Beach Ball Classic - Championship Day

Loaded Championship and Fifth Place games feature combined 10 Division-I talents

Jan. 1, 2008

By Van Coleman &

Van Coleman

Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - It was an amazing day of play at the Beach Ball Classic with the fifth place game featuring a deep array of college talent that made one scratch their head on how did its teams fall in the quarters. That is until you saw the excellent play in the third place and championship games.


Memphis Evangelical Christian (Tenn.) 73 - Hartsville (S.C.) 67




The day's opener was close early as Evangelical tied it at 13-all on a shot by 6-foot-5 junior Nick Bravos.  That ignited a 7-0 run to put the Memphis club up 18-13 with 6:46 to play in the first half.  But, Hartsville came right back to tie it at 18-all with two free throws by 5-foot-9 Jamel Williams, but that was the last time it would be tied in the opening stanza as 5-foot-11 junior Jonathan Milewski, led a 11-3 run, scoring seven points, to put Evangelical up 29-21 with 3:26 to play in the half.  Evangelical maintained that lead going into the locker room up 37-28 at the intermission.  Milewski led Evangelical Christian with 18 points at the half, while Hartsville's top gun was 6-foot-4 Jared Marine who had 11 points at the break.


The second half was more of the same as Evangelical led by Milewski and his teammates opened up a 51-35 lead with 12:21 to play.  Hartsville didn't mount a serious threat until the final five minutes when they cut the lead from 15-points, 63-48, to six, 70-64, with 58-seconds.  5-foot-11 sophomore Jordan Scott cut it to four 71-67 with a long three with 17-seconds to play, but that was as close as Hartsville would get, as Evangelical held on to win a hard fought 73-67 decision.


Evangelical's top gun was Milewski who finished with 25 points.  He got solid support from Nick Bravos who added 18 points in the win.  Hartsville was led by Jordan Scott who had a big second have to finish with 20 points, Jared marine chipped in with 12 points.


Consolation Championship:  Nansemond River (S.C.) 54 - Myrtle Beach (S.C.) 52


Nansemond River jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead before Myrtle Beach had a chance to take a breath.  Both clubs traded buckets over the next ten minutes of the first have with Nansemond holding a 23-17 lead with 3:34 to play in the opening half.  Myrtle Beach finally caught fire as 6-foot-5 junior Chris Gore scored four of the half's final six points to knot it at 23-all at the intermission.  Gore led myrtle Beach with eight points, while 6-foot-4 Quinton McDuffie had 10 points at the break for Nansemond River.


The second half started with the two clubs trading baskets, as it was tied at 27-all when Nansemond River went on another 8-0 run to open a 35-27 lead with 10:23 to play.  Myrtle Beach came right back behind 5-foot-11 freshman Everett Gholson who hit six straight points (four free throws) to tie it at 35-all with nine minutes to play.  Nansemond's 6-foot-4 wing man Quinton McDuffie led a 10-2 run, scoring six points, to open up a 45-37 advantage.  Nansemond maintained that lead until the final two minutes when Gholson scored five straight to pull Myrtle Beach to within one at 52-51 with just over a minute to play.  6-foot-2 Andre Jones hit two free throws for Nansemond, and that was enough for the Warriors, to hold on 54-52 over a scrappy Myrtle Beach squad.


The top gun for Nansemond River was Quinton McDuffie with 18 points and 8 rebounds.  He received solid support from Andre Jones with 9 points, while 6-foot-7 Nick Wright (Old Dominion) added 7 points and 16 rebounds.


Fifth Place Game:  Arlington Bishop O'Connell (Va.) 69 - Dunwoody (Ga.) 67


This might have been the most talented fifth place game of the Holiday season as Dunwoody led by 6-foot-8 Chris Singleton (No. 28 / Florida State) and 6-foot-7 Delwan Graham (No. 91 / LSU) was going up against Bishop O'Connell with 6-foot-3 Jason Clark (No.102 / Georgetown) and 6-foot-3 Kendall Marshall (No.10 sophomore/ North Carolina), and the game didn't disappoint!


This one opened with both squads trading baskets early until the Bishop O'Connell backcourt duo of Clark and Marshall combined for six straight points to put their squad up 13-7 with 11;39 to play in the half.  Dunwoody came right back off a three pointer by Singleton and a bucket by 6-foot-1 Pierre Jordan (Florida State), and free throws by Delwan Graham to take their first lead at 15-13.  Both clubs traded one or two point leads until the final minute when Jason Clark hit four straight free throws to end the half and put Bishop O'Connell up 40-35 at the intermission.


O'Connell was led by Clark with 19 points at the half, while Dunwoody featured a more balanced attack with Pierre Jordan and Chris Singleton leading the way with eight each.  Singleton also added seven rebounds in the first stanza.


The second half began with Bishop O'Connell opening up a ten point advantage, 45-35, with 13:48 to play on three straight free throws by 5-foot-11 sophomore Maurice Williams.  But, Dunwoody didn't roll over at this point, as Singleton and Graham began to control the inside game slowly chipping away at the O'Connell lead closing to three on three occasions, the last with 45-seconds to play on a tip dunk by Singleton.  That set up all the wild drama that was to follow.  Dunwoody stole the ball and Jordan passed ahead to Singleton who laid it in off the glass to close to within one 65-64 with 28-seconds to play.  Maurice Williams knocked down two free throws to put O'Connell back up three at 67-64.  Dunwoody's Jordan missed a good look from three and Jason Clark was fouled on the rebound for O'Connell.  He had a chance to ice it, but missed the free throw.  Chris Singleton took the rebound and drove to the top of the key to knock down a three and knot it at 67-all with three seconds to play.  It looked like overtime as O'Connell threw a pass that was tipped out of bounds.  That set up the final play a quick tip pass on the in-bounds that 6-foot-7 junior Dave Eismeier laid in over the outstretched arms of Chris Singleton to win it for O'Connell, 69-67, at the buzzer.


Jason Clark led Bishop O'Connell with 26 points.  He got solid support from Maurice Williams with 11 points, while Zal Harmon and Kendall Williams added 8 points each.  Williams did a great job finding his teammates for eight assists.  Dunwoody's top gun was Chris Singleton who finished with a game high 27 points and 18 rebounds.  He got support from Pierre Jordan with 11 points, while Issiah Grayson and Nick Boothe added 8 each.


Third Place Game:  Brooklyn Boys & Girls (N.Y.) 61 - Miami Monsignor Pace (Fla.) 54


This one was close early as both teams traded baskets through the first six minutes of the half with Pace taking a one point lead 15-14 on 6-foot-7 Terrance Saintil's putback with 9:19 to play in the opening stanza.  That bucket ignited a run by Pace to take a six point lead 24-18 with four minutes to play as Saintil added two more baskets to his first half total.  They maintained that advantage until the final second of the half when Anton Dickerson hit a deep three to pull Boys & Girls back to within three of Pace 31-28 at the buzzer.  Pace was led by 6-foot-5 Ray Shipman (No. 74 / Florida) with 10 points while Saintil added 9 points in the first half.  Boys & Girls top gun was 6-foot-3 Brandon Romain who finished the period with 9 points.


The second half started with Pace building their lead to eight points on two different occasions, the last at 44-36 with 9:12 to play.  But, Boys & Girls just kept pressuring Pace, chipping a way at their lead and pulled even at 50-all on a jumper by Brandon Romain with 4:03 to play in the game.  From there on Boys & Girls controlled the game quickly building their lead to five at 55-50.  Pace made a quick run to pull within one at 55-54 on a dunk by Rakeem Buckles with 42-seconds to play.  Boys& Girls salted it away by hitting six free throws in the last thirty seconds to win a 61-54 victory, as Pace couldn't get their threes to drop.


Boys & Girls was led by Brandon Romain with 17 points and 8 Rebounds, while Clayton Sterling and Patrick Jackson added 11 points each.  6-foot-6 David Imes added 9 points and 11 rebounds too. Pace's top gun was Terrance Saintil who finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds, with solid support coming from Ray Shipman with 14 points and Rakeem Buckles with 10 points in the loss.


Championship Game:  Duncanville (Tex.) 69 - Marietta Wheeler (Ga.) 57


The championship game featured two of the nation's most athletic teams. It was as expected a well played game with both teams taking advantage of their explosive offense talent to make runs that lead to a number of lead changes.


The championship game was close early as both teams felt each other out.  It was knotted at 11-all when Wheeler made a quick 5-0 run on baskets by 6-foot-5 Dequan Jones (No. 52 / Miami) and 6-foot-7 Richard Howell (No. 53 junior) to go up 16-11 with ten minutes to play in the first half.  But, Duncanville came right back on a three pointer by 6-foot-1 Brian Talley to knot it again at 16-all.  They traded buckets for the next couple minutes as it was still tied at 24-all with four minutes to play when Duncanville finished with a flurry to go up five at the half, 34-29, over Marietta Wheeler at the intermission.  Duncanville was led by 6-foot-6 Shawn Williams (No. 39 junior) with 11 points and 6 rebounds, while 6-foot-5 Roger Franklin (No. 93 junior) chipped in with 10 points.  Wheeler's top guns were Dequan Jones and Richard Howell who finished with 9 points each.


The second half started with Wheeler getting right back in it outscoring Duncanville 13-9 in the first four minutes to pull within one, 43-42 behind Richard Howell who had 7 points  in that stretch.  Wheeler took the lead for the first time in the second half 46-45, two minutes later, on a dunk by Tahj Tate.  It turned out to be their last lead, as Duncanville went on a 14-1 run capped by a Shawn Williams three with 3:23 to play to open up a 59-47 lead over Wheeler.  It was a lead that Wheeler never challenged down the stretch as Duncanville went on to win the Beach Ball Classic crown by a 69-57 margin over the athletic Georgia squad.  It was a fun game that had the crowd buzzing with the athletic show both clubs gave tonight in Myrtle Beach.


Duncanville was led by Shawn Williams who finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds in the win.  He got solid support from Tourney MVP Roger Franklin who had 18 points, wile 6-foot-5 Kevin Butler chipped in with 15 points.  Wheeler was led by Richard Howell who finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.  He got support from Ari Stewart (No. 21 junior) who added 12 points and Dequan Jones who contributed 11 rebounds.


We'd like to thank tournament director John Rhodes, media director Alan Smothers and all the staff at the Beach Ball Classic for their hospitality and great support and information while we were in Myrtle Beach.