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Slam Dunk to the Beach 1

December 27, 2002 Columns No Comments

Slam Dunk to the Beach – Day 1 Recap

by Phil Kasiecki

Thursday was the first day of the 13th annual Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament in Lewes, DE. Several games were tightly-called and there was some sloppy play, but overall the play was very good, as can be expected of this tournament. Here are some of the highlights and notes from the day’s action, which consisted of nine games.

We Interrupt This Program . . .

Mustafa Shakur was putting on a clinic. When he wasn’t swishing jump shots out to three-point range, the Arizona signee was grabbing rebounds and going the length of the floor for easy layups or making great bounce passes to teammates.

Then the official stepped in.

With 2:25 left in the third quarter of a Mayor’s Cup semifinal game, Shakur drove to the basket and was the victim of a bad call as he was whistled for a charge, his fifth foul. He fouled out with his Wynnewood (PA) Friends Central team leading 41-39 over neighbor Fort Washington (PA) Germantown Academy, finishing with 22 points in 22 minutes, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists. The top point guard in the class of 2003 would have had more assists if his teammates could have handled his passes or converted them. Without their star, Friends Central struggled and went on to lose by a 67-57 score.

Sophomore wing Ryan Ayers led Germantown with 20 points, 16 of which came in the second half and several after offensive rebounds (5 of his 7 rebounds were offensive). Fellow sophomore forward Brian Grimes and junior Joe Gill each added 13 points and 9 rebounds.

Not To Be Outdone

Shakur’s performance failed to lead to a win, but Amityville junior guard A.J. Price was not to be denied. Amityville (NY) took on Bloomfield (NJ) Tech in what would prove to be one of the day’s best games, pulling away in the closing minutes for a 72-63 win. One of the nation’s top juniors, Price scored a game-high 30 points, pulled down 7 rebounds and had 5 steals in playing an excellent all-around game. At times, Bloomfield would deny Price the ball, but that only did so much and he still found ways to get it.

Bloomfield has a nice lineup with several good guards, as well as a freshman post player to keep an eye on. Caslem Drummond, a 6’8″ freshman, played most of the second half and finished with 6 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Da’Shawn Dwight led Bloomfield Tech with 22 points and 6 assists.

Photo Finish

Washington (DC) Gonzaga led for most of their game against Oxon Hill (MD), but never broke the game open despite playing much better. That would come back to haunt them, as Christopher Pugh capped a solid game with a rainbow three-pointer before the buzzer sounded to give Oxon Hill a victory over Gonzaga. Pugh finished with 18 points on 6-11 shooting, and Oxon Hill won despite shooting just 35.2% from the field and allowing Gonzaga to shoot 52.5%.

One promising player in the loss was sophomore forward Paul Johnson, a nice athlete who is currently an undersized power forward. He had the game’s only double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Now That Was Ugly

The ugliest game of the day was the 43-40 victory by Potomac (MD) Bullis School over Hockessin (DE) Sanford School. Bullis won despite shooting just 32.6% from the field, though Sanford did not shoot the lights out either. Together, the teams combined to shoot just over 37% for the game and combined for 36 points in the first half.

One player who was immune was Bullis junior forward Travis Lay, who scored a game-high 19 points on 7-11 shooting and added 6 rebounds.

The game that immediately followed was not very different, as Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding and North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep barely topped the previous game’s combined point total in Spalding’s 45-40 come-from-behind win. The Cavaliers had some early foul trouble and trailed for much of the game, but they were always within striking distance and moved on to the semifinals of the Slam Dunk to the Beach division.

Maryland signee Will Bowers led the Cavaliers with 16 points and 4 blocks, as one of just two players in the game to reach double digits. The teams combined to shoot less than 35% from the field.

Closing Out On a Good Note

The day’s final game was another quarterfinal in the Slam Dunk to the Beach division. Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty led for most of the game behind a balanced attack, while Valparaiso signee Oumar Sylla did all he could to keep Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American in the game with a terrific effort. Cardinal Dougherty started to pull away late as Our Savior wore down in the closing minutes, moving on to the semifinals with a 64-57 victory.

The Cardinals nearly gave the Pioneers another chance, missing four free throws in the final seconds after making several to keep the lead near double digits.

Sylla finished with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat. Senior guard Isaac Greer led four players in double figures with 15 points, while junior guard Kyle Lowry had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

In Other Action

• Laurel (DE) opened the day by knocking off host Cape Henlopen (DE), 67-63.

• Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel shot 47.8% from the field and shut down Memphis-bound small forward Sean Banks (11 points, 4-14 shooting) en route to a 57-54 win over Bergen (NJ) Catholic. Senior guard Kevin App led the winners with a game-high 22 points on 7-12 shooting.

• Washington (DC) Spingarn had an easy time with Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt, winning 75-57 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates.

Stat of the Day

No team had more assists than turnovers on the day. Friends Central and Germantown Academy both came close, each with one more turnover than assist.


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