Breaking down top teams, talent in Beach Ball Classic

The 32nd annual Beach Ball Classic tips off Wednesday with 16 of the top teams around the country competing at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center through New Year’s Eve. Get the low-down on all the tournament teams, coaches and players:

Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV)

* Coach Grant Rice has been the head basketball coach at Bishop Gorman since 2002. He has guided the Gaels to five 4A Nevada State Championships. Since he took over the program, 35 of his basketball players have received scholarships to play at the college level. He has an overall coaching record of 284-61 in his eleven years as head coach of the Gaels, including a No. 7 national ranking in 2010 and a Beach Ball Championship. Last year, the Gaels finished top 10 in the country nationally and won the 3rd place game at the Beach Ball Classic.

Top Players:

* Noah Robotham: Averaged 5 assists a game last year as a sophomore. One of the top point guards in Nevada.

* Stephen Zimmerman: 6-foot-11 post player is one of the top sophomores in the country.

Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, VA)

* Coach Joey Wooten is entering his 13th year of coaching and is a member of the McDonald’s All-American selection committee. He has led Bishop O’Connell to five Virginia State Independent Titles, three WCAC Regular Season Titles, three Alhambra Catholic Invitational Titles, and one WCAC Tournament Title. Formerly, he was an assistant under his father, Morgan Wootten, where he was the top assistant before taking the job at Bishop O’Connell.

Top Players:

* Melo Trimble: Averaged 20 points per game last year as a sophomore while shooting close to 60% from the field. He currently holds offers from ACC and Big East Schools.

* Junior Etou: Senior who holds offers from Clemson, Temple, DePaul, Xavier, Rutgers plus many more.

Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, TN)

* Coach Drew Maddux is entering his seventh year at CPA. He has received several individual awards for his performance both on and off the court. His noteworthy honors include: ALL-SEC Freshman, USA Olympic Festival Team, First Team ALL-SEC and Honorable Mention ALL-AMERICA honors. Maddux was also an Academic ALL-SEC member while at Vanderbilt University and was recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1998.

Top Players:

* Jalen Lindsey: Junior 6-6 wing is a Consensus Top 25 Player in National Rankings. Offers from Memphis, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, NC State, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Cincinnati, Providence, Florida State, Florida, Louisville, Ohio State, DePaul, Missouri, and Georgia Tech

* Jake Allsmiller: 6-5 shooting guard has two offers to date. He led state in 3 pointers made as a freshman and sophomore.

* Braxton Blackwell: Freshman 6-6 wing is USA U16 National Team invitee, Consensus Top 10 Player in National Rankings. Considering Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Providence, Memphis, Cincinnati.

East Rutherford (Forest City, NC)

* Coach Brad LeVine is entering his 17th season with the East Rutherford Cavaliers posting wins of 307-121 in 16 seasons and achieving a career record of 434-179 in 24 seasons. His teams have made 13 State Playoff Appearances and won the 2011 NC 2A State Championship. Coach LeVine was named the 2A Coach of the Year in 2011 and has been named Conference Coach of the Year five times.

Top Players:

* Devonte Boykins: Junior is rehabbing from knee injury last season, His sophomore year saw him earn All Conference, All District and All State honors.

* Travis Waldroup-Rodreguez: Junior averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds per game last season.

Franklin (Franklin, Ohio)

* Coach Brian Bales is entering his 6th season as Head Coach of Franklin High School and his 10th season overall. He has accumulated a record of 142-70. His 2012 League Championship team was the first basketball team in school history to have an undefeated 20 win regular season. Coach Bales was name SWBL Coach of the Year (2009 and 2012), District 15 Coach of the Year (2012), Associated Press Southwest Ohio coach of the Year (2012) and AP State of Ohio Coach of the Year (2012).

Top Players:

* Luke Kennard: Averaging 25 ppg, 13 rebounds and 7 assists per game. Luke was voted MVP as a freshman on a team that went 20- 0 in the regular season. Ranked as one of the top sophomores in the state of Ohio. He has offers from Ohio State, Xavier, Dayton, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Indiana.

* Travis Lakins: Senior 6-1 guard earned Honorable Mention All- State 2012, First Team All League Travis is averaging 20 ppg and 3 assists. Travis was first team all league and all district in 2012. Travis is a 3 year starter and has a chance to be the all time 3 pointers made record holder. Travis has committed to play Baseball at Ohio State.

Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, NJ)

* Coach Nick Mariniello is entering his thirteenth year coaching and his fourth year as head coach at Hudson Catholic High School. He started his head coaching career at Bloomfield Tech High School where he won four state championships. Coach Mariniello took Hudson from a 12-12 team to a 25-3 team. He won back-to-back Division Championships and led the school to the County Championship where they were victorious for the first time in 35 years. Coach Mariniello’s overall record as a head coach is 245-66.

Top Players:

* Reggie Cameron: 6-8 senior center will be attending Georgetown.

* Kavon Stewart: 5-11 guard will be attending Robert Morris.

Myrtle Beach (SC)

* Coach Craig Martin is entering his 17th season of coaching, his fourth at Myrtle Beach High School. Prior to moving to South Carolina, he spent many years coaching under mentor and Hall of Fame coach, Ed Mehlberg. Coach Martin was the 2011-2012 Region VIII 3-A Coach of the Year.

Top Players:

* Nolin Butler: One of the top pure point guards in South Carolina. He was an all-conference player as a junior and was a preseason all-conference nominee. He is not only an excellent floor general with an uncanny ability to get to the basket but also takes pride in being an excellent defender.

* Solomon Cooper: Three-year varsity player with the ability to play multiple positions. He participated in South Carolina’s Elite 80 basketball exposure camp, where he fared well against the top players in the state. He has a nose for the ball and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Orem (UT)

* Coach Golden Holt was named head coach of the Orem High Golden Tigers in 2010. He serves as a volunteer coach. After a rough 7-15 initial campaign, Coach Holt and his staff led Orem High to a 24-1 record and its first State Championship in the school’s 56-year history. Before coming to Orem High, Coach Holt spent 20 years coaching highly successful AAU teams that competed on the national stage.

Top players:

* Jordan Darger: 6-5 senior power forward and three-year experienced starter returns for his senior season. The All State Darger brings a 15ppg career scoring average to the 2012-2013 Tigers.

* Zach Hunsaker: Senior point guard, also a three-year senior starter and reigning Utah State 4A MVP will lead his Tigers towards another State Championship run. Hunsaker carries a 3.99 GPA and loves fishing.

* Dalton Nixon: 6-8 junior forward/swingman and 2011-2012 All State, 4A Tournament MVP selection. Nixon will follow in his father, Kevin Nixon’s footsteps, having already committed to BYU.

Rufus King (Milwaukee, WI)

* Coach Jim Gosz is entering his 22nd year as head coach at Rufus King High School where he has earned a record of 443-84. He has led his teams to a four- time state championship, and a three-time title of State Runner Up. In 2008, Coach Gosz served as McDonald’s All American Head Coach and in 2009 was named Nike Midwest Global Challenge Head Coach.

Top Players:

* Austin Malone-Mitchell: three-year starter was named 1st team all conference and 1st team all state. Considering UW-Milwaukee, Illinois State, Southern Illinois. Averaging 21 points per game.

* Montrell Hobbs: Two-year starter and 2nd team all conference.

Scott County (Georgetown, KY)

* Billy Hicks is entering his 18th season as coach of Scott County and his 31st season overall. He has accumulated a record of 781-212, ranking him first among active coaches in Kentucky. He has won two State Championships, 1998 and 2007, with five Final Four appearances as well as winning an All-A State Championship in 1986. Coach Hicks’ teams have won 23 District Championships and nine Regional Championships. Coach Hicks was named Kentucky High School Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year in 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2007.

Top Players:

* Quin Richardson: 6-1 senior guard averaged 8 points per game, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent from the free throw line.

* Trent Gilbert: 6-1 senior guard averaged 14 points per game, shooting 46 percent from the 3-point line and 81 percent from the foul line.

Socastee (Myrtle Beach, SC)

* Coach Tommy Johnson is one of few coaches in the state to win more than 500 games. He has coached in the North/South All-Star game twice and coached the South Carolina All-Stars against the North Carolina All-stars in 2008. He was also an assistant coach of the United States 17 and under team in Germany. He has won a state championship, 12 region titles,4  final fours. He was elected to the BBC Hall of Fame in 2004.

Top Players:

* Will Caswell: 6-4 senior forward leads the Braves in scoring.

* Dante Moore: 6-1 junior guard is one of the up-and-coming players on a young Braves squad.

Spring Valley (Columbia, SC)

* Coach Perry Dozier is in his seventh year as Spring Valley’s varsity boys basketball head coach with a 2011-2012 record of 13-10. Spring Valley made their “debut” in the Chick-Fil-A Tournament placing second in the Classic II bracket last year. They finished fourth in the region and made it to the second round of the state play-offs.

Top player:

* PJ Dozier: 6-5 sophomore is ranted as one of the top 10 layers in the state of SC.

St. James (Murrells Inlet, SC)

* Coach Monty Carr, named Region VIII-AAA Basketball Coach of the Year in the 2010-2011 school year, was a former Socastee High School basketball and soccer player. He participated in the Beach Ball Classic under coach Dan D’Antoni from 1990-1992. Coach Carr played college basketball for Dan Schmotzer at Coker College from 1993-1997.

Top Players:

* Caleb Duggan: 5-11 point guard was named Region 8-3A Player of the Year last season and leads the team in scoring and assists.

* TreDarius McCallum: 6-6 senior has emerged as a force on the offensive and defensive glass this season.

St. Rita (Chicago, IL)

* Coach DeCesare has recently completed his third season as head basketball coach of St. Rita High School with a high school coaching record of 330–179. He brings to the Mustangs a wealth of experience, having coached at both the collegiate and high school level.

Top Players:

* Charles Matthews, Dominique Matthews, Vic Law

Wheeler (Marietta, GA)

* Doug Lipscomb is entering his 21st season as coach of Wheeler High School. Under Coach Lipscomb, Wheeler is a five-time state champion. They were state runners-up in 1995 and 2005. They have won numerous regional championships and have been nationally ranked for eight years.

Top Players:

* Daniel Gibbons, Elijah Staley, Austin Smoak

Whitney Young (Chicago, IL)

* Tyrone Slaughter will be coaching the Whitney Young Dolphins for his ninth straight season. He has led the Dolphins to a State Championship, a State Runner-up and a Chicago Public School City Runner-up title. Slaughter has also coached 11 players into top collegiate basketball programs around the country.

* Top Player: Jahlil Okafor

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