USA Red Claims Gold In Overtime, USA White Earns Bronze At The 2007 USA Men's Youth Development Festival
USA Red 112, USA Blue 109 (OT)
Bronze Medal Game Box Score:
USA White 123, Brazil 102
Devin Ebanks (St, Thomas More H.S., Conn. / Queens, N.Y.) poured in 35 points including the game deciding points to help lead the USA Red Team to the ï¿½07 Festival championship, while Scotty Hopson (University Heights Academy / Hopkinsville, Ky.) likewise tallied 35 points for the USA Blue.
The USA White, which led from start to finish, collected the bronze medal thanks in part to 34 points and 11 rebounds from Tyreke Evans (American Christian / Aston, Pa.).
Delvon Roe (St. Edward H.S. / Lakewood, Ohio) finished as the Festivalï¿½s leading scorer averaging 30.3 ppg., while Evans and Ebanks were right behind at 29.8 ppg. and 28.2 ppg., respectively. Greg Monroe (Helen Cox H.S. / Gretna, La.), who scored a Festival fourth best 24.0 ppg., was the top rebounder at 12.6 rpg. Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall H.S. / Chatsworth, Calif.) led the Festival in assists passing for 8.0 apg.
The USA Basketball Youth Development Festival gives U.S. participants exposure to USA Basketball, international basketball rules and the opportunity to go head-to-head against the best prep players in North America and Brazil. The entry-level event combines position clinics, which target post or perimeter skills, with practice sessions and the four-team, five-game tournament.
Gold Medal Game: USA Red 112, USA Blue 109 (1 OT)
Outscored in the first, second and fourth quarters, a 38-23 advantage in the third period helped USA Red manufacture a 112-109 come-from-behind victory over USA Blue in overtime to secure the Festival gold medal. The Blueï¿½s effort was even more impressive given the fact that it was missing because of injuries the services of Roe and Malcolm Lee (John W. North H.S. / Moreno Valley, Calif.), two of the Blue squadï¿½s top four scorers.
'Sometimes you have to be more lucky than good,' offered Red head coach Emanuel Richardson (New York Gauchos). 'Lance Stephenson and Devin Ebanks just put us on their shoulders and carried us to the win. An overtime win in the gold medal gameï¿½it not only feels like something special, it is something Iï¿½ve never experienced before. I feel honored to have been here and coached these kids.'
Ebanks tallied 35 points along with seven rebounds, and Lance Stephenson (Lincoln H.S. / Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 22 points in the win.
'I just wanted to do what was best for my team,' Ebanks said. 'You never know when youï¿½re going to get the chance to earn a gold medal again.'
Down 24-19 after the first quarter and trailing 55-47 at the intermission, the Red comeback began with a putback from Tony Woods (Rome H.S. / Rome, Ga.) at 7:35 that sparked a 9-2 Red run that cut the deficit to one point, 63-62 with 6:00 minutes on the clock.
A 3-pointer from Redï¿½s Ebanks at 5:34 tied the score 65-65 and the Red went on to outscore Blue 20-13 in the remaining minutes of the third to build a 85-78 lead headed into the fourth.
USA Blue started the final stanza with a 14-2 run, including six points from Storm Warren (Richwood H.S / Monroe, La.), to recapture the lead 92-87 at the 6:32 mark.
But from there the trio of Ebanks with six points, Ed Davis (Benedictine H.S. / Richmond, Va.) with five and Stevenson with four, combined to help USA Red close with a 15-10 advantage, and after Stevensonï¿½s deep three came up short at the end of regulation, the score was tied 102-102.
Marking the first time in 94 games in the Festivalï¿½s history that a game went to overtime, just four seconds into the three-minute overtime Ebanks sank one of two free-throw attempts, and, though Blue continued to threaten, Red never again trailed.
A dunk from Davis at 2:29 pushed the Red lead to 105-102, but Hopson kept USA Blue alive with a fastbreak layup to bring Blue within one, 105-104 at 2:09.
Farouq Aminu (Norcross H.S. / Norcross, Ga.) was fouled at the other end and sank two from the charity stripe to put Red back up 107-104, but another Blue fastbreak layup, this time from J.T. Thompson (Forrest Hills H.S. / Union County, N.C.), again cut the deficit back to one, 107-106 at 1:16. Ten secondï¿½s later, Ebanks responded with another two points to push Redï¿½s advantage to 109-106.
Blueï¿½s Hopson had the chance to again cut the lead to one at the free throw line with 40 seconds remaining, but hit just one of his two tries and the scoreboard read 109-107. The score reached 111-107 after Ebanks scored off a layup on a Stephenson pin-point pass.
Ebanks was fouled on the other end and converted on one of two free throws to make the score 112-107 with 30 seconds left, and Hopson countered on the other end with a layup with 25 seconds to go to keep Blue within three points. Holidayï¿½s rebound of a Davis miss with 14 seconds remaining set Blue up for one final chance to tie the game, however, Holiday missed a hurried look at a game-tying 3-pointer with seven seconds on the clock, and Redï¿½s Ebanks secured the rebound and gold medal for USA Red.
In addition to Ebanks and Stephenson, USA Red was helped by a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds from Davis; eight points and 11 boards from Aminu; and seven assists to go with five points from Erving Walker (Christ the King H.S. / Brooklyn, N.Y.).
USA Blueï¿½s Hopson tallied 35 points and seven rebounds; Warren added 20 points and 15 rebounds; Holiday contributed 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds; and Jerime Anderson (Canyon H.S. / Anaheim, Calif.) and Thompson both had 12 points and six rebounds.
Bronze Medal Game: USA White 123, Brazil 102
The White Team struck quickly in the early morning bronze medal game and opened up an 8-0 lead against Brazil. But three 3-pointers by Brazilï¿½s Vitor Benite helped the South Americans close out the first quarter trailing 32-27 and within striking distance for the moment.
But a Monroe jumper at 8:29 in the second quarter started a 9-0 run as the USA White stretched its lead to 48-34 at 6:40 as guard Dexter Strickland (St. Patrickï¿½s H.S. / Elizabeth, N.J.) capped the spurt with a layup.
With the White Team leading comfortably 63-47 at the half, 5-11 guard Korie Luscious (Pius XI H.S. / Milwaukee, Wis.), who finished with 16 points, connected on a trio of 3-pointers less than two minutes into the third quarter as the White built its biggest lead of the game, 72-50 at 10:11.
Brazil did not come within single digits of White again until the 7:30 mark in the fourth period when a layup by Rafael Alves capped off a 14-6 Brazilian run and cut the White lead to 98-89. Stricklandï¿½s free-throw with 7:06 to play turned back the rally and recovered a double-digit cushion for White.
Evans was one of two White players in the contest to record a double-double as Monroe also netted double figures in points and rebounds, recording 20 points and 15 rebounds. The Louisiana big-man shot an efficient
7-for-11 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line, adding to his stats with six assists, three blocks and two steals.
Pleased with his game on Sunday, Monroe said he appreciated his week at the Festival.
'I just concentrated on posting up and coming off screens,' Monroe said. 'Obviously we wish we had the gold medal, but weï¿½ll take third place. Overall it was very good competition playing against the top competition in the country. As the week continued, I got a lot better.'
Strickland accounted for 23 points, handing out nine assists in addition, and Travis Releford (Bishop Miege H.S., Knasa / Kansas City, Mo.) tallied six of his 10 points in the fourth quarter to join Evans and Monroe and Lucious in scoring in double figures.