Beach Ball Classic Recap: Evanston, Imhotep in final

bbc-evanstonEvanston (13-1; Evanston, IL) defeated Pace (6-7; Atlanta, GA) 57-44 to win the first semifinal game and advance to the championship game of the 2016 Beach Ball Classic. The Wildkits will face Imhotep in Saturday’s title game.

In the opening half, Pace held the lead for nearly 13 minutes before Evanston grabbed the lead before the half.  Trailing 20-16 with 3:55 on the clock in the opening half, Pace scored nine unanswered points to open their first lead of the game to five points at 25-20 with 2:15 on the clock.  The teams traded a couple of baskets in the closing two minutes and Evanston maintained that cushion at 29-24 at the break.

Evanston put the game on cruise control in the second half after scoring the first six points and opening a double-digit advantage at 35-24 with 11:54 to play.  The Wildkits led by as many as 16 points in the second half.

Evanston was led by Purdue signee Nojel Eastern’s 24 points and 13 rebounds.  Elyjah Williams chipped in eight points and six rebounds for the Wildkits.

Pace was a one-man show as Duke signee Wendell Carter posted a double-double with 26 points and 21 rebounds, tying him for the seventh best single game rebounding mark in BBC history.  Tony Parker, then of Miller Grove (GA), pulled down 27 boards against Douglass (OK) during the 2010 Beach Ball Classic.  Carter also has 51 rebounds through three games and will need 10 rebounds to tie the all-time BBC record for four games currently held by Chris Singleton of Dunwoody (GA) during the 2007 tournament.

* Imhotep (7-1, Philadelphia, PA) used its up-temp style to run into the 2016 Beach Ball Classic Championship game with a 80-52 victory over Dillard (11-4; Ft. Lauderdale, FL).

Imhotep trailed only briefly early in the first half but took control of the game with an 11-2 run that gave the Panthers a 31-20 lead with 3:27 to play in the opening half.  Imhotep’s Daron Russell connected on a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give his squad a 43-26 lead at the break.

Imhotep went on to lead by as many as 34 points in the second half and cruise into the finals.  Russel, who has signed with Rhode Island, led the Panthers with 23 points, seven rebound and seven steals.  South Carolina signee David Beatty added 18 points and four assists for Imhotep.

Dillard was paced by Jordan Wright’s with 31 points and nine rebounds.

* Christ the King (6-3; New York, NY) advanced to the championship game of the consolation bracket with a 52-49 victory over Westlake (8-5; Atlanta, GA).

In one of the closest games so far in this year’s BBC, the teams battled to 12 lead changes and 15 tied scores and neither team led by more than six points.  After a first half that ended in a 27-27 tie, the teams continued to trade baskets with the score still tied at 44-44 with 5:59 to play.  Christ the King took its largest lead of the game at 50-44 with 2:09 remaining when Tyson Walker’s layup capped six unanswered points.

Westlake answered with five straight points to close the gap to just one point on Chase Hunter’s layup with 1:13 to play.  Tyson Clark was fouled and stepped to the line to connect on a pair of free throws to stretch the Christ the King lead to 52-49 with 17 seconds remaining.  Following a timeout, Barry Christopher turned the ball over for Westlake but the Lions got one more chance when Jose Alvarado misfired on the free throw after being fouled.  After yet another timeout by Westlake to set a final play, Alvarado stole Chuma Okeke’s inbounds pass to seal the victory.

Christ the King was led by a trio of players in double figures as Walker tallied 14 points, Kofi Cockburn scored 13 and Alvarado netted 11 points.  Westlake was paced by Okeke’s 20 points and 11 rebounds.

* Providence (9-4; Jacksonville, FL) scored a 66-43 victory over Jonesboro (10-4; Jonesboro, GA) to advance to the championship game of the consolation bracket.

The lead switched sides on the scoreboard four times early in the first half but an 11-0 spurt by Providence to take a 22-12 lead with 6:27 on the clock.  As the teams traded baskets the rest of the opening half, Marion Kyle closed the half with a trey to give Jonesboro a 30-18 lead at the half.

In the second half, Providence stretched the advantage to as many as 28 points in cruising into the next round.  The Stallions connected on 61.1 percent of their shots in the second half to improve to 51.3 percent for the game.

Providence was led with 18 points each by the duo of Navy signee Kyle Marion and University of Alabama at Birmingham signee Zackery Bryant.  MJ Walker led all scorers with 29 points for Jonesboro.

* Bishop O’Connell (8-4; Arlington, VA) scored a 74-69 victory over Bishop Gorman (8-5; Las Vegas, NV) despite 37 points from Southern Cal signee Chuck O’Bannon.

After six lead changes in the opening portion of the first half, Bishop O’Connell used a 13-2 run to open a double digit lead.  With the game tied at 13-13, the Knights connected on 6-of-11 shots during the run that gave them a 29-18 lead on Quentin Millora-Brown’s jumper with 4:20 to play.  The teams traded baskets the rest of the way and Bishop O’Connell took a 37-26 advantage into the break.

In the second half, Bishop Gorman slowly chipped away at the lead and took a 51-49 lead with 9:14 to play on a jumper by O’Bannon.  The Gaels could not stretch the lead to any more than the two points and Bishop O’Connell regained control for good at 63-61 on Matt Lewis’ layup with 4:04 to play.  Matt Becht’s 3-point field goal with 3:06 to play game Bishop O’Connell a 68-63 lead.

Bishop O’Connell was led by Matt Lewis’ 26 points.  Nate Watson added 16 points for the Knights while Xavier Johnson added 12 points and five assists.  Bishop O’Connell connected on 65.2 percent (30-46) of its shots from the field for the game, including an amazing 78.9 percent (15-19) in the second half.  The 65.2 field goal percentage is the seventh best single game percentage in the 36 years of the Beach Ball Classic.  The record of 74.4 percent (32-43) was set by University Heights (KY) against Eau Claire (SC) on December 27, 1995.

Bishop Gorman’s O’Bannon notched 31 of his 37 points in the second half and added five rebounds, four assists and three  steals.

* Trailing by one point, Westchester’s Darryn Everage stole the ball from Cooper Robb and Luis Rodriguez connected on a layup for the winning basket in the Comets 54-53 win over Scott County.  With the victory, Westchester (11-5; Los Angeles, CA) advances to the fifth place game and will take on Bishop O’Connell.

Scott County (8-3; Georgetown, KY) led the entire first half, holding a 28-25 advantage at the break.  The Cardinals continued to lead until Rodriguez gave Westchester its first lead at 31-30 with 12:23 to play.  Scott County regained the lead and built a 12-point lead with 8:21 to play with a 16-3 run.  The Comets cut the lead to 47-45 with 10 unanswered points, capped by Michael Solomon’s layup with 5:09.

Michael Moreno stretched the lead back to five points for Scott County at 53-48 on a short jumper with 2:59 to play.  Everage connected on a layup and Jeremiah Turley scored on another lay-in with 1:42 on the clock to pull Westchester to within one point at 53-52 and set up Rodriguez’ winning basket.  The win for the Comets came despite leading just 52 seconds of the contest.

Turley came off of the beach to lead Westchester in scoring with 11 points while teammates Rodriguez and Everage tallied 10 points each.  Scott County was led by Michael Moreno’s 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Photo by Digital Magic Photo

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