D.C. Stars Easily Top U.S. in Capital Classic

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Capital All-Stars had a 21-point halftime lead and never let the U.S. All-Stars get much closer in the second half for an easy, 129-98 win Thursday night in the 36th annual Capital Classic in Bender Arena on American U.'s campus.

Box Score

Montrose Christian's 6-foot-10 big forward Mouphtaou Yarou (Villanova) had a powerful game and led the winners with 20 points and a game-high eight rebounds in 16 minutes of action. He was a perfect 9-for-9 on the floor and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.

Yarou was named the Classic's Most Valuable Player.

The Capital squad, coached by Gonzaga College High School's Steve Turner, spread the ball around so that seven players scored in double-figures.

They also won the ballhandling battle with 22 assists, 17 steals and six blocks against 23 turnovers while the U.S. numbers were six assists, 10 steals and three blocks, also with 23 TOs. The local guys assist / turnover ratio was 0.96; the national team's, 0.26.

Vanderbilt-bound John Jenkins from Station Camp H.S. in Tennessee, tallied a game-best 27 points hitting 10-of 17 shots, including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. He was named to the All-Classic team.

The team also included the Capital team's Tristan Spurlock (Virginia), a 6-foot-5 wing from Word of Life Academy in suburban Va., who scored nine points and had two rebounds, one assist and a steal, and, Derrick Thomas (Drexel) from St. John's College High School in D.C. with 11 points via 3-for-3 from three-point range, 4-5 overall.

The final two honorees are from the first game, a closer one in which the District All-Stars took the Suburban All-Stars, 113-104. Rafriel Guthrie from D.C.'s Cardozo H.S., who set the court afire with his energy, tallied 17 points, six rebounds and two assists. He shot 8-for-11 overall and made his only 3-point attempt. Keith Mitchell, a 6-foot-6 forward/center from C.D. Hylton High in Woodbridge Va., rounds out the honorees. He also put in 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two steals.

The Capital team scored first and led wire to wire. They took a 23-11 lead with 11:16 left, built it up to 46-25, and had that 21-point edge at the half, 57-36.

The U.S. squad scored seven straight midway through the second half to cut the deficit to 88-71.

Remembering that the D.C. Metro team lost last year by 38 and just last Sunday, another U.S. group dropped Baltimore's finest by 26, 112-86, in the Charm City Challenge, the Capitals responded to their opponent's energy and built the lead back above 20 to 27, 112-85.

Then they answered a short U.S. run, got back to 27, 114-87, and stretched it to 127-91, 36 points. The U.S. scored seven of the last nine points for the final score of 129-98.

Brooklyn's James Padgett (Maryland), a 6-foot-8, 220-pound big forward, was the MVP in Sunday's game with 22 points on on 11-for-13 shooting.

Typically, rosters for high school post-season games change, which opened a spot for this game. Padgett went back to New York and returned to the Balt.-Wash. area on Tuesday.

Tonight the ball wasn't dropping but he stayed active in the paint and pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.

Paris Bennett (George Mason), a 6-foot-6, 220-pound combo forward from St. Patrick H.S,. in New Jersey, had six points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist.

Bennett and MVP Yarou are scheduled to meet again at the Jordan Brand Classic in Madison Square Garden in 'The City" on Saturday, April 18, 2009. Bennett will play in the regional game with the NYC suburban team against New York City's top players and Yarou will be on the home team in the national game.

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