Beach Ball Recap, Day 3: Generals outbattle Knights

If you like high-scoring, high-flying high school basketball, you would have hated Friday afternoon’s clash between undefeated powerhouse programs Bishop O’Connell (VA) and Rufus King (WI).

But if you like a a physical, hard-fought matchup between two Beach Ball Classic title contenders, the Generals’ 41-36 victory over the Knights was like a heavyweight prize fight.

Bishop O’Connell (10-0) closed the game with a 9-2 “run” that spanned the final 7 1/2 minutes of the contest to take down the pesky Knights (7-1), who held the ball to milk the clock after Austin Mitchell-Malone’s 3-pointer gave Rufus King a 34-32 lead.

The Generals finally emerged from their zone and forced a turnover, then took control of the game. Romelo Trimble, Leroy Butts and Junior Etou scored on consecutive trips down the floor to take a 38-34 lead with 1`:40 remaining to play.

Bishop O’Connell went on to hit its free throws to ice the game and advance to the Beach Ball semifinals. But it was defense that did in the Knights, who hit just 4 of 22 field goals for the game while trying to shoot over the 6-foot-9 Etou.

Etou, who was on the giving and receiving end of some physical play under the basket, finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Trimble also scored 12 points and Butts added 10, while Rufus King’s Malone-Mitchell tallied a game-high 21 points.

* Scott County (KY) 71, St. Rita (IL) 60: Scott County advanced to the semifinal round to face the winner of the Whitney Young and Bishop Gorman contest by defeating St. Rita.

Scott County (10-2), which lost to Bishop Gorman in the 2009 semifinal round, led wire to wire against St. Rita (8-3).  The Cardinals led 31-23 at halftime and built leads as large as 18 points in the second half.

Scott County was led by the backcourt duo of Quin Richardson and Trent Gilbert.  Richardson connected on 8-of-13 from the field and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line for a game-high 29 points.  Gilbert tallied 23 points and went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.

Charles Matthews paced St. Rita with 15 points and six assists.  Scott Kingsley added 14 points and four steals while Armani Chaney came off of the bench to chip in 12 points for the Mustangs.

* Whitney Young (IL) 76, Bishop Gorman (NV) 67: The Dolphins advanced to the semis to play Scott County (KY) on Saturday night and got revenge from a blowout loss in last year’s third-place game against Bishop Gorman.

The Dolphins will be looking to take it one step further than 2011 when Whitney Young lost in double overtime to Lone Peak (UT) 72-67.

Whitney Young (8-1) was again led by the superstar trio of juniors in Paul White, Jahlil Okafor and L.J. Peak.  In Thursday’s open, the trio combined for 61 points in the Dolphins 80-44 victory over Myrtle Beach (SC).  In tonight’s win, the three juniors totaled 58 of the team’s 76 points as White tallied 23 points, Okafor had 20 points, and Peak posted 15.

Bishop Gorman (12-2) was led by Rashad Muhammad’s 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, including 6-of-9 from behind the 3-pont arc.

* Hudson Catholic (NJ) 50, Wheeler (GA) 42: Hudson Catholic advanced to the semifinals with a victory over Wheeler.

After three ties and five lead changes, Hudson Catholic (6-0) grabbed the lead for good with just 3:49 to play.  Safee Sabur’s layup gave the Hawks a 37-36 advantage and started a 9-0 run that opened a 44-36 Hudson Catholic lead with just 1:55 to play.

Hudson Catholic was led by Reggie Cameron’s 18 points while Sabur added 11 points and Kavon Stewart tallied seven points and nine assists for the Hawks.

Wheeler (7-3) was paced by Austin Smoak’s 12 points.  Daniel Giddens grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

* Franklin (OH) 67, Myrtle Beach 61: The Wildcats had to scratch their way to a victory over Myrtle Beach in the consolation bracket of the 2012 Beach Ball Classic.

Franklin (6-1) took the lead for good with 1:42 to play in the opening half but could not pull away from the Seahawks (6-5).  The Wildcats did build a nine-point advantage in the closing seconds by connecting on 11-of-13 from the free throw line in the final two minutes of the contest.

Franklin’s Luke Kennard became the 137th player in the 32-year history of the Beach Ball Classic to tally 30 or more points as he tallied a game-0high 33 points.  Kennard also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.

Myrtle Beach’s Solomon Cooper connected on 10-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc, to lead the Seahawks with 27 points.

* Orem (UT) 68, CPA (TN) 59: Orem used a balanced scoring effort and strong second-half run to pull away from Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN) in Friday’s opener of the Beach Ball Classic at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

After the Lions (11-2) rallied to tie the game at 34-all midway through the second half, the Tigers (7-2) went on an 8-0 run, sparked by 3-point shots by Cooper Holt and Zach Hunsaker, and never looked back.

Hunsaker led Orem with 16 points and Holt and Dalton Nixon added 15 apiece. Jordan Darger chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds to help the Tigers advance in the consolation match.

The Lions got a team-high 15 points from Braxton Bonds and Jalen Lindsey added a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Photo by Digital Magic Photography

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