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December 27, 2013

Curry Classic - Day 1 Recap

Ronald Curry Classic Day 1 Scores:
Thomas Edison 90, Warwick 60:
Denbigh 64, Osbourn Park 50
Bethel 61, Grafton 58
Hampton 72, Freedom-Woodbridge 62

Eagles Soar:
The Thomas Edison Eagles made the trip down from Northern Virginia and showed why they are ranked #5 in the state in Group 5A by VirginiaPreps.com as thy seized control immediately in cruising to a 90-60 win over the Warwick Raiders to open the Ronald Curry Classic at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton.

In notching their seventh consecutive victory, Edison had a masterful performance on the offensive end of the floor. They shot 14-of-24 from the field (58.3%) in the first half and converted 11-of-12 free-throw attempts. By the game's conclusion, 14 different players scored for the Eagles and they had 25 assists, 15 more than the Raiders, who dropped to 3-6 overall.

Senior guards Chief Amoah (6-feet-tall) and Marcus Brumsey (6-foot-2) led the Eagles much of the way. Amoah, a three-year starter, scored 15 points and six assists while not playing in the fourth quarter. A four-year starter that also sat out the fourth period, Brumsey tallied 12 points, six rebounds, three dimes and a pair of steals. Two others scored in double-figures for Edison.

Six-foot-1 junior wing Drew Lakey added 15 points, including a pair of three-pointers that helped stretch the lead. Off the bench, 6-foot-5 junior forward Isaiah Buck made 5-of-7 field goal attempts to give him 14 points. Seven individuals had multiple assists for Edison, including 6-foot-2 junior Tyvez Monroe with four dimes.

Warwick, which came in averaging roughly 23 turnovers per game, turned it over 17 times, including six in the third quarter when the Eagles scored 31 points. To lead the Raiders in defeat, Glenn Travers and Lewis Freeman scored 13 points apiece.

*** Listen to Postgame Audio with Edison Hoops Coach Terry Henderson Here ***

Denbigh Wins Sloppy Affair: While it was far from a thing of beauty, Coach Duke Phipps of the Denbigh Patriots will take any win these days. Coming in at 2-6 overall, the Patriots lost their last time out to Dinwiddie in a tight game where they were unable to put anyone in double-figures. This time, they saw three guys reach in double-digits and two others combine for 17 in a 64-50 rout of winless Osbourn Park.

Denbigh was able to solve Osbourn Park's 1-2-2 zone early and used a strong first half from 6-foot-2 junior forward Dashawn Johnson, who recorded 12 points and six rebounds before going out with a minor injury. To help him out, guard Derrick Jackson and Greg Gibbs' outside shooting made things tough for the Yellow Jackets. Both accounted for 11 points with three makes from deep apiece.

Also boosting Denbigh were the passing of 6-foot-2 senior Khalil Worrell and defense of 6-foot-1 senior Jahad McClean. Worrell handed out six assists and McClean made five steals before intermission, preventing Osbourn Park from inching close.

Osbourn Park would make a small rally in the third quarter to pull within six at 45-39, but Denbigh responded with a 13-2 spurt, turning the Yellow Jackets over five times in the final period. Osbourn Park committed 18 turnovers for the game.

Darius McKinnon chipped in nine points and Eric Heard added eight for the Patriots.

*** Listen to Postgame Audio with Denbigh Hoops Coach Duke Phipps Here ***

Bruins Prevail in Nail-Biter: In perhaps the most exciting game of Day 1 at the Ronald Curry Classic, the Bethel Bruins handed the Grafton Clippers their first loss of the season in a down-to-the-wire 61-58 battle. The Bruins had their hottest shooting game of the season, connecting on 9-of-23 from three-point land and did so without attempting a shot from long distance in the game's final period.

Grafton, which came in at 6-0 overall and ranked #6 in the Group 4A by VirginiaPreps.com, jumped out to a 10-0 lead on the Bruins. The Clippers saw that advantage evaporate early in the second quarter as Bethel chipped away the lead and went ahead with a pair of treys from Jeri Forson sparking them as well as the shot making of freshman Cam Bacote (young brother of ex-Bethel standout and current ODU Monarch Aaron Bacote).

In a back-and-forth tussle, Bethel was able to gain a six-point lead, though Grafton stayed close and had a shot to tie that rimmed out at the horn. Bacote led the way with 17 points for the Bruins, draining three shots from long distance. Senior guard Khalil Barnette was steady with 13 points and six assists. Forson also scored 13.

Bethel was able to move to 5-3 overall, despite recording only two offensive rebounds the entire game. Grafton, one of the hottest shooting teams in Group 4A, shot 7-of-21 from beyond the arc. However, they misfired on all four of their attempts behind the three-point line in the final quarter.

Leading the Clippers was senior guard Joey Miller, who scored 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor and a perfect 7-for-7 at the foul line to go with five rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Evan Sperling (UVA baseball) added 21 points on 3-of-3 shooting from downtown and 12 rebounds. Preston Kiedinger scored all nine of his points on three-point tries.

While Grafton will face Warwick in a consolation matchup, Bethel takes on Edison in the second round on Friday.

*** Listen to Postgame Audio with Bethel Hoops Coach Craig Brehon Here ***

Crabbers Sparkle vs. Freedom: Moving a sliver over the .500 mark at 4-3 overall, the Hampton Crabbers built a 20-point lead and never allowed the visiting Freedom Eagles from Woodbridge to get the deficit to single digits in the second half en route to a 72-62 win in the nightcap of the event's opening day. The loss dropped Freedom to 6-2 overall, and with the win Hampton set up a second round matchup with Peninsula District foe Denbigh.

Bouncy senior wing Cyonte Melvin filled the stat sheet all night long for the Crabbers with 25 points, 12 rebounds and five steals. Hampton not only attacked the hoop well on offense, but they received timely three-point makes from 6-foot-4 freshman shooting guard Marquis Godwin. On the night, Godwin score 19 points with 14 coming before half-time.

Hampton threw out a 2-2-1 defensive trap and a 1-3-1 that bothered the Eagles' offensive rhythm and flow. As a result, Freedom turned it over 20 times on the evening, and Hampton got their fair share of transition points from the miscues. For three quarters, the Crabbers shot 51.4% from the floor.

Although Freedom had two separate 7-0 runs in the game, Hampton was able to keep them at bay by containing their junior point guard Capree Manning. Early on, Manning brook loose for five points in the opening stanza, then he was scoreless in the second quarter and finished with 13 points, only going to the foul line once. Their other main offensive weapon, 6-foot-6 senior forward Marcavett Fowler, scored 14 points before fouling out. The Crabbers didn't let him hurt them on the glass as he grabbed just three boards

Meanwhile, Hampton got step-up play from freshman point guard Mastadi Pitt and senior guard Brandon Sapp for stretches. Pitt had eight points, three assists and four steals while supplying tenacious defense. Sapp scored all 13 of his points at the charity stripe, missing only one of his 14 attempts.

*** Listen to Postgame Audio with Hampton's Eric Brown Here ***

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail hatfieldsports2k4@yahoo.com, and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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