By Van Williams
Classic Media Director
For as good as the Heritage Christian Warriors of Northridge, California looked on offense, they were devastatingly handsome on defense. If looks could kill type pretty.
Heritage executed a deadly defensive effort that sucked the life out of the Ketchikan Kings on its way to posting a 66-17 blowout victory on Day 1 of the Alaska Airlines Classic at West High.
Seven Bahati and Tae Simmons provided much of the offense – and highlights.
Bahati, a 6-foot-4 high riser, scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made four steals. The first dunk came in the first minute of the game and the second one was a two-handed tomahawk that made it 37-10 and put an exclamation point on the tale of two teams.
Simmons, a 15-year-old 6-foot-6 man child, cashed in for 15 points, nine rebounds and a two-handed rim rattler early in the third quarter. On one play, he picked off a pass like a defensive back and dribbled coast-to-coast before skying in for a layup.
Heritage looked like a track team the way its players pushed the ball up the court, moving with speed and precision. The Warriors (14-6) shot 54 percent from the field and made 5-of-12 3-pointers, including Delan Grant’s triple to beat the buzzer and make the score 40-10 at halftime.
The Californians, it seemed, could do anything. The only thing that slowed them down was a running clock used in the fourth quarter as the game reached the mercy rule.
Ketchikan was outmatched, sure, but they don’t make teams in Alaska like Heritage. You can’t prepare for that type of awesome athleticism.
The game had shades of Oak Hill-Juneau at the 1991 Classic. That Oak Hill team featured future NBA player Jeff McInnis and a host of NCAA Division I signees. Heritage gives off the same vibe.
If the Ketchikan players ever wondered what it would be like to face their shadow, they found out against Heritage. The Warriors stuck to the Kings like glue, making it difficult to pass the ball, let alone shoot it.
When Marcus Stockhausen swished a 3-pointer to make it 24-8 it came off a series of beautiful passes. Ketchikan moves the ball well but looked stuck in mud against this California team.
The Kings never quit. They never stopped trying to make things happen. Even down 65-16, you had Stockhausen diving on the court for a loose ball. JJ Parker is a nice player who led the team in scoring with seven points. Jonathan Scoblic made his team’s only free throw at the buzzer.
Heritage 18 22 17 9 – 66
Ketchikan 5 5 4 3 – 17
HERITAGE – Bahati 20, Grant 7, Perry 2, Fisher 3, Johnson 5, O’Connor 4, Goree 8, Simmons 15, Robinson 0, Tweeneboah 1.
KETCHIKAN – J. Lorenzo 2, Zink 0, Parker 7, Kleinschmidt 0, Massin 0, Rhoads 2, Secrest 0, Dundas 2, R. Lorenzo 0, Scoblic 1, Stockhausen 3, Coronel 0.