City of Palms - Championships Report
Samardo Samuels named Tournament MVP, Kenny Boynton scores event record 61 points
Dec. 23, 2007
By Van Coleman
CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com
Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
Tournament MVP Samardo Samuels (No. 4 / Louisville) led Newark St. Benedict's to the title. Samuels has played his way into consideration for the nation's top player spot along with Brandon Jennings (No. 1 /
It was a day of great individual performances as well, starting with a record-breaking output.
Kenny Boynton (No. 6 junior) went off for 61 points in the final day's opener versus Fort Myers Dunbar, shattering the old tournament scoring record of 56 points in a game held by Teddy Dupay (
That was just the beginning of an excellent final day in
Consolation Bracket Championship:
Even though the tournament started a little rocky for Hales Franciscan with a late-night loss on the opening day to
"We can't worry about last night [opening loss to
And his squad did just that, as they rolled to the Consolation Championship with a 63-54 victory over a talented and deep Monsignor Pace squad. It was definitely a team effort as Oregon signees 6-foot-6 Matt Humphrey (No. 72) and 6-foot-8 Josh Crittle (No. 101) were off their games a little, finishing with eight and seven points respectively, but their teammates picked up the slack to win their third game in a row.
Hales Franciscan was led by 5-foot-9 junior D.J. Cooper with 18 points and five assists. He received solid support from his backcourt running mate 5-foot-10 Phillip Williams, who chipped in with 15 points. Pace's top gun was 6-foot-5 Ray Shipman (No. 77 /
Woodland Hills Taft pressed from the opening gun to disrupt
Taft used a balanced attack headed by 6-foot-6 Eugene Phelps (
This one was close for the first 28 minutes with Helen Cox holding a 50-45 lead with just over four minutes to play in the game. It was then that Sylven Landesberg (No. 37 /
This one was the Sylven Landesberg show, as the 6-foot-5 swing man from Holy Cross went off for 44 points in the win. He was on fire throughout the game, hitting 13 of 20 field goals along with 16 of 17 free throws. For good measure, he added 11 rebounds.
Helen Cox was led by 6-foot-11 Greg Monroe (No. 2 / Georgetown) and 6-foot-3 Calvin Thompson (Howard), each scoring 16 points.
The City of
It was a huge statement win for St. Benedict's as the Grey Bees knocked off two top 25 squads, Helen Cox and Chester, in consecutive nights, doing something no other New Jersey squad had been able to do - win the City of Palms Classic.
St. Benedict's was led by Samuels with 20 points and five boards as he earned tournament MVP honors. He received solid support from 6-foot-3 Tamir Jackson (No. 98 junior), 6-foot-2 Scott Machado and 6-foot-8 Tristan Thompson (No.18 sophomore), who all chipped in with 12 points. Samuels' front court running mate Echenique added nine points and pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds as the nation's No.1 team rolled to the title.
How They Got to the Final: Friday's Semi-Finals
Newark St. Benedict's (N.J.) 64 -
This one was close throughout the first three quarters. Both clubs exchanged leads with Helen Cox up 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, while St. Benedict's bounced back to go up 23-20 at the end of the first half.
It was in the second half that St. Benedict's, making a statement for the No. 1 team in the country ranking, took over, hitting 18 of their 28 shots from the field and went inside to 6-foot-9 bookends Samuels and Echenique. The dynamic duo dominated the fourth quarter of play leading an early 13-1 run to win a 64-50 decision over Helen Cox.
Samuels won the battle in the matchup of the nation's top two big men, as he scored 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Greg Monroe was held to 11 points and 10 rebounds. He was held scoreless in the third quarter by Samuels and Echenique. Together they frustrated
Echenique was solid on the offensive end, as well, with 13 points and 13 rebounds for St. Benedict's. The other player in double figures for Helen Cox was Justin Fairman, who finished with 11 points.
In the early going, Holy Cross controlled the tempo and took an early 10-3 lead, holding onto that lead throughout the first half to go into the locker room up 26-21.
The second half was dominated by the inside play of
Holy Cross was led by Landesberg, who finished with a game-high 22 points. He got support from sweet shooting 6-foot-1 Blaise French with 18 points.
No doubt there were some stellar performances in
Samardo Samuels 6-foot-
Greg Echenique 6-foot-9 C Newark St. Benedict's (N.J.)
Nasir Robinson 6-foot-6 WF Chester (
Karon Butler 5-foot-9 PG
Kenny Boynton 6-foot-2 SG Plantation American Heritage (
Rashanti Harris 6-foot-9 C
Greg Monroe 6-foot-11 C
Tyler Portwood 6-foot-5 WF
Sylven Landesberg 6-foot-5 SG Flushing Holy Cross (N.Y.)
Larry Drew 6-foot-1 PG Woodland Hills Taft (
Matt Humphrey 6-foot-6 WF Chicago Hales Franciscan (
David Paulk 6-foot-5 WF Fort Myers Dunbar (
We'd like to thank tournament director Donnie Wilkie for his hospitality while we were in