City of Palms Classic Report

FT. MYERS, FLA. -- <i>Inside Carolina</i> correspondent Sir Gant filed the following game reports from the City of Palms Classic last week. Stay tuned for player features in the coming days.

Donnie Wilkie and his staff put on a very well organized, exciting and competitive tournament this past week, Dec. 18-22. Basketball fans were treated to great hoops action and beautiful weather (can't beat mid 80's in December), all in the friendly relaxed atmosphere of Fort Myers, Bishop Verot High School.

The powerhouse lineup included consensus top 25 team's, Westchester LA rated #1 in USA today, Tabor Academy ranked #15, Bronx All Hallows #16, Kathleen, Lakeland Fl. #17 and Oakland Tech. Other good teams participating included Virginia Beach Salem, with Maryland bound recruit John Gilchrist, Raleigh Broughton with Shavlik Randolph (Duke), and local power Lakewood, St. Petersburg, featuring Marcus Morrison.

Top players in addition to Randolph and Gilchrist were, Torin Francis, Hassan Adams, Rashad Anderson, Brandon Bowman, and juniors Leon Powe and Trevor Ariza.

Elite college coaches, Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan and Roy Williams were spotted during the week as well as many assistant coaches from schools such as Notre Dame, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Miami, Florida State, and Tennessee.

Game Summaries:

Day 1

Oakland Tech 85, New Orleans Abramson 58

Leon Powe dominated with 27 points 7 rebounds and 3 blocks

Warren Scott had 21 points to lead Abramson

Miami Christian 76, Lehigh 50

Virginia Beach Salem 72, Ft. Myers Bishop Verot 45

John Gilchrist dazzled with 27 points 4 assists and 3 steals

Westchester (CA) 73, Lakewood, St. Petersburg (Fl) 66

An overnight cross-country flight may have contributed to a poor performance from USA Today's #1 rated Comets, but Marcus Morrison and his Lakewood teammates played with emotion and inspiration, severely testing Westchester. Morrison led all scores with 26 points, 22 in the first half. Westchester's balanced attack was led by Trevor Ariza's 16 points and 8 rebounds. Brandon Heath (14 pts), Ashanti Cook and Hassan Adams (12 pts apiece). Westchester dominated the boards out rebounding Lakewood 36-15, with 21 being offensive rebounds, many on their own missed free throws.



Day 2

Abramson 68, Bishop Verot 46 (consolation bracket game)

Warren Scott led Abramson with 29 points

Tabor Academy (Mass.) 52, Oakland Tech (CA) 51

In a game that featured two dominating big men, Tabor's Torin Francis (Notre Dame) and Oakland Tech junior Leon Powe, it was other lesser known players that took the spotlight. Tabor employed a stifling zone defense that tested the patience of Tech's point guard Armondo Surratt (Fresno State). When Oakland went up 49-39, they seemed to relax, thinking they had the game in hand, but Tabor came charging back behind the 3 point shooting of senior James Parker and sophomore Khaliq Gant. Gant's 3 with 30 seconds left in the game put Tabor ahead 50-49, Tech sophomore Quentin Thomas scored on a putback to give Tech a 51-50 lead with 16 seconds remaining. Tabor had one last possession. Senior Mike Robinson got free underneath for a layup, missed then got his own rebound to give Tabor the victory.

Leon Powe led all scorers with 21 pts. and 9 rebounds

Charles Burch led Tabor with 15 pts. Torin Francis had 14 pts. 13 rebounds

And 3 blocks.

Kathleen Lakeland, (FL) 65 Xaverian (NY) 56

Rashad Anderson (Connecticut) led Kathleen with 27 pts.

Xaverian junior Chris Taft had 22 pts.

Bronx All Hallows (NY) 69 Fort Myers Cypress Lake (FL) 44

All Hallows led by the hot three point shooting of senior Ricky Soliver easily defeated Cypress Lake. Soliver finished with 26 pts. And 4 assists. He had 22 pts. at the half.

Westchester 88, Miami Christian 55

After a sluggish performance last night top rated Westchester got back on track with a blowout 33 point victory. The game however was marred by numerous fouls and rough play. Once again Westchester's balance was evident. Senior Keith Everage led with 17 pts., Hassan Adams had 14, Brandon Heath 15 and Trevor Ariza , nursing a sore foot played limited minutes chipped in with 5 pts. aAnd 12 rebounds. Freshman Marcus Johnson showed flashes with 7 points



Day 3

Consolation game 1- Lakewood 75, Xaverian 69 OT

Marcus Morrison continued his strong play leading Lakewood with 19 pts.

Lakewood will play Oakland Tech today in the consolation bracket.

Consolation game 2- Oakland Tech 80, Cypress Lake 56

Leon Powe with his usual dominance led Oakland with 22 pts. and 11 boards. Armondo Surratt added 19 pts. for the winners.

Consolation game 3- Missouri City (Texas) Hightower 66, Lehigh 57

Junior Michawl Umeh continues to impress with 18 pts. for the winners. Hightower will play Abramson today in the consolation bracket.

Quarter Final game 1- Tabor Academy 51, Virginia Beach Salem 49

Tabor's Torin Francis had one of the tournaments most dominating performances, leading Tabor with 24 pts. 15 rebounds and 4 blocks, and was the anchor of their smothering defense. That defense shut down Salem's John Gilchrist, who struggled with his outside shot, hitting only 6 of 22 and going 1-10 from 3 point range. He finished with only 14 pts. Senior James Parker of Tabor had 17 pts. on 5 of 8 shooting from deep. Tabor will now face Bronx All Hallows in the semi-finals.

Quarter Final game 2- Bronx All Hallows 86 Raleigh Broughton 63

The Bishop Verot high school gymnasium began filling up toward the end of the Tabor/Salem game, and was just about packed full for the tip-off of this contest. They came to see Duke signee Shavlik Randolph, but left saying "Soliver", as in Ricky Soliver, All Hallows torrid shooting guard. Soliver treated the crowd to the second best performance in tournament history (Teddy Dupay's 56 pts. in "97 was the best,) scoring 48 pts. on 7-11 3 point shooting, 15-23 overall and 11-11 from the charity stripe. He also had 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. He completely overshadowed Shav's solid 31 points and 10 rebounds, many of which game in mop-up time. All Hallows moves on to play Tabor in the semi-finals.

Quarter Final game 3- Kathleen, Lakeland, 66, Calhoun County (SC) 51

Kathleen advances to the semi-finals led by Rashad Anderson's 20 pts.

They will face Westchester.

Day 4

Consolation Bracket Semi-finals

Game 1

Lakewood 71, Oakland Tech. 56

Marcus Morrison led Lakewood's second half charge with 19 pts. and 12 rebounds. Leon Powe had 20 pts and 14 boards for Oakland.


Game 2

Hightower (Texas) 69, Abramson 67

Junior Michael Umeh again led Hightower with 31 pts. and 6 steals.

5th Place Semi-finals

Game 1

Miami Christian 80- Raleigh Broughton 61

Tough little guard Jose Barea shot lights out against Broughton, finishing with 31 pts. and 9 rebounds. Shavlick Randolph had 24 pts., 12 rebounds and 3 blocks for the losers. Miami will face Calhoun County for 5th place.


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