Lamelo Ball and Spire Academy win their ninth game in a row against top prep team Bella Vista by a score of 85-69, a great result for Spire against a team with 4 division one college commits. In what was an exciting game from start to finish Spire had the lead right from the get go starting with a 12-0 run, and only furthering their dominance from that point.
By half time Spire led the game by 15, 43-28, the second half started fast with a crazy over the defender dunk by Myron Gardner, a team mate of Lamelo on Spire, in a game with even more dunks than we are used to seeing for a team like Spire, as Isaiah Jackson got up on multiple occasions as well.
At the start of the fourth, Spire led by 18 points, 60-42, but in the fourth however they did allow Bella Vista to creep back into the game if only for a moment. With around five minutes left Bella Vista sank to quick threes to drop Spire’s lead to just make fans a little nervous but that feeling would not last as Spire went on a run of their own and ultimately took the game 85-69.
Lamelo Ball again proved the doubters wrong in a game that he scored 18 point, grabbed 8 boards, and had 8 assists on national television. He was quick to release the ball showing just how far he has come as a passer, nearing the level of even Lonzo in that concern, as well as that he used his usual moves to blow by defenders to get to the hoop with ease.
Lamelo had one particular move in the third quarter that truly wowed the crowd, he faked a drive into the lane fooling the defender and making him drop, then hit a three point shot, but was called for a foul.
Lamelo crosses up the defender but called for a foul before draining a three, no points but what a move— UniqueSports + (@UniqueSportplus) December 8, 2018
Their were four players for Spire tonight that were integral in their winning effort, and here we will analyze and grade each of their performances.
Lamelo Ball: A-
In what was a great performance from Lamelo, the only reason he does not receive an A is because he is capable of doing even more on any given night. He drove to the rim with ease and created open looks for all of his teammates, he was also active on defense with 5 steals and kept the pace of the game moving for Spire. He was a critical player in Spires victory as he always is.
Lamelo was very quick to react on defense and make plays in transition tonight as well, he has certainly grown as a defender since his last stint in high school. It seems that playing against professionals in Lithuania and the JBA has matured his game in every area, he is on track to be a lottery pick when its his time.
Mark Watts: A
Mark “Rocket” Watts continued to use his blow-by athleticism to score the ball at will tonight, he was able to take and make whatever shot he wanted to tonight. On defense he was very pesky on the press with Lamelo and was able to showcase his athleticism on that end as well, a truly complete game from the young star.
Rocket has grown into the side kick for Lamelo Ball on this Spire team, he has the scoring ability and athleticism to make fans love him and the talent to match. Once he can add more play making and rebounding into his game he will be unstoppable.
Isaiah Jackson: B+
Isaiah Jackson was great yet again on the defensive end tonight blocking any shot within his reach and threw down several thunderous dunks, the only thing that Jackson left to be desired tonight was that he has some lay in attempts that were blocked, shots that on another night he could have made.
Jackson is rated as a five star recruit for a reason, he will soon be getting offers from every top school in the nation and is sure to be an NBA player for his shot blocking and leaping ability.
Myron Gardner: A+
A player no one could have expected to be Spires best performer tonight, he truly showed out with over 20 points and one particular dunk in the third right over the back of a defender, a dunk that reminded us of a smaller Zion Williamson, he came out of nowhere tonight and could be a player to watch the rest of the season for Spire.
Myron Gardner had his best game of the season tonight and now will look to build upon that, he is a player that wants to be on the level of the other stars for Spire and can now take this platform to get there.
There must also be given credit to the opposition tonight, a team with four division one commits could have been beaten by 40 if they let up, but they continued to stay in the game until the very end. #35 Terry Armstrong was particularly impressive as he was able to drive to the rim with some power and he made some very good passes as well, a good night individually for the Arizona commit.
Spire have continued to impress this season and are now up to 9-0, a record that should continue to hold as long as Spire play as a team. Lamelo has given Spire the play making and leadership they have needed to become the best high school basketball team in the country and could very well go undefeated this season.
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