Beach Ball Classic: Imhotep wins title in thrilling fashion

imhotepDavid Beatty tipped in a missed layup at the buzzer for a Beach Ball Classic instant classic as Imhotep (8-1; Philadelphia, PA) won the championship with a come-from-behind 78-76 victory over Evanston (13-2; Evanston, IL).

Evanston scored the first 12 points of the game and built a 25-7 cushion with 8:56 to play in the first half on a Malcolm Townsel layup.  Imhotep stormed back with a 16-2 run to close the gap to 27-23 with 4:59 on the clock.  Evanston continued to hold the advantage to lead 34-32 at the break.

The second half saw Imhotep take control and build a lead as large as 11 points at 52-41 on a layup by Koby Thomas with 9:13 remaining.  Evanston chipped away at the lead and eventually tied the game at 76-76 on three free throws by Nojel Eastern after he was fouled on a 3-point attempt with seven seconds remaining.

Daron Russell took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the court but had his layup attempt roll off the side of the rim.  Beatty grabbed the rebound and tipped it in through the net for the winning basket.

Imhotep was led by Russell’s 25 points while Koby Thomas came off of the bench to post a double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.  Nojel Eastern led Evanston Township with 28 points and Elyjah Williams added 14 points and 15 boards for the Wildkits.

* Dillard (12-4; Fort Lauderdale, FL) defeated Pace (6-8; Atlanta, GA) 54-51 in overtime to earn third place in the 2016 Beach Ball Classic.

In the low-scoring affair, Pace held a slim 18-15 lead at the half and neither team led by more than five points in the second half.  Dillard grabbed its largest lead of the game at 48-43 with 3:08 to play.  Pace scored the final five points of regulation to knot the score at 48-48 and send it to overtime.  During the final stretch of the second half, Dillard was 0-for-3 from the field and also committed two turnovers.

In the extra period, Bryce Oliver then connected on a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining to push the Dillard lead to three points.  Carter got the ball at midcourt for Pace but had his 3-point attempt hit the back of the rim and bounced away to give Dillard the win and the trophy.

Dillard was led by Jordan Wright’s 23 points and teammate Raiquan Gray’s 10 points and 11 rebounds.  Pace’s Carter, who has signed with Duke, led the Knights with 17 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots.  Carter ended his four games in the tournament with a records 68 rebounds, breaking the previous mark of 61 set by Chris Singleton of Dunwoody (GA) in the 2007 Beach Ball Classic.

* Westchester (12-5; Los Angeles, CA) led all but a few seconds of the first half in route to a 59-42 victory over Bishop O’Connell (8-5; Arlington, VA) to take home fifth place in the 2016 Beach Ball Classic.

Trailing 4-3 at the 14:58 mark of the first half, Westchester scored eight unanswered points to take a 11-4 lead with 12:54 on the clock.  The Comets went on to lead 34-19 at the half and cruised to the victory in the second half.

Westchester was paced by Darryn Everage’s 18 points while Chris Simmons and Luis Rodriguez added 12 and 10 points respectively for the Comets.

Bishop O’Connell’s Nate Watson and Matt Lewis led the Knights with 11 points each.

* Christ the King (7-3; New York, NY) led from buzzer to buzzer but had to hold on for a thrilling 49-48 victory over Providence (9-5; Jacksonville, FL) to capture the Consolation Championship at the 2016 Beach Ball Classic.

After building a 10-point lead at 18-8 with 4:47 to play in the opening half, Christ the King saw Providence’s Zackery Bryant connect on a 3-point field goal to end the half and pull the Stallions to within three points at 23-20.  Christ the King built leads as large as eight points in the second half but could not put Providence away.

The Knights, trailing 47-41 with 5:52 to play, went on a 7-2 run to close the gap to just one point at 49-48 on Kyle Marion’s trey with 1:50 on the clock.  A turnover and missed three-point attempt down the stretch by Bryant ended the Stallions’ chances for a win.

Christ the King was led by Tyson Walker’s 16 points while his teammate Kofi Cockburn added 14 points and seven rebounds.

Providence was paced by Bryant’s 12 points and five assists.

* Father Henry Carr (11-7; Ontario, Canada) defeated Socastee (6-5; Myrtle Beach, SC) in a consolation bracket game of the 2016 Beach Ball Classic by an 84-55 score.

After trading baskets early in the first half, Father Henry Carr scored 15 unanswered points to take a 17-4 lead with 11:20 to play in the opening half and never looked back.  The Crusaders went on to lead 45-24 at halftime and by as many as 36 points in the second half.

Father Henry Carr was led by Carlo Dubria’s 22 points while Shae Linton-Brown tallied 17 points and dished out a game-high five assists.

Socastee was led by South Carolina signee Jason Cudd’s 21 points and 10 rebounds.

AWARDS

Most Outstanding Player: Wendell Carter, Pace
Most Valuable Player: Daron Russell, Imhotep
Keith Lane Sportsmanship Award: Michael Moreno, Scott County
Hustle Award: David Beatty, Imhotep
Danny Defensive Award: Zackery Bryant, Providence

All Tournament Team (all players above are also All-Tournament):
* MJ Walker, Jonesboro
* Chuma Okeke, Westlake
* Chuck O’Bannon, Bishop Gorman
* Matt Lewis, Bishop O’Connell
* Jordan Wright, Dillard
* Darryn Everage, Westchester
* Isaiah Kelly, Pace
* Raiquan Gray, Dillard
* Elyiah Williams, Evanston
* Nojel Eastern, Evanston

TEAM AWARDS:
Team Sportsmanship Award: Scott County
Team Hustle Award: Imhotep

Photo by Digital Magic Photo

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