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High School Tournament Finals

July 3, 2003 Columns No Comments

2003 AND 1 High School Basketball Championship Finals

by Phil Kasiecki

As the dust settled on the regional action the previous two weekends, eight teams were left standing and headed to Philadelphia for the AND1 High School Basketball Championship at St. Joseph’s. All rounds were played on Saturday, save for the championship game on Sunday.

Attendance lagged on Saturday, but on Sunday a good crowd showed up to see the championship game, and they saw a good one. While there were some elements of the game, like free throw shooting, that took away from it, all games were fairly well-played and some good talent was present.

Here is a look at the games this weekend, finishing up with the championship game recap.

Guards Too Much for Chattahoochee

Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s is known for pushing the tempo and forcing teams to play at faster speeds with their deep backcourt. Alpharetta (GA) Chattahoochee HS found that out in the opener on Saturday, as St. Anthony’s forced 19 turnovers and shot 47.5% from the field en route to 71-63 victory.

The Friars broke away late in the first half when they scored eight unanswered points to go up by 13, but the Cougars gave them a push in the third quarter by outscoring them 18-13.

Sophomore forward Barney Anderson led St. Anthony’s with a game-high 24 points, while fellow sophomore guard Derrick Mercer added 16 points and 5 assists and junior guard Marcus Williams (16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 5 steals) filled the stat sheet. Junior guard Gregory Manning led Chattahoochee with 16.

Chattahoochee salvaged the trip by winning the consolation game, 67-59 over Oxon Hill, behind four players in double figures.

McKinley Gets Over The Hump At the Right Time

In a game featuring a lot of action, Oxon Hill (MD) High and Canton (OH) McKinley were neck and neck, with Oxon Hill leading almost the entire game, but McKinley took the lead at the right time, as Taurean Dailey’s driving layup with under 2 seconds left gave them a victory.

McKinley tried to get the game within a basket or tie, but couldn’t get over the hump, including two free throw misses that would have given them the lead. But after Oxon Hill’s Jeremy Johnson missed two free throws, they brought the ball up the floor, patiently ran down the clock, then got Dailey’s game-winner.

Dailey led the winners with a game-high 18 points. James Redman (16 points, 7 rebounds) and Robert Robinson (16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks) led Oxon Hill in the loss.

Allen’s Big Game Just Enough

Memphis (TN) Booker T. Washington junior guard Andre Allen was easily the biggest name player in his team’s quarterfinal matchup with Lake Forest (CA) El Toro HS, but his team had a close call. Allen had a game-high 24 points and hauled down 8 rebounds, but Jamon Miller’s driving layup with 12 seconds left was needed for a 65-64 quarterfinal victory.

Allen is a solidly built guard who is more of a scorer than a floor leader, but he made some good passes as well. He is quick and uses his strength to get to the basket, and he shot the ball well in this game.

Giles Impresses in Defeat, Then Leads Win

Seattle (WA) Rainier Beach was knocked off in the quarterfinals by Oklahoma City (OK) Putnam City HS, 59-56, but junior center Chester Giles put up some impressive numbers. The 6’11” big man had 15 points, hauled down 16 rebounds and blocked 5 shots in the loss. He needs to get stronger and be more aggressive on the post to reach his full potential, but he’s very athletic and active on the glass, and makes a lot of plays.

Putnam City had four players in double figures, led by sophomore guard Adam Terneus with 15 points.

In their consolation game, Giles impressed again with 23 points (11-15 shooting) and 13 rebounds, while teammate Terrence Williams had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in leading Rainier Beach to a 70-63 win over El Toro.

The Team Effort Always Wins

Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s showed the value of balance and a team effort in their 62-50 semifinal win over Canton (OH) McKinley HS. Marcus Williams was the only Friar in double figures, as he scored 13 points to go with 8 rebounds and 5 steals, but every Friar who played scored at least four points, and point guard Derrick Mercer – at 5’8″ the smallest player on the team – was the only one without a rebound.

The Friars were also a model of efficiency later in the game, as they made six of eight field goal attempts in the fourth quarter and shot just under 61% in the second half.

Making The Shot Count

Memphis (TN) Booker T. Washington forward Rodriguez Clayborn took just one shot in his team’s semifinal contest with Oklahoma City (OK) Putnam City HS, but he made it count by putting it in with just over one second left to give his team a birth in the championship game with a 53-51 win.

The two teams struggled in the fourth quarter, combining for 15 points on 6-21 shooting. Andre Allen had another solid game, leading the way with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while wide body Jamar Pittman continued to play well by posting a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

For All The Marbles

The championship game was set, as Booker T. Washington and St. Anthony’s went at it. The game was nip and tuck for most of the first half, as neither team was putting on a shooting clinic. Andre Allen’s off-balance three-pointer from halfcourt with two seconds left gave Booker T. Washington a 33-31 halftime lead.

The third quarter belonged to St. Anthony’s guard Otis Campbell, who scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the quarter to nearly outscore the Warriors all by himself, as the Friars outscored them 21-14 by making eight of ten field goal attempts in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, five straight points by the Warriors tied the game at 56 before Marcus Williams hit a three-pointer to give St. Anthony’s the lead for good, as they would win going away, 72-60.

Campbell was named the MVP, but Williams made a serious bid for it and capped off a very good weekend with 18 points and 7 rebounds in this game. Barney Anderson added a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. For the Warriors, James Hooper led the way with 16 points.

Player Notes

Andre Allen (6’0″ Jr. PG-SG, Memphis (TN) Booker T. Washington HS) He shot the ball well, but had his share of bad misses and questionable shots over the weekend as well. He took off-balance shots, often doing an act to try to get a foul, and he missed too many shots in close, which is important since he can get to the basket using some quickness and his strong body. He passed the ball well, but he also got away with some offensive fouls and nearly got technical fouls on more than one occasion. High-major minus prospect.

Barney Anderson (6’6″ So. PF, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS) Efficient inside scorer and competitor had a quietly good weekend, though some deficiencies were more exposed. He’s a good scorer who knows where the basket is, runs the floor well and had a good weekend on the glass, but his footwork needs improvement, he missed his fair share of close shots, and he rarely passes the ball back out. He tends to force up some bad shots instead of passing the ball back outside, and he was in a little foul trouble. Some good potential is certainly there if he addresses some of these areas and gets stronger.

Darryl Best (6’3″ So. SG, Lake Forest (CA) El Toro HS) Athletic guard struggled to shoot the ball, but he kept playing at both ends. He rebounded well for the shooting guard position, defended, and he’s strong and can finish drives.

Otis Campbell (6’1″ Jr. SG, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS) He didn’t play as well as he did last weekend, but he came through in the championship game and still played well. He’s a quick scorer who showed his jump shot more this weekend and shot it well, and he’s a solid defender. When he gets in the open floor, he can shift into a higher gear to get past defenders and either finish or set up a teammate. High-major prospect.

Taurean Dailey (6’4″ Jr. SF, Canton (OH) McKinley HS) Well-built athlete is a scoring wing who isn’t afraid to battle inside. He rebounded at both ends of the floor and got points on drives and put-backs. Mid-major prospect.

Anthony Fisher (6’1″ Jr. SG, Alpharetta (GA) Chattahoochee HS) This lefty slasher wasn’t afraid to drive inside against the big guys to finish. He’s not jet-quick and didn’t shoot the ball well, though he also didn’t take a lot of jump shots. Low-major prospect.

Chester Giles (6’11” Jr. C, Seattle (WA) Rainier Beach HS) Long big man was impressive, though he certainly has areas for development. He’s athletic and very quick off his feet, and he rebounded very well and showed a touch on a few mid-range jumpers. That said, he rebounds mainly using the aforementioned physical attributes and needs to get stronger and more aggressive to fully reach his potential. His footwork is okay and his post moves could use some refinement. High-major prospect.

Tim Johnson (6’5″ Fr. SF-PF, Memphis (TN) Booker T. Washington HS) Athletic forward looks like an undersized power forward at this time. He was active on the glass and mainly scored inside.

Rorey Lawrence, Jr. (6’6″ So. SF, Memphis (TN) Booker T. Washington HS) Nice athlete is thin but not afraid to battle inside. He played relatively limited minutes, but in that time he showed three-point range on his jump shot, some ball skills and the ability to drive and dish.

Sean McCurdy (6’1″ So. SG, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS) You won’t find a player who hits the floor more than this guy. He’s a great competitor who plays above his talent level because he plays so hard at both ends. He hustles, comes to play defense and is around the ball a lot. He didn’t shoot the ball well this weekend, though his stroke looks acceptable.

Derrick Mercer (5’8″ So. PG, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS) Quality floor leader continues to look better. He’s heady and evasive when he penetrates, which complements his quickness well, and he takes his shots in the flow of the offense and shoots the ball well.

James Morgan (6’9″ Fr. PF, Seattle (WA) Rainier Beach HS) Very long and athletic post player didn’t play much in the quarterfinal due to an injury, but he ran the floor well and scored some baskets in close. He’ll be worth watching in the next couple of years.

Tony Nicholson (6’5″ Jr. SF, Alpharetta (GA) Chattahoochee HS) Rail-thin athlete looks to be more of a scorer than a shooter, though he did show three-point range. Besides needing to add strength, he could stand to be a little more active offensively, as he seemed to let the game come to him a little too much. Low-major prospect.

Ahmad Nivens (6’8″ So. PF, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS) Described by one of his coaches as raw, this recent transfer looked it but also showed signs that he’ll be worth keeping an eye on. He’s long and runs the floor well, and made a few good plays inside in limited minutes.

Michael O’Connor (6’2″ Jr. SG, Alpharetta (GA) Chattahoochee HS) This combo guard had a good showing in his team’s games. He made good decisions with the ball and showed good passing skills, but the jury is out on whether or not he’s really a floor leader or a shooting guard with good passing skills. Low-major prospect.

Marcus Parker (5’9″ Fr. PG, Canton (OH) McKinley HS) Quick floor leader didn’t do exceedingly well overall, but he scored on some quick drives and handed out some assists.

Robert Robinson (6’6″ So. PF, Oxon Hill (MD) High) Athletic power forward put up some decent numbers, but didn’t play as well as they might indicate. While he runs the floor well, is very active on the offensive glass and will get his share of put-backs, he missed too many shots in close and polishing his post game will be a big priority.

Marcus Williams (6’2″ Jr. SG, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s HS) Our choice as the MVP of the tournament, he had an excellent weekend and probably raised his stock more than any other player. He’s athletic and has good size, and plays as hard as anyone and within the team concept. Always more of a scorer than a shooter, he hit jump shots out to three-point range consistently this weekend, and he continued to play good defense at the other end. The stock is rising for this high-major minus prospect.

Terrence Williams (6’6″ So. SG-SF, Seattle (WA) Rainier Beach HS) Versatile athlete looks to be able to handle all three perimeter positions, as he often brought the ball up the floor and passed very well. His shot selection looked a little questionable at times and he struggled shooting the ball, but he ran the team, rebounded, and finished shots in close. With some refinement on his jumper, his size will make him a commodity in the class of 2005.


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