Can’t stop me now
Some fans lined up 11 hours before South Gwinnett High School took to the court for their first game of the season. They needed to get in early. Led by Louis Williams and Mike Mercer, the Comets gave the overflowed gym something to talk about.
Williams scored 22 of his 29 game high points in the second half to help push South Gwinnett over the edge in a 73-54 win over the once nationally ranked Berkmar High School. Mercer was also strong in victory, scoring 23 points.
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Staying with the Georgia Stars, Billy Humphrey scored 33 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help lead his Dacula team (5-1) to a 65-57 victory over a fundamentally sound Centennial team.
Some of Florida’s best gathered together for the Winter Park Rotary Classic. Even without Darius Washington, Orlando’s Edgewater High School picked up where they left off last year by claiming the championship game of the event.
Edgewater was led by junior Sheldon Oliver who scored 21 points and had 12 rebounds in the team’s 31st straight victory. Oliver was named as the tournament MVP thanks in part to his performance in the 54-53 victory over Lake Howell.
Others that shined included Lake Howell sophomore Nick Calathes, Winter Park’s Jeremiah Rivers, Gateway’s Keaton Grant and Deland’s Keith Brumbaugh. Brumbaugh scored 110 points in three games, breaking the tournament record.
In Las Vegas, the duo of Kashif Watson, the senior who will play at San Diego State next year, and talented junior guard Marcus Lawrence combined for 49 of the 77 points BG put up against Foothill over the weekend. Watson, a defensive stopper, scored 25 while Lawrence had 24 points and five assists.
Class of 2007 stars shine
Marquette head coach Tom Crean was on hand to see Derrick Rose of Simeon High School in Chicago, play his first career high school game. The No. 2 ranked player in the country showed no signs of nervousness or first game jitters, scoring 22 points to go along with his seven rebounds, five steals and two assists in Simeon’s 53-49 victory over Thornwood High School.
Super sophomore Gani Lawal was a popular player to watch on Saturday night. Georgia head coach Dennis Felton was on hand as Lawal scored 20 plus points in his Riverdale (Ga.) High School’s 105-75 loss to a very talented East Hall team. Assistant coaches from Kentucky (who flew straight to Atlanta after the Wildcat’s game against UNC), Auburn and Georgia Tech were in the house as well.
Edwin Rios, the No. 20 ranked player in the class of 2007, put in back to back games of 40 points this weekend against Jackson High School and Miami Pace. On the young season, Rios is averaging 35 points, six assists, and five rebounds a game.
Remember this name: Jeremy Price. The solid bodied 6-foot-9, 260-pound center scored 23 points and had 12 rebounds in an easy win against Clarkston High School. Rivals.com was on hand to see the sophomore display some crafty footwork and excellent back to the basket skills. He could be one of the top big men in the class of 2007. We will have a full feature story on the youngster on Tuesday.
Isaiah Thomas, another player to remember in 2007, had a nice debut this weekend. The 5-foot-9 guard led his Tacoma (Wash.) Curtis Senior High School team with 26 points (six three pointers) and seven assists in a win over Rogers High School.
All eyes on the big guys
ESPN2 will televise a great match up between North Carolina bound Tyler Hansbrough of Poplar Bluff (Mo.) High School and Greg Oden, the manchild center from Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. Hansbrough is one of the top big men in the class of 2005 and Oden is arguably the best player in the nation right now as a junior. The two teams will play at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse at 7:30 p.m. EST on Thursday night.