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Marshall Count Hoopfest

The Marshall County Hoopfest has been one of my favorite tournaments over the years and it was good to be in attendance for the first time in a few years. The atmosphere and setting have always provided the energy for a great event. There was a bonus for me this year having the opportunity with retired legendary coach, Steve Smith (Oak Hill Academy), in attendance to support his former team. 

It was Groundhog Day, not much has changed, as the organizers brought in some quality teams with high level talent. 

Starting with Link Academy, former No.2 team in the country, featuring a trio of top 20 players, 2024 PG Labaron Philon (Kansas), 2024 SG Tre Johnson (Texas) and 2025 PG Jasper Johnson, all performing to those levels, with no fumbles. 

They had the gym buzzing with Johnson scoring 16 points and Philon and Jasper Johnson scoring 12 points each. Johnson showed his varied scoring ability, knocking down NBA level threes and scoring in heavy traffic. Philon, don’t call me a combo, showed steady leadership and made the right plays. Jasper Johnson, can be feast or famine, but one things for sure he’s TALENTED! He’s a shot maker, makes Link almost unstoppable when he’s on. Tonight, the defense set the tone, smothering Legacy Early College, leading to a 81-66 win.

Notable performers:

2024 6’4” SG VJ Edgecomb (Long Island Lutheran) There has been no let-up in his intensity since I first laid eyes on him a few years ago. He plays with a constant chip and toughness that has catapulted him into a national recruit. He set the tempo on both ends, coming out in attack mode, scoring at the rim with ease. Defensively he was tasked with guarding 2025 PG Kaden Magwood, Oak Hill’s scoring machine, and forcing him into a 4-14 night. Edgecomb had help on the offensive end with 2025 wing Kayden Mingo dropping 22 points and nine rebounds.

2025 6’1” PG Kaden Magwood (Oak Hill) shook off the Edgecomb flu, redeeming himself in an overtime thriller against top 10 ranked La Lumiere. Magwood was unstoppable, dominating from start to finish. La Lumiere threw length, quickness and strength at Magwood to no avail, nothing worked. His main tool was staying on the attack, keeping his defender on his heals and finishing plays in the lane. For good measure he knocked down a few contested, clutch, long range threes, all to the tune of 41 of Oak Hill’s 79 points and the win.   


La Lumiere put up a valiant effort, but when top ten forward 2024 SF Jalen Haralson went down right before overtime you knew they were in real trouble. Haralson is a do everything wing that can make up for mistakes and fill voids in areas of need for four positions. In addition to Haralson, 2025 PG Jerry Easter led La Lumiere with 21 points and with 2025 SG Darius Adams a big reason why they were in the game till the end. 

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