By Robert Wilson

Jackson Prep’s Tim Wise coached college basketball for 14 years at Millsaps College, but he has seen few performances like he saw about his Prep Patriots last week.

Clinton Christian Academy’s 5-foot-7 junior point guard KJ Sykes was one assist short of a triple double – a rare accomplishment in high school – in a 63-58 victory over Prep. Sykes had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists to lead the MAIS defending Class 4A state champions over Class 6A Prep.

Sykes averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists in three games last week.

For his outstanding performance last week, Sykes has been named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.

“KJ put us on our heels from the outset,” said Wise, whose team lost only its second game this season against CCA. “His ability to stop, start and change direction in an explosive manner puts Sykes in an elite class of guards. He was one assist from a triple double and to do that in 32 minutes explains the type of game he had. And his points came off 2-point field goals and free throws, no 3-pointers made, which makes the night even more special.”

“KJ is our best player and the hardest working kid on the team,” said CCA coach Josh Zeitz, who doubles as the girls coach and was named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Coach of the Year last season. “He is an Honor Society student that leads on and off the court. He has had some great games at CCA, but his performance against Jackson Prep stands out. Every time Prep made a run, KJ either hit a big shot or set his teammates up for a great shot.”

Sykes also had 24 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in three quarters in a 67-46 victory over Class 5A Brookhaven Academy and 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in a 60-43 loss to Class 6A Parklane Academy and 6-10 junior forward and Ole Miss commitment Jacob Gazzo.

Sykes is averaging 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals for 8-9 CCA this season. He scored a career-high 40 points against St. Aloysius.

He averaged 18 points, 3.2 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals and led CCA to the 31-7 record and the 3A state title and Overall Tournament semifinals. CCA hasn’t lost to a 4A team or smaller in two years and plays its home games at Sunnybrook in Ridgeland. CCA’s new gym is scheduled to be ready Jan. 15.

CCA’s next game is at Hillcrest tonight.