City of Palms, Day Three
Corbin 78, Andrew Jackson 77 Pahokee 60, Woodham 59 Dunbar 56, Lehigh 43 Mater Dei 71, Ouachita Parish 60 St. Raymond's 71, Bartram 66 St. Patrick 78, St. Andrews 77 (OT) Rice 66, Creekside 49
Avoiding The Upset
Mater Dei 71, Ouachita Parish 60: Ouachita Parish came out and threw everything it had at Mater Dei and led by 7 at the break. Johnny Hodge had it rolling early for the Lions and finished with a game-high 23. But, while Ouachita Parish shot jumpers in the second half, the Monarchs ran a layup line en route to the win. DJ Strawberry and Wesley Washington scored 18 points each. Jay Jackson had 21 for the Parish but he needed 26 shots to get there and fought with his stroke all day. The margin might have been 11 points but this was a serious test for the No. 4 team in the country as Ouachita Parish absorbed just about everything Mater Dei could throw their way.
Abdi Lidonde, SG, St. Andrews: This kid was super on Friday. 25 points in an overtime loss and every single one of them mattered. Plus, you get mucho extra credit for the clutchness, poise and confidence he showed.
Demetris Nichols, SF, St. Andrews: He's been the best senior here so far. He fouled out before the overtime but for the second day in a row he went to work and boosted his credentials for the McDonald's Game. Jim Boeheim, if you read this, it's OK to crack a smile.
Jason Paterson, SG, St. Patrick: He's a specialist and a shooter by trade. Tonight he went 4-for-13 but the four he made seemed to come at pivotal times. He's a low-major wonder boy from behind the arc.
Isaiah Mills, PF, Corbin: After a poor first game, Mills rebounded in a big way. He had 26 and 14 and looked good doing it. He's crafty inside and worked real hard today. He's a mid-major player headed to a good program at Tennessee Tech.
Wesley Washington, SF, Mater Dei: Defensively he works extremely hard. He can defend multiple positions and do it with athleticism and speed. Offensively, he thrives in transition. He's not a skilled scorer and not much of an outside shooter, but rather posts his numbers off athletic drives and offensive stick backs.
Jamon Gordon, PG, Andrew Jackson: The lefty couldn't save him team against Corbin. He tossed in 28 points on 12-for-25 shooting. He had 17 in the first half. The Virginia Tech signee is leading the tournament in scoring.
Johnny Hodge, SF, Ouachita Parrish: Here's a guy who just plays hard. The reason Ouachita Parish was even in the game early against Mater Dei was because of Hodge and his intensity level. He stayed on the glass, let his rebounding lead to easy scores and just helped set the tone for the game.
Tre Kelly, PG, Dunbar: Again, he proved to be a little too strong and way too fast for Lehigh to guard. For the second day in a row, he posted a big time scoring total. Aside from his two 3-pointers, the rest of his points came off drives. He had 29 points on 2-for-11 shooting from downtown and had 2 assists.
Daon Merritt, PG, St. Raymond's: He's the guy that pushes the buttons for this team. He had 16 in the win over Bartram. His body was built to drive and absorb contact and he almost appears to relish getting hit in the paint.
Jason Cain, PF, Bartram: He rebounded nicely a subpar initial outing when he was saddled with foul trouble. He stayed active and scored 27 to go with a dozen boards. Mid-majors will continue their pursuit.
Louie McCroskey, SF, St. Raymond's: The Syracuse-bound forward scored 18 in the win including 2-of-4 3-point shots.
Derrick Caracter, PF, St. Patrick: Without going overboard and trying to create another LeBron James here, we've got to give it up for Caracter. How many guys have the kind of game he did in front of 2,300 people in your first game? The kid is skilled, confident and possesses all kinds of tools. From a smooth jumpshot to 3-point range – yes, we said to 3-point range – to a bevy of inside moves, he's got the total package. That time last April when he battled Al Jefferson for a half was no fluke. This kid is for real.
Off The Dribble
Finally, a close game at the Palms. Corbin's Johnny Hammons drilled a 3-pointer with 6 seconds remaining to beat Andrew Jackson. … Daniel Bell led Andrew Jackson with 29 points. … Antonio Wilson hit a free throw with 6 seconds remaining to give Pahokee the win over Woodham. … At 6-9 and 340 pounds, Lehigh center Mario Henderson isn't a bad player. He's got good hands and moves well for his size but football looks to be his sport of the future and rightfully so. …
St. Raymond's kicked it into gear early against Bartram and raced out to an 18-0 lead. … Shagari Alleyne scored 18 and had 5 rebounds and 5 blocks versus Creekeside. ... Rice junior Arturo Dubois had 12 and 12 in the nightcap and teammate Russell Robinson went for 17 and 10. ...
Zabian Dowdell says that so far he's got no offers. FIU was in the gym watching him today. He had 13 points, 1 assist and 6 turnovers. … St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle says that there's no doubt Derrick Caracter is the real deal. But, he would like to see his star pupil really get after it in terms of working hard. That'll all come, he's just 14 years old. …
On Thursday we learned that "photosynthesis" and "Van Gogh" are names of plays called by St. Andrews. You'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that "polynomial" is also in the playbook. They're working on a play called "Athena" as a tribute to the history department and the Greek goddess. One of their favorite out of bounds plays is called "Serbia" as Vlade Divac and Milos Mirkovic co-authored it. …
Rhode Island is making a push for guard Abdi Lidonde. However, if he pumps up his test score, Penn will be tough to beat. …