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Slam Dunk to the Beach 5

December 31, 2002 Columns No Comments

Slam Dunk to the Beach – Day 5 Recap

by Phil Kasiecki

The fifth and final day of the 2002 Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament had several great matchups and saw champions crowned in all three brackets. Here is a look at what happened in Lewes, Delaware.

All-American Boys Overshadowed

The consolation game of the National Power Series featured two likely McDonald’s All-Americans in Duke-bound forward Kris Humphries of Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins and Mississippi State-bound forward Travis Outlaw of Starkville (MS) High. Hopkins started strong with a 15-6 lead after one quarter and never trailed the rest of the way in taking third place with a 66-56 victory.

Humphries had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Hopkins, but his support really won the game for him as St. Louis signee Darren Clarke had 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Boston College signee Dan Coleman had 14 points and 10 rebounds and played excellent defense on Outlaw for much of the game. Outlaw had 18 points, but made just 7 of 21 shots and had just 5 rebounds. Hopkins had a 43-27 edge on the glass and held Starkville to 33.3% shooting while making over 46% of their shots.

The star of the game was sophomore guard Jarvis Hill of Starkville, who scored 19 of his game-high 28 points in the second half and kept his team within striking distance. He was 8-19 from the field and completed an excellent showing at the tournament with this effort. He will be a player to keep an eye on in the months ahead, as he shot the ball well and was in double figures in all three games.

Sylla Completes A Good Tournament

Although Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American took fifth place in the Slam Dunk to the Beach bracket, Valparaiso signee Oumar Sylla was solid throughout. In their 81-51 rout of Oakland (CA) Technical, Sylla had 22 points and 4 assists to lead the way as the Pioneers shot 55% from the field. He also led the effort in shutting down California-bound forward Leon Powe, not letting him get the ball most of the game and limiting him to 10 points on 4-11 shooting.

An All-Tournament selection, Sylla finished the tournament averaging 20.5 points per game and hitting 10 of 21 three-pointers, including all three of his attempts from behind the arc in the fifth place game. He plays the game like a seasoned veteran, as he can also handle the ball and often calms things down with his team when they need to settle. It goes without saying that Valparaiso signing this high-major prospect is a steal, and he should be a star in the Mid-Continent Conference before long.

The Younger Generation Gets It

The third place game in the Slam Dunk to the Beach bracket featured a Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s team with three top senior prospects leading the way, while Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty came in with a junior-laden team. One of the key junior Cardinals was guard Kyle Lowry, who scored all 21 of his points in the second half, including two late free throws, as they took third place with a 76-73 victory over the Saints.

Lowry did not start the game as a suspension for skipping practice, and he did little in the second quarter, as fellow juniors Desean White (21 points) and Shane Clark (15 points, 11 rebounds) carried them to a 32-30 halftime lead. The second half belonged to Lowry, though White continued his good work on the low post and occasionally facing the basket. Lowry and Clark were named to the All-Tournament team.

Though the Cardinals shot over 57% from the field, they also had help from the officials. The Saints were called for twice as many fouls (26) as the Cardinals (13) and shot one third as many free throws (36-12). Saints head coach Mike Hart was hit with a technical foul in the third quarter for arguing the many calls that went against his team, and on a few occasions he had a legitimate argument, including three of the five fouls on junior guard Emery Outland.

Syracuse signee Demetrius Nichols had 22 points to lead St. Andrew’s and was selected to the All-Tournament team.

The New Human Highlight Film

Fans who had seen Miami (FL) Christian earlier in the tournament eagerly awaited any touch that Miami-bound guard Guillermo Diaz had. And when he did touch the ball, they waited to see what he would do, and any time there was a fast break with Diaz involved, the arena seemed to pause in anticipation of what would result. Needless to say, in the National Power Series championship against Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic, he definitely delivered for each fan’s dollar.

Diaz sliced his way through, around and over the Crusaders’ defense for 22 points and 4 assists while grabbing 11 rebounds (5 offensive) to lead the Victors to a 58-52 win. The Victors were in control for most of the game after the early minutes. Along the way, Diaz threw down dunks and made great shots that brought the crowd to its feet on several occasions. This tournament was the coming out party for the former member of the Puerto Rican Junior National Team, and he has to be considered among the nation’s best guards in the class of 2003.

Finishing Strong

The tournament’s final game was the Slam Dunk to the Beach championship between Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding and Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s. St. Benedict’s entered the game undefeated on the season.

Most of the first half belonged to Archbishop Spalding, as junior forward Rudy Gay (game-high 20 points, 9 rebounds) took over in the second quarter to help stake the Cavaliers to a 33-25 halftime lead. In the third, Gay made more good shots, but the Graybees would eventually tie it at 41 on six unanswered points late in the quarter.

The fourth quarter was nip and tuck throughout, with St. Benedict’s junior forward Stanley Branch (13 points) making one of two free throws with 29.7 seconds left to give the Graybees a 49-47 lead. After a timeout, the Cavaliers missed a three-pointer, then Matt Latonick was fouled on a corner three-point shot with 7.9 seconds left. He would make just one free throw, making it 49-48. They had several tries at tipping in the rebound, but it would go out of bounds with 3.1 seconds left. Art Bowers was fouled with 2.2 seconds left and missed the front end of a one-and-one, and a three-quarter court attempt fell short as time expired.

The Graybees won despite shooting just 31.6% from the field.

All-Tournament Team

After the final game, the All-Tournament team was announced. Here are the players named, in alphabetical order after the MVP.

Alex Galindo, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s (MVP)
Art Bowers, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s
Will Bowers, Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding
Shane Clark, Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty
Rudy Gay, Severn (MD) Archbishop Spalding
Kyle Lowry, Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty
Demetrius Nichols, Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s
Leon Powe, Oakland (CA) Technical
Oumar Sylla, Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American

Other News and Notes

Hockessin (DE) Sanford School took third place in the Tip-Off Classic with by dominating Fairburn (GA) Landmark Christian Academy, 54-22. Four players scored in double figures for Sanford, and they held Landmark Christian to just 18.4% shooting. Junior center Randolph Morris had 14 points, 14 rebounds and 7 blocks in the defeat, but made just 3 of 14 field goal attempts.

Missouri commitment Ousmane Konate had 15 points, 13 rebounds and blocked 4 shots, and Laurinburg (NC) Institute held North Bethesda (MD) Georgetown Prep to just 22.4% shooting in a 57-47 victory to take seventh place in the Slam Dunk to the Beach bracket.

Reno (NV) High shot nearly 68% from the field and got 25 points from Kansas-bound center David Padgett to take the Tip-Off Classic with a 51-46 win over Tuscaloosa (AL) Hillcrest. The game featured Padgett matched up on elite junior big man D.J. White, who likewise played a strong game in defeat with 22 points and 9 rebounds.

Coming Up

In a few days, evaluations of many of the top prospects at this tournament will be here on Hoopville. It’s a long list, as tournament director Bob Jacobs once again brought in a tremendous amount of talent. Jacobs reportedly wants to get an AAU tournament in the Newark, Delaware area, where the University of Delaware is located. If he pulls this off, the sky is the limit on how much talent would be there.


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