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Slam Dunk to the Beach 3

December 29, 2002 Columns No Comments

Slam Dunk to the Beach – Day 3 Recap

by Phil Kasiecki

The third day of action at the Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament featured high-scoring performances, as the single-game individual high point total was topped several times during the day, matchups between big men, and a great game in the National Power Series.

The Price Is Right . . . Almost

Amityville (NY) junior guard A.J. Price made some great plays en route to the highest individual scoring total at the time, but it wasn’t enough as Washington (DC) Spingarn held off a late rally by the Warriors for a 70-67 victory behind 25 points and 9 rebounds from senior guard Jerome Petticolas.

Price had 32 points, but it took him 30 shots to get there. There was one sequence where he grabbed two offensive rebounds after shots in traffic, and scored on his third try and got fouled in the process. He led a late first half surge that got Amityville back in the game after trailing 39-21 at one point, as Spingarn ran early and often on the Warriors.

Delivering The Goods

As usual, all eyes were on Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln junior point guard Sebastian Telfair as his team took on Bullis (MD) School. Telfair struggled for most of the first half, going 4-14 from the field as his team trailed 23-20 at the half. He came alive and asserted himself in the second half, scoring 26 points to finish with 34 as Lincoln won going away, 58-37. For the half, he outscored the entire Bullis team, which scored just 14 points while shooting 21.7% from the field.

Battle of the Big Men, Part 1: Center Stage

In the first Tip-Off Classic semifinal, Reno (NV) High broke the game open by outscoring Fairburn (GA) Landmark Christian Academy 19-6 en route to a 71-54 win.

The game featured Kansas-bound center David Padgett of Reno and Landmark’s Randolph Morris, one of the top junior big men. Padgett clearly won the battle, scoring 25 of his game-high 29 points in the first half and hauling down 10 rebounds. In the first half, he scored in almost any way he wanted to, including his only three-point attempt of the game. Morris would finish with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but it took him 25 shots and he had several uncontested baskets late.

Tournament director Bob Jacobs said of Padgett after the game, “There was an education lesson going on, and he was the teacher.”

Battle of the Big Men, Part 2: Supporting Role

Two more high-major big men were involved in the next game, a Slam Dunk to the Beach consolation game between Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American and North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep. It wasn’t expected to be on the same level as the prior matchup, with the Pioneers featuring South Florida-bound big man Konimba Diarra and Georgetown-bound junior Roy Hibbert, Jr. in the middle for Georgetown Prep. While it lived up to expectations in the big men being more of a side story than the headline, it surprised in terms of who the better big man in the game was.

Hibbert did little, as he seemed screwed to the floor and not aggressive in scoring 5 points and grabbing just 3 rebounds, while Diarra did his usual work as a role player with 6 points and 10 rebounds in Our Savior’s 68-59 victory to advance to the fifth place game on Monday. Valparaiso signee Oumar Sylla had another fine shooting performance, scoring a game-high 21 points on 8-13 shooting, while junior stud Juan Diego Palacios added 19.

He’s Back!

Oakland (CA) Tech star forward Leon Powe, sidelined for most of the spring and summer months recovering from a torn ACL, didn’t play his best ball on Friday night despite scoring 31 points. He made sure that didn’t happen again on Saturday in leading his team to the fifth place game of the Slam Dunk to the Beach Division with a 72-51 victory over the Laurinburg (NC) Institute.

The California signee had a tournament-high 36 points and took over the game in the second half, and in the fourth quarter he brought the crowd to its feet with a great fast break dunk off the backboard, then two trips later made a terrific reverse layup on the baseline as he almost fell out of bounds. He was 13-18 from the field in leading the Bulldogs to shooting 58.7% from the field.

Things Are Not Always As They First Appear

The first National Power Series semifinal between Miami (FL) Christian and Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins had the makings of a terrific game, and many were eagerly anticipating it. The arena was packed and the atmosphere was ripe for a classic, but for a while the game didn’t look like it would live up to its billing as Miami Christian shot over 57% in the first half and led 37-21 at the break. Then Hopkins finally showed up.

In the third quarter, the Royals came alive, outscoring the Victors 18-5 to pull closer. They would tie it at 46 on two Mitch Henke free throws with 3:50 left, then the two teams went cold for over three minutes before Duke-bound Kris Humphries (20 points, 10 rebounds) hit a runner with 42 seconds to play to give the Royals the lead. With 16 seconds left, Miami-bound Guillermo Diaz (18 points, 8 rebounds) made an acrobatic layup to tie it again at 48.

After a timeout, Hopkins guard Darren Clarke (a St. Louis signee) was slapped on the wrist and the ball went out of bounds with 5.1 seconds left and no foul. Miami Christian used a timeout, then Diaz hit a foul line jumper in traffic with 1.6 seconds left for a 50-48 lead.

Humphries caught a long pass near the three-point line and got a decent look, but it didn’t fall as time expired and Miami Christian won a classic.

Tale of Two Halves

The first half of the Slam Dunk to the Beach semifinal between Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty and Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding was just plain ugly, as the teams combined to shoot just over 31% from the field. The teams shot much better in the second half, with Archbishop Spalding advancing to the championship game with a 51-47 victory.

The Cardinals made several late charges, but couldn’t quite complete the comeback despite an excellent outing from junior forward Shane Clark. Clark had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks, scoring several key baskets. Archbishop Spalding was led largely by the floor leadership of junior point guard Jesse Brooks, who scored just 4 points but handed out 7 assists. Their bigger frontline of senior Gus Durr, Jr. (8 rebounds), junior forward Rudy Gay (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Maryland-bound center Will Bowers (13 points) helped them to a 39-27 edge on the boards.

When The Saints Go Marching In

The day’s final game was a close one between Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s and Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s. St. Andrew’s looked to be in good shape after a strong second quarter and start to the second half, but the Saints started to struggle on offense in the second half. In the meantime, Drexel-bound floor leader Bashir Mason and junior forward J.R. Smith helped get things together as the Graybees advanced to the championship game with a 62-58 win.

In the second quarter, the Saints simply put the clamps on the powerful Graybee lineup and allowed no second shots, giving them a 30-23 lead at the half. They held Massachusetts signee Art Bowers to just 9 points, but Smith (16 points) and Mason (13 points, 5 assists) each scored 10 points in the second half, and junior forward Alex Galindo continued his good play with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Syracuse signee Demetrius Nichols led St. Andrew’s with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Other News and Notes

• Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel used a 42-19 edge on the glass to beat Oxon Hill (MD) High, 57-46. Active junior forward James Gist led the Falcons with 16 points, and Notre Dame-bound forward Omari Israel led the rebounding effort by hauling down 12 rebounds to make up for his offensive struggles (4 points on 2-12 shooting).

• Beaumont (TX) Clifton J. Ozen shot 53.8% from the field and got 13 points and 11 rebounds from senior forward Keena Young in a 50-43 win over Camden (AL) Wilcox Central.

• Several head coaches have come to the tournament along with numerous assistants. Villanova head coach Jay Wright was around in the morning. Another notable presence is NBA Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, who has been seen the past two days.


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