Hillcrest Prep Tarkanian Classic National Bracket Champions

by Lucas Archuleta | Posted on Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Hillcrest Prep had a huge week as they came out on top winning the national bracket of the Tarkanian Classic.  Hillcrest beat Lincoln Prep (GA), Prolific Prep (CA) 61-55 and finally beat a very tough Findlay Prep (NV) team in the championship game, 71-61.  Junior guard Kyree Walker was named the Tournament's Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and rightfully so, as he had a monster week.

Kyree came up big in the semifinal game against Prolific Prep, where he took over the last three minutes of the game.  He knocked down a three, had a finish in transition and hit two big free-throws to ultimately send Hillcrest to the final.  That efficient play continued in the championship, as Kyree put together the most complete week of games I’ve seen him have all season.  Kyree showed he could not only get to the rim or make plays off the bounce whenever he wants, but he also consistently knocked down perimeter jumpers off the catch or off the dribble.  His ability to push the pace in transition is second to none out of any player in the country, and when he gets going downhill it’s tough to stop him.

We know Kyree Walker can score at a high level, but he also set up his teammates all week and competed at a high level on the defensive end.  It was a very impressive week for Kyree Walker to say the least, he was very deserving of tournament's MVP.

6-foot-9 senior forward Dischon Thomas and 6-foot-4 senior guard Devan Cambridge also made the All-Tournament Team. Thomas had the best week of basketball I’ve seen him have all year as well.  He came up big against Prolific and Findlay Prep, which took their team play to another level.  Thomas consistently knocked down threes and perimeter jumpers, which opened up the floor for the rest of the team to make plays.  Thomas played an overall very versatile game all week, as he displayed a good balance of being able to shoot it, finish tough plays at the rim and move without the ball in order to score off teammates creating, and he also gave Hillcrest a huge lift defensively & on the glass.

Thomas is a matchup problem with his size and versatility and he proved that all week. He also picked up two offers from UC Davis and Seattle this week, due to his impressive week.

Cambridge, who also made All-Tourney, had a big week as well. The electric high flying wing wasn’t as impactful with his offensive ability, rather it was his energy, effort and hustle that was most impressive. He showed that he can be an elite defender, and that when his motor runs he can compete at a very high level.  Cambridge obviously was impressive offensively, as well as he is dangerous in transition.  He can finish at the rim with the best of them, and he has the ability to knock down threes and mid-range jumpers consistently.  Cambridge also moved well without the ball so his teammates could find him in spots to score.

Although those three were awarded for their play, Hillcrest also received big performances from 6-foot-7 senior Dre Harris, 6-foot-5 junior Dalen Terry and 6-foot-4 junior guard Dayten Holman.

Dre Harris had two very strong showings against Prolific Prep and Findlay Prep.  Harris is very skilled and talented offensively.  He’s a tough guy to matchup with, as his size and physicality, matched with his ability to shoot the ball, put it on the floor or post up, is difficult to stop.  Harris can do many things offensively but what I was most impressed with this week was his motor and competitive nature. He was getting after it defensively, was a beast on the glass, and he gave his team energy with hustle plays.

Dalen Terry didn’t have the most impressive week scoring the ball, but he is another guy who impressed me most with the intangibles. We know Terry is a dynamic PG who can fill it up, make plays and give teams nightmares with his versatility and size at the PG position.  Even though he didn’t have a great week scoring the ball he was impressive with his ability to continue to compete at a high level, communicate, compete and provide his team with leadership. He brought energy defensively, was diving on the floor and taking charges which showed me he is growing as a player.

Lastly Hillcrest Prep newest addition Dayten Holman gave Hillcrest a huge lift off the bench at the point guard position, which is what they needed.  Holman is a high IQ pg who makes others better, and he did that all week as he got teammates involved, while also giving Hillcrest another guy who can create offense, push the ball in transition and run the team offensively.  Holman will be a big piece for Hillcrest Prep moving forward.

Overall it was a very impressive week for Hillcrest Prep and they should be able to carry that momentum forward into the rest of the season.

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  1. Wanne says:

    I have a question about Hillcrest maybe you can answer for me. They have Antwan January listed on the roster but he not playing. Is he not eligible to play until semester? Can you give any insight to this? Many Illini fans are trying to figure out where he’s actually playing.

    • Anthony Ray says:

      Great question! Hillcrest Prep has two teams – North and South. Recently, they have had one primary team, comprised of both teams, playing in several major events. For whatever reason, we have not seen Antwan January in either the Hoop West event or the Tarkanian Classic, so not sure if he is injured or just not with that team. We will find out and let you know.

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