HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Oak Hill Academy out of Mouth of Wilson, Va., rode strong performances from Cam Thomas and Darius Maddox to defeat Covington Catholic High School 50-38 in Game 1 of the 2019 Griffin Elite Prep School Classic on Saturday afternoon at the BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.
Thomas, who has already signed to play for the LSU Tigers next season, scored the majority of his 17 points at the charity stripe where he was 10-for-10 on the day. Thomas was just 3-for-12 from the field including 1-for-4 from behind the three-point arc, but he did make up for it defensively with six steals.
Maddox, a Virginia Tech Hokies signee, had the best performance for Coach Steve Smith’s team that is ranked 24th in the country according to the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 Writers’ Poll. Maddox went 6-for-11 from the field including 2-for-4 from behind the three-point arc.
Covington Catholic (0-2), who is a favorite to win the 9th Region basketball tournament also to be held at the BB& T Arena, was paced by Grant Disken’s 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 2-for-5 from three-point land. Disken added three assists, two rebounds and a steal for Scott Ruthsatz’s Colonels.
On a day where many were focused on Covington Catholic’s Class 5A state football game against Frederick Douglass, the basketball team came out fighting hard against the perennial national power.
Covington Catholic’s Chandler Starks proved to be a force to be reckoned with on the boards for years to come as the freshman grabbed a game-high 13 boards (four offensive and nine defensive). Starks showed a poise and fighter’s attitude against the Warriors that will prove to be beneficial as he may not see that level of collective talent again the rest of the season.
The Colonels led by as many as five with 3:20 to go in the first quarter and could never pull away from the Warriors, but the team played with a spirit that didn’t die as their school motto says.
It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter before the Warriors were able to pull away after the Colonels pulled to within 34-31 at the end of the third quarter.
Two things that Covington Catholic will need to clean up as the season marches on are the turnovers and free-throw shooting. The Colonels committed 19 turnovers and shot just 4-for-8 from the charity stripe.
KK Robinson, who has committed to the University of Arkansas, tallied a game-high seven steals for the Warriors to go along with his nine points.
Neil Green added eight points and four rebounds for the Colonels who will next face a St. Henry District High School squad that is off to a hot start with a pair of wins over 9th Region foes Cooper (51-33) and Conner (52-47). Tipoff for the Tues., Dec. 10 contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Please note all game photos are courtesy of Bob & Ted Jackson.