Around The Nation: Jan. 20

AROUND THE NATION – Ray McCallum's on top of his game in Detroit. Plus, wouldn't you know Jayvaughn Pinkston and Tobias locked up in a good one.

This time of the year, everyone is putting in their bid for an invitation to the McDonald's game. Over the weekend, Ray McCallum strengthened his case. With wins against teams manned by Deshaun Thomas, Vander Blue, Branden Dawson and now Keith Appling, McCallum's rolling.

After scoring 10 straight points in the second half, McCallum scored 24 points (9-15 FG) and Appling 22 (9-19 FG). Appling was last year's legend in Michigan when he dropped 49 in the state title game. Country Day is 10-0 and Appling's Pershing team is now 7-2.

Florida, Arizona and UCLA are in the mix to sign him.

The rivalry extends off the court. Tobias Harris of Hills West and Jayvaughn Pinkston of Loughlin locked up over the weekend with Hills West winning 75-72. Pinkston went for 34 points, Harris had 19 and seven rebounds. Pinkston, according to the Daily News, offered the following self-assessment. "Hands down, nobody's better than me right now. I proved it tonight who's the better player." Harris saw the game another way. "He's a good player but it wasn't about me vs. him. It was about who had the better team. It wasn't a personal thing between us.

The rivalry is a direct result of both player's recruitment by Tennessee. Pinkston was set to announce for Tennessee when the Vols accepted a commitment from Harris the day before his announcement. It's one of those recruiting stories they'll retell down the road but clearly, at least on Pinkston's side, there's a score to settle.

The Fabulous One, Fab Melo, scored 25 points as Sagemont bent Cooper City 59-44. Rod Days scored 22 for the winners.

There was a good one in Memphis on Tuesday. Ridgeway beat Germantown behind 27 points from sophomore Cameron Golden and 19 from Tarik Black. Todd Mayo led Germantown with 27 and Austin Hollins had 20.

Monday's big game in Memphis was played in front of Bruce Pearl and Josh Pastner. Germantown was throttled by Melrose 85-61. Adonis Thomas had 27 points and only missed two of his 17 shots. Chris Jones pumped in 18 and 10 assists. Mayo had 17 for Germantown.

Unsigned wing Chanse Creekmur pumped in 25 but it wasn't enough as Marshalltown fell to Roosevelt by one in OT. Dau Jok led Roosevelt with 21 points.

St. Louis signee Mike McCall had 26 points to lead Foreman past Lincoln Park.

Salesian senior Desmond Simmons scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. His team beat Newark Memorial 47-37. Simmons was quick to praise a 2013 guard, his teammate, Mario Dunn. The freshman scored 10 points and he's a guy we'll start tracking.

The double-teams didn't faze Travis McKie. He lad the John Marshall Judges to a 16-point win over Mills Godwin. McKie hit for 23 points, missed only four shots and pulled down 9 boards. "Kids are watching," McKie told the Richmond Times Dispatch. "You can't play good if you're mad. You have to play happy."

Terrence Jones celebrated his selection to the Hoop Summit by scoring 22 points as the Democrats outlasted Federal Way 62-58. Jones extended himself with 8 blocks and 9 rebounds.

Unsigned senior guard Chris Brown led Dreher past Midland Valley 69-56. Brown, who is a Big South-SoCon type of scorer, hit for 23 points.

Tyler Adams was a beast for Brandon Tuesday night. He scored 24 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as the Bulldogs ripped Meridian 78-59.

G.W. Danville, formerly the No. 1 team in Virginia, lost their fourth consecutive game, taking them out of the running for their conference's No. 1 see. C.J. Barksdale had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Daniel Clark had 20. The team went from being No. 1 in the poll to completely out of the rankings.

Rakeem Christmas scored 15 points and Savon Goodman 32 as Academy of New Church rolled Impact Academy 85-70.

Deuce Bello sank two free throws with under a second to go to sink Greensboro Day 41-39. Junior guard Ike Nwanu had 9 points, 10 boards and four steals. Bellow finished with 12.

One night after being held to 6 points, sophomore center Dajuan Coleman erupted to lead Jamesville-Dewitt to a 76-70 win over Albany. Coleman scored 35 points and hauled in 20 rebounds. He was named the MVP of the Juggler Classic.

Bishop O'Dowd won on Monday as sophomore Brandon Ashley scored 8 points and had 11 rebounds at Haas Pavilion.

We're hearing great things about North Chicago sophomore Aaron Simpson. Simpson scored 29 points in a loss to Marshall this week.

Harrison Barnes has been playing well lately. He's gone for 34 and 36 in his last two outings. In the games he's gone 27-for-42 from the field, grabbed 18 rebounds and dished out 12 assists. … A brief note about Terrence Ross and his situation included in this Montrose roundup. … Amir Williams is out four weeks with a torn meniscus. … Austin Rivers X-Rays turn up negative.

Anthony Gill is having a great year and he was the Charlotte Observer's player of the week.

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