Berkmar plays Grinch to South Gwinnett

Santa came a little early in Gwinnett County this year. He flew over Berkmar High School on Friday night and gave hoop fans an early Christmas gift when the third ranked Patriots and seventh ranked South Gwinnett faced off in a huge heavy weight bout.

With more than a half dozen Division 1 prospects on the floor, it was going to be a good game from the outset. But experience proved to come out on top for Berkmar in their 73-60 victory over the younger but talented Comets.

The first half didn't provide much excitement for the standing room only crowd. The first 15 minutes were filled with turnovers, ill-advised shots and scrappy defense. But a Matt Causey steal in front of the Berkmar bench may have changed the tempo of the game, particularly for the Patriots.

The senior point guard swiped away the ball, made a nice spin move, tip toeing on the sideline and then found a breaking Stephen Davis who threw down a two handed dunk with four seconds left on the clock. The electric bucket gave Berkmar a 26-24 lead but more importantly the momentum shift going into the second half.

Coming out of the locker room, Davis picked up where he left off. On the first possession, Alex Weekes found the 6-5 junior underneath the basket and watched the understudy put in another two-handed monster dunk.

With so many high profile names in the game, a relatively unknown proved to be the difference maker in the pivotal third quarter. Emanuel Hodrea, a 6-8 forward, scored 11 points, including a huge three pointer that gave Berkmar a ten point lead. South Gwinnett never recovered from that point. The Patriots led 46-34 after three.

South Gwinnett's super sophomore Louis Williams tried to carry his young team on his back and began the fourth quarter with a three. And then found himself at the line on the next possession shooting and making three free throws putting the Comets within seven at 48-41. At this point, Berkmar's senior point guard Matt Causey turned to the official and said, "He's only a sophomore?!? Wow." But it never got closer.

Causey came alive under pressure. He hit a couple of pull up jumpers from 12 feet out. He found Alex Weekes inside for the easy two points. More importantly, the Georgetown signee went 14 for 14 in the last quarter. Talk about senior leadership. The floor general finished with a team high 26 points and eight assists.

If you wanted dunks, the 6-8 Weekes provided them in Costco size proportions, in bulk. Try a half dozen. The Middle Tennessee bound post player looked effortless playing above the rim. He even made a two-handed windmill dunk look like it was easy. Later in the fourth quarter, Weekes took a loose ball, stepped over a defender lying on the ground and dunked off of his flat foot without any problem. Extremely proficient, Weekes went 10 of 12 from the floor and ended up with 22 points.

The highly touted Williams couldn't do it on his own. Despite shooting an Allen Iverson like 11 for 28 (39%) from the field, the athletic guard left many with their jaws hanging out in disbelief.

He can do it all on the offensive side of the ball. He can hit from deep. Not high school deep but from NBA deep. He elevates extremely well. He challenges defenders to make him drive and when that happens, he finishes. Simply amazing. Williams finished with 33 points on the night.

1 2 3 4 - T

S. Gwinnnett 15 9 10 26 - 60

Berkmar 11 15 20 27 - 73

Key Stats:

S. Gwinnett: Louis Williams, 33 points 11-28

FG, 4-14 3pt, 7-9 FT

Marcus Sims, 15 points 5-5 FG, 5-6 FT

Berkmar: Matt Causey, 26 points 5-13 FG, 2-5 3pt, 14-14 FT

Alex Weekes, 22 points, 10-12 FG, 2-4 FT

Emanuel Hodrea 14 points

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