NASHVILLE, TENN.- Monday was championship day at the Bobby Hussey- Nike Memorial Day Classic, and the Houston Hoops, Illinois Warriors and Athletes First, who were led by Xavier Henry, took home the hardware.
Final- Athletes First 71, New York Gauchos 70
Henry, the best prospect in the tournament, was the dominant player throughout the tournament. Playing on a cracked fibula since the Boo Williams Event, Henry scored 14 points in the final victory while Kyle Hardrick was the workhorse down low scoring a team high 22 points against the undersized Gauchos who were without their regular big men.
The Gauchos were paced by 24 points from Sean Johnson, who had a hot hand throughout the day. Durand Scott, who was terrific throughout the event, scored 17 points for the Gauchos.
Semifinal- New York Gauchos 76, Houston Hoops 71
The Gauchos' guards pushed the Gauchos into an early lead behind 20 points from Durand Scott and 18 points from 2010 prospect Doron Lamb.
The Hoops managed a late rally behind three consecutive three-pointers from Tommy Mason-Griffin (18 points) and Jamaal Fenton (17 points). Mason-Griffin's three-pointer to tie the game with less than five seconds left, however, missed the mark.
Semifinal- Athletes First 65, Playground Elite 62
Down 20 points, Playground Elite battled back to come within one point of Athletes First late in the game. Xavier Henry, the No. 2 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, led all scorers with 28 points. Johnnie Lacy led Playground Elite with 20 points.
Final- Illinois Warriors 75, Alabama Challenge 70
Once again the Warriors won a game with tenacious defense and the scoring of Vander Blue (21 points) and Anthony Johnson (18 points). Cleaning up the boards as a long athlete for the Warriors was the intriguing Dwayne Evans, who contributed 16 points in the win.
The Alabama Challenge was led by Ralston Turner (20 points) and the gritty play of Neiko Hunter, who contributed 11 points.
Semifinal- Illinois Warriors 68, New York Gauchos 65
Anthony Johnson (21 points) and Vander Blue ( 18 points) controlled the action for the Warriors, who led throughout the game. Muhammed Lee paced the Gauchos with 16 points.
Semifinal- Alabama Challenge 71, Team-Chandler 52
Physical combo forward Neiko Hunter led the Challenge with 19 points, and Ralston Turner tossed in 17 points in the blowout win. Both players finished the first half with 15 points each.
Final- Houston Hoops 76, Memphis YOMCA 73
Memphis had as much as a 19 point lead, but ended up watching the Houston Hoops steal the game away in the final seconds. Although quiet during most of the game, Julien Lewis was instrumental in the comeback, scoring most of his 14 points down the stretch. Forward Everett Pleasant contributed 12 points and a man sized effort on the boards. Sharp shooting Shai Fields led the charge with 24 points.
Undersized guard Chris Jones was the dominant player throughout most of the game for Memphis and finished with a game high 25 points.
Semifinal- Houston Hoops 61, SYF Players 48
Lewis and Pleasant led the Hoops in a dominating win over SYF.
Semifinal- Memphis YOMCA 85, Arkansas Wings 76
In one of the best match ups of the day, Memphis outlasted Arkansas behind the power of its top three players. Jones and power guard Andre Hollis led the way with 21 points while promising big man Wayne Martin scored 16 points.
Impressive Arkansas commitment Aaron Ross led Arkansas with 21 points, and skilled forward Hunter Mickelson battled for 16 points.
Athletes First's Terrence Boyd list offers from UConn, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia along with interest from Kansas.
2010 post player Steven Adams of Pasadena (Calif.) High School is only hearing from USC up to this point but expect a horde of schools to jump in shortly.