National Christian, Charis Duel In Wilson

WILSON, N.C. – The nasty weather that was supposed to put this game in jeopardy never materialized. What did develop was a scoring fest led by National Christian's Dante Taylor. Despite his 25 points, Charis Prep held serve at home.

The threat of inclement weather didn't deter National Christian from making the drive south to match wits against Charis Prep. With a host of talented frontcourt players on display, hometown Charis Prep out-slugged the visitors 94-91.

Liberty-bound guard Mike Lewis led Charis Prep with 28 points, most coming off his smooth lefty 3-point stroke. While Lewis handled his business in the backcourt, the game's focus was inside.

National Christian trailed by 3 at the half and its horse, junior power forward Dante Taylor, wasn't playing to his abilities. In the first 20 minutes, Taylor was limited to 5 points and 4 blocks. His slumber would not last long.

Taylor busted out in the second half to finish with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

"Dante's having a monster year," coach Trevor Brown said. "He's killing people."

The 6-foot-8 junior, according to Brown, is being chased hardest by Pittsburgh and Maryland. Connecticut, South Florida and a host of high-major programs have him on their boards.

Dewitt Has Ability
Taylor's a known commodity but his sophomore teammate is not. Will Barton, a 6-foot-4 winger, is a player. Athletically built and brandishing plenty of scoring options already, we were taken at how comfortable he was ducking to the post to gain an advantage.

A slasher with scoring talent, Barton has a smooth game. Eventually he'll extend his jumper and should track as a high-major talent. Barton finished with 17 points.

Holding serve for Charis Prep inside were two power forwards – one a senior and another a junior post-grad – who combined to score 30 points. Keith Dewitt and Dario Hunt fared well against a strong challenge.

2010 Wing Barton

Who's Dewitt you say? He's a 2009 post-graduate player who has overcome family problems and inexperience to give himself a chance at playing college basketball. Dewitt attended High Point (N.C.) Andrews but played only his sophomore season.

He'll be an older 2009 college prospect but the fact that he's even this close to earning a scholarship is a feel-good story. His 16 points and 5 rebounds were highlighted by a few mid-range attempts and a floater. At 6-9, Dewitt is a raw prospect with room to improve. The biggest obstacle will be gaining game and competitive experience. Rounding out his basketball IQ and developing feel are needed. The raw materials – size, athleticism, offensive instincts – are there and his coach, Carlos Peralta, has fared well with project prospects in the past.

Dewitt's running mate, Dario Hunt, a 6-7 energy player, had 14. Hunt has offers from Marist and Bucknell. Purdue's coming to see him this week and other programs are exhibiting interest; he's a strong student.

Contributing to the 185 total points was National Christian wing David Diakite with 16 and Charis Prep's Sam Grooms with 15.

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