Pittsburgh recruit Aaron Gray went through a wide range of emotions yesterday at the Lehigh Valley Hoop Festival held on the beautiful campus of Parkland High School in Pennsylvania.
Gray first picked up three fouls early (a couple were questionable) and then saw his team fall behind late in the game. But the 6-11 center took over the final quarter to help his team win an overtime thriller, 68-65, over Harrisburg High School.
"It was a game full of emotions," said Gray, who also got upset when Harrisburg pulled the ball out in an effort to ice the final five minutes of the game. "I didn't like to see the game end that way. That wasn't the way to play the game. Many thought we couldn't beat Harrisburg. But we did."
They certainly did. But it was a struggle because Harrisburg has some fine talent on its team. Clarence Sinklar scored a game-high 21 points for Harrisburg on seven three-pointers. Camar Hall, a 6-6 senior forward, battled Gray all night in the paint. He finished with 13 points.
Due to the efforts of Sinklar and Hall, Harrisburg carried a 47-41 lead into the fourth quarter. A Gray drive to the basket with 1:45 left did give Emmaus a lead at 54-53. However, with 10 seconds left, Hall hit a putback to tie the score at 57-57.
In the overtime session, Gray hit a short hook to give Emmaus a 66-65 lead. He then blocked a shot by Hall to give Emmaus the ball back, leading to two free throws by Dan Weider. This sealed the victory as Sinklar's three bounced off the rim.
Gray finished with 19 points, 12 blocks, seven assists, and seven rebounds. Michael Brusko, an impressive sophomore, also made several valuable contributions to the winners. He finished the game with 19 points too while Andrew Carpenter, another soph, added 12 points.