The Stars Shine In North-South Game

Rising high school senior basketball prospects took center stage before a big crowd in Montgomery on Thursday night.

Montgomery, Ala.--Despite the noticeable absence of big men D.J. White, Mike Williams and Walter Sharpe, the 2003 Alabama North-South Basketball game went off without a hitch Thursday night on the campus of Auburn University-Montgomery.

With as many as six possible Division I recruits on the court even without Sharpe, Williams and White, in the end it was one of the lesser-known players that stole the show.

Brandon Davis (40), a 6-7 forward from Birmingham, blocks out while preparing to rebound.

While many at the packed house at AUM's arena came to see names like Auburn commitment Frank Tolbert and Alabama commitments Ronald Steele and Glenn Miles, the star of Thursday's game was athletic forward Brandon Davis from West End High in Birmingham. A teammate of Miles in high school, Davis earned MVP honors for the North team on the way to a 98-85 comeback victory for his squad.

At 6-7, but a mere 185 pounds, Davis benefitted from the absence of the really big bodies in the paint to lead all players in scoring with 19 points. He also was a dominant force around the basket with seven rebounds and seven blocked shots, three of which came on one sequence in the first half.

Just behind him was John Carroll's DeMarre Carroll. The 6-7, 192-pound guard/forward quietly had a big night with 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

DeMarre Carroll handles the ball while Devin Person (12) plays defense for the South.

Showing a good feel for the game, Carroll hit seven of nine shots from the floor and was always in control. All-State point guard Steele had an off night with just seven points on two of seven shooting, but he dished out five assists and was a solid floor general for the North All-Stars much of the night. Miles, playing the two guard position, made just four of 12 from the floor, but dished out a game high 10 assists and also pulled down six rebounds.

On the South squad it was Devin Person that kept his team in the game until the finals minutes. Launching bombs from all over the court, the tiny 5-9 Brantley High star and nephew of former Auburn stars Chuck and Wesley Person hit five of seven from behind the arc and finished with a team-high 15 points on the night in a reserve role. Person and the other small and quick South guards like LaDarius Webb of Beauregard controlled the tempo of the contest much of the game and helped the underdog South squad lead much of the game. Nine minutes into the second half, the South led 71-62 before the North rallied with some strong inside play and too many turnovers by the South All-Stars.

Tolbert, still recovering from a broken bone in his foot suffered earlier this summer, scored 10 points on three of seven shooting and added three rebounds. While not his usual explosive self, he says that he's getting closer to being full speed once again.

"They said I broke the fifth metatarsal in my foot," Tolbert told Inside the Auburn Tigers. "They said it would take four to six weeks to heal. It has been a month since I injured it, but they went ahead and cleared me."

The Alabama High School Athletic Association's All-Star Game was his first competition since the injury. "I was supposed to go to the adidas camp (ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J.) last week, but I didn't go up there because my foot wasn't all the way healed yet. I didn't want to go up there and embarrass myself.

"Next week I am going to Orlando to play in the AAU Nationals with the Challengers. I played all right the first few minutes of the game, but my foot got stiff after that I didn't play as well."

Frank Tolbert plans to sign with Auburn in November. He will be a senior this year at Red Level High.

Tobert came out smoking, hitting his first shot, a long range three-pointer past the top of the key. His second shot was also on target, another long-range three. He quickly added his eighth point of the game with a flashy left-handed move on a fast break for two more points. A third foul sent Tolbert to the bench early in the first half. He didn't return until the 14:59 mark of the second period (two 20-minute halves were played) and he was definitely not as smooth as he had been earlier in the evening.

Picking up the slack for the South squad in the paint was Julius Allgood from Francis Marion. The 6-6, 185 guard moved inside to help out against the taller North team and finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds. He was one of the more impressive players on the court and played with a lot of desire and focus. He showed the capability to put the ball on the floor and was best facing the basket in the 15-foot range.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Among the several thousand fans packed into the AUM gymnasium were several college coaches, including Auburn Head Coach Cliff Ellis and assistant Charlton Young who made himself very noticeable in a fashionable tropical style shirt featuring an Auburn logo. Also in attendance was Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried, UAB Coach Mike Anderson, Jacksonville State Coach and former Auburn assistant Mike LaPlante, Alabama State Coach Rob Spivery, former Ole Miss and current West Georgia Coach Ed Murphy, Samford Coach Jimmy Tillette, AUM's Larry Chapman and dozens of smaller college and junior college coaches...Former Auburn guard Wayne Bracy of Deshler High coached the winning North squad...College coaches looking for a dangerous outside shooter got to see 6-0, 170 guard Will Ginn of Alexandria hit both of his three pointers and score 10 points on four of five from the field...In the girls game dominated by the North with a final score of 109-66, 6-1 center Zsaquez Flucker of Abbeville High was MVP of the South team while 5-8 guard Starr Orr of Speake took MVP honors for the North. Orr scored more than a point-a-minute. She made 10 of 16 field goals in 18 minutes and led all scorers with 22 points. She added seven steals, three assists and four rebounds. Flucker made five of six shots and added four blocks and four rebounds in 13 minutes of playing time.

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