Grayson, McEachern boys fall to out-of-state competition at HoopHall

The 22nd Spalding Hoophall East Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts featured two boys high school basketball teams from Georgia. The nationally televised tournament which took place on ESPNU included the top two 7A teams, Grayson (15-2, 3-0) and McEachern (14-5, 2-0), who were both defeated by a single point in their matchups.

Grayson, ranked No. 9 in the nation by MaxPreps, was defeated 64-63 Saturday night on a buzzer-beating three pointer as time expired against Arizona’s Perry High School. The Perry lead got to double-digits in the second half before Grayson was able to cut the game with five points twice in the fourth quarter.

The game was back and forth with many thinking free throws would be the difference-maker. Grayson guard, Jacob Wilkins, son of NBA legend Dominique Wilkins, made two free throws within the final minute giving the Rams the lead before a Perry 3-pointer from Barron Silsby decided the game at the buzzer.

In a top-25 nationally ranked matchup Monday morning between No. 11 Harvard-Westlake and No. 23 McEachern, the Indians suffered a close loss to the Wolverines in overtime, 60-59.

McEachern senior, five-star Rutgers basketball commit, Ace Bailey, who came into the tournament averaging over 30 points per game and around 14 rebounds per game finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds in the loss. It was a rough start from the field for Bailey as he was 4-for-13 with 8 points at the half with the Indians trailing 32-20.

The Harvard-Westlake lead grew to a game-high 18 points in the third quarter before McEachern brought the deficit within six points heading into the fourth quarter. The Indians came to life in the third quarter as they were able to take advantage of turnovers and get out on the break. McEachern was able to slow down the fast tempo offense which allowed the Indian defense to settle in and capitalize.

The Indians was able to tie it up and send the game to overtime when guard, Jayden Bynes, hit a three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation. Overtime went the way of the Wolverines as they were able to stop a McEachern inbound from under the opposing basket with one second left, lifting Harvard-Westlake to a hard-fought victory.

This was McEachern’s second tournament in a row where they were playing top competition as they finished third in the Bass Pro Shop Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Missouri. McEachern will be back on the court on January 19th at 7:30 as they take on North Pauling at home. Grayson’s next contest will be in The Dream Classic at Bowie State University in Maryland on at 1:30 p.m. Monday against Bishop McNamara.

Top performers from No. 1 (No. 9, nationally) Grayson vs Perry:


Gicarri Harris: 14 points, 6 rebounds

Anthony Alston: 13 points, 5 assists

Amir Taylor: 10 points, 9 rebounds


Koa Peat: 23 points, 10 rebounds, 7 blocks

D’Andre Harrison: 23 points, 6 rebounds

Barron Silsby: 8 points, 7 assists, 3 steals

Top performers from No. 11 Harvard- Westlake vs No. 2 (No. 23, nationally) McEachern:


Nikolas Khamenia: 21 points, 8 rebounds

Christian Horry: 14 points, 4/8 from 3

Trent Perry: 13 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds


Ace Bailey: 23 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks

Jaye Nash: 15 points, 5 assists

Jayden Bynes: 9 points, 10 rebounds

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