Skeete shoots Waubonsie Valley past Cary-Grove for tourney title
Waubonsie Valley forward Marcus Skeete says his NCAA Division I recruitment has been on the quiet side.
That could change after the performance the 6-foot-5 senior delivered Saturday at Jacobs' Hinkle Holiday Classic championship game.
Skeete was unstoppable, scoring 41 points to lead the Warriors past Cary-Grove 78-65 to win the title.
"I was just focusing on winning the game, honestly," said Skeete, cradling the championship trophy. "I had a lot of open shots to take, just playing in the flow and we got the 'W.' What's really important is this championship right here. Our guys fought so hard. The 41 was part of the effort to win the game."
Waubonsie Valley (12-1) lost the title game to Cary-Grove last year 55-50. This one went back and forth until midway through the fourth quarter when the Warriors finally got a little distance. Skeete, who was 10 of 10 on free throws, helped secure the win there. He also passed 1,000 varsity points with the effort.
The Trojans (12-2) kept pace with guard Beau Frericks leading the way. Frericks scored 24 points and hit 11 of his first 15 shots. Ryan Weaver hit three 3-pointers and scored 17, while Frank Jakubicek added 16.
Skeete hit 65.2% from the field and the Warriors shot 59.6 as a team. Cary-Grove shot 63.6 as a team but was 5 of 14 in the fourth quarter.
"(Skeete) was better than advertised," Trojans coach Adam McCloud said. "We knew he was good. We wanted to stay in front of him and make him shoot contested twos. We thought we'd be OK. He made all of his contested shots, he shot lights out. In a championship game, he was phenomenal."
Frericks was disappointed that Cary-Grove could not make things tougher for Waubonsie Valley.
"It was a fun game, but (Skeete) did way too much today," Frericks said. "It was too easy for him. Our defense couldn't get enough stops. They did pretty much what they wanted in the fourth quarter. And we slowed up a little bit on offense."
Jakubicek hit a 3 with 4:52 remaining to tie the score at 58-58. The Warriors put the game away with a 10-2 spurt over the next 3:30.
Warriors coach Jason Mead called Skeete's performance remarkable.
"That's one of those games where if I'd have said anything, I'd make it worse," Mead said. "You just let him go. That was one of the best individual performances, while still staying in the context of the team environment, you will see. It wasn't like he went out and took a bunch of awful shots. Everything he took was under control and a good, clean look within what we were doing. He's legit. He's a player."
The loss ended Cary-Grove's 10-game winning streak.
"We were smiling in the huddle going into the fourth (tied at 52-52)," McCloud said. "We were like, 'This is a fun game, this is the kind of game you want to be in and it's tied up and it's anybody's game.' They made more plays. I would love to play a seven-game series with that team, it'd be fun. They were the better team tonight."
Warriors forward Ben Schweiger scored 18 points. Skeete also grabbed a game-high 8 rebounds.