1:38: Posted up here for the first game of the day, and Doral Moore contributed 10 points in the first half for Luella (Ga.) High. The junior big man has improved markedly from a year ago and continues to rise in the national standings.
Moore does need to become much stronger, but he already boasts a soft turnaround jump shot and has stupendous length. Luella is delivering a beatdown to Mullins (S.C.) High, which lacks size.
Meanwhile, freshman guard Jalek Felton holds tremendous promise for Mullins. He shoots a nice looking three-pointer and also has above-average quickness, even compared against players three years his elder. He has made a couple of eye-opening baseline runners and warrants the high-major attention he's already receiving.
2:30: Blanton finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds for the winners, while Felton scored 27 points for the losers.
Talking to Felton after the game, he said that North Carolina and Kansas are recruiting him the hardest, followed by Kentucky, South Carolina, Clemson, Wichita State and Northwestern. Given his connection to former Tar Heel Raymond Felton, Roy Williams may be tough to beat at the point he offers.
Meanwhile, Mullins has an unsigned senior shooting guard named Alex Brown who's also a Division I talent. He scored 19 points for the losers and is a good athlete. He's getting interest, but no offers yet, from East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, Coastal Carolina, Arkansas-Little Rock and Western Michigan. He said he also holds a 3.5 GPA.
Now Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances is playing Martinsville (Va.) Carlisle. Neither Thon Maker nor Dwayne Morgan has been dominant in the first half.
2:51: Well, not much of a half. Maker scored five points on 5-6 free throws, while Morgan shot 0-3 and went scoreless. Proof how much things can change game to game, given how good they both were yesterday.
3:55: St. Frances hangs on to win 71-65. Maker finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, but he shot only 4-11 from the field as he relied too heavily on perimeter play. He's at his best inside, on both ends.
Morgan picked up a little in the second half, including a couple of nice left-handed challenges versus Maker at the rim. Still, 12 points on 5-12 shooting is very quiet from him.
In the next game, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe takes on Augusta (Ga.) Aquinas.
4:38: At halftime, Aquinas holds a three-point advantage. Marquette-bound guard Ahmed Hill has been the impact performer, scoring 13 points on 6-11 shooting. He looks invigorated here relative to his desultory summer, and the Golden Eagles will love to get this version of Hill.
Aquinas appeared on the verge of a romp, but South Pointe went to a fullcourt press and drew close at halftime. Hill is playing a lot of point guard, and he needs to take command of the ballhandling situation and get his team into its offense.
Also for Aquinas, 6-5 sophomore WF Sanantonio Brinson is a talent to monitor. He airballed his first three but drilled the second one, and he also has a tip slam.
5:31: I said Hill was the impact performer, and boy was he ever. He shot 14-20 from the floor on his way to 36 points, and he also contributed eight rebounds and five assists. He did turn the ball over six times, but that's because he was forced to be a one-man show versus the press.
And that press ultimately undid Aquinas, which lose 70-67. From an individual perspective, though, this was a breakthrough in my eyes for Hill and a very encouraging sign for him looking ahead to his collegiate career.
6:59: Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley is playing without high-major junior guard P.J. Dozier, who's out this season after undergoing knee surgery, but the Vikings have another underclassman for major conference programs to track.
Jordan Bruner is a 6-7 sophomore PF who is rangy, athletic and reasonably skilled for his age. He projects as a hybrid or perhaps even a stretch four, if he can develop a workable jump shot. He already does some nice things inside and blocks shots on defense as well.
Spring Valley is nursing a one-point lead over High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan, which is receiving a solid, though great performance from Theo Pinson.