Garner defeats St. Raymond 75-63 to win title
Posted December 30, 2011
Final: Garner 75 St. Raymond 63: The Garner Trojans handled St. Raymond (Bronx, NY) 75-63 in an exciting, fast-paced championship game of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational American Airlines Bracket.
Foul trouble plagued Garner big man Dominque Reed all night, as he spent much of the evening on the bench. However, Cameron Redd stepped up and played tough against a very quick big man from St. Raymond, Nkereuwem Okoro. Redd finished on the offensive end, nailing nice mid-range jumpers, scoring 13 points, and frustrated Okoro on the defensive end for most of the night. He also got a lot of help from DaShawn Stabler who turned in a fantastic night defensively as well.
Dominque Reed, the tournament MVP, did finish the night with 20 points and he took over the game in the fourth quarter as the Ravens made a run at Garner in the mid-fourth. Reed scored 8 points in the fourth quarter to squelch a Ravens run that tied the game at the start of the final quarter.
St. Raymond's center Okoro powered the Raven attack tonight, dumping in 20 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Frustration began to mount late for the Ravens as head coach Oliver Antigua was ejected from the game with just under 4 minutes to play, and Garner holding a 5 point lead. The Ravens also got 18 points from Lawrence Graves who shot 3 of 10 beyond the arc.
End of 3rd: Garner clings to a 3 point lead, 50-47 after the third quarter. Cameron Redd has the last 6 points for Garner and he has 11 on the game. Garner had foul trouble again for Reed as he spent all but two minutes of the quarter on the bench. He's having trouble dealing with the speed of the Ravens' big man Okoro.
Things have slowed way down in this one as well, the Trojans went to a 1-3-1 zone defense at the end of the quarter and are sticking with it here to begin the 4th. We'll have to see how the Ravens adjust to the zone and if they can shoot Garner out of it.
Halftime: Garner leads St. Raymond 39-31 after a full half of play. The Trojans fell behind by as much as six in the first half, but the Trojans got a spark from Gavin Wilson who hit a big three to give Garner a 16-14 lead and they haven't relinquished that lead since. He has been a stabilizing force for Garner with a 10 point first half. Larry Richardson has 8 points for the Trojans.
The Trojans led by as much as 12 during the second quarter despite being without the services of big men Dominique Reed and Cameron Redd, both of whom went out of the first half with a pair of fouls each. Reed has 8 points despite missing most of the second quarter.
Nkereuwem Okoro is powering the Ravens with 9 points, Lawrence Graves has chipped in 9 as well with 3-5 shooting from the line. Okoro's combination of size and speed has led to much of the foul trouble for the Garner Trojan big men.
Garner: Josh McClain - 2 points
Larry Richardson - 8 points
Gavin Wilson -10 points
Cameron Reed - 5 points
Dominique Reed - 8 points
Demarcus Sandford - 1 point
Dashwan Stabler - 5 points
St. Raymond - Nkereuwem Okoro - 9 points
Lawrence Graves - 9 points
Shane Rector - 4 points
Myron Hickman - 5 points
Donnell Young - 2 points
Ray Pender - 2 points
End 1st Quarter: This is going to be a wild one. Garner has the lead 22-18 after one. These two teams have been back and forth so quick it's hard to keep up with. There have been five lead changes, and one tie, the last lead change coming on a Gavin Wilson three from the right wing for Garner. It gave the Trojans a 16-14 lead, and the Trojans are on a 12-4 run to end the quarter.
Gavin Wilson has been the calming influence for Garner so far as the captain, and they have needed it as it has been a frantic pace by both squads.
Garner may have the size advantage, but this St. Raymond's team is a very quick team. Definitely the fastest that Garner has seen, and it took a while for the Trojans to adjust the Ravens speed, but now that they've made the adjustments, the Trojans are showing they can play at St. Raymond's pace.
Pregame: Garner and St. Raymond lock horns tonight in the championship game of the American Airlines Bracket of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational. The Trojans of Garner come in at 9-1 with wins over Strake Jesuit and Kinston under their belt in the tournament. St. Raymond, on the other hand, knocked out Middle Creek and Millbrook to make their way to the finals.
Garner had to survive a battle of attrition against Kinston as the two teams combined for 57 fouls, 37 of those in the second half. A stunning 6 players were disqualified for fouls in the game, four of those players were Garner Trojans.
Dominique Reed led Garner again in round two of the tournament, scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds. Gavin Wilson (13), Demarcus Sandford (11) and Julius Barnes (11) also finished in double figures for the Trojans. Barnes, a freshman, opened a lot of eyes last night, including ESPN Recruiting guru Dave Telep who tweeted about the young man's game. "2015 PG Julius Barnes changed the game. Exceptionally strong and quick. 5-7? Don't matter. Speed and toughness equalizers for him. wow."
Barnes was the key to Garner's second half, putting the Trojans on his back by hitting three 3-pointers and providing solid defense against Kinston's touted guards.
St. Raymond, from the Bronx, NY, hasn't really done anything terribly flashy, but really effective overall. They had to hold off a very game Millbrook, Ravens took down the Wildcats 60-56 to advance through the second round. It marks the first time since 2002 the Ravens have advanced to a Holiday Invitational championship game; St. Raymond won the title that year.
"We didn't fold when (Millbrook) tied the game," Ravens coach Oliver Antigua said. "We kept our composure and showed we're an experienced team."
The Ravens were led by Myron Hickman's 14 points, Nkereuwem Okoro's 13 points and Daniel Dingle's double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.