St. Edward 60, Wilcox Central 40 Marlboro County 62, Parker 54 Timpview 43, St. Patrick 42 Our Savior 66, Heritage Christian 35 National Christian 91, Laurinburg 75 Dr. Phillips 69, Scotch Plains 51 Southwest Atlanta Christian 65, Arlington Country Day 62 (semifinals) Mount Zion 67, Penn Charter 55 Reserve Christian 79, Westchester 76 (semifinals)
Semifinal No. 2: Reserve Springs Major Upset
Any given Monday. That's what happened in the second semifinal game at the Slam Dunk. Trailing by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter, Reserve went on a 14-0 run fueled by senior forward George Brozos, a native of Greece, and defeated No. 2 ranked Westchester by three points.
Brozos kicked it into another gear and something came over him because he was all over the place, hitting 3s, getting steals … you name it, the kid was in a zone. He finished with 22 points and earned the respect of everyone in the building. Reserve Christian outscored Westchester 23-10 in the fourth quarter.
For the Comets, the game couldn't have started any better. They raced out to a 49-34 halftime lead on the strength of 21 points from Gabriel Pruitt. Rodgrick Craig would chip in another 22 but it wouldn't be enough.
Brozos' heroics and major contributions from Demond Carter, Marlon Brumfield and Kevin Branch helped Reserve Christian spring the upset.
Semifinal No. 1: Howard Gets 23 and 26
You know the fans at the Slam Dunk got their monies worth when Dwight Howard puts up 26 rebounds and 23 points as he did against Arlington Country Day. Howard's team very much had to earn the win over an upstart bunch of youngsters. At first, things weren't going SWAC's way. Howard wasn't scoring the basketball regularly in the first quarter as the 7-2 Jason Bennett at least provided a slight reprieve from the mighty Howard. But, the fouls mounted on Bennett and as could be expected, Howard found his grove.
With 10 minutes to go in the ballgame, Howard already had 20 rebounds and 20 points but Arlington was far from finished. Savvy junior shooting guard David Huertas – playing with a broken thumb on his shooting hand – hit a pair of big time floaters over Howard and it was definitely on.
A driving Javaris Crittendon layup out of a timeout was the game-winner after a Huertas 3 at the buzzer wouldn't go down. Still, in a year so far when Class of 2005 super performances have been few and far between, Huertas (21 points, 3-7 3s) stepped up in a big time game and deserves tons of credit. Pencil his name in as one of the best shooting guards in his class.
AROUND THE GYM
LEWES, Del. – The best shooting performance of the day belonged to Trey Hopkins of Dr. Phillips who stood tall after hitting 7 3-pointers. More on Hopkins and many more in this edition of Around The Gym.
Trey Hopkins, SG/PG, Dr. Phillips: The unsigned senior was responsible for the finest show of marksmanship in the tournament. He finished with 29 points and made 7 3s in an 11-for-16 effort from the field. Hopkins' stroke provided Dr. Phillips with a working margin and as he continued to get progressively hotter the lead grew exponentially. It was thought that Dr. Phillips would have no answer for Derrick Caracter but in the end, Hopkins was the shooting star of the day.
Gabriel Pruitt, PG, Westchester: When the season's over, he might be the biggest riser in our Top 100. He put 21 on Reserve Christian in the first half and was drilling jump shots from all over. He would finish with 30 points and did all he could to avert the upset.
Roy Bright, SF, Mount Zion: This might have been his best game of the year as he led the Warriors to their 11th win of the season. Bright played well in both halves and went 3-for-5 from downtown. The stroke was on and he did work going to the basket. He had 20 and he's got big game.
Jason Rich, SG, Dr. Phillips: With the crowd hawking him the entire game, Rich played his usual poised floor game, hit big shots when he needed to and really provided the leadership. Recognizing that it was Hopkins' night, the star unselfishly deferred and made sure his teammate got the ball in scoring position.
Walter Sharpe, PF, Parker: This was his best game we've seen in the last two weeks (remember, he was in Florida last week). Sharpe was the aggressor against Dickey and Breeden. He was able to get himself some good looks down low and finished plays. This is the kind of performance the colleges recruiting him had been hoping for. His best move of the day came in the post when he hammered one down right on top of Dickey. Finished with 23 and 11.
Tello Palacios, F, Our Savior: Only one man scored in double-figures for victorious Our Savior. Palacios, with 22 points, was that man. Nearly half of points came from the line where he went 9-for-11.
Chris Moore, C, St. Edward: Tough kid. He really competed his way to 16 points this morning. He's a fine mid-level prospect who already signed with Santa Barbara.
Devon Moffatt, SG, St. Patrick: He made half of the 3s he took including one that looked like the game-winner late. He's St. Pat's best offensive weapon and likely a low-major prospect. He finished with 20 points.
Chris Matthews, SG, NCA: The JMU-bound shooter made five 3s as National Christian took the lead early and never relinquished it. Four NCA players scored in double figures and teammate Deron Washington had 17 and 15 in the end-to-end game.
C.J. Anderson, SF, Laurinburg: It was his kind of game as it went end to end. Anderson went 7-for-13 from the field for 17 points and a baker's dozen rebounds.
Cassan Breeden, SF, Marlboro County: This was a much better outing for him than his first game. Breeden did a better job of staying active, getting tips and making shots. He really passed the ball well and finished with 16 points and 5 assists.
Derrick Caracter, PF, Scotch Plains: He took 14 shots and made 7 of them. Fanwood had trouble getting him the ball for extended stretches and as a result, Dr. Phillips took it to them.
Birmingham Parker's Walter Sharpe is one of the gifted passers in the class. He's got a real feel for the position. The knock on him has been consistency and if he gets that ironed out he's an even better prospect. … Ra'Sean Dickey finished with 11 rebounds in the loss to Parker. …
Let the kids play. An official blew a whistle with 2 seconds left in the St. Pat's-Timpview game that was simply an embarrassing call. The call basically decided the game and that's not fair to either side. …
It's been a rough event for Timpview's Chris Miles. First he runs into Dwight Howard and on Monday got himself into more foul trouble. He's yet to break double figures and finished with 9 and 9 before fouling out. …
Chris Roquemore of Heritage Christian notched the double-double again as he scored 11 and pulled down a dozen boards. … Why did NCA beat Laurinburg? A major reason was that NCA turned it over just 11 times compared to the 20 Laurinburg had.
Mohamed Tangara had 12 rebounds and a mid-range jumper. … Mount Zion's Tasheed Carr deserves a lot of credit. In his two seasons in Durham, he's really progressed as a point guard. He takes better care of the ball, is a more complete passer and has a better understanding of his position. He's much improved. … Sammy Hernandez of Arlington Country Day has improved his short and mid-range touch in the last year.
News & Notes
Laurinburg head coach Chris Chaney used an interesting motivational tactic with his team. Chaney took their away their Washington Bullets replica jersey and made his team play in their practice uniforms and won't give the jerseys back until they play better. … Alabama assistant Orlando Early was here to Walter Sharpe of Parker. …
Reserve Christian forward George Brozos is getting interest from Birmingham Southern and Furman. … Dr. Phillip's guard Trey Hopkins is hearing from High Point, Birmingham Southern and South Florida. … UNC assistant coach Steve Robinson was in the building the entire day. …