Ginyard Takes Title, MVP

RALEIGH, N.C. – Marcus Ginyard isn't accustomed to receiving awards. Sure, his team has garnered plenty of trophies, but his first three years of high school ball were spent out of the spotlight, playing an integral role, yet rarely filling up the stat sheet. For that reason, Wednesday night was extra special.

Ginyard's Bishop O'Connell (Va.) squad captured the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational championship with a 57-56 win over Woodside (Va.) and his 27-point, 9-rebound performance clinched the tournament's Most Valuable Player honor.

"Man, I've come a long way," Ginyard reflected postgame, looking at his wooden MVP plaque. The Chapel Hill-bound senior averaged 27.3 points and 8.3 rebounds over the three-day tournament. "It's just sticking with it, working hard and getting rewarded for it. Can't ask for anything better than that. This year it happened to be my role to be the one that is more visible."

Even though he has the role of go-to scorer, it's still in the flow of the offense and rarely does he force a shot. Ginyard shot 13-for-18 from the field, and not a single field goal was farther away than the short pull-up jumper he hit in the lane late in the third quarter. Most of his points came on dunks, lay-ups and stick backs.

"This was a great defensive team we faced tonight, and they weren't giving us those outside shots, so we took advantage on the inside," said Ginyard, who was surprised afterwards that he had totaled 27 points.

"He was in attack mode," said O'Connell head coach Joe Wootten. "He just found today that was available to him -- he's just a smart player . I think they got up on him because they'd seen him hit the outside shots [the first night], but he was smart enough to take it to the rim."

Ginyard got off to a slow offensive start, attempting only two shots in the first quarter (hitting his first, a strong move to the hoop in the first minute), though he collected a handful of rebounds and made a big-time block. O'Connell trailed by two heading into the second quarter, but made their move as halftime neared and led 31-23 at the break, with Ginyard having 10 of those points.

Woodside refused to let O'Connell run away with the game, and the score would stay tight until the final buzzer. Ginyard helped hold off Woodside by scoring 12 of his team's next 15 points over a quarter-plus span – 17 in all in the second half

While the stat sheet doesn't do his impact justice, the MVP award does. O'Connell is infinitely better when he's on the floor – whether it's his scoring, rebounding, defending or breaking the press – Ginyard's all-around game earned him the plaque that speaks to his contributions.

"As important as the points were, he got stops at the end, so it was also a great defensive effort," Wootten said. "But obviously Marcus did a great job overall. He just does such a great job of helping his team win and finds what way will help his team win. Some players just care about scoring – obviously he can score – but he does it to help his team win."

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