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Lehigh Valley Hoop Group Showcase Norristown vs. Parkland
Tuesday, 03 February 2009

By Bill Martin
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The Sunday before last I took a drive up to Parkland High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania to watch a number of talented teams participate in the Lehigh Valley Hoop Group Showcase.

After watching the previous two games, it was time for Norristown Area High School to take on home team Parkland High School.

With the great finish in the St. Benedict’s/McNamara game I did not think there was any way that this game would be as entertaining.  It was however every bit as good and might have had an even crazier ending.

These two teams played essentially to a draw in the first 2 quarters, but Norristown finally built up a 5 point lead going into the fourth quarter.  This lead was erased almost immediately in the fourth as Parkland caught fire and actually went up by 10, midway through the quarter.  This is when Khalif Wyatt really stepped up his play and shot his team back into the game.

With just under 30 seconds remaining in the contest Norristown found themselves only down one point.  On the next Parkland inbounds play Norristown guard Lorenzo Christmas stole the inbounds pass and hit a layup to put Norristown up one with 25 seconds remaining. 

Wyatt would hit two free throws to put them up by 3 but then he committed a bad foul, which sent Parkland to the line and they converted both attempts.  On Norristown’s ensuing inbounds play they threw the ball away and Parkland recovered it.  Only down one point and with possession, Parkland had a chance to win the game but could not get their final shot attempts to fall though.  Norristown won by the final score of 67-66.

Here are the player evaluations from this exciting contest.

Norristown

Khalif Wyatt (2009, 6-2 PG/SG) committed to Temple
Khalif struggled with his jump shot early in the game missing 3 consecutive shots from behind the arc.  He got stripped on another possession and also missed a running jumper in the lane.  Khalif did finally start to find his range, hitting a pull up jumper after crossing his man over and followed that up by hitting a three.  Khalif was contributing in other ways when his jumper was not falling.  Off the dribble he was getting into the lane and making great passes as well as scoring around the hoop.  Down 10 in the fourth quarter Khalif really turned it on and showed once again that he is an incredibly clutch player.  He scored on four straight possessions going 2 for 2 from the free throw line and 3 for 3 from behind the arc, cutting the 10 point lead down to 1.  After one of his teammates scored to take the lead, Khalif hit another 2 free throws to put his team up 3.  It was amazing to see Khalif elevate his play with the game slipping away.  He finished with 30 points and was named game MVP.

Parkland

Jon Ward (2009, 6-9 PF/C)
This was not a great game for Jon.  He rebounded the ball fairly well but struggled scoring around the hoop.  Jaleel Clark was much more of a force down low than Jon in this one.

Jaleel Clark (2009, 6-4 SF) committed to Missouri (football)
While Jaleel will be continuing his college career on the gridiron at Missouri, he is also a very talented the basketball player.  Jaleel showed he could play out on the wing or battle inside.  He was very strong on the boards and was able to score after grabbing offensive rebounds.  Jaleel also scored from the post, in traffic and right over defenders.  As far as wing skills go, Jaleel knocked down a three pointer and looked comfortable driving to the hoop.  Overall Jaleel is just a talented athlete and surely would have had a bright future on the basketball court had he decided to go that route.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 March 2009 )
 
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