The 2019 VYPE-Aldine ISD Holiday Hoops Classic presented by the United States Marine Corps kicked off this morning at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center with the St. John's Mavericks defeating the Aldine Nimitz Cougars 67-60.
St. John's escaped Nimitz's aggressive style of play through solid shooting beyond the arc from junior guard Jackson Peakes. The Cougars were able to keep the score within reach throughout the entire thirty-two minutes of play, but in the end the Mavericks were too much to handle.
The game opened with each team trading baskets. Nimitz's Zavian Crosby would open the game with a three pointer, but St. John's Jackson Peakes would answer with an assist by Brian Gordon, his teammate since elementary school. Peakes and Gordon, with Nimitz's inability to make shots early on, would help keep the Mavericks in front. However a flurry to end the first quarter by Nimitz closed the lead to 8 points. Peakes ended the first quarter with 11 points.
Peakes kept his momentum going in the second quarter, hitting back-to-back three pointers to extend the Mavericks' lead. The Cougars would remain within reach of the Mavericks, with Nimitz junior guard Shammar Lamark hitting a timely three-pointer that would help cut the deficit to five points 37-32 heading into halftime.
The Cougars showed more aggressiveness in the third quarter, as they opened up with a 6-0 run, tying the game at 37. St. John's was able to gain control of the Cougars' momentum, finding multiple scoring opportunities leading to gain regain control of the lead. Peakes was once again able to hit another critical three pointer from deep to allow St. John's to go up 44-37. The Mavericks would keep the lead around nine to eleven points for the remainder of the contest.
The Mavericks went on to defeat the Cougars by seven points and advance to the winner's bracket. Jackson Peakes was the VYPE-Aldine ISD Player of the Game, where he finished with 31 points. Gordon was the Mavericks' second leading scorer, finishing with 12 points.