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Tip Off Classic preview: Apple Valley vs. Park Center

12/06/2012, 12:00pm CST
By Ryan James, Breakdown Sports USA

6:45 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8 at Minnetonka West gym

Preview

The feature game of the event that will have fans, college coaches, high school coaches, casual observers, and maybe Coach Calipari and Coach K’s staff fighting for elbow room in the Tonka gymnasium. Tyus Jones is that type of draw and when you put him against one of the top senior guards in the state (Quinton Hooker) you have a massive attraction. 

The Eagles are the preseason No. 1 with Tyus, a couple talented senior teammates (Dustin Fronk and Harry Sonie), and one of the best freshmen in the state in 6-foot-7 monster Brock Bertram. 

On the other side Park Center returns its entire line-up, which includes four double figure scorers, plus they added Prairie Seeds Academy transfer Devin Buckley who is a double figure guy as well.  Simply put, there will be talent everywhere in the gym as two top ten teams collide.

Key Matchup

Tyus Jones vs Quinton Hooker: About as big of a no-brainer as you will ever have.  Quinton Hooker is a Mr. Basketball candidate and is headed to North Dakota next year.  Tyus Jones is the greatest point guard in the entire country and some may argue he’d be the top point guard in college basketball right now as well.  He’s that good. Here’s to hoping Tyus and Quinton go head to head in this game at least part of the time.

Prediction

Why Apple Valley will win:

  • Because they might have the best high school basketball player in the history of Minnesota.  Some will argue Khalid El-Amin, some Mark Olberding, some Sam Jacobson.  None of them were ever considered the best player at their position in the entire country though.
  • Apple Valley is the number one team in state because they have the best player in state and he has a load of talent around him.  A guard to handle to let Tyus score from the wing?  Yep,  Harry Sonie.  A knock down shooter?  Yep, Dustin Fronk.  A monster big?  Yep Brock Bertram.  A workhorse do all the little things guy?  Yep, Dennis Austin.  Best team in state.

Why Park Center will win:

  • They are a scary underdog.  Apple Valley is the No. 1 team in state and has immense pressure on its shoulders to be the best.  Park Center is a top 10 team with five guys who can score double figures and more than capable of beating the Eagles.  They will be loose and the Pirates will be motivated.
  • The Pirates are fueled by Hooker, but they have scorers throughout their line-up.  Buckley led Prairie Seeds to state last year with a 19 point per game average.  Isaiah McKay scored 15 a contest last year.  Treyton Daniels put in 14 a game.  Park Center has a lot to defend and a lot for coach Zach Goring to worry about in what will be a wild environment.

Our Prediction: Apple Valley

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Tag(s): Boys Hoops  Boys Tip Off Classic  Previews