Day One: Academy National Invitational
The idea that Rainier Beach was the No. 1 team in the country? Apparently Howard West's kids from Winston-Salem, N.C., didn't buy it. Not before the game. Not even after the game.
"No, to be honest," ECU-bound PF Keith Foster said, being way, way too honest. "I expected a whole lot more out of them."
More than what? More than the 36-34 win?
"We didn't care if they're No. 1 or not," said SF Reyshawn Terry, headed, obviously, to Matt Doherty's North Carolina program. "I don't see them being No. 1. But that goes to show you: No matter what your ranking, you can get upset."
Or not actually get upset but come close to getting upset and then score 36 points in a win. Which was what happened pretty much.
Rodrick Stewart led all scorers with 13 points – a positively huge output in this bad boy – and his twin brother Lodrick chipped in five in the winning (not losing?) effort.
Keith Foster also had 13 for the Demons. Terry added nine points and eight rebounds, but he made only two of his 12 attempts from the floor.
Oh, well. The Reynolds-Rainier Beach Instant Classic was just one of eight games played Friday at the Campbell Center.
Class of 2003 Checklist
Shagari Alleyne. Last year at this tournament – and a bunch of other places, too – the 7-3 C would sit on the bench and watch Rice run teams to death. Now he helps the Raiders do that. He's come a long way, baby, from his days as a goofy, goggle-wearing sophomore. The Rutgers signee had 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in Rice's 52-51 win Friday night over Westchester.
Trevor Ariza. He was captivating at times in the Comets' near-miss versus Rice, finishing with 22 points, six rebounds, four steals, three blocks and an assist – and, oh yes, he made 10 of his 12 shots from the field. But of course he did! He did ALL his damage on drives, dunks and putbacks. Not that that's a bad thing, but, you know, a jumper here and there might've been kind of cool.
Class of 2004 Checklist
Andre Allen. How fast is the Memphis legend-in-his-own-time? Forget the defense. His teammates have trouble keeping pace. He's lightning-quick end-to-end. The 5-10 PG is too shoot-first to be called a "pure" point – whatever that is – but that's not to say he lacks court vision or passing acumen. He just likes to score. And he's darn good at it. Allen had 18 points before fouling out in the final minute of Booker T's loss to Oak Hill.
Daniel Gibson. It wasn't so much his stat line of 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Just consider this: Houston's Jones High wouldn't have beaten perennial Lone Star State power Cedar Hill without Gibson's mere presence on the floor. Others pitched in for Jesse Shelton's group – junior forward Jay Jenkins had 16 – but DG was the reason for the upset.
Houston signee Parker Pinkalla had 17 in Strake Jesuit's 52-50 victory over Aldine. …
Y'all know what happened with Rainer Beach and Reynolds – and there ain't no need for a reminder. …
Cartier Martin had 26, but Nimitz fell in an upset against Westfield. …
Big Shagari did his thing in Rice's East Coast triumph over the Angelenos from Westchester. …
Jason Horton's 18 couldn't prevent Cedar Hill's defeat at the hands of Gibson's Jones squad. …
Ndi Ebi's 24 weren't enough to help Westbury Christian past St. Patrick. Final: 67-46, St. Pat's.
Around the ANI
Don't try to get Port Arthur Memorial into foul trouble. It's not going to work. The Titans carry 18 kids on their roster! And all of them have schmancy red Nike duds. … Kudos to Fred Horton and his Memphis BTW staff for sporting the green and gold jump suits instead of, well, actual suits. There was something refreshingly "high school" about that choice of sideline garb. …
Fashion Cop II: Rainier Beach's orange, blue and white striped head bands and wrist bands were cool, man, but in a traditional sort of way. Old-school, baby, the antithesis of teal and black. … Russell Robinson took a nasty spill in the first quarter against Westchester and looked to labor somewhat the rest of the way. But he did manage to bank in an off-balance leaner that proved to be the difference. …
Faces in the crowd: Nike grassroots boss George Raveling, Team Texas kingpin Wes Grandstaff, Howard Pulley Minneapolis man Rene Pulley and Oak Hill superfan Burley Geiger.