The Faith 7 game has always been one of my favorite all-star type events, going all the way back to my days working in Shawnee, so getting the chance to go cover it again was a lot of fun, even though most of the fun for Oklahoma ended shortly after the dunk contest.
So let’s start there… Kendre’ Talley was as much fun to watch as any player I saw this year because of all the things he can do, and his performance in the pregame dunk contest showed it.
The Star Spencer product who has signed with Oklahoma Christian is only 5-foot-9, and he even looks shorter than that now that he lost the flat-top haircut. He used his creativity and his leaping ability to earn a second-place finish behind Texas’ Trevor Fuller. After Talley jumped over a kid with his final dunk, Fuller won it by jumping over a taller kid.
I wish that either Xavier McClish or Amric Fields would have joined the dunk contest, because both of them put on a good show at the Big All-City game.
Aside from that, it was fun watching Fields and PC West teammate Tyler Neal play together again.
One of the most impressive high school basketball duos to come through in recent years, Fields and Neal are enjoying their last few opportunities to play on the same team before Fields heads off to TCU and Neal to Oklahoma.
While Neal’s future teammate — fellow Oklahoma signee T.J. Taylor — was on the other side of the Faith 7 Basketball Bowl in Shawnee Saturday night, Neal relished the opportunity to team with Fields again.
Fields played well around the basket on both ends and scored 24 to earn team MVP honors. Neal had 13 with the pair combining for 19 rebounds, though it wasn’t enough for Oklahoma in the 130-88 loss. The PC West duo will be back together for the All-State game in late July.
“Anytime you get to play with somebody like that is fun,” Neal said of Fields. “We play together so well after playing so long together. I’m excited for him. I think he’s gonna do well at TCU.”
Overall, the Oklahoma team wasn’t as bad as the score might sound. It’s just that the Texas squad had more talent, and a lot more guys heading off to D-I programs.
But the Okies had some strong efforts. Muskogee’s Oren Faulk played well, finishing with 10 points and four rebounds. Talley and Garber’s Bryce Lamer combined for 13 points and five assists, and neither missed a field goal try. Oklahoma couldn’t buy a 3-pointer, going 2-of-22 while Texas was 8-of-29.
And Texas hit more than 50 percent of their total field goals. They got to the line more, they didn’t turn the ball over as much… all the things you would expect in such a lopsided game. It was the biggest margin of victory in the game’s 45-year history, which previously belonged to Oklahoma in a 35-point victory in 2007.
In that game, the Okies had future Sooner Cade Davis, future Cowboy Nick Sidorakis, as well as Midwest City star Xavier Alexander who went on to George Washington and is now at Southern Nazarene. Oh, and some kid named Blake Griffin.
– Scott Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org