Livingston Named MVP; McBride Shines
Verdell Jones' Ft. Sooy No Limit team captured the Spiece Run ‘n Slam championship with a 78-71 win over All-Ohio Red in the final.
Shaun Livingston, a sophomore from Peoria (IL) Richwoods High, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. The 6-6 point guard ran the show and scored 21 points in the title game. He's one of the top players at his position in the Class of 2004.
Richard McBride, Sooy's 2003 winger was huge in the semifinal win over Cincinnati AAU Red. McBride scored 31 points including 7 3-pointers. All in all, it was a fine weekend for McBride despite the fact that he was playing hurt. He has some sort of an injury to his elbow on his shooting arm.
Brian Randle came up big for Sooy too. Randle started the spring AAU season with the St. Louis Eagles and since switching to Ft. Sooy a few weeks ago, has played extremely well.
All-Ohio reached the final by virtue of a win over Spiece Central Stars. Kudos to all-tournament members Andrew Lavender and Brandon Foust for a superior weekend effort. Foust was a big-time crowd pleaser as his high-wire act continued through Sunday.
Cincy Red power forward Monty St. Clair scored 18 points in his team's semifinal loss to Ft. Sooy was really carrying Mike Price's team in that one.
Foust's weekend performance was incredible given the fact that late Sunday afternoon when everyone's tank was essentially empty he was still the best athlete in the building as spent the afternoon jumping over would be defenders.
Thumbs up to Dupree Fletcher. The sophomore point guard for DTA Wisconsin scored 25 points in a 17-year old division loss to All-Ohio. Minutes after the defeat, Fletcher sprinted from Court 8 to Court 5 to play in a 16-year old game. He played the remainder of the afternoon with the younger DTA team and distinguished himself as one of the best sophomore guards in the event.
We left before the 16-year old championship game concluded but were astounded at the talent the Illinois Warriors 16-year-old team had. With a frontline of Shaun Pruitt, Ollie Bailey, Sean Kirkendoll and Gordon Watt, they clearly had the most talent of any team in their division. Add up the guards and swingmen and there were at least 7 Division I, mostly high-major caliber, players on Troy Johnson's team.
NOTES – The game of the day featured Bloomington Red versus the NY Gauchos. After a technical foul was assessed to the Gauchos for calling timeout when they didn't have any remaining, Sebastian Telfair stole and inbounds pass and launched a half court desperation heave that nearly went in. … Wisconsin signee Ray Nixon played with the DTA Wisconsin team. Nixon has yet to qualify on the standardized test but will take it again when offered.