Five things to watch for at Wednesday’s Beach Ball

Five things to look for Wednesday at the Beach Ball Classic:

5) You’ll have to show up early to catch the best S.C. player in the tournament, and so far the best overall.

Gaffney’s L.J. Peak had the best scoring night in the Beach Ball in a decade in Tuesday’s loss to Ballard (Ky.), forcing the 40-point producer and his teammates into the noon consolation game against Miami (Fla.) Senior at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Peak’s 40 was the most since Bracey Wright of The Colony (Tex.) netted 44 in the 2001 tourney. The tournament record of 48, set by NBA star Mike Bibby in 1995, still stands, as does Bibby’s second-place output of 45.

4) Bloodlines will be the story of the 1:45 p.m. consolation game, when Rye (N.Y.) takes on Socastee (S.C.). Try to keep this straight:

Rye features 5-foot-11 guard Michael D’Antoni, the son and namesake of New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and the nephew of Knicks assistant Dan D’Antoni, who was head coach at Socastee for 30 years and founded the Beach Ball Classic.

Oh, and if that’s not enough for you, Rye’s Max Twyman is the grandson of NBA Hall-of-Famer Jack Twyman.

3) Whitney Young (Chicago) plays Lexington (S.C.) at 3:30 p.m., when fans will get to see one of the nation’s top sophomores 6-11 sophomore center Jahlil Okafor, who reportedly can jump out of the gym.

Young also has a strong supporting cast in 6-9 junior forward Thomas Hamilton Jr., and 6-8 sophomore forward Paul White. That’s a front line comparable to most college teams and some NBA squads.

Gamecocks fans also can catch a sneak peak of one of their top prospects in Lexington’s Shaq Roland, albeit it in a different sport. As one of the nation’s top wide receivers, USC fans can check out his skills on the hardwood today.

2) Prestonwood Christian (Texas) is in position to pull off a rare feat – a clean sweep of two of the nation’s top tournaments.

Prestonwood, ranked No. 42 nationally before winning last week’s City of Palms tournament in Florida, put itself in position to win two of the most respected events by also entering the Beach Ball.

Prestonwood faces Scott County (Ky.) at 5:15 p.m., followed by the St. Edward (Ohio)-St. Augustine (La.) matchup.

1) Local fans can root for the home team to pull off an upset in the 8:45 p.m. nightcap, featuring Myrtle Beach vs. the No. 21-nationally ranked Lone Peak (Utah).

Lone Peak boasts three highly recruited players – Nick Emery, T.J. Haws and Jordan Hamilton – while the Seahawks, who were banned from this tournament and the S.C. playoffs last year, are led by T.J. Jones, E.J. Goings and Tramond Wilson.

Wednesday’s schedule
Game 5 – Noon – Miami Sr. (FL) vs Gaffney (SC)
Game 6 – 1:45 pm – Socastee (SC) vs  Rye (NY)
Game 7 – 3:30 pm – Whitney Young (IL)  vs  Lexington (SC)
Game 8 – 5:15 pm – Scott County (KY)  vs  Prestonwood (TX)
Game 9 – 7:00 pm – St. Edward (OH)  vs  St. Augustine (LA)
Game 10 – 8:45 pm – Lone Peak (UT)  vs  Myrtle Beach (SC)

Photo by Digital Magic Photo

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