By Van Williams
Classic Media Director
Jordan Irving’s putback inside the final minute proved to be the difference for the Higley Knights of Gilbert, Arizona as they held off Ketchikan 63-60 on Day 2 of the Alaska Airlines Classic at West High.
Irving’s offensive rebound and score put Higley up 61-59. Later, with his team clinging to 61-60 lead with 9.1 seconds left, freshman Noah Gloor hit two free throws to seal the deal. Ketchikan missed a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Higley advanced to Saturday’s fourth-place game and will face the Ronan Chiefs of Montana.
The loss spoiled a sensational performance by the 1-2 punch of Marcus Stockhausen and JJ Parker, who combined for 41 points.
Stockhausen scored 21 points and hit seven 3-pointers, one shy of the tournament record.
Parker cooked the Higley defense for 20 points and stood toe-to-toe with Yarell Greer, a NCAA Division I surefire signee being recruited by the likes of South Carolina State.
Greer collected 15 points, six steals, five rebounds and four assists and has a beautiful drive-and-kick game that gave his teammates a ton of open looks. He’s also a slick ballhandler and him and Parker had their own game-within-the-game thing going.
Higley built a 32-25 halftime lead on the strength of Greer, a hard-to-guard senior who bagged seven of his team’s first 13 points and finished the first half with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting.
Ketchikan trailed 22-11 when Stockhausen caught fire, dropping in 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions – bing, bang, boom. Then Parker scored on a beautiful baseline hesitation move to tie the game at 22.
That’s when Greer took over, feeding Dabney for a 3-pointer to get the Knights back on top. Moments later he went coast-to-coast as Higley’s lead swelled to 30-22. Parker hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer to help the Kings close within seven.
Ketchikan will face Southeast rival Metlakalta in Saturday’s seventh-place game.
Ketchikan 9 16 16 19 – 60
Higley 21 11 18 13 – 63
KETCHIKAN – J. Lorenzo 8, Zink 2, Parker 20, Kleinschmidt 6, Massin 0, Rhoads 0, Dundas 3, R. Lorenzno 3, Scoblic 0, Stockhausen 21.
HIGLEY – Greer 15, Dabney 12, Bell 4, Danielson 4, Randall 3, Kortas 2, Irving 10, Gloor 11, Seiber 2.