Crush In The Valley: Session 1
By Jordan Kendall, Sunday, Jan 28, 2018 9:56 PM
American Canyon High School in Vallejo, California plays host to The Grind Session's Crush In The Valley event this weekend. It features six Grind Session teams, which play two games a piece over a two-day period, as well as eight California high school teams that all play one game a piece. Session one features a mix of both Grind Session and California high school teams, and names such as Jalen Green, Charles Bassey, Kyree Walker, and Jordan Brown helped pack the house for a sellout event. Grind Session teams participating in Crush In The Valley event include Bella Vista Prep, Trinity International, Hillcrest Prep, Balboa School, Prolific Prep, and Aspire Academy. The remaining teams in the event are Las Lomas, American Canyon, Stuart Hall, Sacramento, Salesian, San Joaquin, Bishop O'Dowd, and Clark; all of which are high schools located in California. Here's a recap of how the games from session one played out:
Bella Vista Prep (AZ) 91 vs. Trinity International (NV) 66
Trinity International entered the game with a short bench, only dressing seven players, but were able to hang around in the first half, only trailing by three at the break. Senior guard Deon Stroud got off to a quick start, scoring 12 points in the first half for Trinity International, but Bella Vista Prep junior guard led all scorers with 14. Armstrong's big first half scoring output helped his team to a 35-32 lead at the end of the period, and they continued to grow that lead throughout the second half. Junior point guard Julian Dozier Jr. got hot from behind the arc on his way to a 15-point performance and Armstrong continued his scoring rampage on their way to a 91-66 victory. The lack of depth on Trinity International's bench showed in the second half, as they ran out of gas late and couldn't outlast the fresh legs of Bella Vista Prep. Armstrong finished with 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Dozier Jr. chipped in 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Trinity International was led by Deon Stroud with 20 points and 3 assists, and sophomore guard Daishen Nix added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals.
Las Lomas (CA) 79 vs. American Canyon (CA) 51
After one quarter in this matchup, Las Lomas jumped out to an early lead behind the long-range shooting of Jason Holman, and had an 18-11 advantage. Holman continued his hot start in the second quarter and finished the half with 11 points on three of four shooting behind the arc. Nathan Robinson also started to heat up for Las Lomas, as they grew their lead to 43-20. Holman and Las Lomas were able to have the same success in the second half, as he scored 9 more points on their way 63-37 lead heading into the fourth. Las Lomas went on to win the game 79-51, behind Holman's 20 points on six of ten shooting from three-point range, and Nathan Robinson added 23 points of his own. Malik Ghidon led American Canyon with 20 points and 8 rebounds, while John Wade III chipped in 13 points and 5 assists.
Stuart Hall (CA) 65 vs. Sacramento (CA) 62
In a game that would take an overtime period to decide, both teams battled back and forth before Stuart Hall pulled away with seconds remaining in the game. At the end of the first quarter, Stuart Hall had gained control of a four-point lead, as they were beating Sacramento 15-11. That was led by Jay Henry Ryan's 7-point effort in the first quarter, and he chipped in four more in the second quarter, as he helped Stuart Hall to a 32-27 lead at the half. Miles Amos also scored well for Stuart Hall in the first half, scoring 9 points at the break. Both teams held their ground in the third quarter, but Sacramento was able to dwindle down Stuart Hall's lead to four points heading into the fourth. They made the necessary adjustments in the final period of play, as they were able to tie the game up late and force overtime. That effort would be diminished in the extra period, as Stuart Hall would gain a five-point lead with a minute remaining that would push them to victory. Amos finished with 21 points and 4 rebounds for Stuart Hall, while Sacramento was led by Izayah Talmadge who had 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Hillcrest Prep (AZ) 80 vs. Balboa School (CA) 55
Hillcrest Prep was looking for revenge against Balboa School after losing to them at The Grind Session's event in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this season. Hillcrest Prep jumped out to a 20-8 lead midway through the first half and never looked back on their way to a 37-26 lead at the half. That quick start was paced by senior point guard Demarius Jacobs's 10 points and sophomore guard Kyree Walker's 7. As the teams returned to the floor in the second half, Hillcrest Prep started to pull away from Balboa School on the way to a 25-point victory. Walker scored 15 second half points, including a pair of dunks down the stretch that helped his team solidify the victory. He finished with 22 points and 4 rebounds in an 80-55. Balboa School received strong offensive outputs from Christian Wilson and Mojus Mojus, but it would ultimately not be enough. Wilson finished the game with 8 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Mojus added 10 points of his own.
Salesian (CA) 86 vs. San Joaquin (CA) 74
After one quarter of play in this one, Salesian held a 17-point lead over San Joaquin, heading into the second quarter with a 25-8 lead. Neither team budged in the second quarter, as San Joaquin was only able to pull within 15 points of Salesian by halftime. Salesian senior guard James Akinjo got hot from three-point range and finished the half with 15 points, while also dishing out 2 assists. San Joaquin's sophomore forward Jalen Green held all the buzz heading into this matchup, but Salesian did a great job of containing him throughout the game on their way to victory. By the end of the third quarter Salesian had grown their lead to 21 points, beating their opponents 66-45 heading into the final period. Akinjo's 27-point effort was a major piece in helping his team to an 86-74 win. Tejon Sawyer also contributed 25 points and 6 rebounds for Salesian. Green finished the game with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists, while being a driving force in a late comeback push that ultimately fell short. Jonah Geron added 24 points for San Joaquin, and Dameane Douglas finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
Prolific Prep (CA) 71 vs. Aspire Academy (KY) 51
In the last game to feature members of The Grind Session's core teams, Prolific Prep was able to gain early control and would build on that throughout the game. They held a 33-25 lead at the half behind 13 points from sophomore guard Nimari Burnett. Aspire Academy received the majority of their first half points from junior center Charles Bassey, who had 13 of his team's 25 first half points, as well as grabbing 4 rebounds in the period. Aspire Academy looked to make adjustments in the second half, but Prolific Prep's athleticism became too much for them to handle. Prolific Prep was able to get out in transition and started a dunk fest in the second half, which helped them to a 71-51 win. Senior guard Jeenethan Williams was the leading scorer for Prolific Prep with 22 points, while Burnett had 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists. Aspire Academy was led by Bassey's 25-point effort, and he also contributed 4 rebounds in the loss.
Bishop O'Dowd (CA) 65 vs. Clark (CA) 59
This was the final game of session 1 of Crush In The Valley, and both teams provided an exciting game for fans to watch, as they traded leads until the final buzzer when Bishop O'Dowd was able to pull away with the six-point win. At the end of one quarter, Bishop O'Dowd jumped out to 20-15 lead behind a nice early scoring output from Elijah Hardy, who had 7 points. As the second quarter came to an end, both teams were deadlocked at 30 points a piece before a layup at the buzzer gave Bishop O'Dowd a two-point lead at the half. Nassem Gaskin was a major part of that, finishing the half with 10 points for Bishop O'Dowd. The third quarter was much of the same action, as Clark pulled to within one point of Bishop O'Dowd by the end of the period, getting 12 points from Antwon Jackson entering the final quarter of play. Clark was finally able to take the lead with 1:30 remaining in the game, but Bishop O'Dowd responded with an and-one basket from Gaskin with 42 seconds remaining, which would be enough to push them to victory. They would go on to win 65-59. Gaskin finished with 25 points and 6 rebounds for Bishop O'Dowd, while Hardy added 20 points and 6 assists. Clark's effort was led by Greg Foster Jr., who finished the game with 13 points.