WESTWEGO — O. Perry Walker’s Tyree Griffin and Shawn Jones of Higgins have more in common than their position on the court.
Both point guards are juniors. To them, a great pass is just as cool as a big shot. They wear No. 1. They’re about the same height; Jones is an inch taller at 5-foot-11.
And life as the younger brothers of one of their schools’ former standouts brought them to the Alario Center for the opening day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic boys basketball tournament.
Griffin is the brother of Bo McCalebb, who starred at Higgins and the University of New Orleans. He is currently playing pro basketball overseas. Jones is the fourth of the Jones brothers. Casey is a freshman guard at Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Thursday’s second game of the tournament placed them against each other, showcasing how much they had learned and how much they still have to learn.
At least on this day, Griffin earned the advantage. He scored 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting, including a long 3-pointer as time expired to help his team take a 55-52 victory. On the play, Griffin was trying to set up a mismatch for himself or a teammate before glancing at the clock and realizing time in the second half was coming to a quick end.
“I wanted to pass it, but the play didn’t come through,” Griffin said. “Coach (Brian Gibson) said do what you got to do.”
So he did.
His Chargers (13-3), who trailed until the fourth quarter, have won 10 of their last 11 games. Milton added 11 points.
Jones offered his own big shots, leading Higgins (9-3) with 14 points. His 3-pointer from the corner with four minutes remaining gave the Hurricanes a two-point lead. But the lesson learned on this day was that late game turnovers can overshadow even the biggest shots.
O. Perry Walker tied the game on Anthony Milton’s layup with 2:05 remaining. As Higgins tried to regain the lead, Jones lost an offensive rebound.
On the next two possessions, he missed a jump shot then earned his fourth turnover.
“I think I can do a lot better shooting the ball, driving to the basket, getting my team involved more,” Jones said. “That’s what I’m lacking right now.”
Dustin Allemand (11 points) also scored in double digits for Higgins.
Tyree Griffin separates himself from his older brother, who was more of a scoring point guard.
Shawn Jones, though, does take some of his game from Casey, who is averaging 3.8 points as a freshman.
O. Perry Walker advanced to the next round to play John Curtis late Thursday. In an earlier game, St. Augustine defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 44-38. Craig Victor and Kelan Chairs scored 10 apiece to lead St. Aug.
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