So much for SPIRE Institute’s dominance with LaMelo Ball on the floor.
The Geneva, Ohio private school that has housed LaMelo’s “senior” season had run the gamut since Ball arrived, going 13-0 entering its second and final game of the Big Baller Beatdown event in Kentucky. That included a much ballyhooed face off between Ball and fellow hoops phenom Julian Newman, who plays for Downey Christian School (Orlando, Fla.).
My, how the tables turned. On Monday, Prolific Prep, the wine country prep basketball factory that once housed Suns forward Josh Jackson, ran over SPIRE by a final score of 94-59. That’s a 35-point spread. While Ball was still impressive, scoring 20 points, his effort was dwarfed by Prolific Prep sophomore Nimari Burnett, who scored 34 points.
Considering the fact that the final spread was 35 points, Burnett scoring nearly exactly that certainly demonstrates how important his contribution was.
Burnett scored from all over, and SPIRE didn’t have an answer. That included LaMelo, who entered in his boots, shaking his head, side-to-side.
Of course, this loss could be precisely the spark needed by SPIRE to rally and win the final five contests of the season. That kicks off with the team’s game Friday against Hughes High School (Cincinnati, Ohio). Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.