Jason Parker. Jason Parker. Jason Parker.
Alex Bass of Raleigh, who has studied high school athletics in North Carolina like few others, believes West Charlotte Highs Parker had the most dominating performance in an N.C. High School Athletic Association state championship.
I wrote that Isaiah Hicks 34 points, 30 rebounds and seven blocks in Oxford Webbs 73-70 boys 3A basketball title game was the most dominating ever and invited opinions.
Hicks was great, but he didnt dominate like Parker did, Bass said.
Bass supported Parkers 38-point (17 of 22 shots), 12-rebound. four-block performance in an 84-67 win over Wilmington Laney by noting that Parker came out of the 1999 4A championship game early after the victory was assured and Hicks played 33 minutes. Parker also played against taller opponents.
Jason Parkers performance was the most dominating I have ever seen in a championship, Bass said. Ive never seen a player completely dominate a title game any more.
But most of the people I heard from supported Hicks performance.
The 6-foot-9 North Carolina recruits 30 rebounds is a state championship game record. The NCHSAA basketball tournament records are complete since 1986 and some go back to 1946.
Elliott Warnock, the Chapel Hill News sports editor, recalled other great games but said he had never seen a more dominating performance.
It was like watching a teacher on the playground with school children, he said. Hicks was totally dominating. It literally looked like a man among boys.
The closest performance to Hicks game, Warnock said, was Dominique Wilkins in Washingtons 82-67 3A title game victory over Rockingham in 1979. The interest in that game was so high that it was moved from Durham High to UNCs Carmichael Auditorium.
Warnock has Henrik Rodl of Chapel Hill (34 points against North Mecklenburg in 1987), Reyshawn Terry of Winston-Salem Reynolds (21 points against Fayetteville Seventy-First in 2002), Parker and Hicks on his most dominating list.
But none was quite the monster in the paint that Hicks was against Statesville, Warnock said. Hicks was literally head-and-shoulders above everyone else on the court.
Kenneth Elliott of Four Oaks was impressed with Hicks making four critical free throws late in the game.
His free throws at the end of regulation proved a lot, Elliot wrote. I have been to a lot of state championship games in football and basketball and I think this was the best.
Max Harris of Raleigh said Hicks hustle and free throws won him over.
Hicks stats were fantastic, but more impressive to me was him knocking down the four free throws late and nothing but net on all four, Lennox said. Miss just one and game was over.
David Justice, who has covered high school basketball in the area for 40 years, said he knew Hicks was having a great game but was surprised at the totals.
Hicks did some amazing things, Justice recalled, noting once when Hicks sprinted from inside the foul line to block a fast break layup at the other end. There (were) times when you just shook your head.
There was a lot of head-shaking, too, when John Goat Bullock scored 42 points in Durham Hillsides 80-78 overtime victory over West Charlotte in the 1966 championship game of the High School Athletic Conference, which was the association for African-American schools at the time. Hillside trailed by 30 at the half.
Dave Telep, the ESPN national basketball recruiting analyst, said there may be other great games in Hicks future. He said Hicks has a higher ceiling than any of the top-ranked players in the Class of 2013.
This is a crucial summer for Isaiah, Telep said. No one in the class has his skill set, but he needs to get stronger. If he improves his strength, there is no other player in the class who has as much potential.