Demetrious Johnson put together another great annual event and assembled a very good group of players for his 2010 Demetrious Johnson Charitable Foundation/Mariott Union Station National High School All-Star Game which was played on Saturday night at Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis. Among those featured on the National Team were two incoming Missouri Tigers, Phil Pressey and Rickey Kreklow.
The Local Team had a big height advantage, and had the better of it underneath the basket all night long, but the National Team jumped on top early behind Kreklow's 3-PT shooting, and converted some easy fast breaks baskets. The Locals kept making runs all night, especially when they were able to take advantage of their superior size. Trey Starks, Daniel Daudu, and Eric Clark helped keep the Local team within striking distance, as the Nationals led 28-20 after the first quarter.
A forty point second quarter pushed the Nationals lead to 68-49 at the half, on the way to a 140-122 victory over the Locals. UAB bound Preston Purifoy and Quincy Taylor joined in the fun with Kreklow and Pressey, as the local team was repeatedly beaten back down the floor. Purifoy finished the half with 18 points, and led all scorers with 27 for the game. Kreklow pumped in 16 first half points, mostly from three, and finished with 25 points on the night. Kreklow and Purifoy were named the game's Co-MVPs. Taylor heated up from downtown in the second half, and finished with 25 points. Pressey chipped in with 21 points on the night.
After the game, Phil Pressey talked about the experience.
"It was fun," said Pressey. "I was trying to give the crowd a little show. We won, so that's the biggest thing."
Pressey spent much of the night deferring to his teammates, and "putting on a show". He indicated that he knew he wouldn't be able to play with such pizazz for his uncle Mike (Anderson) at Missouri. Pressey did hand out some very nice assists, and got his 3-PT shot going in the second half, but seemed to focus the most on attacking the Locals on the defensive end, either creating turnovers, or just bumping up the pace of the Locals' offense, which with their height advantage, was not in the Locals best interest.
Pressey deferred most of the primary ball handling to Fabyon Harris, who at times dominated the ball too much, especially considering the talent he had around him. Even though, Pressey, Kreklow, Purifoy, and later Taylor, were still able to dictate the up-tempo pace of the game. It was curious to me why the Nationals' coaches Anthony and Chappel didn't have Taylor in the starting line-up instead of Harris. Although Taylor's only 5'10", he can really shoot it, and it seemed to me that the Nationals were at their best with Pressey, Taylor, Kreklow, Purifoy and Eddie Denard, or even Logan Parks up front.
Kreklow had his 3-PT shot going from the outset, and made good on over half of his 3-PT attempts on the night. Rickey also got inside for a couple of buckets, and helped his undersized team out on the boards, as well. Kreklow spent most of the night defending one of the Locals' big men, and acquitted himself well in that regard. Of course, the fast pace of the game helped, because often times the Locals never really got into a half-court set, or took the time to pound the ball down low, where they had a clear advantage.
Pressey said that he likes to play with a shooter like Kreklow. Kreklow credited his teammates with getting him some good looks.
"We came out, and got up on them on defense. That really led to a lot of our transition points," said Kreklow. "My teammates helped me out a lot, getting me open. I got good screens, and they just gave me great passes."
"It was fun," said Kreklow, in response to a question about being in a zone. "Once you kind of get into a rhythm, the basket seems a lot bigger than it really is."
Here's the rosters of those who played in the game.
St. Louis Metro/Regional All-Stars (Locals)
Trey Starks 5'11" Springfield Hillcrest (Indian Hills, J.C.) Daniel Daudu 5'11" Brehm Prep (undecided) Bryton Hobbs 6'0" Maplewood (Cowley County J.C.) Eric Clark 6'3" Cardinal Ritter (Lakeland J.C.) Christopher Babbitt 6'4" Hazelwood Central (Quincy) Michael Messer 6'5" Lafayette (SIU-Edwardsville) T.J. Brown 6'7" Soldan (Mineral Area J.C.) James Siakem 6'7" Brehm Prep (Vanderbilt) Alex Brown 6'9" Herrin, Ill. (John A. Logan J.C.) Oto Osenieks 6'9" Brehm Prep (Minnesota) Ryan Pierson 6'10" CBC (Northeastern)
National All-Stars Phil Pressey 5'9" Dallas, Tex. (Missouri) Fabyon Harris 5'8" Chicago, Ill. (Houston) Quincy Taylor 5'10" Wichita, Kan. (UAB) Preston Purifoy 6'5" Conway, Ark. (UAB) Rickey Kreklow 6'6" Columbia Rock Bridge (Missouri) Eddie Denard 6'6" Chicago, Ill. (Illinois-Chicago) James Hamilton 6'7" (Baltimore, MD. (Morgan State) Logan Parks 6'7" Columbia Rock Bridge (undecided) Derrick Strong 6'0" Omaha South, NE (undecided
Cardinal Ritter 2012 prospect Cameron Biedscheid 6'6" G, who will likely play in this very game after his senior season, was at the game watching the action.