2001 Beach Ball Classic - Game Summaries
West Orange (NJ) Seton Hall Prep 56, Cleveland (OH) Villa Angela St Joseph 30
Highly touted junior shooting guard Jamar Nutter and the Pirates came in and blew away an overmatched Vikings squad in the Beach Ball Classic opener. Nutter, who sat for large portions of the second half after Seton Hall led 30-13 at the half, had 18 points (2-4 3pt), 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist. Senior guard Anthony Drejaj added 19 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals for the victors. Wing forward Reggie Harwell had a tough dayshooting in the loss, but was clearly the best player for the Vikings, demonstrating solid inside-outside skills and finishing with 8 points and 2 rebounds. Junior Shayle Keating, a solid lead guard prospect, frustrated the Vikings offense with his quick hands, finishing with 4 steals.
Lincroft (NJ) Christian Brothers 70, Myrtle Beach (SC) High 47
The exceptionally well-coached Colts squad forced the Seahawks into multiple turnovers and frustrated the defense with offensive patience early before the hot outside shooting of junior guard Derek Kelly turned a halftime lead of 8 points into a convincing victory for Christian Brothers.
Socastee (SC) High 57, Martinsburg (WV) High 49
In the evening's most exciting game, the Socastee Braves, led by physically impressive senior guard John Smalls and wiry 6-10 big man Josh Fowler, overcame a halftime deficit of 7 to overtake the Bulldogs and West Virginia-bound center Kevin Pittsnogle. Smalls had 17 points, mostly on slashing drives to the basket, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals for the victors, and Fowler chipped in with 10 points and 6 rebounds, but was an important defensive answer to the 6-10 Pittsnogle in the paint. Pittsnogle had 19 points, 14 rebounds, and a block in a losing effort.
Memphis (TN) White Station 53, Lexington (SC) High 42
In another well-matched contest, Tennessee recruit Dane Bradshaw and the Spartans prevailed over a solid effort from Rice signee Alex Spotts and the Wildcats. White Station senior guard Melvin Wilkes set the tone early, using quick hands to grab 4 steals in the opening two minutes, and finished with 5 for the game. Wilkes also contributed 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 5 assists. Bradshaw showcased flashy passing skills, finishing with 4 assists and at least 9 other potential assists that his teammates failed to convert. He also had 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 blocks, and scored 9 points, mostly on fadeaways in the lane. For Lexington, Spotts had 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists, but couldn't find the range from downtown. Strongly built guard Demetris Summers added 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals for the Wildcats.
Shreveport (LA) Evangel Academy 57, Scott County (KY) High 54
In first game of the second afternoon, Evangel Academy, led by junior shooting guard Nate Newell, outlasted a hard charge from Scott County's stable of solid guards to win, 57-54. Newell, a skinny guard with great touch, finished with 18 points, shooting 3-5 from downtown. Colleges looking for a wing forward in the class of 2001 ought to take a look at Moussa Diagne, a skinny 6-8 senior with a solid jumper and excellent athleticism. Diagne added 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks in minutes limited by foul trouble and a tendency to travel. 6-11 senior Alex Kireyev was a nonfactor for the Eagles against the smaller Cardinals team.
The Colony (TX) High 58, Florence (SC) Wilson 45
The Colony backcourt, comprised of Indiana signee Bracey Wright, Illinois-bound Deron Williams, and Rhode Island recruit Bam Harmon, proved to be too much for highly rated junior center Major Wingate and the Wilson Tigers. Wright came out and scored 12 points in the first 3:00 minutes to bury Wilson early, but the Tigers clawed back and were in contention for most of the game. Wright finished with 26 points on 2-4 shooting from downtown, with 4 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals, and 1 assist, confirming his place among the elite in 2002. Williams added 12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in a very Jason Kidd-like statline. Harmon contributed 13 points (2-3 3pt), 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists for the victorious Cougars, who pulled away early in the second half and then ran the 4 Corners offense to run the clock down for the rest of the period. For Wilson, the halfcourt offense flowed through Wingate, who finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Wingate, whose effort is often questioned, came out like gangbusters in the first half, but disappeared as the Colony pulled away for the victory. Justin Durant, the younger brother of UNC quarterback Darian Durant, added 4 points and 3 rebounds in the losing effort.
Radcliff (KY) North Hardin 49, Philadelphia (PA) Simon Gratz 40
In an exciting comeback, the North Hardin Trojans, led by cloudjumper Quinton Smith, overcame a 6-point halftime deficit to defeat Michael Blackshear and the Gratz Bulldogs.
Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln 89, Latta (SC) High 64
In front of a packed house (and Beach Ball Classic attendance record), the marquee matchup of the best two point guards in high school basketball, senior Raymond Felton and sophomore Sebastian Telfair, did not disappoint the hordes of fans fighting to get into the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The two fought each other tooth and nail, but Telfair had more help than Felton, and his Railsplitters got the best of little Latta, who had knocked off national powers DeMatha and Mt Zion under Felton's leadership. Felton, who was forced to play center on defense at times and was obviously fatigued through the second half, finished with 35 points, shooting 6-14 from long range, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. Felton's wingman, Murrell Sutton, was hurt early, but returned to contribute 10 points (2-3 3pt) and 7 rebounds in the loss. Telfair was sensational as well, posting 28 points (3-7 3pt), 6 assists, and 3 steals. Also impressive for Lincoln was junior wing Elijah Clark, who finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and a couple of monster dunks. The game's best moment was when Telfair called an isolation against Felton, who smiled widely at the play call, and the two went one-on-one for a possesion. Telfair crossed Felton over and got a clear shot off, but drew iron and missed. Call that one a draw -- but the game went to Telfair, Clark and the Lincoln Railsplitters.