Felton at Socastee Shootout Report

<i>Inside Carolina</i>'s David Thompson recaps future Tar Heel Raymond Felton's weekend at the Socastee Shootout.

11-30-01 Latta HS vs. Socastee HS at the Socastee Shootout

Final Score: Socastee 67 – Latta 62 (OT)

Despite another stellar performance by UNC signee Raymond Felton, Latta High School (1-1) fell in overtime Friday night to Socastee High School in the Socastee Shootout. Trailing 31-28 at the half, Latta came back to tie the score in regulation. With several assist opportunities by Felton during the overtime period, Felton's teammates could not capitalize, resulting in the rare win by a Latta opponent, 67–62.

Felton's line for the game: 26 points on 11-18 shooting, including 4-9 on three-point attempts. He added 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Uncharacteristically, Felton went to the free throw line only twice, hitting neither. For the game, Socastee went to the line 22 times to just 10 for Latta—also an unusual statistic for the reigning South Carolina state champions.

According to Latta head coach Stephen Smith, the highlight of the evening occurred on an in-bounds play called "square." Felton came off multiple picks under his own basket to take an alley-oop pass for an "elbows above the rim" dunk.

Socastee's defensive game plan resembled that of most teams that play Latta—Felton was guarded once again by two and three defenders, daring Felton's teammates to step up and hit shots. The few times Felton was guarded one-on-one by Socastee, the task fell to John Smalls, a strong athletic player with quite a daunting task. As the stat line below suggests, Felton had a strong offensive showing despite Socastee's efforts.

Concerning his next game against Broughton, Coach Smith commented that his team does not match up well at all with the squad led by Duke-bound post player Shavlik Randolph. Felton, at guard, is one of Latta's tallest starters.

When asked about his game plan to handle Broughton, Coach Smith replied, "To grow each Latta player by six inches between now and then!" He commented that they would "attempt to double down on Randolph, hoping that helps while the other guys [for Broughton HS] don't hit."

12-1-01 Latta HS vs. Broughton HS (NC) at the Socastee Shootout

Final Score: LHS 63 – BHS 59

On Saturday night, Latta High School (2-1) met Raleigh (NC) Broughton High School on the second night of the Socastee Shootout. With 6-2 Raymond Felton and a 6-1 teammate doubling down on 6-10 Shavlik Randolph, the Vikings of Latta, SC prevailed, 63-59.

Latta often faces much taller teams. Head coach Stephen Smith commented that "Raymond will certainly take on the challenge, and that was the biggest challenge" –that of offsetting the height advantage of Broughton and especially their talented front line player, Randolph.

The game had been promoted as a preview of future ACC players. John Rhodes, host of the Socastee Shootout, recognized Felton and Randolph in a pregame ceremony as two high school All-Americans who will face each other's teams in North Carolina-Duke matchups during the coming years.

Leading Latta to the win, Felton scored 20 points, shooting 7-15 from the floor, while adding four of five free throws, all of them "clutch" according to Smith. Raymond played an excellent floor game, dishing out nine assists to only three turnovers. The state MVP from a year ago also added eight rebounds (two offensive), two blocks and two steals.

Smith described a first half move by Felton as "by far the most exciting play of the Shootout (that) brought the crowd to its feet." According to Smith, Raymond "drove strong to the hoop, pumping the ball with his right hand, switching it to his left hand in mid-flight during a spin move and scoring, reminiscent of a Michael Jordan highlight during the 1991 playoffs, Bulls vs. the Lakers."

In the loss, Randolph was impressive as he reportedly contributed 36 points and double digit rebounds.

Through three games this season Felton is averaging 25.0 points on 60 percent shooting, including 48 percent on threes. He also is contributing 8.0 rebounds, and 9.0 assists.

Next up for Felton and Latta High School is Marion HS (SC) on Tuesday, December 4th.

Latta 2001-2002 Schedule

Game Stats
11-30-01
vs. Socastee HS

Minutes played	34
Total Points	26
FG		11-18 
3-pointers		4-9 
Free Throws		0-2 
Rebounds		13 (6 off.)
Assists		6
Turnovers		4
Blocks		1
Steals		2
Game Stats
12-1-01
vs. Broughton HS

Minutes played	29
Total Points	20
FG		7-15 
3-pointers		2-7 
Free Throws		4-5 
Rebounds		8 (2 off.)
Assists		9
Turnovers		3
Blocks		2
Steals		2
Season-to-date stats
As of 12-1-01

Games played	3
Minutes played	29.0
Total Points	25.0
FG		28-47 (60%)
3-pointers		11-23 (44%)
Free Throws		9-13 (69%)
Rebounds		8.0 (3.0 off.)
Assists		8.7
Turnovers		3.3
Assist to Turnover	2.6
Blocks		1.3
Steals		3.0

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