Sulaimon, Gillon lead Strake Jesuit past Wheeler
Posted December 29, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — FINAL: Strake Jesuit 70, Wheeler 63: Strake Jesuit used a big second quarter and key scoring from its back court down the stretch to take down Wheeler 70-63 Thursday in the consolation round of the American Airlines Bracket of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
Wheeler battled back from an 18-point halftime deficit and pulled to within two points with 2:41 left in the game, but Duke recruit Rasheed Sulaimon and point guard John Gillon wouldn't let Strake Jesuit fold. The back court duo combined for 50 points on the afternoon. Sulaimon rebounded from a tough opening round loss against Garner to tally 26 while Gillon finished with 24.
Wheeler was able to make a comeback by getting to the rim in the second half against a much smaller Strake Jesuit squad, but the Wildcats were never able to completely overcome the large hole they put themselves in during the first half. Elijah Staley led the Wildcats with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Kejuan Johnson (14 points, 11 rebounds), Austin Smoak (12 points) and Charles Mitchell (10 points, 13 rebounds) also finished in double figures for Wheeler.
Strake Jesuit will take on Middle Creek Friday afternoon at 12:40 p.m. to decide fifth place in the American Airlines Bracket. The Mustangs took down Word of God 47-41 Wednesday at Cary Academy.
END 3Q: Strake Jesuit 45, Wheeler 40: Wheeler's offense heated up in the third quarter as the Wildcats whittled away at a Strake Jesuit's 18-point halftime lead. The Wildcats outscored the Crusaders 21-8 in the period and were led by Kejuan Johnson (5 points) and Elijah Staley (8 points).
After struggling to get anything inside during the first half, Wheeler was finally able to create some opportunities at the basket thanks to Charles Mitchell and Johnson.
HALFTIME: Strake Jesuit 37, Wheeler 19: Another strong quarter by the Crusaders, who have extended a 10-point advantage out to 18 at the break. Strake Jesuit continued to use zone defense to keep Wheeler out of the lane.
Rasheed Sulaimon's second appearance of the 2011 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational is going much better than his first. That's actually a pretty big understatement. The Duke signee has 13 points and five rebounds.
Freshman Kejuan Johnson has nine points and seven rebounds for Wheeler. The Wildcats finished 5 of 13 from the field in the half and finished with a 15-14 edge in rebounding.
Rasheed Sulaimon - 13
John Gillon - 10
Dnaiel Posway - 5
Reveal Chukwujekwu - 4
Brian Doyle - 3
Pace Murphy - 2
Kejuan Johnson - 9
Elija Staley - 5
Lucas Luster - 2
Jacob Obande - 2
Daniel Giddens - 1
END 1Q: Strake Jesuit 19, Wheeler 9: Strake Jesuit playing much better than it did yesterday early on in this one. Rasheed Sulaimon is fighting illness, but he has seven early points. Kejaun Johnson has four points for Wheeler.
The Crusaders have used zone defense almost exclusively against a bigger Wheeler team in an attempt to keep Charles Mitchell out of the lane. So far, they've had success.
PREGAME: We've made it to day four of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational! Strake Jesuit and Wheeler High School will get things started today in consolation bracket play of the American Airlines Bracket. We're coming to you live from Holliday Gymnasium on the campus of Broughton High School and will have quarter-by-quarter updates throughout the day's first contest.
Led by Duke recruit Rasheed Sulaimon and talented guard John Gillon, Strake Jesuit fell to Garner High School 76-61 in what was perhaps the most surprising outcome of day three action. The Crusaders struggled against a bigger Garner team and couldn't keep up with the Trojans in the third and fourth quarter.
Wheeler also struggled with a Triangle area team Wednesday, losing 59-51 to Kinston Wednesday afternoon. Freshman Kejuan Johnson was very impressive Wednesday, scoring 20 points. Big man Charles Mitchell (17 points, 13 rebounds Wednesday) will likely look to take advantage of a smaller Strake Jesuit squad in today's matchup.