University Lab senior forward Maxwell Starwood committed to Tulane in November.
On Friday, Starwood made the trip from Baton Rouge to his future college residence for the first time since that commitment.
He wasted little time giving the folks in New Orleans a sneak peek of what he can do in the Cubs’ opening-round game in the Country Day Classic.
There was his alley-oop in the first 80 seconds.
He added another dunk less than two minutes later.
Then a third one before the midway point of the opening quarter.
It all helped ignite U-High’s 83-24 rout over Warren Easton in opening-round action of the Country Day Classic.
“The No. 1 thing he brings is energy,” U-High coach Joe Spencer said. “He is long and athletic and he can really shoot. He is such an enthusiastic player on both ends of the court. He blocks a ton of shots, but he also leads us in charges. He does a lot of little things that help us.”
The 6-foot-7 Starwood finished with 16 points for the Cubs, who will play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday against McDonogh 35.
U-High improved to 9-0, with eight of those wins decided by 15 points or more.
This one was never in doubt.
The Cubs held a commanding 28-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 32-0 early in the second.
Easton didn’t score its first point until 5:16 remained in the second quarter when Rashan Robertson sank a free throw. The first field goal came with 4:17 left in the quarter on a Robertsoin layup.
“I was pleased,” said Spencer, who returned all five starters from last season’s Class 3A state championship team. “They were really sharing the ball on offense, which led to easy buckets. We had the height advantage and trapping and it led to a fast start. They have done a god job coming to play every night.”
Starwood scored 10 of his points in the first half that saw the Cubs build a 48-7 halftime lead.
He is hoping to continue that energy next fall when he suits up for the Green Wave.
He chose Tulane over Murray State. It helped that Quannis White, Starwood’s AAU coach, is now an assistant at Tulane.
“I just really like the coaching staff,” Starwood said. “(White) helped me blow up the way I did. Playing for him, I started getting a lot of college offers.”
Starwood had plenty of help Friday. Wayde Sims led all scorers with 18 points, 10 of which came on dunks, including a highlight-reel windmill slam.
Jalen Johnson had 16 points and D.J. White had 13 for the Cubs, who got most of their points on easy transition baskets.
As scary as it sounds, Starwood had this to say about the Cubs’ victory.
“Honestly, I know we can play a lot better,” Starwood said. “The score showed that we played well, but I thought we played down a little and we can’t do that. We have to play on our level or higher every game.”
Juwan Jones scored nine points to lead Warren Easton (7-3). The Eagles were playing their first game without point guard Kevin Hicks, who is sitting out with an ankle injury. Easton coach Neil McKendall expects his top player to return at the end of December.
“It hurts a lot not having him,” McKendall said. “When you cut off the head of the snake, it’s hard. And he is the head of our snake.”
But McKendall also credited U-High, which he predicts will likely win the tournament.
“I knew they were a talented team,” McKendall said. “They play aggressive and we didn’t play aggressive. When you don’t play aggressive against a team like that, you get your brains beat out. They are just a juggernaut.”