TheInsidersHoops.com Daily Roundup, Day Four, Part 1
Something had to give. Tabor Academy had the big guy. All Hallows had the guards. Contrasting styles converged and it made for great basketball. All Hallows survived and advanced to the Palms Championship by virtue of a 54-53 win over Tabor. Ricky Soliver led the Gaels with 17 points in a knock down, drag ‘em out affair. Torin Francis was the high scorer with 22. He shot 7-for-10 from the field and Tabor's inability to get him more shots really hurt; credit All Hallows for what was at times suffocating defense. However, at other times a simple lob would have done Tabor well. The drama was high, but the execution for both teams wasn't. The storyline: 35 total rebounds in the game. 31 total turnovers. Ouch.
Westchester earned the right to take on All Hallows with a resounding victory over a very good Kathleen team. The Comets finally got their offense and press cranked up. When they are playing like this, its almost like sharks in a feeding frenzy and as Dickie V. would say, "It's turnover city, baby." Kathleen coughed it up under the pressure to the tune of 17 times in the first half. Westchester 82, Kathleen 64. Hassan Adams had 19 and Rashad Anderson had 20.
Marcus Morrison, SG, Lakewood: With Rick Pitino looking on, his team staged a Louisville-like comeback to end the first half. The momentum carried over into the second half and Lakewood won it easily 71-56 behind a team-high 19 from Morrison. He also chipped in with 12 boards. Marcus, welcome to the Top 100. Folks, he had himself a fine tournament.
Jose Barrera, 5-10, PG, Miami Christian: Really scored it well throughout the tournament. This kid is a Division I player. See game story.
Shavlik Randolph, PF, Broughton: The season is starting to become frustrating for Randolph and his teammates. The losses are piling up. Randolph put forth a game effort with 24 points and a dozen boards but Miami Christian was way too talented for one of Raleigh's finest teams.
Leon Powe, PF, Oakland Tech: 20 and 14. Not bad for the big guy. Rick Pitino arrived early to watch him.
Michael Umeh, SG, Hightower: He scored 31 in his team's narrow win over Abramson. The effort included a stellar 7-for-13 from downtown. He's receiving recruiting interest from schools like Baylor and TCU and a number of programs in his area. Nice tournament and a good player with a high-major scoring game.
Trevor Ariza, F, Westchester: He rebounded. He checked Rashad Anderson. He threw an alley-oop to Hassan Adams. Need we say more? Ariza consistently proved his value as an elite prospect and he kept his game simple. He was the guy who chased missed shots and used his athletic ability to create chances for offensive rebounds.
Zam Frederick, SG, Calhoun County: He put together his best performance of the tournament in a 71-63 win over Salem. This was his most consistent shooting game (11-for-14, 4-for-6 from downtown). He was perfect from the line as well. It seemed like every time Salem made a run he answered with a jumper. Last spring and summer he played a lot of point guard and looked pretty good doing it. Now, he's running a lot on the wing. Zam's father was the 1981 NCAA scoring champion while playing for South Carolina.
Sean Morrison, SF, Lakewood: We weren't able to verify, but he could be Marcus' brother. Regardless, he's an athletic freshman who factored into some key plays. It's early, but he looks like a real player. His team advanced to the consolation bracket championship.
Location, Location, Location: It's the reason why the Florida Gators were able to see every game that both Trevor Ariza and Leon Powe played in this week.
Oakland Tech and Lakewood had a little "misunderstanding" in the halfway during halftime of their game. So, the music director plays "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" coming into the second half. Classic move. He then outdid himself in the second half when he played the theme song from "Cops." … Broughton PG William Kane is a big Jason Williams fan. How big? Well, he's got good old No. 55 (Sacramento Kings style jersey) under his Broughton jersey. … Craig Esherick probably won't let Brandon Bowman wear North Carolina shorts under his game shorts at Georgetown like he does for Westchester. … The City of Palms event has been no picnic for Virginia Beach Salem. Bill Cochrane's defending state champs are 1-2 through 3 games. …. Lakewood's Marcus Morrison won a spirited slam dunk contest by throwing one down after jumping over a rack of basketballs. Hightower's Chudi Chinweze finished second. … Lakeland trailed Westchester by 21 at the half. The reason? How about 17 first half turnovers. It goes without saying that you can't do that against a team of WC's caliber and expect not to get run out of the gym. …
Line of the Day: An official to Tabor coach David First after First began screaming at him. "Say it, don't scream it. I get enough of that at home."
Roll Call (colleges in attendance): Louisville (Rick Pitino and Mick Cronin), Florida (Anthony Grant, 4th day in a row), Clemson (Darren Tillis), Georgia Southern, Auburn.
Lakewood 71, Oakland Tech 56
Hightower 69, Abramson 67
Miami Christian 80, Broughton 61
All Hallows 54, Tabor Academy 53
Westchester 82, Kathleen 64
Challenge Games: Oakland Tech vs. Lehigh, Salem vs. Cypress Lake, Broughton vs. Bishop Verot, Abramson vs. Xaverian
Consolation Championship: Hightower vs. Lakewood
Fifth-Place Game: Miami Christian vs. Calhoun County
Third-Place Game: Tabor Academy vs. Kathleen
Championship: All Hallows vs. Westchester
That concludes this site's coverage from the City of Palms.