The main event

Top ranked recruits battle in Hoopfest main event


Photo by Braylen Garren

University of Connecticut commit Stephon Castle drives the lane in main event against Duncanville in day two of Hoopfest Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Despite Castle’s 41 point performance, Duncanville took the win 80-76.

Story by Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor

Duncanville battled out a tough, tight game against Newton in the highlight of main events on day two of Hoopfest Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. 

Newton grabbed a 7-0 to start the first quarter, and forced Duncanvile to burn a time out early after multiple unforced errors and turnovers. 

Newton’s offense was hot early, getting a ton of shots to fall. Duncanville struggled offensively in the first, failing to finish at the basket. 

At the end of the first, Newton remained in the lead 21-14. 

Going into the second quarter, Duncanville continued to turn the ball over. Newton stayed sound offensively and pushed a strong defense.

Duncanville closed the point gap to 25-27, after a dunk from senior Ron Holland forced a timeout for Newton. 

The Panthers entered foul trouble, getting into the bonus early in the second quarter. 

Newton shot the ball well from the perimeter, but couldn’t lengthen their lead again. Senior Stephon Castle put Newton ahead by four points after making two free throws. 

At the end of the half, Newton led 34-30. 

The intensity of the game rose going into the second half. Holland obtained his fourth foul with seven minutes remaining in  the third quarter, forcing Duncanville to bench a vital player. 

 Newton lengthened their lead back to seven, and Castle began to heat up on offense. Senior KJ Lewis for Duncanville battled offensively with Castle as the Panthers fought to close the point gap.

Turnovers and fouls stopped Duncanville from gaining any momentum. After two more three pointers from Castle, Newton led 59-51 going into the fourth quarter.

Starting the fourth, Newton seemed in a good place to tack a loss onto Duncanville’s record, however the Panthers came out faster than the rest of the game.

Duncanville closed the point gap, a three pointer by Kayden Edwards brought them within one point, but Newton returned every bucket Duncanville made. 

Duncanville picked up their first one point lead with a layup, but Newton countered with a layup of their own, and the tension in the gym began to grow.

Both teams were now in bonus, making every offensive possession even more valuable. 

Duncanville’s senior Cameron Barnes tied the game at 68 with a layup, Castle regained the lead for Newton with a pull-up jump shot, Lewis answered with two free throws, tying the game at 70 and Castle again came back to get a 72-70 lead.  

Castle attempted to take charge from Lewis, but got called for a blocking foul, fouling out and sending Lewis to the line to  shoot two free throws, down by two. 

Castle ended the game with 41 points in 31 minutes.

Lewis made the free throws, tying the game at 72. Holland was fouled on Duncanville’s following possession, and he gave the Panthers the lead with two free throws of his own.

Duncanville ultimately prevailed in the nail-biter, 80-76.