Springfield, Mo., had a taste of the Big Apple at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions over the weekend. Christ the King out of New York won the tournament thanks to the play of George Mason bound Ryan Pearson and Florida signee Erving Walker.
Pearson was dominating in the championship game against LeFlore (Ala.), scoring 34 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the championship game as Christ the King won 73-71 in overtime.
The high-energy southpaw is having a tremendous senior season and is looking like one of the crown jewels of George Mason's 2008 recruiting class, the best since the Patriots run to the Final Four in 2006.
"(Pearson) was the big difference today, especially up against a kid who might play in the NBA one day," Christ the King head coach Bob Oliva told the Springfield News-Record.
The kid who might play in the NBA is LeFlore's Demarcus Cousins. The 6-foot-10 five-star forward scored 38 points and 12 rebounds.
Walker, the tournament MVP, scored 24 points in the championship game and converted 17 free throws. Walker scored 28 points against Kickapoo (Mo.) in the second round of the tournament. The game before, he scored 33 points against McCluer North (Mo.) and helped Christ the King claim the opening round overtime win.
Monroe saves his best for last
Greg Monroe scored his team's final 11 points against Miami Pace to help push Helen Cox over the hump in the fifth place game.
The Georgetown bound big man finished 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in the victory and more importantly his defense, according to the Springfield News-Leader, was the difference-maker in the 67-64 Helen Cox win.
Monroe averaged 19.3 points per game over the three games in Springfield.
Other news & notes from the TOC
Waynesville (Mo.) knocked out Kickapoo (Mo.) in the all Missouri third-place game with a 65-64 win thanks to a Chris Rebuk three-pointer with 6.3 seconds to play.
Waynesville's Dominique Long was the team's most consistent performer all week.
Perhaps there was no better trio of players in the event than McCluer (Mo.) North's trio of Femi John, Torres Roundtree and Anthony Booker.
All tournament team
DeMarcus Cousins, LeFlore
Nick Williams, LeFlore
Ryan Pearson, Christ the King
Greg Monroe, Helen Cox
Alex Hall, Kickapoo
Femi John, McCluer North
Dominique Long, Waynesville
Dusty Allen, Kickapoo
Ray Shipman, Monsignor Pace