Never miss the
Saltville, VA – David McCormack didn’t have his best performance on Wednesday night. Oak Hill Academy’s highly-touted 6-foot-10 senior center scored 11 points in a 98-61 win over Mountain Mission in an exhibition game at Northwood High School in a showing that wasn't exactly sharp.
“We went to him in the second half, the first four or five possessions, and he didn’t finish plays,” said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith. “He missed a dunk, a couple of chip shots. He’s just got to stay positive. He gets down on himself, but he’s got to work through that and just go to the next play.”
While McCormack had an uncustomary off night, small forward Keyontae Johnson and point guard Will Richardson picked up the slack as the Warriors rolled to a win over the Grundy, Virginia-based Challengers.
Johnson racked up 22 points, seven steals and six rebounds in front of a crowd packed with coaches from major college programs, most notably first-year Georgetown boss Patrick Ewing.
The 6-foot-5 Johnson showed why he is rated as a four-star recruit by rivals.com and is weighing scholarship offers from Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Texas Tech.
“He’s like our Mr. Everything. He has those long arms and gets steals, deflections; he rebounds on both ends of the floor,” Smith said. “You don’t have to run any plays for him, he never complains. He’s going to work and get his points. He’s probably the glue to our team to be honest.”
Meanwhile, Richardson scored 15 points and doled out nine assists.
Richardson and Johnson were a dynamic duo in the 37-point beatdown.
“Me and Will are real close,” Johnson said. “I like how he plays and he looks for his teammates first.”
Running the point at Oak Hill is serious stuff when you consider some of the other guys to have done it include Rod Strickland, Rajon Rondo, Jeff McInnis and Brandon Jennings.
Richardson is the latest guy ordained with running the high-powered offense.
“You’ve just got to keep everybody happy at the same time,” Richardson said. “We’ve got people that can score anytime they touch the ball.”
Richardson got rave reviews from Smith.
“He’d been in a little bit of a funk, because he didn’t think he shot it well in the first two scrimmages, which he didn’t,” Smith said. “He had turned it over more than what we’d like, but tonight he took care of the ball, got other people involved and knocked down some 3s. If he plays like that, we’re going to be really good.”
McCormack knows if he’s open in the low post, Richardson is going to get him the ball.
“Will Richardson is a special guard and he’s a special player,” McCormack said. “Great court vision and just an all-around great point guard. Being a big man, it’s great being able to play with him.”
Keldon Johnson (14 points) and Josh Hemmings (11 points) also scored in double figures for Oak Hill. The Warriors opened up a 24-8 lead midway through the first half and cruised from there.
“This is our third scrimmage and this is by far the best we’ve played,” Smith said. “We were active, especially on defense. We got a lot of deflections, a lot of steals and it makes the game easier for us when we can get some easy baskets instead of having to work all the time. I was happy with the way we played tonight.”
It was the final preseason tune-up for the Warriors, who open the season on Saturday afternoon at home against Faith Assembly Christian Academy.
“We have a talented team this year,” McCormack said. “We have great team chemistry, on and off the court.”
Oak Hill certainly has one of the best big men in the nation in McCormack, who recently committed to the University of Kansas.
“I’m proud to say I’m committed to Kansas,” McCormack said. “I have it out of the way and the recruiting process is over. I’m looking forward to having a great senior year and an even better college experience.”
Mountain Mission was led by Daniil Kasatkin’s 16 points and 6-foot-10 center Florent Thamba’s 14 points.