Smith impressive in Christ School debut

ARDEN, N.C. – It was a rainy evening in Western North Carolina on Tuesday night, and it was also a rainy night inside of Christ School's gym. The Greenies' barrage from beyond the arch seemed to be never ending, and they were paced by 2010 South Carolina commit Eric Smith in the 95-79 win over Quality Education.

Smith, a three-star point guard prospect who transferred from Mullins High School in South Carolina to Christ School this year, had 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting, going 4-for-4 from the 3-point line in his debut for the Arden, NC based program.

"I tried to play with confidence and play fast," Smith said of his debut performance with Christ School. "I was kind of hot tonight, and my shot fell."

A lot of shots from the Greenies came in duress it seemed, but Smith's shots came in the flow of the game — especially in the beginning.

Christ School came out jumpy as Brandon Lopez settled for a couple of deep 3s that missed badly, which Quality Education took and turned into points.

Quality Education's aggressiveness looked like it was going to stifle the Greenies as its coach, Isaac Pitts, was screaming for them to just keep "running right by them."

Smith had something to say about that.

The 6-foot lead guard knifed through Quality Education and hit a high-banking shot off the glass for the Greenies' first bucket of the game. He then came right back and drained a high-arching 3. And then came back down and buried another one. Smith single-handedly scored the first 10 points of the game for his team, giving Christ School a lead they would never relinquish.

"I just tried to come out and play hard and tried to move the ball," Smith said. "You know, I shot it if I got a good look."

Quality Education was paced by elite prospect Quincy Miller's 26 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks on a bum wrist.

"I just wanted to come out and play hard because my wrist's still fractured," the No. 7 overall prospect in the 2010 class said. "Then I just had to be like ‘forget my wrist,' and so I just came out and started playing as hard as I can and started dominating."

While favoring his bandaged up wrist, the 6-foot-9 Miller saw the game slipping away after being down by double-digits at the half, so he came out and attacked the rim hard, almost scoring at will to bring it back to single digits. But with Christ School hitting timely 3s and keeping its poise, Quality Education faded fast, and found themselves down 70-56 through three quarters.

"They're a good team, so we had to find out what we have to work on," said Miller, one of South Carolina's main targets in the 2011 class. "(Our schedule) gets harder. But we found out what's wrong, and we discussed it so everything's good. I think next game we're going to come out and just put everything together."

Also helping to carry Quality Education was 2010 prospect Stargell Love, who had 23 points. The point guard's quickness and handle was staggering at times and gave the Greenies all they could handle as he dominated portions of the game as well. But Quality Education's two stars weren't enough to handle Christ School, who has at least eight Division 1 players.

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