Gamecock commitment dominant in win
Chrlotte Christian opened the game in the same fashion that it closed the game — dominantly. Anthony Gill, a 2011 South Carolina commitment, and Akil Mitchell, a Virginia-bound senior, were simply too much to handle.
Gill made an amazing "and 1" play early in the contest before converting the free throw to put Charlotte Christian up 8-2. The run continued as they finished the first quarter up 20-8.
"I got in the gym the last couple of days and shot about 100 free throws," said Gill, who had been in a slump — by his standards — from the charity stripe.
That was key, as Gill finished 11-of-14 from the line and 7-of-9 from the field for 25 points. He also added six rebounds (four offensive) and recorded two blocks in very limited minutes. The 6-foot-8 junior picked up his second foul with 5:06 left in the second quarter, putting him on the bench for the rest of the half. The same thing happened in the third quarter when he picked up his third with 5:40 remaining.
Also on the court was FCD's star point guard Tyler Lewis, who was AAU teammates with Gill with the Carolina Flight.
"He never gets mad," Lewis said about his former teammate.
"It's frustrating. It happens a lot," Gill said of the cheap fouls. "You just have to learn to get past it."
Lewis finished with 27 points, three assists and four rebounds (three offensive).
"It was fun," Gill said of the matchup. "I got to play against my point guard."
"It was fun, it was entertaining," Lewis said. "I'm good friends with A.G., and he dominated us too. I mean it was interesting, most likely we're always just joking on the same team, but today, it was just like ‘Man, we got to go out there and beat this kid.' But I guess he's going to have the bragging rights now. So I guess we'll have to go back and get them in (the state playoffs)."
There was even one play in the fourth quarter where Gill picked up his fourth foul — followed by a short trip to the bench for Gill — where the 5-foot-11 Lewis went into the lane and went right into the chest of Gill while converting on an acrobatic shot.
"I didn't know it was A.G. until I hit the ground," the sophomore said of the play. "He showed good sportsmanship and reached down and pulled me up. That's a good kid. He's always giving you positive influence even though you're on the other team."
Gill smiled when asked about the play.
"It was a rare time," he said jokingly about Lewis getting the best of him.
It wasn't all fun out there, though.
"It's kind of frustrating that we lost, but it's basketball, so you win some and you lose some," noted Lewis, whose recruitment from South Carolina is really starting to pick up. "Today we came out lackadaisical. We just have to play much harder than we played tonight."
At times, Lewis struggled from the field, but made up for it with his aggressiveness in the lane.
"You've got to do other things when your shot's not falling," said Lewis, who was 11-or-13 from the free throw line. "Your legs start to tire and your shot starts getting kind of short. So I just tried to get into the lane as much as I could."
Lewis was still very complimentary of Gill when it was all said and done.
"He's one of the best big guys I've played with," he said.
"It feels good," Gill said of the win. "But I know I have to come out here tomorrow at practice and just work harder."
So what does he work on?
"I try to find one move that I can work on every time, or I try to find a counter move," he said. "And I work on my ball handling and just going harder."
Gill knows that the undefeated record will be put to the test Tuesday as they take on the No. 1 team in the state, United Faith.
Final side note: I know Virginia needs a quarterback… Maybe they should let Akil Mitchell line up because he threw a beautiful pass on a frozen rope through the whole FCD team that hit Gill in stride for the flush.
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