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December 18, 2008

City of Palms: Day one

FORT MYERS, FLA.- In front of Miami head man Frank Haith and assistants from Duke and Kansas, John Wall displayed his eye-popping talent in the first half of his team's win over Kenny Boynton's American Heritage squad.

Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God 63, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 61

After dominating the first half behind the star power of John Wall, Word of God fell asleep in the third quarter as American Heritage erased a 13 point deficit. Kenny Boynton had a surprisingly quiet first half, making only one of six shots, but in the second half he picked it up, hitting on six of 12 shots. American Heritage actually took a two point lead with less than 20 seconds left in the game, but a Wall free throw and then an ensuing lay up gave Word of God the win.

John Wall- (15 points on 7-13 shooting, 0-3 from three, 1-4 from the line, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals, 9 assists, 8 turnovers in 32 minutes) Wall simply dominated the first half with his speed and passing, racking up seven of his nine assists. As previously documented, Wall's speed with the ball, ability to change direction and court vision are as good as it gets. His diagonal passes against the grain were impressive in this game. In the third quarter American Heritage employed a zone press which slowed down Word of God's transition game and influenced other players than Wall to try to make plays.

C.J. Leslie- (11 points on 5-8 shooting, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists and 3 turnovers) I had him for a lot more than four blocks in the official stats. The vast majority of Leslie's blocks came in the first half when he was active and challenged everything in the paint. A quick jumper, Leslie is a strong rebounder and shot blocker, but his offense is pretty much limited to a baseline spin move.

Dezmine Wells- (18 points on 9-17 shooting, 0-1 from the line, 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers) An undersized post player, Wells has a physical game and was consistently productive throughout the game.

Kenny Boynton- (19 points on 7-18 shooting, 0-7 from three, 5-7 from the line, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 3 turnovers) The future Florida Gator never asserted himself in the first half and uncharacteristically wasn't much involved in the offense. In the second half he got some buckets going to the basket, but he never found the range from deep.

Philadelphia Roman Catholic 56, Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day 55

A suspect blocking call on Wally Judge with 5.5 seconds remaining in the game sent Maalik Wayns to the line with the game noted at 55-55. Wayns made one of his attempts and a desperation 35-footer by Rodney McGruder came up short at the buzzer.

Maalik Wayns- (14 points on 4-20 shooting, 0-6 from three, 6-6 from the line, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers in 30 minutes) The Villanova signee did not have one of his better games. He never could find the range from outside and had mixed results forcing the ball to the basket. One of Wayns' positive attributes is his confidence, but this confidence can also work against him when he continues to try to make plays that aren't working and take shots that aren't falling. As a point man, he has great strength, speed with the ball and quality court vision. He does, however, need to tighten up his shot and improve his decision making.

Rakeem Brookins- (27 points on 7-18 shooting, 3-8 from three, 10-11 from the line, 2 rebounds, 6 steals, 1 assist, 2 turnovers in 31 minutes) The junior guard hit a number of big shots throughout the game and came up with a steal and then two free throws to give Roman Catholic a 55-53 lead when ACD was holding the ball for a last shot.

Wally Judge- (12 points on 4-8 shooting, 407 from the line, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists, 4 turnovers in 31 minutes) At times Judge was a dominant presence in the paint, and then at times he disappeared. Judge has talent and will grow into an impressive physique, but he will need time in college for his game to come together.

Rodney McGruder- (20 points on 8-17 shooting, 1-5 from three, 3-5 from the line, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 3 turnovers in 31 minutes) A Kansas State signee like Judge, McGruder has a nose for the ball and can make plays in traffic inside the arc. In the fourth quarter when ACD needed a bucket, McGruder had success posting up his defender.

Duncanville (Texas) 83, Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar 62

Duncanville jumped out to a 20-5 first quarter lead and never looked back.

Shawn Williams- (16 points on 5-13 shooting, 3-10 from three, 3-6 from the line, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 assists, 1 turnover in 31 minutes) The Texas signee has had better shooting games, but overall he had a solid performance in the lopsided affair.

Roger Franklin- (21 points on 8-14 shooting, 5-6 from the line, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers in 28 minutes) Aggressive on the boards as always, Franklin was the games most productive player in the paint. The Oklahoma State signee has a knack for scoring over taller defenders with his strength and impressive footwork.

Jamison Sterns- (24 points on 9-16 shooting, 4-10 from three, 2-5 from the line, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 1 turnover in 21 minutes) Sterns, a 2010 prospect, came alive in the second half as he and Dunbar's top scorer Darius Perkins traded buckets.

Darius Perkins- (28 points on 10-20 shooting, 4-6 from three, 4-5 from the line, 2 rebounds, 7 turnovers in 31 minutes) The sharp shooting 2011 prospect put on a show during the second half. A compact guard with the ability to create space, Perkins hit a number of tough pull up jumpers. His efforts will earn him recruiting attention at the mid level and high major level.

Los Angeles Westchester 62, Fort Myers (Fla.) 47

Westchester just had too much size and athleticism for the scrappy hometown team.

Jordin Mayes- (17 points on 7-13 shooting, 3-7 from three, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 2 turnovers in 25 minutes) Mayes is Westchester's primary perimeter scoring threat, and he shot the ball with confidence Thursday night. Playing exclusively off the ball, Mayes only impacted the game with his scoring.

Dominique O'Conner- (14 points on 5-14 shooting, 0-2 from three, 4-5 from the line, 2 steals, 7 assists, 1 turnover in 26 minutes) O'Conner was the man with the ball in his hands for Westchester, and he did a terrific job running his team. Not much of a shooter, the diminutive but strong guard finished at the rim, but more importantly, he handled the ball proficiently.


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