North Shore was Story of Year in 2018-19

It marked the second-straight SPC Championship for Kinkaid. Via Vype

Originally Appeared on VYPE

IT WAS TRULY A YEAR TO REMEMBER IN HOUSTON WHEN IT CAME TO THE GRIDIRON.

North Shore stole the show with arguably the greatest finish in the history of Texas high school football with a Hail Mary to defeat Duncanville with no time left.

Dematrius Davis Jr. and Ajani Carter will forever go down in football lore for that play.

North Shore finished the season a perfect 16-0, making it the greatest team to ever come out of the #Eastside. The title marked the third in program history for the Mustangs and second in the last three years.

In the private school world, Kinkaid did its job and defended its Southwestern Preparatory Conference Championship.

The Falcons, powered by Hawaii-signee Zach Daniel at quarterback and LSU-bound Josh Williams at running back, were able to finish off the year 9-1-1, including beating Episcopal 41-14 in the title game.

It marked the second-straight SPC Championship for Kinkaid.

Other teams had remarkable seasons, including Shadow Creek, Fort Bend Marshall, The John Cooper School and St. Pius X.

In its first varsity campaign, Shadow Creek did something most teams can only dream about in their inaugural season – reach the state championship game.

The Sharks went a remarkable 15-0 to punch its ticket to the Class 5A Division II State Championship game, where it fell short to north Texas power Highland Park. Jamarian George was a whiz at running the offense, while Marquez Huland was a load to bring down coming out of the backfield. The job Brad Butler did in his first year leading the Sharks as a varsity program is nothing short of amazing.

Fort Bend Marshall made it to the state title game, despite having to go through one of the toughest things a team can – the loss of a teammate.


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5 questions on the John Wall trade

The Rockets made a big move. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets point guard carousel continued to spin Wednesday night, as the Woj bomb-iest of Houston-related Woj bombs erupted in the Space City:

For the third year in a row, the Rockets will begin the season with a new point guard, in an attempt to finally find someone that can play alongside James Harden. Let's take a look at how the Rockets got to this point, and what it means moving forward.

What led to the trade?

Russell Westbrook simply wanted out. Westbrook is the type of player that needs to be the number one ball handler and that simply wasn't ever going to happen on a James Harden led team. Other reports cited Westbrook's frustration with the lack of accountability and casual atmosphere within the locker room. Ultimately if anyone was going to be moved between Harden and Westbrook, it was always going to be Westbrook.

Why John Wall?

This one is another fairly straightforward answer: they both have relatively similar contracts. Each is making an absurdly overpriced $40 million this season, and both were disgruntled with their current team. Rockets General Manager Rafael Stone and Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard tossed the idea around a few weeks ago, but couldn't find a deal they liked. It was reported that discussions resumed Wednesday afternoon and within a few hours the deal was done in an almost one-for-one swap.

How does Wall fit?

This is a little more complicated because it's not exactly known what head coach Stephen Silas' game plan is. It's also difficult to predict whether or not Harden will still be on the roster when the season starts. But let's assume that Harden takes the court for the Rockets and that Silas' system resembles something similar to what we've seen in Houston for the past few years. In that case, Wall would be a slight upgrade to Westbrook. Westbrook is more athletic than Wall, but when healthy Wall was no slouch. In addition he's a much better defensive player and has much better court vision than Westbrook. Westbrook's assists were usually a bailout after attacking the lane with his head down, while Wall is more likely to set up a teammate.

This isn't to say that Wall doesn't need the ball though. He's fairly ball dominant, but not nearly as much as Westbrook. Harden proved last season that he's capable of effectively playing off the ball if necessary, so it seems like a better fit from a distribution rate alone. If they can find that sweet spot like they did with Chris Paul and stagger the lineups so that each star gets their own time to create, there's potential for an improved Rockets team more reminiscent of their 2018 run than the past two years.

What are the best and worst case scenarios?

The worst case is that the Rockets were sold a lemon. Wall has potential to be an upgrade, but comes with huge risk. He last took the court in 2018, where he was sidelined with a knee injury. He subsequently ruptured his Achilles in an accident at his home while recovering from the knee injury, forcing Wall off the court for almost two years. It's possible an extremely unfortunate Wall reinjures something and completely derails the machinations of the trade. Even if he's recovered fully, it will take time to get him up to game speed which could frustrate Harden on a team that can't afford a slow start in their stacked conference. Harden has managed to cultivate drama with just about every co-star he's played with, so there's no reason to assume this attempt would go any better. If things turn sour, Harden could be out the door even quicker than expected.

The best case scenario is that Wall arrives ready to play team basketball and resembles the better part of his pre-injury form. Wall and Harden buy into Silas' new system, space the floor, and take turns carving up the lane with dribble drives and kick outs to players who can actually hit from distance. This version of the Rockets could potentially be a 3-seed in this year's Western Conference.

Who won the trade?

At the moment the Rockets. Not only did they remove at least one of their locker room distractions, but they also gain a first round pick. If Wall can stay healthy and Silas can keep both stars happy, this team should be a lot more fun to watch than last season's clunker.

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