Saturday's USA Action

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Each team has played three games at the Festival and the matchups are set for the playoffs. The North and South will get it on in one semifinal game while the East and West matchup in the other.

East Finishes Strong

After losing their first game, the East went on a two-game win streak. In their third game, they defeated the South 112-108 as Sebastian Telfair went for 24 points (10-23 FGs) and 8 assists.

The quiet star of the game was Demetris Nichols who hit for 20 points and 8 rebounds. In our mind, there isn't a better wing defender in the country in the Class of 2003 than Nichols.

The South received 16 boards from Jackie Butler to go along with Ndudi Ebi's 23 points and 18 rebounds. Ebi played 43 minutes in the game.

The East, the event's top seed, will face the West in the first round of the playoffs.

NOTES – South guard Tack Minor scored 23 points in the game (9-19 FGs). However, the telling stat was that Minor recorded 0 assists while turning the ball over 8 times. After three games, Minor has 11 assists and 18 turnovers. Prior to the event, we had been listing him as a point guard but it's becoming more and more clear that he's an undersized power two guard. The bottom line is that he's jacked up a lot of unnecessary shots at this event while failing to adequately get teammates involved. … The overall skill level of Ebi is awesome. He can handle, score on the wing, rebound and block shots. He's the best senior prospect here. …

Thumbs up to Gary DeCesare for rotating his lineup every game and getting everyone involved. His team management has allowed kids on his roster to play their best position and put them in positions to look good. … The Tim Morris in Colorado Springs is not the same Tim Morris we know. Apparently, an ankle injury a few weeks ago has set him back and sapped away much of his confidence. Here's to hoping he can turn it around. … East center Shagari Alleyne recorded his first block of the event when he removed an Ebi attempt from the game. …

North Scores 153 Points In Win

Andrew Lavender scored 36 points and Ivan Harris 31 as the North defeated the West 153-141 and laid claim to the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Lavender connected on 8-of-11 3-point attempts. Harris grabbed 10 more rebounds.

Shannon Brown and TJ Bannister had 21 and 20, respectively for the North.

The Stewart Twins combined for 49 points in the fast-paced affair; the kind of up-tempo game that sets up real well for their transition game talents.

Bannister and Lavender each had 8 assists in the game.

The North takes on the South in the playoffs.

NOTESDrew Naymick scored 11 points and grabbed 8 boards for the North. He said that he's down to Michigan State, Michigan, Stanford and Ohio State. Naymick said that he feels like he can't possibly make a bad decision. From a basketball standpoint, he's played very well here. He hasn't played baseball in a while and as a result, he's looking more mobile and athletic. His offensive package has looked nice this week. … The West's Chris Richard broke out of his shell and scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss.

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