Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Quick start for Kimball, Grace Prep wins at Thanksgiving Hoopfest
DUNCANVILLE — If perennial basketball powerhouse Kimball feels a bit sluggish at some point this season, maybe the Knights need to take a six-hour bus ride a few hours before they play.
That formula led to a 30-point first quarter on the way to a 90-80 victory over Oklahoma City Douglass on Saturday in the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in front of a sellout crowd of 2,500 at Sandra Meadows Arena.
Led by the outside shooting tandem of senior Shannon Lilly Jr. and junior Keith Frazier, the Class 4A defending state champion Knights held off a surge by Douglass and sophomore standout guard Stevie Clark, who had 44 points.
The 6-0 Lilly and the 6-5 Frazier combined for 50 points, including nine 3-pointers.
Kimball took a 30-21 lead after one quarter. That came just a few hours after the Knights completed a bus ride from Lubbock, where their day began with a 5 a.m. wakeup call the morning after Kimball defeated Class 3A power Estacado on Friday night.
“We didn’t have to go knocking on doors to get the kids up,” Kimball coach Royce Johnson said. “They got their sleep and were ready to come back. We kept them off their feet this afternoon. I thought we might be a little sluggish, but they we ready mentally. They played a good team in their packed house last night, but they wanted to get back and play a good team like Douglass.”
Lilly is the returning MVP from the state final over La Marque last March. The Knights (3-1) are rebuilding with Frazier, a national 2013 college prospect who transferred from Irving, and the emergence of point guard David Tucker Jr., along with underclassmen Sheldon Yearwood and D’Angelo Allen developing near the basket.
“I thought it would be harder, but I feel comfortable already,” said Frazier, who has scholarship offers from several Big 12 schools, Arizona and Marquette, among others. “I like playing at Kimball. It’s like ‘basketball nation’ there.”
Grace Prep wins: Arlington Grace Prep defeated Class 5A Fort Bend Travis in overtime, 76-72, with 7-0 center and Baylor signee Isaiah Austin leading the way as Baylor coach Scott Drew watched among the crowd.
Grace, which defeated Kimball two weeks ago, has several major college prospects with Austin, Oklahoma signee Jelon Hornbeak and highly rated 6-8 junior Jordan Mickey and 6-4 sophomore Emmanuel Mudiay.