GSK Invitational: Junior Guard Steps Up

RALEIGH, N.C. – It wasn't pretty by any stretch of the imagination. However, Christ The King won the GSK Invitational. The day's best effort belonged to St. John's Chris Wright in the 3rd place game.

Tis the season for big time games from star players. Chris Wright delivered the goods for St. John's as they knocked off Montverde Academy to capture 3rd place at the GSK Invitational. Meanwhile, the big bracket was won by Christ The King which defeated Kinston 55-37 in a sleeper.

Wright did exactly what big time players are supposed to do in tight games: he willed his team to victory.

The 6-foot scoring point guard was the only player on either team that could get a bucket when push came to shove and a play needed to be made. In a hotly contested 45-41 win over Montverde for 3rd place, Wright made the key plays to get the win.

"When you have him on your side, you have a shot," St. John's coach Paul Destefano said after the game.

Wright's heroics concluded with a 32-point game that featured a stellar 9-for-11 from the line. He scored 21 of his team's 26 first half points. However, it wasn't until the second half when he completely found his niche.

For the second night in a row, his deep shot wasn't falling at the rate he's accustomed to. Faced with the prospect of having to be his team's only real consistent scoring threat, he went to the drive.

Montverde ran multiple guys at him but Wright simply beat them off the dribble, attacked the basket, got creamed, took the punishment and made his freebies. However, it was the move he completed without getting fouled that came to define the tough evening he turned in.

Midway through the second half, Wright drove baseline and got stalled midway to the basket. He switched gears, backed down a defender and drove him to the rim until he got to exactly where he wanted to be on the floor and then scooped in a reverse lay up.

"It was instincts," Wright said. "Right time and place and I did what I had to do basically."

North Carolina State head coach Herb Sendek and two assistants sat courtside. Wake Forest's Pat Kelsey represented the Demon Deacons. During the tournament, all four schools on his final list got face time on press row. Head coaches from Wake Forest, N.C. State and Villanova popped in to see Wright.

There has been chatter that the guard might be "close" to deciding. He diffused the speculation in the post game press conference.

"I really don't have a timetable," Wright said. "Whenever I feel like it's the right time I'll call that coach."

Thursday was the Wright time for St. John's, that's for sure.

Larry Davis (shown), SG, CTK – This wasn't vintage Davis by any stretch of the imagination but Christ The King did defeat Kinston in the title game.

Davis was awarded the MVP based on the fact CTK had a balanced attack and his 23-point opening round was the big number output for the Royals in the event. He had 14 in the finale, 10 of which were scored at the line.

Dan Werner, PF, Christian Brothers – He led his team in scoring once again and made 6-of-7 from the field; the lone miss was a bunny he should have just dunked home anyway. The big fella had 17 and hit both of his 3-point attempts.


  • Brock Young torched Cary for 38 points (14-24 FG)
  • Goldsboro's Tim Kornegay had 29 points
  • Phoebus footballer Brent Vinson had 17

    Assistant Coaches In The Gym – N.C. State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, William & Mary, VCU, High Point.

    Head Coaches In The Gym – Herb Sendek, N.C. State

    Ryan Barnes gave Montverde a lift in the first half. He made a trio of 3s but didn't connect on another bucket the entire game. … Barnes and L.D. Williams (5-for-13 FG) led Montverde with 12 each. … Montverde had serious trouble scoring the ball the entire tournament. "All of our losses are the same way," coach Kevin Sutton said. … Kinston sophomore Donovan Ingram was held to 2 points. Like we said, he's going to take some time before figuring it all out. Not to fear, he'll get it eventually and become a consistent player. He's still young. … Robert Hampton, a utility wing out CTK, should draw low to potentially some mid-major looks for his hustle and substance as a basketball player. …


  • Christ The King 55, Kinston 37
  • Christian Brothers 42, Seattle Prep 26
  • St. John's College 45, Montverde 41
  • Broughton 77, Cary 55
  • North Mecklenburg 55, Southern Durham 49
  • Phoebus 75, Goldsboro 52

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