Gauchos Take Both Peach Jam Titles

N. AUGUSTA, S.C. – After four days of non-stop basketball the Gauchos claimed a pair of titles at the Peach Jam. Chris Fouch was the story of the day, as he led the New York squad to a dramatic win over The Family.

This year the Peach Jam should have been called the Gauchos Invitational, as the program from New York won both divisions at the prestigious Nike event.

In the 17's championship the Gauchos beat The Family by a score of 70 – 68. The ‘Chos got strong efforts from Kemba Walker (11 points), Darryl Bryant (16 points), Chris Fouch (15 points) and Jordan Theodore in the championship.

The game was forced to overtime after Kemba Walker missed a game winner in regulation. The Family, who was led by Paul Williams (22 points) and DaShonte Riley (8 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocks), took a 1-point lead with under 15 seconds to go when Eric Evans hit a pair of free throws.

After a block by Riley, the Gauchos entered the ball from the side with 4.4 seconds left. Walker received the inbounds pass, drove to the left side and kicked it to a wide-open Fouch, who buried a deep three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

Guachos Win Peach Jam
Fouch was in a similar situation at the Nike Memorial Day Classic two months ago, but he missed a three at the buzzer that would have forced over time. This time the 6-foot guard drained it.

"I'm always ready to hit a big shot," Fouch said. "I knew I would hit it. I would have liked to have won both of them, but this is a bigger tournament and I'm glad I hit it."

The New York (NY) Rice standout has led the Gauchos in scoring all summer and his stock is reaching an all-time high. Mid-major programs looking for a hard-nosed kid with a pure stroke should certainly give him a look.

In the 16's championship Omari Lawrence and Tevin Baskins led the Gauchos to a close victory over the Georgia Stars. Lawrence attacked the basket and got a handful of buckets off drives and finishes in the paint, while Baskins used his length and athleticsm to block shots and score in the open court.

Chris Fouch, SG/PG, New York Gauchos – A few days ago we wrote that Tanner Smith was a glue guy for the Georgia Stars, and we think the same of Fouch and the Gauchos. He doesn't get the attention that Walker and Theodore gets, but he has certainly proven himself as a great shooter with range that extends well past the three-point line. Although it isn't his strength, he can put it on the floor and get to the basket as well. His shot against The Family was big time and he certainly deserves some credit.

Darryl Bryant, SG, New York Gauchos – Every game a different Gaucho steps up and gets it done. In the semi-finals it was Bryant that seemed to be all over the place. He got to the rack, drained deep jumpers and took a pair of charges in the Gauchos win over the Georgia Blazers. His strong play continued in the championship where he led the Gauchos with 16 points.

Kemba Walker, PG, New York Gauchos – The Cactus Classic was Walker's coming out party, but the 6-foot senior-to-be hasn't let up since. Throughout the Peach Jam, Walker displayed his quickness and ability to create for teammates. We love his competitiveness and drive to win. Connecticut got a good one, as he's clearly one of the best point guards in the country.

Paul Williams, SG, The Family – If it wasn't for Williams ability to knock down deep jumpers against the Georgia Stars, The Family would have been sent packing in the semi-finals. However, Williams caught fire and hit a bunch of three-pointers on his way to 22 points. The lefty scored majority of his shots off the dribble, but managed to get a few at the basket too.

Andre Young, PG, Georgia Blazers – At just 5-foot-9, Young is an interesting prospect to say the least. The Albany (Ga.) Deerfield-Windsor standout is a great shooter off the bounce and consistently knocks down deep jumpers. His handles are good and he'll toss out a handful of assists a game as well. Clearly size is a concern but some high-majors are evaluating him.

DaShonte Riley, C, The Family – In the semi-finals Riley came out of the gate ready to roll. The 6-foot-11 junior-to-be held the Georgia Stars front line in check and nearly finished with a triple-double (9 points, 14 rebounds and 11 blocks). Blessed with long arms and a solid frame, Riley was able to swat some shots and protect the basket against arguably the most talented team in the event. In the championship Riley put up similar numbers. Offensively he hasn't developed many back to the basket moves, but he's already comfortable stepping out and knocking down 12-foot jumpers.

Matt Brabham, PG, Georgia Stars 16's – Two days in a row Brabham showed up for big games. Although his squad lost in the championship, Brabham went for 18 points on four three-pointers. The 5-foot-9 lead man is quick, handles it well and is great shooting the ball off the dribble.

Dexter Strickland informed us that his finger was indeed broken, but that he'll be ready to go next time his team hits the floor.

Chris Fouch has heard from Iona, South Florida, Sienna, Fairfield, Drexel and Albany.

DaShonte Riley listed Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kansas State and Georgetown as the schools recruiting him the hardest.

"This is just the warm up to hell week, AKA Vegas. This is just the pre-game stretching." – An assistant coach said while watching the semi-finals this morning.

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