COLUMBIA, S.C. - The champions of the Chick-Fil-A Classic were crowned on Friday night in both divisions of the tournament. Junior big man Ty Walker helped his New Hanover club take the title while Omar Carter and Damier Pitts played the 1-2 punch for Charlotte Christian to claim a repeat championship.
New Hanover wins Classic Championship I
A mixture of an intimidating big man, quick guards, good passing and frustrating defense helped New Hanover knock off Dunwoody to claim a hard fought 72-61 victory.
Four-star junior Ty Walker was a force inside as the long-armed big man scored 18 points on eight of 13 shooting from the floor, rebounded six rebounds and blocked six shots. The game capped off a big confidence building week for the rising star.
Guard play was strong, particularly from senior James Beatty. Usually prone to jack up a lot of shots, the 6-footer was very comfortable passing the rock and finished with eight assists and nine points. His patience and game management set the tone.
Dunwoody shot 34.3 percent from the floor as a team. After coming off a good 20-point performance against Meadowcreek, Pierre Jordan struggled in the defeat. The junior guard shot a dismal five of 22 from the floor en route to 16 points.
The game between Charlotte Christian and Horizon was close for about 14 minutes. Then unsigned senior Omar Carter took over. In a two minute stretch, Carter nailed the coffin shut with big time scores from all spots on the floor and had buckets that help his club keep the lead throughout the game all the way to the 71-63 victory.
No one is ever going to accuse Carter of mailing it in. The forward plays hard on both ends of the floor and spends a good amount of time on the hardwood because he isn't afraid to get his jersey dirty. Carter finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the victory and earned all-tourney honors along the way.
It is hard to place an exact position for Carter at the next level but understand he is coming into college with a winning résumé and a work ethic that is probably driven on proving people wrong. Overall, Carter has been very, very good at the Chick-Fil-A Classic. This week was a good one for him.
Carter didn't do it alone. He had plenty of help from guard Damier Pitts, who turned it up a notch in the second half. Pitts scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, including a pair of three-pointers and sunk five of nine from the floor.
The 5-foot-11 junior was very strong all tournament long as he showed a knack to score in a variety of ways. He did it off the dribble, scoring with power drives to the basket and smart shooting along the way. The sub six-footer played big, including 10 rebounds, in the victory. He'll have plenty to smile about during this holiday season.
Seth Curry was efficient once again as the junior guard scored 17 points, including three big three-pointers and five key assists. Don't be surprised to hear a lot about this junior guard down the road. He really opened some eyes in Columbia.
Horizon big man Jeff Withey did all he could do in the defeat. The big man was as effective as a big man can get, scoring 29 points, grabbing 10 rebounds (eight offensive boards) and blocking four shots while handing out three assists.
The big man was rewarded for a big time block as he ran the break. He took over from there after he caught a high alley-oop pass and thundered home a delicious dunk on a defender. Withey scored 18 second half points and only missed three field goal attempts.
Marquis Carter had another solid day of work in the defeat. The unsigned senior scored 17 points and handed out seven assists.
Odds & Ends
Teondre Williams 22 points While his shot selection still needs some work, there were flashes of very good things to come from the four-star guard. It was a good week of basketball for him and he should see his already hot recruitment grow hotter.
Teammate Chris Allen went back to doing what he does best - getting to the charity stripe. The future Michigan State guard went to the line 17 times and sunk 15 of the freebies en route to 23 points.
Déjà vu. Future Navy big man Mark Veazy played a very good game once again. The 6-foot-10 center is really coming into his own and closing out his high school career on a high swing. The Midshipmen have a complete steal in the good looking pivot man. Veazy finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots in Meadowcreek's 74-58 win over Archbishop Mitty. For the three games here, there weren't many big men that were as consistent as him.
Drew Gordon and his teammates had rough outing against Allen, Williams and Veazy. The five-star forward fouled out with four minutes to play and was never really into his game because of foul troubles. Gordon finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Pinewood Prep was one of the nice treats from the Chick-Fil-A Classic because of the strength in the underclassmen players on the roster. This time out, it was junior guard Ryan Steed that was the firepower. The well-built, 6-foot-1 junior dropped in a cool 32 points (a tournament high) against Ridge View.
Sophomore Milton Jennings was at it again. The good looking class of 2009 prospect put in 23 points (9-13 FG), eight rebounds and five blocks.
John Carroll sophomore forward Isaiah Philmore punched his card again with a 20 point, 10 rebound double-double in a 55-44 win over Richland Northeast.
All eyes on you
Clemson, Florida State, Georgetown and Oklahoma sent assistants on Friday. South Carolina head coach Dave Odom spent another day watching sophomore Milton Jennings.
Keenan (S.C.) 70, Hammond (S.C.) 62 Lower Richland (S.C.) 58, Ribault (Fla.) 50 Irmo (S.C.) 60, Sumter (S.C.) 45 Pinewood Prep 79, Ridge View 61 John Carroll (Md.) 55, Richland Northeast (S.C.) 44 Meadowcreek (Ga.) 74 vs. Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) 58 Charlotte Christian (N.C.) 71, Horizon (Calif.) 63 - (Classic II Championship) New Hanover (N.C.) 72, Dunwoody (Ga.) 61 -(Classic I Championship)
Classic I Division Damier Pitts, Charlotte Christian (Most Outstanding Player) Omar Carter, Charlotte Christian Jeff Withey, Horizon Marquis Carter, Horizon Milton Jennings, Pinewood Prep Isaiah Philmore, John Carroll
Classic II Division James Beatty, New Hanover (Most Outstanding Player) Ty Walker, New Hanover Zac Swansey, Dunwoody Pierre Jordan, Dunwoody Chris Allen, Meadowcreek Drew Gordon, Archbishop Mitty
Final stat leaders
Points per game 1. Milton Jennings, Pinewood Prep, 24 2. Damier Pitts, Charlotte Christian, 21.7 3. Chris Allen, Meadowcreek, 21 4. Omar Carter, Charlotte Christian, 20.3 5. Teondre Williams, Meadowcreek, 20
Rebounds per game 1. Mark Veazy, Meadowcreek, 12 2. Jeff Withey, Horizon, 11.7 3. Isaiah Philmore, John Carroll, 10.3 4. Omar Carter, Charlotte Christian, 9.7 5. Drew Gordon, Archbishop Mitty, 9.3
Assists per game T1. Kenny Manigault, Pinewood Prep, 6.7 T1. Jay Williams, Pinewood Prep, 6.7 T3. Marquise Carter, Horizon, 5 T3. Seth Curry, Charlotte Christian 5 T5. Zac Swansey, Dunwoody, 4.3 T5. James Beatty, New Hanover, 4.3
Blocks per game 1. Jeff Withey, Horizon, 7 2. Ty Walker, New Hanover, 5.7 3. Milton Jennings, Pinewood Prep, 5.3 4. Marcus Connor, Charlotte Christian, 4.7 5. Drew Gordon, Archbishop Mitty, 3.7