trying to take care of the basketball. We had to remind our guys to keep looking to score. Weren’t trying to stall, but the defense stretched us out.
“We focused on taking good shots, and we did that. But I thought we passed up too many late.”
Little Rock (Ark.) Hall 55, Plano (Texas) Prestonwood 39
Hall’s Bobby Portis showed off a lot of his arsenal that Arkansas Razorback fans can expect to see more of throughout his Fayetteville future.
The Arkansas signee, ranked No. 17 in the country by Rivals.com, felt he had something to prove after his team lost its first two games, totaling 33 points.
“I was kind of bothered a little bit, but before the game, I just kind of put the mindset in and sat by myself, I wasn’t even talking to anyone,” he said. “I was just listening to music by myself, and I was just focused out there and went to work.”
Portis showed a little bit of his entire arsenal in the seventh-place game, knocking down a 3-pointer, and scoring nearly every which way, including a couple highlight-reel dunks. He finished with 31 points and 15 rebounds.
He then signed autographs and posed for pictures with young fans for about 20 minutes to calls of “Woo Pig Sooie” from the Razorback faithful.
Prestonwood (7-15) actually led 8-2 early but it did not take long after that for Portis and Hall to get it going.
The loss ends a tough week for the Lions, who were without injured five-star recruits Julius Randle and Mickey Mitchell. Marquan Botley had 14 points for the Lions, who were outscored by a margin of 64 points in three losses.