Sexton steals the show at Atlanta EYBL
SUWANEE, Ga. --Day two of the final session of the Nike EYBL on Sunday was highlighted by local rivalries. Some players fold under the pressure of an intense game but others, such as Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, rose to the occasion in big moments.
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SEXTON STEALS THE SHOW
The final session of the EYBL is being held outside of Atlanta at Suwanee Sports Academy, and there could not be a better site for a matchup between the Georgia Stars and the Southern Stampede. The two Atlanta-based teams tipped off Sunday afternoon, and it was four-star guard Collin Sexton who stole the show late and helped the Stampede claim the victory.
Sexton started off slow by his standards Sunday afternoon, but he got rolling in the second half. Down the stretch, it seemed like the six-foot guard scored every basket and made every play for the Stampede. With two minutes left in regulation, the Stampede trailed by ten before Sexton hit a few shots and cut the deficit in a hurry. With three seconds remaining, he knocked down two free throws to tie the game and forced overtime.
In overtime, with the game tied at 85 with three seconds left, Sexton caught the ball on in-bounds play and connected on a deep jumper at the buzzer for the victory. He finished with 44 points in a win that kept the Stampede alive for a birth in the Peach Jam Finals in July.
Sexton recently added offers from Arizona and Kansas. They joined a list that already included Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Texas, Texas A&M and many more.
EAGLES SCORE BIG WIN
Just before the Stars and Stampede took the court, the St. Louis Eagles and MoKan matched up in a game between teams where there is no shortage of bad blood. MoKan has been one of the best teams in the Nike EYBL, but the Eagles found a way to shut down MoKan’s pair of five-star prospects and cruised to a double-digit victory.
It was a pair of 2018 prospects leading the way for the Eagles. Darius Garland, the 36th ranked prospect in the 2018 Rivals150, chipped in 11 points, but it was his passing that helped keep MoKan off balance. Tim Finke, a 6-foot-6 small forward in the 2018 class, was the recipient of a few Garland’s best passes, including an impressive alley-oop in transition.
Before going out with a shoulder injury that will sideline him for the rest of the weekend, Jordan Goodwin used his strength and athleticism to keep Michael Porter Jr. relatively in check. Goodwin also pumped in 14 points for the Eagles on a combination of jump shots and finishes at the rim. He has the potential to be similar to Butler’s Roosevelt Jones at the next level with the way he competes, his combination of strength and athleticism, and his versatility.
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Marvin Bagley had another strong outing to get the day started on Sunday morning with 22-point, 12-rebound performance in a victory over Las Vegas Prospects. He certainly showed why many consider him to be the top overall prospect in the 2018 class.
Troy Brown is an effortless scorer for the Las Vegas Prospects and a very well-rounded player. Along with his 16 points on Sunday morning, he added 10 rebounds on 3 assists.
A big part of the Georgia Stars blowing a late 10-point lead against the Southern Stampede was Chuma Okeke fouling out. The four-star forward was dominating in the paint in the second half and showing off his overall skill-set.
Matt Coleman has the rare ability for a high school point guard to play really fast while staying under control. He made all the right decisions with the ball against Nike South Beach in a Sunday afternoon win, and scored as needed too.
Dajour Dickens, a 7-foot center, looks like a very intriguing prospect for Boo Williams. He’s a talented rim protector, rebounds well, and caught and finished everything that came his way in the paint.
Nicolas Richards had a slow start in a local rivalry game against BABC, but came alive in a big way for Expressions in the second half. He was on the receiving end of four alley-oops and completely dominated the paint. Kimani Lawrence put the dagger on the game when he flew down the paint and threw down an emphatic dunk in traffic.
Each 1 Teach 1’s Tyler Polley is far from a finished product, but he has the natural ability that should get college coaches excited. At 6-foot-8, he has a smooth looking jump shot and can’t put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. He should be able to play either forward spot at the next level as he fills out.
The Nike EYBL usually brings out a pretty big crowd, but it also attracts alumni from the teams playing. Among those in attendance on Sunday were Brad Beal, RJ Hunter, Justin Jackson, Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles.