Whitfield basketball junior scores 26 points in win over Manual
In an interstate basketball battle between two of the top teams in Illinois and Missouri, Webster Groves (Mo.) claimed bragging rights for the Show-Me State.
Louisville recruit Courtney Ramey had 26 points and nine rebounds, and 6-foot-9 Saint Louis University recruit Carte’Are Gordon had 16 points and nine rebounds in Webster Groves’ 75-67 victory over Morgan Park at the third annual Bank of O’Fallon Shootout.
Morgan Park (17-4), the top-ranked Class 3A team in Illinois, led 32-29 at halftime and 51-48 heading into the fourth quarter. But Webster Groves (15-2), ranked fourth in Missouri’s Class 5 poll, got nine points from Isaiah Ford in the fourth quarter and built up a nine-point lead late to pull away.
Ford finished with 12 points, and Ray Adams tossed in three 3-pointers in the second half for the Statesmen.
Morgan Park Division I prospect Ayo Dosunmu had 21 points, while Cam Irvin, who hit the 3-pointer to tie the game at 60 late in the fourth quarter, scored 16.
“Illinois competition’s awesome,” said Webster Groves assistant Scott Stallcup, who is filling in with head coach Jay Blossom out with an illness. “I think probably if you look at the St. Louis area and metro area, a lot of the really, really good teams are on the east side.
“We enjoy coming over and playing Illinois teams. Even if we lose, I think it makes us better. The athleticism that you see, the depth that you see ... that (Morgan Park) team is really deep, and that challenged us in some areas.”
The game featured 13 3-pointers, including eight by Morgan Park on 26 tries, and the teams combined to shoot 61 free throws in a physical contest. Webster Groves was 24 for 32 with Ramsey sinking 13 of his 14 foul shots. Morgan Park was 21 for 29 with Dosunmu draining 7 of 11 at the line.
Whitfield 57, Manual 51
Torrence Watson missed his first six 3-point attempts Saturday, but the seventh stuck a dagger in the Manual Rams.
The Whitfield School senior drained a 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining Saturday to give his team the lead for good, then hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds in a 57-51 victory at the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout.
Watson, one of the Midwest’s top junior prospects, scored a game-high 26 points despite not scoring in the first quarter.
“It felt really good,” said Watson, the second-leading scorer in the St. Louis region at 27.4 points per game. “Actually, right after the game I went over to one of my coaches and said ‘I missed every one but that one.’ He said ‘That’s the one that counts.”’
Whitfield (14-8) overcame a 39-29 deficit early in the second half with a 12-1 run to close out the third quarter. Watson and sophomore Cyrus Alexander, who kept his team close throughout the first half, were the impact players for Whitfield.
Watson hit 11 of 14 free throws, while Alexander had 15 points. Both had nine rebounds.
Watson said he was dealing with a dental issue, which kept him from practicing all week. He played sparingly Friday and got off to a slow start at the shootout before heating up in the second half.
“The first quarter was rough, so I knew I had to get out and score and play better for my team to win,” Watson said.
Watson’s big-time effort allowed his team to deal with the frenetic defense of the Rams (10-9).
“It was a physical game,” Watson said. “It was fun though, playing against a team like that. In St. Louis we don’t play against many teams that are that physical.”
Whitfield outrebounded Manual 41-26, and the Rams hit just seven of their 27 3-point tries. Manual got 15 points from AJ Youngman and 11 from one of the top freshman point guards in the nation, Adam Miller.
Miller already has scholarship offers from Illinois and Bradley.
Watson has 10 Division I scholarship offers already, and Butler head coach Chris Holtmann was among several coaches watching the talented senior on Saturday at O’Fallon.
“Obviously, in the fourth quarter you saw the things that he could do,” Whitfield coach Mike Potsou said. “Splitting defenders, finishing at the rim, making some plays, knocking down some free throws. How he ended up with 26 points is still kind of a head-scratcher because he really didn’t play his best game, yet he still stuffed the stat sheet.”
Bloomington 75, Marian Catholic 69
The Purple Raiders, ranked third in Illinois in Class 3A, received double-digit scoring from four players as they edged Marian Catholic.
Colton Sandage led the Bloomington attack with 21 points, six rebounds and four 3-pointers to win game MVP. Jeremiah Beasley added 16 points and six rebounds, and Dazon Farris and Patrick Fisher chipped in with 14 points apiece.
The Purple Raiders (19-4) sank 22 of their 34 free throws.
The Spartans (13-9) received 17 points off the bench from Malik Tidwell. Chris White dropped in 13 points, TeeAaron Powell had 12 and Chase Adams and Victor Akinyemi had 10 apiece.
Champaign Central 76, Elgin Larkin 62
Game MVP Tim Finke, one of the top juniors in the state, recorded a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds and five 3-pointers as the Maroons (12-9) pulled away in the second half.
The game was deadlocked at 31 at halftime.
Doug Wallen and Bailey Dee had 17 points apiece for Champaign Central.
Jalen Shaw, a 6-10 junior, totaled 20 points and seven rebounds for Larkin (13-12). Pierre Black dropped in 15 points, Kashmir Ivy had 11 and Anthony Lynch finished with 10.
Champaign Central canned 11 3-pointers.