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Gatorade Timberwolves Shootout
The Minnesota Timberwolves have scheduled a prep afternoon doubleheader the past several years before their own NBA contest. However, they have out-done themselves as they are planning a high school tripleheader this Saturday with three of the top Minnesota teams facing three out-state squads as they finalized the field. Hopkins, Litchfield and Minneapolis Patrick Henry are the three local squads that are scheduled for the January 26th event at the Target Center before the Timberwolves-Atlanta Hawks contest.
Litchfield (MN) High was the 2000 Minnesota Class AA champion after finishing 30-0 and was 24-4 last season before losing to Annadale in the Section 5AA District 20 title 53-49. The Dragons are led 6-6 junior John Carlson, who was named second team Minnesota Associated Press All-State. He averaged 14.5 points, seven rebounds, three assists and 1.2 steals per game and shot 57 percent from the field and 70 percent at the foul line. They must replace leading scorer Mike Patten, who averaged 18.8 points per game last year. The 5-10 point guard will play at Division II powerhouse North Dakota State. However, the Dragons should be one of the top teams in the state as they started one junior (now senior) and three sophomores (now juniors) last year.
They will face Portland (OR) Jefferson, who took the place of Oakland (CA) Tech, who is led by College Basketball News’ number three junior Leon Powe. Tech could not get receive certification to play at their state association, but Jefferson is more than a worthy substitute.
They were the number one seed in the Oregon Class AAAA State Championship, but finished third, beating Grants Pass 84-60 in the third place game. The Democrats won the 2000 state title. They lost Aaron Miles and Michael Lee, who are currently Kansas freshman. Miles was a McDonald’s All-American. Despite the loss of the two talented guards, Jefferson still has a standout backcourt. 6-5 shooting guard Brandon Lincoln signed with Oregon in the early signing period. Lincoln is College Basketball News’ #76 senior and was invited to last summer’s U.S. Developmental Festival. He has a familiar face in the backcourt as his 6-0 cousin Curtis Lincoln is a top prospect in his own right. 6-6 senor power forward Jalonta Martin is a strong inside player for the Democrats. Jefferson also has a strong junior class. 6-2 junior guard Thomas Gardner is being recruited by schools like Arizona, Kansas, Oregon State, North Carolina, Michigan State, Cincinnati and Connecticut. 6-7 Ray Peterson, 6-1 Johntae Hammonds, 6-4 Jarae Nelson, 6-1 Juma Whatley and 6-0 Michael Richmond are ranked among the top juniors in the state of Oregon.
The Democrats are 11-1 with their only loss to College Basketball News’ #1 Oak Hill Academy 71-65 in the semi-finals of the Lee Schwab Invitational. They have won their five games since the first of the year by an average of 26.6 points per game and they are currently ranked as the top AAAA in the state.
They will meet in the 11:00 game.
Minneapolis (MN) Patrick Henry has won back-to-back Class AAA titles and head coach Lawrence McKenzie is calling this year’s squad perhaps his best team ever as they are the likely favorites in Minnesota’s second largest class. The Patriots
return 6-2 Terry Pettis and 6-3 Zerek Knight, who started for the Howard Pulley 17-and-under team this summer. Lawrence McKenzie Jr. is being recruited by Wisconsin, Michigan State and Nebraska as a junior and the Patriots added junior center/forward Calvin Walls, who played for Class AAAA champion Osseo last season. Osseo lost just once last season to nationally number one ranked Mouth of Wlison (VA) Oak Hill Academy at last year’s Timberwolves event.
Minneapolis Henry finished second in the Future Stars/Hoops in the Heartland Tournament in Iowa City in September.
Henry finished 28-2 last season. The Patriots defeated Gainesville (FL) High two years ago when the teams met at the Target Center as part of the 1999 event. Gainesville was led by current Gator Orien Greene.
The Patriots lost to College Basketball News’ #5 Milwaukee (WI) Vincent by three points on the road in a controversial finish as Pettis made a three-pointer with five seconds left. They also fell to Minneapolis South just after an emotional win over Hopkins 91-81. Pettis leads the team in scoring with 18.5 points per game. Knight is contributing 15.7 points and McKenzie adds 14.8 points per game. 6-6 Tyrell Thornton and Walls are averaging more than nine rebounds. McKenzie is second in the metro with 7.7 assists per game and Pettis is fourth with 6.6 assists per contest.
Henry will square up against Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln at 1:00. Lincoln is paced by College Basketball News’ number one sophomore Sebastian Telfair. He is an outstanding ballhandler, who will be tested by Henry’s pressing style. Lincoln is 13-4 and recently finished runner-up in the Beach Ball Classic. Telfair scored 28 points in their opening round 89-64 win over Latta (SC) High as he faced College Basketball News’ number one senior point guard Raymond Felton, who scored 35 points. Lincoln also features forwards Jamal Dart and Elliah Clarke.
The two teams will face off in the 1:00 contest.
Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins is led by three outstanding juniors. College Basketball News’ #14 preseason junior Kris Humphries (but likely to move up) is the leading scorer in the metro, averaging 26.3 points per game, but he is not the only standout junior for the Royals. Teammates Darren Clarke and Dan Coleman are among the top juniors in the state. Clarke played for the Howard Pulley 16 and under team this summer and started for the Royals as a sophomore. He is averaging 21.0 points per game, tenth best in the metro. Coleman is the nephew of former Minnesota and Maryland big man, Ben Coleman, who played five seasons in the NBA. He is transferring from Minneapolis Southwest. Hopkins defeated Wayzata, the #7 team in the state Tuesday 69-65, despite Clarke scoring just nine points as Humphries scored 32 points. Coleman added 16 in the win. The Royals are 13-2 overall and 4-0 in the conference. Their two losses are
White Bear Lake (MN) High 77-69 in the finals Joe Hutton Hamline Tournament and to back-to-back Class AAA champions Minneapolis (MN) Patrick Henry 91-81 at home.
Hopkins will face Houston (TX) Westbury Christian in the last of the three prep games at 3:00. Westbury Christian is led by College Basketball News’ #9 junior Nbudi Ebi. He is a 6-8, 185 pound forward, who shined this summer at the Nike Peach Jam. Westbury Christian finished fourth in the Texas division of the Academy National Invitational Tournament in December. They are 20-6.
They will meet in the final game at 3:00.
All three games will be broadcast on BroadcastMonsters.com.
The Minnesota teams have had an excellent track record in this event. Minneapolis North blew out perennial power Oak Hill Academy as Khalid El-Amin shined over current Minnesota Timberwolves guard William Avery in a 30-point win.
Last season, Oak Hill Academy gave Minnesota Class AAAA state champion Osseo their only loss and Duluth East, led by McDonald’s All-American Rick Rickert defeated Potomac (VA).
Go to www.broadcastmonsters.com on Saturday to listen to all three games.
Mote: The Timberwolves host more than 30 high school or college basketball games each year at the Target Center.