2008-09 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 3, 2009 -- The Raiders of Rice High School, who are ranked 13th by ESPN, knocked down four triples in the opening stanza including three by Miami (FL) commit Durand Scott to help stake a 20-15 lead and never looked back en route to an 81-71 victory.
The 6-foot-5 senior, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, scored 11 of his 22 points in the first quarter. Scott’s long range bombs were hoisted from what seemed to be the parking lot of the Alma Grace McDonough Center.
“Durand is still trying to get back to 100% after and early season injury,” Raider head man Maurice Hicks stated. “He still is only about 75% due to ankle sprain he suffered in the preseason. We struggled without him early in the year, but you can see now with him we are a lot better.”
Rice hit three more bonus goals in the second, including one more by Scott and two from senior Jonathan Williams. In all, the Raiders hit seven first half threes to aid to a 38-34 halftime lead.
However, the Raiders needed all of those bonus bombs to counter Roman Catholic junior Rakeem Brookins huge first half. With all the talk about Roman Catholic senior guard Maalik Wayns, it was Brookins who stole the show with his 19 first half points. The 5-foot-11 junior scored 13 markers in the first eight minutes, including four triples in the first half of play.
Brookins’ first half play was something Hicks knew had to be contained in the second.
“We heard that he was a good scorer, but we didn’t know how good until tonight,” Hicks explained. “The first half we kind of felt it out, but in the locker room we made it a point to the team that we needed to limit him. I thought we did a good job of guarding him on the perimeter in the second half, and forcing him to take tough shots. I figured if we could hold them to around 10 points per quarter in the second, then we had a good chance to win the game.”
In the end, it was Rice’s ability to knock down the three that was the difference in the contest. The Raiders finished 11-of-19 behind the arc for a scorching 58%. The Cahillites made only the four hit by Brookins.
Rice placed all five starters in double figures including 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and seven boards from 6-foot-5 senior James Stukes, and 13 from senior guard Charles Fenner including three huge triples in the second half. Williams ended with 12 markers, while 6-foot-8 junior Kadeem Jack added 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting and eight rebounds.
Scott, the game’s MVP, added eight caroms and six assists to go along with his 22 points.
Brookins led the Raiders with 29 points including an 11-of-12 performance at the foul line and nine assists. The junior lists Georgetown, Providence, UMASS, and Delaware as teams that him on their radar.
The Villanova signee, Wayns, contributed 14 points and dropped five dimes.
6-foot-7 senior Koron Reed notched 17 lightings on an outstanding 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. 6-foot-3 junior Kevin Regan added a game-high 10 rebounds.
Roman Catholic freshman Andre Horne (6’1), a name to keep an eye on, played solid on defense before fouling out in the fourth quarter.