Bull City Classic, Day Two
Love Christian 86, Abundant Life 53 Laurinburg Institute 64, Bonner Academy 40 Mount Zion 71, Tabor Academy 37 Ocala Shores Christian 71, Word of God 51 Ryan Academy 72, Coastal Christian 56 Our Savior 63, Life Center 52
Arnaud Dahi, SF, Life Center: Having played an overtime game the night before, Dahi was clearly winded as were many of teammates. Against Our Savior in the title tilt, he went as hard as he could for as long as he could. 23 points later, Life Center came up short. Dahi was terrific in his two-day effort and dug deep on every possession.
Martin Iti, C, Mount Zion: After a bitter loss on Friday, Iti knew what had to be done. Mount Zion got him the ball early and he scored 9 points in a dominant first quarter that set the tone for the entire game. Getting him involved early led to 14 points but made him active at both ends and he blocked more shots in this game than we saw him do all season. He had 4 dunks in the first quarter.
Mbania Narmbaye, C, Life Center: The native of Chad has a huge frame. His best basketball surely lies ahead of him. With that said, he rebounded the ball well in the title game. Offensively however, there's work to be done. He shot just 2-for-7 from the floor in this one.
Tello Palacios, PF, Our Savior: Dropping 15 extra pounds has taken his game to the next level. A year ago, Palacios might have tired in the title game but that wasn't the case on Saturday. At game's end, he was still putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. He's decreased his size and increased his athleticism. He had 27 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals in the championship game and was named MVP of his division.
Charlie Burch, PF, Tabor Academy: David First's team battled but when Burch picked up his 3rd foul in the first half things got progressively tougher. Burch's tenacity against the bigger players couldn't be replicated and Tabor couldn't recover with him out of the game. Here's a young man who is an undersized four man who is working on facing the basket. Right now, he looks like a tremendous mid-major player who just might have the chance to sneak a level higher. We could be looking at one of those kids who picks a super mid-major program and finds himself in the NCAA Tournament a few years in a row.
Laurinburg's Brian Mason looked much better on Saturday scoring 19 points in his team's win. … Mount Zion's big men combined to score 42 points (Iti 14, Richard Dorsey 10, Robbie Simpson 10, Mohamed Tangara 8). They won the ballgame without Glen Dandridge (6 points) giving them much offense. … Ryan Academy power forward Ivan Lopez gutted it out and played on a bum wheel this weekend. On Saturday, he fouled out and did not score.
One of the most impressive plays of the event was Gaston Moliva running the floor and throwing down a dunk on Coastal Christian's Suresh May. Front row for the highlight reel dunk were ETSU coaches Hillary Scott and Tom Conrad. …. Temple assistant coach Dan Leibovitz was in attendance watching Mario Taybron, the Platinum Division MVP. The Owls play nearby Wake Forest on Sunday. … Konimba Diarra's 10-foot hook shot speaks to the offensive development we highlighted on Friday. …
Around The Gym
JR Pinnock's commitment to Wichita State is in jeopardy. He says he's looking around and hearing from Oklahoma, Wyoming and Georgia State. … Most of the college assistants left on Friday and showed up in smaller numbers on Saturday. … Taybron scored 24 and 27 points in two games for Ryan. … Sources say that Mbania Narmbaye wants to hear from Connecticut in the recruiting process and if the Huskies ever showed him attention they'd have a great shot. …
Hope you enjoyed the coverage from the 5th annual Bull City Classic!