TOC Game Report: NC Gaters vs. NY Juice All-Stars

Sebastian Telfair vs. JamesOn Curry? That's what the game was being billed as on the floor of the Dean E. Smith Center, with the North Carolina Gaters taking on the New York Juice All-Stars.

Both teams are filled with high-major prospects; the Gaters combine Curry with an ultra-athletic frontcourt featuring Cedric Simmons and James Mays, while Telfair is joined by shooting guard Ramel Bradley and St. John's-bound Jermaine Bell.

The game starts with Curry shooting the Gaters out front, draining two 3-pointers in transition and setting the tone early in the game. After a thunderous dunk by Simmons, the Gaters are out and running to a 10-4 lead. Telfair comes right back with a nifty reverse lay-up and pull-up 3 in transition to halt the momentum.

Enter 7-footer Jermaine Bell. The lanky big man from New York comes in and immediately makes his presence known. Rebound dunk, follow tip, and follow tip... the Juice are officially back in the game at 18-16 Gaters.

But the big man from Supply, N.C. won't stand for being shown up, and Simmons comes right back at Bell with some scoring of his own. He shows off the face-up jumper from the top of the key and then comes back with a nifty turnaround in the lane over the out-stretched arms of Bell. Leading 28-21 at the 3:00 mark of the first half, the Gaters appear to have regained control.

Then the momentum changed on a strategy move by the Juice All-Stars. To showcase their athletic and aggressive guards, Juice moves to a full-court press and the Gaters backcourt of Curry and Kenny Hunt were not ready for it. After a flurry of steals and lay-ups by Telfair and Bradley, the half-time buzzer sounds with the game knotted up at 32-32. Cedric Simmons finished the half with 6 points and 4 rebounds while JamesOn Curry added 8 points and 3 boards. Freak athlete James Mays had an "off" first half, finishing with no points and 4 rebounds, clearly frustrated at his lack of productivity.

The second half opens with an array of jumpers, primarily by Sebastian Telfair and Ramel Bradley of the Juice All-Stars. Telfair hits 2 3-pointers from the top of the key and Bradley comes back with a trey of his own from the left corner. Curry answers back for the Gaters with another pull-up transition three-pointer, and after three James Mays free throws (his first points of the night) the game hits the 11 minute mark with the Juice out front 45-40.

The game slows down for a bit as both teams exchange baskets, as Telfair sets up his teammates with easy baskets and Curry comes back with a sweet lay-up of his own. Following the Curry finger roll, Cedric Simmons throws down the DUNK OF THE DAY (a vicious two-handed double pump) on the 7-foot Bell, and the Gaters have cut the Juice lead down to 51-48.

Telfair won't let his team die, seizing control with another triple in transition and hitting Ramel Bradley at the top of the key for a wide open 17-footer. The game enters the final stages with the Juice still in the lead by the score of 59-51.

If you have Sebastian Telfair and enter the last two minutes with the lead, then you can almost put it in the bank. The Juice do the smart thing by pulling the ball out, running some clock, and letting Telfair create off the bounce. The Gaters miss a few opportunities to jump back into the game, with their final tally coming on another thunderous Simmons dunk. The game ends with the Juice All-Stars advancing to the National playoffs, 66-57.

Curry led the way for the Gaters with 24 points and 4 boards. Cedric Simmons finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds, while James Mays quietly added 5 points and 6 rebounds. Telfair put up an impressive stat-line for the victorious all-stars, ending up with 19 points and 6 assists.

Pack Pride Top Stories