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.
Austin Rivers and Bradley Beal, two of the brightest stars in the Class of 2011, put their teams on their respective backs Monday and will square off Tuesday for the Super Showcase championship in Orlando, Fla.
The 6-foot-4 Rivers scored 17 of his game-high 37 points to lead Each 1 Teach 1 to a come-from-behind 76-67 victory over the Georgia Blazers in the second semifinal.
In the first one, the Florida-bound Beal dropped 36 points as the St. Louis Eagles exacted revenge on Team Takeover with an 80-76 win. Team Takeover beat E1T1 to win the Peach Jam July 15.
The title game is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday on ESPNU.
Team Takeover will also face Each 1 Teach 1 Monday at 7 p.m. in an exhibition on ESPNU.
Each 1 Teach 1 trailed by 5 points going into the fourth quarter against the Blazers, but outscored the Georgia team 30-16 in the final period.
Rivers, who is considering Duke, Florida and North Carolina, shot 13 for 28 on the game, including 5 of 15 from 3. He was 6 of 7 from the line. He finished with one assist, which didn’t come until 4:20 left in the third period.
In the fourth quarter, though, he scored 17 points, hitting 4 of 8 field goals and 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.
“Austin Rivers took over the game in the fourth quarter,” said New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski, who attended the game. “He was shooting intergalactic 3’s off the drible, step back 3’s off the dribble.”
Senior guard Trevor Lacey added 15 points on 4 for 11 shooting.
Georgia-bound shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell did not shoot well, going 4 for 14 for 12 points, including 3 of 12 from beyond the arc. He added six rebounds. Shannon Scott, who normally plays with the Southern Kings, added nine points and six assists for the Blazers.
In the first game, the 6-3 Florida-bound Beal shot 10 of 16 from the field, 2 for 5 from beyond the arc to help the Eagles exact revenge. He was 14 of 17 from the stripe and added 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 turn
Duke-bound Michael Gbinije scored 21 points in the loss on 6 of 17 shooting. He was 1 of 3 from 3 and 8 of 9 from the line.
Uncommitted junior point guard James Robinson tallied 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting, 6 of 7 from the line.
6-9 forward Mikael Hopkins of Team Takeover injured his knee and hardly played at all in the semis.
Takeover coach Keith Stevens said by text the injury was “not serious” but that he would probably sit him for the Each 1 Teach 1 game.
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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.