Peoria High School (4-0) continued their strong play this high school season on Friday evening in the championship game of this year's Arrowhead Desert Classic - holding off a good Brophy (3-1) team, 53-40, and winning this year's tournament title.
5-foot-10 senior guard Dewayne Russell would win Tournament Most Valuable Player honors, as he would carry his team to a come-from-behind victory in the win.
Brophy would jump out to an early lead in the game's first period, 12-6, behind strong inside play from 6-foot-8, 232-pound junior post Tim Kempton. The Broncos would take a 12-10 lead after the end of the first quarter.
But in the second period, Dewayne Russell, who had scored almost all of Peoria's first quarter points himself, would convert a driving layup after connecting on a mid-range jumper. Russell's back-to-back baskets would tie the score at 14 all with 6:10 left to play in the first half.
Another three-pointer from Russell late in the half with 2:12 left to play would give Peoria a 21-17 lead.
Peoria would take a 23-20 lead into the half.
In the second half, Brophy's Kempton would continue his strong play - keeping the Broncos within striking distance. Three consecutive baskets by Kempton would give Brophy Prep back the lead in the third with 3:15 to play, 29-28.
Peoria, behind Russell's strong play, would storm right back. After a drive and a dish to 6-foot-4 senior Lawrence Pierce by Russell, Peoria would take a 37-31 lead with 1:23 left to play in the third period.
Peoria would hold on to the lead in the fourth period, and cruise to a 53-40 tournament win.
Peoria's Russell would win this year's Tournament MVP award, while teammates Lawrence Pierce and 6-foot-11 senior Stephen Hadley would earn spots on the All-Tournament Team. Brophy's Kempton and 6-foot-4 senior James Harper would also earn All-Tournament honors.
Notes: Brophy's 6-foot-8 junior post Tim Kempton has quickly come into his own as a college prospect. Kempton's performance in Friday night's championship loss to Peoria HS and his performance in this week's tournament was a coming-out-party of sorts for the junior prospect. The son of former NBA player, Tim Kempton, this Kempton plays in a similar way, as he is very crafty aroudn the basket area and is also a very good passer of the basketball with a soft touch from the perimeter. Kempton came into his own last season as a sophomore, after Brophy Prep head coach Tony Fuller threw him into the varsity lineup in the Bronco's state playoff run. This season, it already looks as though Kempton is quite comfortable in a much more demanding role for the Brophy Prep team. This young man looks ready to have a strong junior season. as he is already among the state's top prospects in the 2013 class.