HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – From Renardo Sidney to the Raleigh-area, Scout.com takes you on a jaunt around the country as we check in on the high school hoops scene.
Prospects, especially in non-metropolitan areas, run in cycles. Back in 2002 during the heyday of Raleigh hoops, the like of Shavlik Randolph
, Eric Williams
, Anthony Richardson
and P.J. Tucker
ran the town.
Since their departure the area has been looking for an injection of talent and it appears the classes of 2009 and 2010 could be just what the doctor ordered. In fact, across the state it appears that high school prospects are on the rise.
Tuesday night at Holly Springs saw a pair of talented underclassmen, each playing for first-year high schools, square off. Earnest Ross
, a sophomore wing guard at Panther Creek and C.J. Leslie a freshman forward for Holly Springs were under the spotlight.
With each team hunting its first win, Leslie and Co. raced out to what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. However, in a breakneck paced 4th quarter Ross and his crew reeled them in (they trailed by 24 points). When it was over Ross had 33 points and 9 boards; Leslie fouled out with 14, 8 and 2 blocks. Ohio State assistant coach Alan Major was in the stands taking in the action.
Jarrell Eddie, one of the top freshmen in the state of North Carolina, led The Cannon School past Providence Day 52-32. Cannon poured in a game-high 21 points as his team cranked it up in the second half to insure the win.
There's a good looking player down at Charlotte Latin. Sophomore David Chadwick is a name you're going to hear a lot from this season. Latin took down Gastonia Huss Tuesday night as Chadwick pumped in 25 points. Latin won 65-58 over Huss.
Power forward Justin Johnson led Cherryville past South Point 76-57. The junior big man netted 25 in the win. Underclassman Cameron Lovelace scored 22 points of his own for the victors.
Winston-Salem Prep needed overtime but got it done. Guard Marcus Wright scored 10 points in overtime and 34 for the game as Prep defeated Rockingham 75-72.
New Hanover junior Ty Walker posted his second consecutive 20-point game. Walker, with an assistant coach from North Carolina in the stands, Walker flirted with the triple-double and had 22 points and 10 blocks.
DeMarcus Cousins led Erwin past Leeds 71-62 for the team's third win of the year. Scout.com's second-ranked sophomore went for 24 points as his club rallied to overcome 19 turnovers.
Junior wing Ray Shipman helped Monsignor Pace earn its first win over the year. Shipman hit for a game-high 29 points. On the losing end was Scout.com No. 50 junior Eloy Vargas. The American Heritage prospect scored 27 points in defeat.
Top-ranked junior Greg Monroe scored 14 points with LSU coach John Brady in attendance Tuesday night. Cox was taken to the wire by East St. John before winning 74-68.
"Mauzon also acknowledged that the crowd may have been disappointed with the play of Monroe. "He didn't have a good game, but he didn't get a lot of touches," Cox coach Tyron Mauzon told the Times-Picayune. "Everybody's focusing on him so much, that we're trying to do other things."
Alabama signee Justin Knox had a big game for Tuscaloosa Central Tuesday night. Central took down Pickens 51-47. The 6-foot-8 power forward scored 22 points in the win. He also had 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Down in Louisiana, junior power forward Storm Warren is getting it done. In Richwood's win over Carroll Tuesday night, Warren dropped 25 points. He also went for 22 rebounds and had 10 blocks. Terrence Henry, a junior we feel has great potential, scored 13 for Carroll.
Mason County took apart St. Patrick for its first win of the year. Junior forward Darius Miller, in limited minutes, scored 15 points for the winners. According to newspaper reports, Miller got it all started when he drove the lane for the game's first points on a thunderous jam.
Mater Dei is poised for another big time season. On Monday night Taylor King dumped in 28 points (a trio of 3s in first minute and a half of the game) and Oregon-bound guard Kamyron Brown had 15 assists. King should become the school's all-time scoring leader early in the season as he began his final year with 2,229 points; essentially 200 behind the school record.
Artesia opened its season with its best players bringing the noise. Guard Malik Story led the rout of Brentwood 74-29. Story dropped in a team-high 24 while 2009's top dog Renardo Sidney had 16 points. To the best of our knowledge, this was Sidney's debut as a high school basketball player. He did not play last season in Mississippi when a transfer rule kept him out of action.
Fresh off a commitment to Illinois, freshman Jereme Richmond and his North Shore Country Day club dropped a game at the hands of Latin. Richmond grabbed 13 rebounds and shot 18-for-20 from the free throw line in the setback. Richmond finished with 41 points.
NEWS & NOTES
Junior L.A. Pomlee sat out Tuesday night's game in Iowa with an undisclosed injury, according to the local newspaper. … Sophomore D.J. Richardson out of Peoria Central has offers from Illinois, Indiana, Baylor and Bradley, according to published reports. He averaged 16.3 points a game as a freshman. … L.J. Hepp, a former Stanford and Tulsa assistant, notched his first win of his high school coaching career at Panther Creek.