Heritage Hall's annual Chesapeake Challenge has a solid field highlighted by an exciting first-round matchup between a future Oklahoma Sooner and one of the state's most intriguing young players.
Sunrise Christian Academy from Bel Aire, Kan., will face the Oklahoma City Storm homeschool team at 4 p.m. Thursday at Heritage Hall.
Sunrise is led by 6-foot-3 shooting guard Buddy Hield, who signed with OU in November. He'll go up against the Storm's star freshman Allonzo Trier, who has averaged 25.0 points through 14 games this season for the Storm.
Trier has been in the national spotlight since he was in sixth grade, so he is rarely bothered by the pressure of a big situation.
“When you've been in that spotlight before, and you've been watched under a microscope, you definitely try to do everything right,” Trier said. “You try to be as close to perfect as you can. It really helps you in the long run, because you're ready, and you're more mature about things that happen.”
The Chesapeake Challenge runs Thursday-Saturday at Heritage Hall.
TOP GIRLS TEAMS TO FACE OFF IN BERTHA TEAGUE CLASSIC
Four No. 1-ranked Oklahoma girls basketball teams headline the field at the 35th Annual Bertha Teague Mid-America Classic, being held at East Central University in Ada, Wednesday through Friday.
Class B No. 1 Hammon opens tournament play with a tough test against Class 4A No. 2 Anadarko at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Class A's top team, Chattanooga, then plays at 4:30 against Class 3A No. 6 Morris.
Class 2A No. 1 Snyder plays Class A No. 2 New Lima at 6:30, and then the only two Oklahoma City-area squads in the tournament play at 8 when Class 5A No. 1 Shawnee faces 4A No. 11 Blanchard.
REBUILDING MODE FOR STAR SPENCER
Two years ago, Star Spencer had five senior starters who were regulars at the state tournament. Now, coach Patrick Cudjoe is still trying to rebuild after losing so many key players at once.
Cudjoe has five freshmen and sophomores among his top 10 players.
“We're rebuilding still, and we're inexperienced,” Cudjoe said. “But I felt like we had a lot better offseason this year. We just have to get over that experience hump and see what we're all about.
“Our young guys can play, but they need that game experience.
Solid guard play will be important for the Bobcats, anchored by senior Symon Smith.
“Hopefully, that experience will kick in and we'll be a competitive team after the Christmas break,” Cudjoe said. “We've got a tough schedule, so that experience will be important for the young guys.”