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Day Three

December 30, 2003 Columns No Comments

Slam Dunk to the Beach – Day 3 Recap

by Phil Kasiecki

Potomac (MD) Bullis School 63, Laurel (DE) High 46
Fort Washington (PA) Germantown Academy 74, Lakewood (OH) St. Edward HS 72 (OT)
Fort Washington (MD) National Christian Academy 79, Burlington (NJ) Life Center Academy 51
Richland (NJ) St. Augustine Prep 15, Bennettsville (SC) Marlboro County HS 51
Birmingham (AL) A.H. Parker HS 56, Champlain St. Lambert (Quebec) 47
Washington (DC) Marriott Charter School 52, Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American 43
Scotch Plains (NJ) High 65, Tuscaloosa (AL) Hillcrest HS 51
Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s Prep 78, Cleveland (TX) Heritage Christian Academy 63
Laurinburg (NC) Institute 57, Philadelphia (PA) William Penn Charter 52
Durham (NC) Mt. Zion Christian Academy 70, Chester (PA) High 59

Caracter Puts On a Show

Derrick Caracter is probably just the second-most hyped player at the tournament, but that didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of eyes on him as he led his Scotch Plains (NJ) High team against Indiana signee D.J. White and his Tuscaloosa (AL) Hillcrest team. While White, one of the elite players in the class of 2004, is the more proven player, it was Caracter who was better in this game.

Early on, Caracter scored several post baskets, then he took his game outside and didn’t stop. He hit a three-pointer in the first half, but didn’t stop there, as he later scored driving layups and made a few nice passes facing the basket with the ball. His final numbers, which were good, weren’t as impressive as his overall play: 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Caracter doesn’t have great ball skills and isn’t the next over-sized small forward, but he showed more than enough in this game.

White, meanwhile, battled foul trouble en route to 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks. Indiana fans will be happy when he gets to Bloomington, and not just because the Hoosiers lack any semblance of a frontcourt right now. White is very athletic for a post player and doesn’t try to be a small forward, and he will give the Hoosiers a much-needed inside presence at both ends of the floor.

Kurz, Singletary Bounce Back In Losing Effort

After being shut down in their first game, Philadelphia (PA) William Penn Charter stars Rob Kurz and Sean Singletary came back with better efforts in Sunday’s 57-52 loss against Laurinburg (NC) Institute. Both did all they could, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the deep Tigers.

Kurz more than held his own against Laurinburg’s formidable inside players, notably Oklahoma-bound big man Longar Longar, before foul trouble hurt him in the second half. He had 18 points, 19 rebounds and 3 blocks, though he missed all 5 of his three-point attempts. The Notre Dame signee looked good inside for much of the game.

Singletary shot the ball better in this one, scoring a game-high 22 points on 9-19 shooting, including 4-9 on three-pointers. He also took a pounding, getting fouled several times and no call on a few other occasions, but kept playing. The Virginia signee also made some plays at both ends of the floor that won’t show up in the stat sheet, like the time he broke up an entry pass guarding a much taller post player.

Washington Leads Trifecta of Double-Doubles

Virginia Tech signee Deron Washington led three players who posted double-doubles as Fort Washington (MD) National Christian Academy blew out Burlington (NJ) Life Center Academy, 79-51, aided by the absence of Nebraska signee Aleksander Maric.

Washington had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and was often on the floor as he usually is making plays at both ends of the floor. He’s gotten noticeably stronger, though he plays stronger than he looks, and is very athletic and plays 94 feet of the floor.

St. Joseph’s signee Abdullai Jalloh (16 points, 12 rebounds 4 steals) and super sophomore prospect Kevin Durant (13 points, 10 rebounds) also posted double-doubles for the Eagles. James Madison signee Chris Matthews almost became the fourth, as he had 12 points and 9 rebounds. The Eagles manhandled the Warriors on the glass, 59-27.

Maric, who had 12 points in 9 early minutes on Friday, sat out the game with an injury.

Farmer Continues to Light Up Opponents From Outside

Junior guard Anthony Farmer continued to show an improved jumper while still scoring on drives as he usually does on Sunday. The 6’1″ guard led Richland (NJ) St. Augustine Prep to a 57-51 win over Bennettsville (SC) Marlboro County HS with 23 points, 17 coming in the first half. Farmer was 9-14 from the field, hitting mid-range jumpers off the dribble as well as slashes to the basket.

The Hermits also got a double-double from senior guard Mark Porter (11 points, 10 rebounds), a good mid-major prospect who is said to be favoring Wagner. Columbia signee Benedict Nwachakwu added 16 points and 7 rebounds as well.

Georgia Tech signee RaSean Dickey came alive in the second half, finishing the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds to go with four blocks. The well-built post player was more aggressive in the second half after being hampered with foul trouble in the first half.

Palacios Plays Well, But Pioneers Can’t Score Late

Juan Diego Palacios had another solid game on Sunday, scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds, but his Centereach (NY) Our Savior New American team went through a cold stretch in the fourth quarter that allowed Washington (DC) Marriott Charter to take over and ultimately win, 52-43.

While Palacios was able to score, his jumper was not falling in this one, and he didn’t get the kind of support he did on Friday, as Kevin Mormin and James Tchana combined for just 2 points and 12 rebounds in this game.

Steve Harley capped off a very good showing with 14 points to lead Marriott Charter, while his main support was senior Emanuel Jones. Jones, a thin athletic wing who played well in the tournament, had 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Pope Shows Off Stroke

Birmingham (AL) A.H. Parker sophomore wing Cordell Pope had a nice afternoon in his team’s 56-47 win over Champlain St. Lambert (Quebec). Pope came off the bench to score 18 points, going 5-6 from three-point land. Pope is a thin wing with a lot of potential as he matures, and is certainly among the better sophomore prospects at this tournament.

It was senior scoring guard Rod Smitherman who led the way with 20 points, taking good shots and making 6-7 free throws.

Grimes Comes to Play

Brian Grimes had his second consecutive double-double for Fort Washington (PA) Germantown Academy, but the Patriots still needed overtime to knock off Lakewood (OH) St. Edward, 74-72. Grimes, who continues to make mid-range jump shots when he gets a good look, had a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds, and scored the game-winning basket on a layup after stealing the inbounds pass.

Grimes doesn’t have a clear position between the two forward spots, but at 6’6″ his best position should be small forward if his ball skills improve and he continues to consistently knock down mid-range jump shots.

Grimes had good help from sophomore post player Andrew Ott, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds and generally looked good in this game. Ryan Ayers had 14 points, showing a good jumper on the day as he made all three of his three-point attempts, and looked to score a little more than normal.

Lay Finishes Solid Tournament

With a 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals in Potomac (MD) Bullis School’s 63-46 win over Laurel (DE) High, senior forward Travis Lay finished another good showing in Lewes. Lay averaged 23 points and 8.3 rebounds per game as the Bulldogs won all three of their games.

Lay, who is getting looks from several Ivy League schools, knows the game well and plays within himself. He plays bigger than his size, playing inside for his team while his position at the next level is likely on the wing.

Other Notes

• While Derrick Caracter got all the attention, teammate and classmate Lance Thomas quietly had a nice game, posting a double-double of his own with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Thomas was active at both ends and showed his good athleticism. The one knock is that he needs to improve his free throw shooting, as he has a knack for getting to the line but has made just 12 of 26 attempts from the charity stripe in two games.

• Early Baylor commitment Chris Roquemore played better in his team’s 78-63 loss to Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s Prep. He ran the floor well and grabbed 7 of his 10 rebounds on the offensive end, scoring 20 points for Cleveland (TX) Heritage Christian Academy. The 6’9″ sophomore stayed home on the post more and scored inside as well as from running the floor.

• After not playing well Friday, Chester (PA) High guard Devon McClendon had a solid outing in his team’s 70-59 loss to Durham (NC) Mt. Zion Christian Academy. He scored 24 points in 25 minutes, shooting the ball very well from long range and getting a few slashing baskets as well. The junior guard knows how to score, and this was more what like he’s capable of.

• In a losing effort, Chris Moore had a solid showing for his Lakewood (OH) St. Edward team. He had 18 points and 9 rebounds, running the floor well and showing some efficiency at the offensive end. He’s not the 240 pounds he’s listed at, but with a little more strength he can be a productive post player at UC-Santa Barbara, where he committed.

• Although bright spots were few and far between for Burlington (NJ) Life Center Academy, unsigned senior Sherman Diaz played well in the defeat. He scored 15 points on 7-11 shooting, showing better shot selection and handling the ball at times.

• Bennettsville (SC) Marlboro County HS junior Casaan Breeden changed his sneakers at halftime, but it did little for his play: he finished with 8 points on 2-11 shooting. His potential is obvious: he’s very long and athletic, but has to shoot the ball better.

• Junior post player Yamene Coleman mentioned that teammate and Texas signee Mike Williams did not make the trip up from Alabama with Camden (AL) Wilcox Central, which plays in the opening game on Monday morning. The 6’8″ forward, a strong candidate for the McDonald’s All-American game, has a sprained ankle.

Day Four is ahead of us, full of Tommy Jacobs Memorial matchups, as well as consolation games and the semifinals of the Slam Dunk to the Beach bracket. Stay tuned for continuing coverage.


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