Some of the country’s top high school basketball talent have made their way to Springfield College’s Blake Arena this weekend for the 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic. On Saturday, Grant Jerrett put on quite the show as LaVerne Lutheran High School (California) held off a last minute push from St. Patrick High School (NJ) and defeated the Celtics 68-66 in overtime.
After being held to just seven points and two rebounds in the first half, Jerrett showed why he is a five star recruit and ranked No. 9 in the class of 2012 by ESPN. The senior, who has signed a national letter of intent to play at Arizona next year, exploded in the second half for 23 of his 30 points which included a series of emphatic two-handed jams.
“First of all I wanted to win, but second of all I had to show that I can play out there. [I wanted to show] that I can be a McDonalds All-American,” Jerrett said.
Jerrett made two clutch free throws to seal the victory in overtime with 5.7 seconds remaining after DeAndre Bembry made a corner three pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 57.
The senior finished with 12 rebounds and five blocks while primarily relying on his finesse moves to outwork the shorter St. Patrick forwards.
Coach Eric Cooper believes Jerrett brings his game to another level when his team is entrenched in such a back and forth battle on the court, but he also has noticed his senior bringing a new intensity to his game this season.
“[I’ve noticed] how he tenaciously dunks on people and how he imposes his will on a situation,” Cooper said. “Before he kind of waited and set back and would see what happens.”
Elijah Davis came off the bench for the Celtics and scored 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as St. Patrick’s used a 31-0 advantage in bench scoring to take the Trojans down to the wire.
Yet Jerrett was just to much for the young St. Patricks squad, who return their entire starting five next season.
Justin Felisko may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org