Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Lance Stephenson dropped 37 points in a 70-55 victory over Briarcrest (Tenn.) in the first round of the City of Palms Classic Friday night in Fort Myers, Fla.
The 6-foot-5 Stephenson shot 15-of-27 from the field and 7-of-13 from the stripe. He added 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist and 1 turnover.
Darwin “Buddha” Ellis added 11 points for the three-time defending PSAL champion Railsplitters, who took a 36-26 halftime lead.
Lincoln, coming off an 87-83 victory Thursday over Jefferson at Lincoln, had its flight delayed in New York by the weather and arrived about three hours late. Their game was pushed back to 10:15 as a result.
“We just got off the plane and came here and played,” Stephenson told fiveborosports.com. “I was real tired, plus we ate, so I felt heavier today.”
Lincoln will next face Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, which features Ari Stewart, a 6-7 small forward headed to Wake Forest.
North Carolina-bound Leslie McDonald scored 24 points for Briarcrest on 8-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. He added five rebounds and five turnovers.
6-7 George Mason commit Jonny Williams had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Briarcrest while outplaying Maryland-bound big man James Padgett of Lincoln. Padgett, who has an ankle injury, managed just four points and four rebounds.
In today’s games of local interest, St. Patrick will play Word of God at 3:30, but Carolina commit Dexter Strickland of St. Patrickwill sit the game because of a suspension. John Wall, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2009 according to Rivals, leads Word of God.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams is due to attend the tournament Monday and Tuesday. His entire recruiting class, ranked No. 1 in most circles, is playing in the tournament: McDonald, Strickland, 6-11 John Henson and 6-9 twins David and Travis Wear.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.