It truly was a matchup of David versus Goliath.
Class AA Haywood High took on Chicago powerhouse Simeon Friday night in the Penny Hardaway Hoops Fest.
But unlike the classic story from the Bible, there were no rocks around for the Tomcats to take down the mighty giant.
Simeon came out and scored the first 15 points on their way to a 66-41 win over the Tomcats Friday night in Brownsville.
Tomcats head coach Kendall Dancy said playing a team of that caliber is a good way to gauge where his program is at and more importantly, what they need to improve on to be at the level they want to be year in and year out.
“To play a team that is used to being on a big stage, for my kids, this was a huge stage,” Dancy said. “For them (Simeon), it’s a backyard game.
“You can’t get any more elite than playing on ESPN in front of the masses. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us learn and grow and we’ll go back to the drawing board and see what we need to work on.”
Most fans would have started filing out the door 19-3 after the first eight minutes or even when the score was 36-17. But the Tomcat faithful stuck around cheering every moral victory from the home team Friday night.
“I appreciate the support we have from the community,” Dancy said. “Haywood has a rich tradition of basketball, and I can’t thank the fans enough for sticking around.
“I wish we would have given them a better showing, but we’ll go back to the drawing board and try again.”
Chicago Whitney Young 65, Lexington 45
Lexington kept pace with Whitney Young for the first 16 minutes, heading into the halftime break knotted up with the other team from the Windy City before the Dolphins used a 26-5 third quarter to break the game open in the early game Friday night in Brownsville.
“Our guys came out with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity and kind of showed we belonged for a while,” Tigers head coach Andrew Hicks said. “They made some great adjustments to what we were trying to do, and we weren’t able to counter with some of the things they were doing.
“I think our guys got a little fatigued. We had a great battle last night with Fayette-Ware. In the first half it didn’t show because of adrenaline, but the second half it caught up to us.”
Josh Lemons, 425-9636