12-11-01 Latta HS vs. Marion HS
Final Score: LHS 85 – MHS 61
Latta, SC – Once again facing his first cousin, Raymond Felton led Latta High School (5-1) to a 85 – 61 victory again over Marion High School and Kalil Felton last night. Latta stretched a 16-point halftime lead into the final margin of victory.
Raymond Felton scored 32 points on 11-22 from the field (including 5-10 three pointers), dishing out six assists, snaring eight rebounds and stealing the ball four times. Kalil Felton scored 23 points for Marion High School.
In a remarkable statistic for the season-to-date, Raymond is contributing 36% of Latta High School's offensive production through six games, scoring almost a point for every minute of play (.96 points/minute).
Latta head coach Stephen Smith commented on the family matchup between Raymond and Kalil: "They're best buddies — they're cousins and best friends, too. You can be cousins and not be great friends, I guess, but they're close. When they get on the court, they battle each other. Kalil is a very physical ballplayer who takes that to the basketball court as well."
Latta faces Mullins High School tonight in another family affair. Coach Smith observed: "Mullins is a great program. My cousin actually coaches the program; he's been there about 13 years. His name is Mark Gerald. Raymond's best friend, Jerrod Gerald (Mark's son), will be attending the University of South Carolina on scholarship next year. He played (for Mullins) until this past year. He's now at Fork Union Military Academy but he's already signed to go to South Carolina next year — the Gamecocks.
"They've turned out big-time players for colleges throughout the years and have a big-time program. He [Coach Gerald] lost some players from last year, like his son. Mark's a good coach and he's going to have those boys ready to play.
"We've played them before, already, the first game and we put some pressure on them in the second half. Their guards are young and they had a difficult time handling the pressure. We shot the ball well that night and we're going to try to ... if it's not broke, don't fix it!"
When asked to evaluate Raymond's play so far this year, Coach Smith commented: "He's had to add a new dimension to his overall game. I wouldn't say it's completely new because he was always been able to do it, but he's had to do it more, and that is he's had to go inside and play on the defensive end. He's as tall as any starter we have at 6-1 ½. He's really had to go inside and help out defensively down low.
"He guarded Shavlik Randolph [12/1/01]. [Randolph] got his points but [Raymond] made him work hard and I think that was the key to the victory. He's willing to do that kind of thing.
"Offensively, he's just as fluid as ever. His decision-making offensively has been great. He knows when to pass the ball. He knows how much to put on it. He knows when he needs to take the shot and take over himself.
"His maturity is progressing and you would expect that. One key to Raymond's game overall is his floor leadership. His maturity is really beyond his years."
When asked how the rest of Latta's players are handling Raymond's recognition and acclaim, Smith replied: "They've grown used to it. They've come up with Raymond. He's always that — it's gotten to a crescendo this year and over the last couple of years. They understand the guy's a great player.
"If he was a selfish player with a cocky attitude, it would be harder to handle, but he's an unselfish player and, if you didn't know he was Raymond Felton, the basketball star, when you see him with the other kids, you'd think he's just another kid."
Game Stats 12-11-01 Versus Marion HS Minutes played 28 Total Points 32 FG 11-22 3-pointers 5-10 Free Throws 5-7 Rebounds 8 (3 offensive) Assists 6 Turnovers 3 Assist to Turnover 2.0 Blocks 2 Steals 4 Season-to-date stats per game As of 12-11-01 Through 6 games: Minutes played 28.8 Total Points 27.7 FG 61-107 (57%) 3-pointers 22-47 (47%) Free Throws 22-32 (69%) Rebounds 7.7 (2.8 offensive) Assists 8.0 Turnovers 3.0 Assist to Turnover 2.7 Blocks 1.3 Steals 4.0