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.
St. Benedict's Wins in Puerto Rico; St. Patrick in Beach Ball Classic Final; Rice Loses
New Jersey’s two top high school programs continued their winning ways Tuesday night.
Dan Hurley’s St. Benedict’s Gray Bees won the Gatorade International Championship in Puerto Rico with an 84-66 victory over Bayamon Military of Puerto Rico.
Texas-bound forward Tristan Thompson led St. Ben’s with 22 points, Rice-bound guard Tamir Jackson scored 14, PItt commit Lamar Patterson had 13 and Myck Kabongo added 11.
This is the second straight tournament title for St. Benedict’s, No. 3 in the USA Today Super 25. TristanThompson, Tamir Jackson, Aaron Brown and company won the Kreul Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Meantime, St. Patrick, the nation’s No. 2 program, advanced to a championship game showdown with Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler in the 28th Annual Beach Ball Classic with a 52-31 victory over previously unbeaten Pennsbury (PA).
St. Patrick (4-1) scored the first eight points of the game and built leads as large as 25 points in cruising to the victory.
Derrick Gordon came off of the bench to score 12 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting performance and Michael Gilchrist added 11 points.
Dalton Pepper led Pennsbury (5-1) with 18 points.
Wheeler beat Martin Luther King (Calif.) 78-73 in the other semi behind 25 points from Phil Taylor and 23 from Tahj Tate, both of whom have yet to commit to a college program.
Wake Forest signee Ari Stewart tallied 16 points and seven rebounds, while North Carolina State signee Richard Howell scored 13 points before leaving the game mid-way through the second half with a strained muscle in his back.
Martin Luther King was led by Tony Snell and Kawhi Leonard, who netted 18 points each. Taylor Cunningham chipped in 14 points and five assists, while Steven Mallory added 11 points.
PATERSON CATHOLIC, BOYS & GIRLS BOTH LOSEArlington Country Day (FL) led from wire to wire in a competitive 67-59 victory over Paterson Catholic (NJ) in the consolation bracket of the 28th Annual Beach Ball Classic.
ACD (11-4) built a nine point lead late in the first half before Paterson Catholic (2-2) closed the half with a 7-2 run to pull to within 30-26 at halftime.
The Apaches rebuilt a secure margin, building their lead to as many as 12 points at 45-33 with 7:54 to play. Paterson Catholic responded with a 14-3 run over the next 2:01 to close the gap to 48-47 with 5:41 on the clock. That would prove to be as close as the Cougars would get as ACD built a double figure lead once again and cruised into the fifth place game.
The Apaches were led by a pair of Kansas State signees as Rodney McGruder ahd 22 points and Wally Judge posted a double doubl ewith 11 points and 13 rebounds. Judge, who connected on 5-of-8 from the field, saw limited playing time due to foul trouble.
Myles Mack led Paterson Catholic with 19 points while Fuquan Edwin added 15 points and eight boards.
Cedar Hill (TX) advanced to the fifth place game with a 68-64 win over Boys & Girls (NY). The Longhorns advance to meet Arlington Country Day (FL) for fifth place in the 28th Annual BBC.
The two teams battled to a 35-35 tie in the first half. Cedar Hill (15-1) held the lead throughout the first six minutes of the second half, but never led by more than four points. Boys & Girls battled back to take a 48-46 lead with 9:48 to play on a 3-point basket by Jeffland Neverson.
The Longhorns responded with a run that would prove to be the difference in a tight game as they outscored the Kangaroos 16-4 over the next 7:40 to open a 62-52 cushion with just 2:08 remaining in regulation. Boys & Girls made the game a little closer in the final seconds and Lamont Samuell hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to notch the final score.
Cedar Hill was led by four players in double figures, with Thomas Gipson pacing the squad with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony Wilson scored 16 points, Shawn Glover tallied 14 points, and Tanner Milson added 13 points. The Longhorns connected on 51.1 percent of their shots from the field during the game but committed 20 turnovers.
In contrast to the team numbers out up by Cedar Hill, the Kangaroos had just six turnovers for the game but misfired to the tune of a 39.3 percent field goal percentage. Michael Taylor led Boys & Girls with 22 points, while Samuell added 18 points and five assists.
RICE LOSES TO FINDLAY PREPFindlay Prep defeated Rice HS (NY) 84-64 to win the Rock Holiday Classic at Henderson International School. Tournament MVP Victor Rudd had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Cory Joseph had 13 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds. Avery Bradley had 16 points. DJ Richardson had 15, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Carlos Lopez had 13 points. Cory Joseph, Victor Rudd, and Avery Bradley were named to the All-Tournament team. Rice is ranked #14 by Rivals.com Jermaine Sawden lead Rice with 24 points and Miami commit Durand Scott had 10.
(Writeups, photos courtesy BeachBallClassic.com)
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.