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Slam Dunk to the Beach 4

December 29, 2002 Columns No Comments

Slam Dunk to the Beach – Day 4 Recap

by Phil Kasiecki

With A Little Help From My Friends

Even the nation’s best point guard can’t do it alone.

In the Mayor’s Cup consolation game, Arizona signee Mustafa Shakur finally got some help from teammates. His frontline teammates, London Houston and Channon Easley, didn’t play their best basketball the previous two games, but they were big keys as Wynnewood (PA) Friends Central took third place with a 65-44 win over Laurel (DE) High.

The unselfish Shakur played better in the second half, when the Phoenix pulled away. He finished with 12 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists, with junior Channon Easley leading the way with a game-high 19 points and 12 rebounds and senior forward London Houston adding 13 points and 8 rebounds. The Phoenix shot just under 51% for the game.

Better Luck This Time Around

Last season, Fort Washington (PA) Germantown Academy lost in the Slam Dunk to the Beach championship, but this time around the younger Patriots had better luck as they took the Mayor’s Cup with a 45-39 victory over Wilmington (DE) St. Mark’s.

The Patriots held the Spartans to 33.3% shooting and were led by sophomore wing Ryan Ayers, the son of former Ohio State head coach Randy Ayers, with 18 points on 7-8 shooting and 8 rebounds. The Patriots allowed the Spartans to hang around, but had enough answers in the closing minutes.

Beltway Battle

Washington (DC) Spingarn and Potomac (MD) Bullis School faced off in a good battle of teams from around the nation’s capital that came down to the wire. Neither team shot very well, but Bullis pulled out a close 43-41 win as Babacar Thiam missed a three-pointer from the corner as time expired.

Bullis junior center Jerome Johnson was the difference-maker in this one, as he had a game-high 18 points on 6-8 shooting, hauled down 9 rebounds and blocked 3 shots. When he was in the game, he made plays throughout the game in one of his better showings.

Neither team shot well in what was largely an up-tempo game, which suited Spingarn for a while. Bullis shot 40%, while Spingarn shot just 35.3% from the field.

Coming Out Party

Notre Dame-bound power forward Omari Israel is certainly a known commodity as players on Wheaton (MD) Good Counsel go, but junior James Gist broke out at this tournament. The 6’8″ junior combo forward showed his athleticism and overall skills more in his team’s 62-60 loss to Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American, scoring a game-high 22 points on 10-12 shooting and electrifying the crowd more than once with a great dunk. Gist is already receiving interest from high-major schools, and that will continue as he fills out his frame and games like this one become the norm.

Fantastic Finish

The day’s final game had its twists and turns, but the end result was a photo finish that didn’t disappoint those who stayed. John Iannuzzi dribbled up court, then found a wide-open Adrian Joseph for a dunk just before time expired to give Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic a 58-57 win over Starkville (MS) High.

The teams swapped dominating quarters in the first half, with Bergen Catholic dominating the first and Starkville the second en route to a 32-30 halftime lead. The game remained close into the final minutes, when Memphis-bound small forward Sean Banks (team-high 22 points) hit a three-pointer with 1:24 left to give Bergen Catholic a 54-52 lead, then made it 56-52 with a driving layup with 33 seconds remaining.

Mississippi State signee Travis Outlaw (game-high 26 points, 9 rebounds) hit a three-pointer with 15.7 seconds left, then got the ball after a steal and missed a layup while getting fouled. He sank both free throws with 7.3 seconds left to give the Yellowjackets a 57-56 lead before the final play, which capped a 12-point, 10-rebound effort for Joseph, a junior forward.

Outlaw got some help from sophomore guard Jarvis Hill, who played a nice game with 17 points after scoring 13 in their first game.

Other News and Notes

• Richland (NJ) St. Augustine Prep had an easy time with the host school, Cape Henlopen (DE) High in the day’s opening game, 72-40. The Hermits broke the game open in the second and third quarters and had four players in double figures while shooting 61.5% from the field.

• Hockessin (DE) Sanford School had no answer for Tuscaloosa (AL) junior big man D.J. White, as the elite prospect had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks in their 48-44 win. Villanova-bound forward Will Sheridan had 14 points, but played just seven minutes in the second half with foul trouble, which hurt Sanford’s offense.

• Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s went ice cold in the fourth quarter as Washington (DC) Gonzaga Prep broke a tie at the end of the third quarter and took the game over in a 61-48 victory. The Saints committed 20 turnovers to lose despite shooting 46.7% from the field.


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