Rivals Team-up For West Win

Throughout their high school tenures, Kevin Swinton of Greensboro Dudley and Michael Copeland of Winston-Salem Reynolds have battled it out in the paint of some intense rivalry games.

Monday night, however, the ACC bound centers joined forces resulting in 96-89 West All-Stars' victory – its first in three years.

"That's my first time playing with [Swinton]," said Copeland. "They didn't have anybody to guard us and that was the difference."

Swinton, the game's Most Outstanding Player, scored a game high 28 points, while also recording 18 rebounds (5 offensive, 13 defensive), and two blocks. Copeland added 13 points, despite playing in only 18 minutes due to early foul trouble.

"I thought I did alright," said Swinton. "I shot free throws kind of bad. That was probably one of my weak points. I tried to rebound real well. All in all I think I had a pretty good game."

Of Swinton's 28 points, only three came in the first quarter. During that time, the East All-Stars developed a 27-21 lead with the help of Ken Villines (10 points, 7 rebounds) of Fayetteville Seventy-First.

However, in the second quarter, the West squad picked up their defensive pressure and Copeland caught fire scoring 10 points to end the half tied at 44.

Throughout the second half it was obvious the West's game plan changed from an outside game to getting the ball down low to Swinton, who responded with 21 points en route to his MVP honor.

"Coach told me we needed to step up," said Swinton. "We were down and then it was something like 42-42. The guards kept giving me the ball and once I got it, my job was to finish and that's what I did."

Swinton is already enrolled in classes at Wake Forest and participating in basketball practice. Copeland is finishing summer school with the plan to attend North Carolina in the fall if he qualifies reigniting their rivalry on the courts of the ACC.

Prep NC Top Stories