FORT MYERS, FLA. - The finals are set thanks to the great play of Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson and Brandan Wright. All three guys made important plays for their respective teams on Wednesday to help push their teams into the championship game on Thursday.
ACC pair keeps Love out
It was the game everyone wanted to see. No, really. The Lake Oswego (Ore.)-Episcopal Academy (Pa.) game was sold out and standing room only and it was well worth the long line and tight fit on the bleachers.
It all started with Ellington's back-to-back step back threes. Both Ellington and Henderson were fairly quiet in the first half and third quarter but when Ellington opened it up, it was a move that made EA realize what they had.
That sparked Henderson who went back to his go-to move, going baseline and utilizing his super hops to raise up for a 12 foot jumper. The duo scored 13 combined points in a three-minute span. That was the dagger that EA needed to put away a scrappy Kevin Love-led Lake Oswego team.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the gym was the place to be in Fort Myers was because word spreads quickly after you snatch down three games worth of rebounds in a 32 minute span.
Love wasn't going to repeat his Monday night antics but he didn't just mail it in either. Love did his thing, getting 26 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat.
Episcopal moves on to the championship game on Thursday where they will take on Brentwood Academy. Lake Oswego will tangle with St. Patrick's in the third-place game.
How the finals were formed
After two games that dipped into the 90s earlier in the day, it was easy to understand why the exodus for the exits prior to halftime in the St. Patrick's (N.J.) - Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy game. Check the halftime score: Brentwood Academy 29, St. Patrick's 18.
Too bad they didn't stay.
St. Patrick's whittled away at the lead and put themselves in a position to win with less than a minute and a half to play because of the offensive play of Corey Fisher. Despite the run, Brentwood Academy held on for a 63-56.
St. Patrick's efforts were blocked, literally, by Brandan Wright. The long-armed law of the lane sent away a pair of shots that would have put St. Anthony's in position to score with one shot. Wright finished with six blocks, 25 points and five rebounds.
Fisher created plenty of offensive opportunities for himself with his constant dribble drive and scored at the bucket, putting in a pair of reverse lay-ups over the sprawling Wright.
News & Notes
Devon Peterson was the spark that Lincoln needed as the 6-foot-1 junior guard put in 28 points, six rebounds and six assists in a 96-89 victory over Glenn (N.C.) High School. The scrappy junior has the gumption to being a mid-major guy from the class of 2007. His 28 points is a better combined score than his previous two games.
Lance Stephenson has played in just a shade under a dozen games in his young high school career but the uber-talented 6-foot-3 freshman is adding big game experience. Stephenson didn't jack up a lot of bad shots in an attempt to help the Railsplitters win the game. Instead, he was patient in the offense, created for himself and passed off to the hot hand. The youngster ended with 15 points, five boards and three assists.
Shades of Eric Wallace that titillated fans as a freshman came back on Wednesday evening. The most impressive thing was Wallace's jumper. He was able to send home three long balls and looked much more relaxed as a perimeter shooter. And then there was that wow moment. Wallace slammed home an offensive rebound in a way few can do. Wallace finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds in defeat.
Reserve Christian (La.) guard Demond Carter scored 41 points in a 77-67 victory over Lake Wales (Fla.). The future Baylor Bear would go in stretches, going for six points in the first quarter and then 20 points in the second quarter. Then only two in the third and 13 in final stanza. Carter ended with 41 points on 7-17 from behind the three point line.
As good as Carter was from the floor as a scorer, he was more impressive as a passer. He played more of the set up role on Wednesday and put his teammates into position to score. Carter finished with eight assists and did a good job of finding Kevin Branch, who had 14 points.
Damion James had a double-double 17 points and 17 rebounds in a 51-47 win over Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview.
Eric Wallace beat out Gerald Henderson for the Sprint Slam Dunk competition. His highlight dunk was a Jordan-esque dunk from the free throw line in the opening round.
One interesting note: there were zero Division I coaches in the gym on Wednesday.
8:30 a.m. - Pendleton (Fla.) vs. Cape Coral (Fla.) 10:15 a.m. - Lake Wales (Fla.) vs. Riverview (Fla.) 12:00 p.m. - Lake Howell (Fla.) vs. Glenn (N.C.) 1:45 p.m. - Bishop Verot (Fla.) vs. Piney Woods (Miss.) 3:45 p.m. - Reserve Christian (La.) vs. Nacogdoches (Texas) 5:30 p.m. - Lincoln (N.Y.) vs. Dominguez (Calif.) 7:15 p.m. - Lake Oswego (Ore.) vs. St. Patrick's (N.J.) 9:00 p.m. - Episcopal Academy (Pa.) vs. Brentwood Academy (Tenn.)
Click HERE for the Rivals.com recap of the thrilling Compton (Calif.) Dominguez-Lake Howell (Fla.) bout.