Dudley's gymnasium doesn't qualify as a shoebox but it's intimate and laced with history. Recent graduates include Brendan Haywood (UNC), Eric Hicks (Cincinnati) and William Graves (UNC) and the program has a proud tradition in high school athletics.
Saturday's showdown is sure to produce its share of collegiate players, most of which still have plenty of time to craft their own his school stories. Dudley led the entire game and won 90-79 against its smaller small division counterparts.
The big stat of the game was the 41 points Cummings sophomore J.T. Terrell, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, hung on Dudley. Terrell shot 15-for-25 from the field, including 5-for-10 behind the arc. There was stretch late in the first half when he went on a Reggie Miller-type run from deep.
"He's just got an innate ability to score the basketball," Cummings head coach George Robinson said. A perimeter scorer and one of the top sophomores in the state, Terrell's game is good and room to get better.
Proficient off the catch and able to put it on the deck and dribble into mid-range jumpers, Terrell boasts a quick trigger and confidence in his shot. He's an intelligent player. Take away his drive and he's got no problem pulling up. Give him an inch outside and he'll bust 3s.
"He asked for him at halftime," Dudley coach David Price said of Wyatt. You've got to credit the sophomore for requesting the assignment. Wyatt's enthusiasm helped "hold" Terrell to 7 points in the 3rd quarter. Terrell went on another flurry of points and finished the game strong.
Terrell's career-best 41 points began on the first possession of the game when he skied for a tip dunk off a teammates miss. The son of a former Charlotte 49ers standout, Terrell has offers from Charlotte and Wake Forest. Virginia is pursuing him and he's on UVa's campus Jan. 27. Virginia Tech and Miami are also keeping tabs.
The night before the Cummings game, the Panthers were led by freshman P.J. Hairston. The 6-foot-5 wing scored 23 points Friday evening. His Saturday proved to be frustrating. Hairston missed his first 8 shots and finished with 5 points and 9 rebounds. There are whispers of him potentially turning into one of the greats to ever play at Dudley.
Since Hairston wasn't scoring, Wyatt stepped up his production. The young point scored 16 and chipped in with 8 assists. Junior forward Brandon Pennix, an undersized power forward, stepped it up with 22 points and 15 rebounds.