Prep Hoops Staff was in attendance for the opening round of the 32nd Annual All A Classic State Tournament hosted at Paul S. McBrayer Arena on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. After a riveting opening round, 8 teams advanced…
Prep Hoops Staff was in attendance for the opening round of the 32nd Annual All A Classic State Tournament hosted at Paul S. McBrayer Arena on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. After a riveting opening round, 8 teams advanced to the quarterfinal games. We bring you coverage on Friday’s best players from the last two games of the day.
Region 10 Bracken County vs
Region 13 Harlan
Bracken County – Sophomore Guard, Blake Reed Blake Reed 5'10" | PG Bracken County | 2024 State KY (#10 in c/o 2024)
As we mentioned in Thursday’s Standouts, the Reed brothers play with a contagious fearlessness that is truly a must-see. You can use a lot of cliche words to describe a player’s intangibles including determined, driven, passionate, etc. In both games, Reed is a stone-cold bucket getter. As a sophomore, he has the beginnings of the rare trait that you believe every shot he takes is going in. In the halfcourt, Reed typically likes to operate around the top-of-the-key area where he can see how the defense is playing him. In transition, Reed does a masterful job of changing pace and understanding how to play with contact. Unfortunately ending in a thrilling loss, Reed finished with 31 points and connected on four 3-pointers.
Harlan – Junior Guard, Jae’dyn Gist
So much attention goes to Akal but do not overlook the other players on the Green Dragons. Gist fights and battles every possession. He is one of the players that you can say “the ball finds him.” Gist was one of the main defenders on the Reed brothers and still found a way to be effective on the offensive end finishing with 16 points.
Harlan – Junior Forward, Will Austin
Austin was the tallest player on the court for both teams that liked to play 5-out. Austin was constantly around the ball on defense hedging and helping off on screens. He did an outstanding job of contesting shots on the perimeter and locating the rebound. Austin is a player that does a lot of hard work that might go unnoticed by a casual fan in the stands but turn on the film and you’ll see why Austin is a key player for the Green Dragons. Friday was definitely the best game we have seen him play. He finished with a strong double-double: 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Region 9 Covington Holy Cross vs
Region 14 Breathitt County
Covington Holy Cross – Junior Guard, Jacob Meyer Jacob Meyer 6'2" | PG Holy Cross Covington | 2023 #170 Nation GA (#10 in c/o 2023)
Despite having an uncharacteristic ineffective shooting night Friday, there is so much to like about Meyer’s game. Meyer, a Western Kentucky University commit, currently leads the state in scoring with 39+ points per game. He is a well-built, left-handed, scoring guard that has his hands on the ball for most of every possession. He is a heat-seeking missile when he gets an opportunity in transition that can finish with either hand in a variety of ways. There are not many players in the state that can keep up with his burst and leaping ability. In both games, Meyer showcased his ability to knock down an open or contested shot from every spot beyond the paint area finishing with 26 points.
Breathitt County – Senior Wing, Jaylen Turner
The lone senior on the Bobcats roster, Turner put on a display of his athleticism Friday night. Despite few offensive sets organized for him, Turner found a way to be a force throughout the game. The highlight of the game came from a ferocious transition dunk while colliding with a defender. Turner played outstanding defense as he was one of the key disrupters to the Holy Cross guards. He finished the contest with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
Breathitt County – Junior Forward, Bryce Hoskins Bryce Hoskins 6'5" | SF Breathitt County | 2023 State KY (#51 in c/o 2023)
Hoskins is a smart, patient, and deliberate player. In both games, you can see his high basketball IQ by understanding his role and where to be on the court. His value cannot be overlooked. Hoskins primarily operates around the paint area and can play with his back to the basket or face-up. On defense, he is constantly talking and pointing out screens to his teammates. Probably labeled more of a pass-first player, but Friday he turned in a productive scoring game finishing with 15 points and collecting 16 rebounds.
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