Today’s matchup was one that Hopewell Junior High Basketball coach Doug Biega had circled on his calendar all year long.
His group of players have won their share of games over the last two years, 22 to be exact, but today’s matchup against Sewickley Academy was a measuring stick for the Viking players.
This group of Hopewell players have had a number of games in the summer against Sewickley Academy, which is an AAU team. Although they’ve come close, Coach Biega’s players have never been able to get over the hump against this group of talented players.
Hopewell was facing their biggest test today and at the end of the game, they aced this test with flying colors as they completely demolished Sewickley Academy, 61-29.
It was a complete team effort both offensively and defensively, but headline performer was Vikings big man James Armstrong, who put up a stat line of 31 points and 25 rebounds. Hopewell Sports Nation has watched most of Armstrong’s performances in football and basketball over the last year, but we’ve never seen a more dominant performance from Boo Boo.
Sewickley Academy had no answer for the combination of Armstrong and Brody Rock, who imposed their physicality for all four quarters.
While Biega’s big men did their job so did his guards. The trio of Avery Bokor, Tre Cameron and Jack Biega played suffocating defense and smothered Sewickley Academy all game long.
1ST QUARTER RECAP:
*Sewickley Academy scored the first two points of the game but that was pretty much it for them for the rest of the quarter. Hopewell’s first basket came from a nice pass from Bokor to Armstrong, who made the layp and was fouled. Hopewell 3-2
*Armstrong was not guardable as Sewickley Academy had no one capable or willing to matchup with Boo. The next six points came from Armstrong, two baskets in the paint and two more from the free throw line. Hopewell 9-2
*The Vikings showed they could hurt you from the outside too, as Armstrong grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Rock, who nailed a 3-pointer. Hopewell 12-2
*Biega played tremendous defense but showed his offensive skills as he drove in from the wing and hit a shot in the paint and was fouled. Hopewell 14-2
*Armstrong grabbed one of his 25 rebounds and drove the length of the court for a layup. Hopewell 16-2
*Right before the end of the 1st quarter, Cameron misses a 3-pointer, but Armstrong gobbles up a rebound and puts it back in for 2 more. Hopewell 20-4.
END OF 1ST QUARTER: HOPEWELL 22 SEWICKLEY ACADEMY 4
2ND QUARTER RECAP:
*Bokor with an aggressive drive to the rim, he missed but you guessed it, Armstrong gets the rebound and layup. Hopewell 24-4
*Rock is hard to handle underneath the basket but on this sequence, he showed his physicality driving the baseline for two plus the foul. The Sewickley Academy defender just couldn’t stay in front of him. Hopewell 27-6
*Armstrong displayed his quickness on defense as he comes up with a steal and takes it in for a layup. Hopewell 29-10
*Armstrong grabs a defensive rebound and with nice ball handling, takes the ball the length of the court for a layup. Hopewell 31-10
*Bokor misses a deep 3 but Armstrong grabs the rebound and puts it back in for 2. Hopewell 33-10
*Rock showed that he can beat you with more than just outmuscling you as he executes a nice spin move in the lane. Hopewell 35-12
*Biega once again uses his big frame to drive to the basket, this time putting it off the glass. Hopewell 37-14
*Immediately after the Biega basket, Armstrong steals the Sewickley Academy inbounds pass and puts it up for two. Hopewell 39-14
*Right before the half, Armstrong once again gets a rebound and takes it the length of the court for Hopewell’s final two points of the half.
HALFTIME: HOPEWELL 41 SEWICKLEY ACADEMY 14
3RD QUARTER RECAP:
*A nice designed inbounds play goes to Rock, who puts it in for two. Hopewell 45-18
*Biega shows his outside shooting skill as he connects on a 3. Hopewell 50-21
*Armstrong blocks a shot and connects with an outlet pass to Rock, who takes it in for a layup. Hopewell 52-21
*More outside shooting as Rock finds Bokor in the corner, who drains it. Hopewell 55-21
END OF 3RD QUARTER: HOPEWELL 55-24
4th QUARTER RECAP:
*Another nice inbounds play as Cameron finds Rock in the corner for 3. Hopewell 57-24. Unofficially, Rock had 15 points this afternoon.
*Armstrong with a strong take down the middle of the lane. Hopewell 59-26
*Rock drives the baseline and with nice vision, hits Armstrong with a bounce pass and Boo does the rest. Hopewell 61-28
FINAL SCORE: HOPEWELL 61 SEWICKLEY ACADEMY 29
The Hopewell junior high teams have a busy schedule next week as they have three games: vs. Central Valley (January 15), at Avonworth (January 16) and at Moon (January 18).