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February 11, 2007

PrimeTime buzzer beaters

Trenton, N.J.- It's not a bad day when two games end with game winning three-pointers at the buzzer. Johnny Higgins of Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) knocked down one of those threes to defeat St. Benedict's Prep (N.J.).

Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) 67, St. Benedict's Prep (N.J.) 64

Making Higgins game winning shot even more impressive is that he spent the vast majority of the second half on the bench with four fouls.

Leading Notre Dame Prep in both scoring and rebounding, Michael Beasley went for 16 points and 10 rebounds. Without the luxury of having any offense run for him or any teammates looking for him, Beasley got his points against the St. Benedict's zone off his six offensive rebounds and by stepping out to the wing and operating.

Impressive for St. Benedict's was the play of Cincinnati bound Rashad Bishop. He ended up with 23 points and five rebounds. The lefty displayed a soft touch and a scorer's mentality.

Also impressive was the efficient play of Chris Smith. He also scored 23 points and had three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Rice (N.Y.) 57, Plainfield (N.J.) 56

Down two with eight seconds remaining, Rice sophomore Lamont Jones inbounded the ball from under his own basket and then came off a couple screens to knock down a game winning three-point shot.

An undersized shooting guard, Jones started the game on fire going three of three from the arc in the first half while missing only one two point attempt but was non-existent in the second half until his game winner. For the game he finished with 18 points on six of 14 shooting, four of five from the arc and two of two from the line, three rebounds, zero assists to four turnovers and three steals.

Junior Kemba Walker did a nice job quarterbacking the Rice attack. He dished out four assists to only one turnover. Defensively, he used his strength and lateral quickness effectively, but he didn't have the speed tonight to break his man down in the half court or stay ahead of him in the open court. For the game he had 11 points on five of 12 shooting, one of three from the arc and didn't shoot a free throw. He also registered six rebounds to lead Rice in rebounding.

As for his recruitment, Walker has Memphis (offer) at the top of his list, followed by Florida State (offer), Miami, St. John's (offer) and Providence (offer).

Jerrell Thompson led the Plainfield attack with 15 points on seven of 12 shooting with one three-pointer.

Linden (N.J.) 67, Niagara Falls (N.Y.) 57

Jonny Flynn poured in 35 points for Niagara Falls, but he didn't get enough help as none of his teammates scored in double figures. Forced to work against the intense defensive pressure of Desmond Wade, Flynn hit 11 of 20 shots, 2 of 5 from three and 11 of 13 from the line. Perhaps a little too enamored with his athletic ability, Flynn continually forced the action to the rim instead of mixing in the pull up jumper from mid-range. He did, however, mix in a mid-range post up game which was effective.

Along with his tireless play on defense, Wade also mixed in some effective offense. Primarily on 12 of 16 free throw shooting, he tallied a team high 20 points. From the field he was four of 14 including four misses from three. Despite struggling from the field, Wade's ball handling and penetration controlled the game on Linden's offensive end.

Also impressive for Linden was sophomore 6-foot-8 post player David Bruce. Active and with good hands, Bishop scored 10 points on five of six shooting and grabbed three rebounds in limited play.

St. Raymond's (N.Y) 73, Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) 61

Senior post player Darion Benbow exploded for 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead St. Raymond's to the victory. He also had three blocks in a defensive effort against Kevin Jones.

Jones, however, did his typical damage to the tune of 26 points and 14 rebounds. He hit 10 of 18 shots and stepped behind the arc to hit four of six. At the line, however, he only hit two of eight attempts. Defensively, he had three blocks.

A couple sophomores were impressive for St. Raymond's. Omari Lawrence, a 6-foot-3 left handed wing player, passed the ball well (six assists) and rebounded it (eight rebounds). He also scored 14 points on slashing moves to the basket, but did not attempt an outside jumper. Kevin Parrom, a 6-foot-5 small forward, handled the ball well in the open court and finished with nine points and four rebounds.

Darryl Bryant also did a solid job at the point for St. Raymond's with 12 points and six assists.

Patterson School (N.C.) 90, Lawrenceville (N.J.) 68

Taking a cue from his future Seton Hall teammate Michael Glover, Jeremy Hazell put on a 30 point show with long range bombs and step back jumpers. The rangy wing with a knack for scoring hit 12 of 17 shots from the field, three of seven from the arc and three of three from the line.

Dominique Sutton used his size and athleticism to overpower Lawrenceville. He powered his way to 18 points on eight of 11 shooting and hit both his free throws. He also grabbed five rebounds.

Tirrell Baines and An'Juan Wilderness both contributed double-doubles for Patterson with 13 points and 10 rebounds and 10 points and 10 rebounds respectively.

An unsigned senior, Baines is working to get his SAT score up to par. Right now he is listing Illinois as his favorite along with St. John's (offer), Seton Hall, Ole Miss (offer) and Arizona.

Harrisburg (Pa.) 73, Christ the King (N.Y.) 64

Florida commitment Erving Walker woke up from a scoreless first half to pump in a team high 20 points for Christ the King in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome a solid all around Harrisburg attack. Walker shot seven of 19 from the field including four of 13 from three. The taller and more athletic guards from Harrisburg gave Walker and his backcourt teammate Malik Boothe trouble throughout the game. Walker also hustled his way to six rebounds and had four assists to five turnovers. A couple of those turnovers were costly ones down the stretch run of the game.


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