I.C. Norcom, of Portsmouth, Va., completed its Cinderella run through its inaugural Holiday Invitational by routing defending champion Charlotte United Faith Christian Academy, 71-47, in the title game of the Summit Hospitality Group portion of the tournament. Norcom's Dorrian Finney-Smith, a Virginia Tech recruit, won MVP honors. Ravenscroft got 16 points from tournament MVP Anton Gill to down Middle Creek, 57-52, in the Shavlik Randolph Foundation portion of the tournament. It was the first Holiday Invitational title for the Ravens in three attempts. In the lowest-scoring game in the girls' tournament history, Millbrook defeated Southeast Raleigh, 32-23.
Harlem (N.Y.) Rice won a breathtaking 55-54 decision over Kinston in the Shavlik Randolph portion of the Holiday Invitational on a short jumper from Shane Southwell with 0.3 seconds remaining. The shot led the Raiders to their second Invitational championship and thwarted a 24-point performance by Kinston's UNC signee Reggie Bullock. In the Summit Hospitality Group portion of the tournament, Florida State signee Ian Miller and his United Faith Christian Academy Falcons made their first appearance in the tournament a successful one as they defeated hometown favorites Word of God. Northern Durham, in its third appearance in the girls' tournament, easily defeated host Broughton, 71-43, to win its first title.
In its second appearance in the Holiday Invitational, Christ School – behind the MVP effort of Duke recruit Mason Plumlee – overcame a slow start to upset the 2007 champion, Word of God, and its Most Outstanding Player, John Wall, in the Shavlik Randolph Foundation championship game. In the Summit Hospitality Group Invitational grouping of the Holiday Invitational, N.C. State signee and MVP Lorenzo Brown led Centennial (Ga.) to a championship victory over Duke recruit and Most Outstanding Player Ryan Kelly's Ravenscroft Ravens. In the girls' four-team tournament, Broughton and tournament MVP Brittany Morris won their first Holiday Invitational title by defeating Hillside and tournament MOP Asia Williams.
In its inaugural Holiday Invitational appearance, Word of God did something no other North Carolina school had been able to do since 1989; win the tournament. The Holy Rams, led by MVP John Wall and MOP C.J. Leslie, never trailed after the first three minutes of the championship game and defeated Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha. In the four-team boys' tournament, MVP Hunter McClintock led Northern Durham past MOP Earnest Ross and Panther Creek. After finishing as the runner-up the year before, the Wakefield girls won the 2007 title behind the MVP effort of Kaila'Shea Menendez against MOP Kesheria McNeil and Garner.
Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict built up a big lead to take out Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft in the title game. St. Benedict was led by MOP Samardo Samuels and MVP Corey Stokes. Southern Durham won the U.S. Challenge tournament, powered by a MVP performance by Miami-bound Julian Davis. The Spartans defeated Boonville Starmount and MOP Victor Davila. On the girls' side, Wake Forest-Rolesville emerged victorious over Wakefield in an intense battle. Wake Forest-Rolesville lost the previous year's title game in a similar game. Wake Forest-Rolesville's Victoria Tanner was named the girls' MVP, while Wakefield's Kristen Hanzer was named MOP.
Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King, led by MVP and Seton Hall recruit Larry Davis held off a feisty young Kinston team in the championship. Chris Wright of Washington (D.C.) St. Johns, a Georgetown recruit, was named MOP after his team lost in the semifinals to Christ the King, 47-44. The U.S. Challenge title was won by Lincroft (N.J.) Christian Brothers, which defeated a Seattle Prep squad in the championship game. Christian Brothers' Dan Werner earned MVP honors in the U.S. Challenge. The girls' finale went down to the wire as Apex edged Wake Forest-Rolesville, 45-43. Apex's Emili Tasler, an N.C. State commitment, was named MVP while Virginia Tech recruit Utahya Drye was named MOP.
Arlington (Va.) Vishop O'Connell held off a storng challenge from Newport News (Va.) Woodside to take the title, 57-56. A blocked shot in the final 7 seconds secured the victory for Bishop O'Connell, which was led by UNC recruit and tournament MVP Marcus Ginyard. MOP honors went to Tasmin Mitchell of Denham Springs (La.), who scored 101 points and hauled in 40 rebounds in three games. The U.S. Challenge tournament was won by Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga in an 86-66 victory over Christ School. McDowell County earned the girls' title, holding off a NaKisha Stewart-led Bunn squad, 57-54. Stewart, an N.C. State recruit had 31 points and 25 rebounds in the finale.
Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy remained undefeated in Holiday Invitational history by defeating Cincinnati Moeller 71-61 in the championship game behind the play of Kentucky recruit Rajon Rondo. Stamford (Conn.) Trinity Catholic, led by Duke recruit David McClure, beat West Brunswick and N.C. State recruit Cedric Simmons for the U.S. Challenge title. Cardinal Gibbons nipped Hillside by a single point for the girls' title.
Three boys' champions were crowned as Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy, featuring Duke recruit Luol Deng, beat Northern Durham in one final. Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian, with Linas Kleiza leading the way, won the second final by defeating Enloe. Brooklyn (N.Y.) St. Raymond, led by N.C. State recruit Gavin Grant, won the third bracket by defeating defending champion Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha. Rockingham County knocked off Broughton for the girls title.
Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha claimed the title thanks to its superior defense as it defeated Wake Forest-Rolesville at the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena. Wake Forest-Rolesville's Eric Williams, a Wake Forest University recruit, made more than half of his team's field goals, but DeMatha's balanced attack, led by MVP Travis Garrison was too much. Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian's Lina Kleiza earned MVP honors in the U.S. Challenge by leading his team to the title. Kleiza finished with a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead Montrose to the title victory over Virginia Beach (Va.) Coastal Christian. East Wake stopped defending NCHSAA 4A champion Lumberton 67-63 in the girls' championship. Keauna Vinson had an impressive double-double line of 34 points and 12 rebounds in the title game for East Wake.
Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill successfully defended its No. 1 national ranking as it easily defeated Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem 70-43 in front of more than 8,000 fans at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Oak Hill finished the season 33-0 and won the mythical national championship. DeSagana Diop, a 7-foot, 300-pound center who was a first-round NBA Draft selection, dominated play throughout the week and was named MVP. Salem's Antonio Johnston earned MOP honors. Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian, led by N.C. State recruit Levi Watkins, won the U.S. Challenge despite a Herculean effort by Wake Forest-Rolesville's Eric Williams in the finals. Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King made its bid to be the top-ranked girls' team in the country with a 64-60 victory against defending national champion Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne in the finals. Claire Droesch of Christ the King (36 points in the finals) was named MVP, while Narbonne's Loree Moore was the MOP.
Harlem (N.Y.) Rice pulled away from a young Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha squad for a 74-65 victory in the championship game. Duke recruit Chris Duhon of Slidell (La.) Salmen earned the MOP honors in the eight-team tournament. Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem won the four-team title after Antonio Johnson hit a long jumper at the buzzer for a 53-51 win over Westchester. Terry Sanford won the girls' title with a 50-37 win over Washington (D.C.) Sidwell Friends.
Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill, en route to the national championship, survived its closest game of the year to nip Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King, 62-60, in front of a crowd of more than 6,000. Cliff Hawkins hit the winning shot at the buzzer to secure the title. Tampa (Fla.) Prep beat Garner behind the play of Duke recruit Casey Sanders for the four-team title. West Springfield (Va.) successfully defended its girls' title with a 54-40 victory against West Waterloo (Iowa).
Hampton (Va.), led by national player of the year and UNC recruit Ronald Curry, beat Hatboro-Horsham (Pa.) in the championship game at Reynolds Coliseum. Curry had 20 points in the title game and was named MVP. Earlier, Curry hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to defeat Mitchell (S.D.) and star Mike Miller, who set a tournament record with 54 points in a 68-52 win over East Chapel Hill in the first round. St. John's at Prospect Hall of Frederick, Md., which eventually won a national championship, rolled to the U.S. Challenge II portion of Holiday Invitational with a 66-42 victory over Washington (D.C.) Coolidge. Jason Capel was named MVP, while Damien Wilkins earned MOP honors. DerMarr Johnson, the top-ranked junior in the country, led Kensington (Md.) Newport to the U.S. Challenge I title. In the girls' tournament, West Springfield (Va.) star Kara Lawson scored 36 points in a 72-57 title game victory over Oregon City (Ore.).
Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill held off a late rally by Bronx (N.Y.) St. Raymond, 72-63, to win the title. Duke recruit William Avery ld the Warriors with 25 points while 6-10 Pittsburgh recruit Attila Cosby scored 18 points and 13 rebounds. Lakeland (Fla.) Kathleen's Alvin Jones, a 6-11 Georgia Tech recruit, finished with a triple-double of 17 points, 12 rebounds and 11 blocked shots in an 81-46 victory over Kinston in the U.S. Challenge portion of the tournament. Undefeated Orange County won the girls' title with a 63-51 win over previously unbeaten Apex. Tere Williams, a Virginia Tech recruit, led Orange with 22 points.
Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha held off Patterson (N.J.) Catholic and All-American Tim Thomas, 75-69. Thomas, a 6-10 forward who was later declared the national player of the year, scored 37 points in the title game, but DeMatha's balance and the coaching of famed Stags coach Morgan Wooten was too much for Patterson Catholic. Freshman Keith Bogans gained national attention with his 29-point performance. Leesville Road nipped East Wake for the North Carolina championship, 69-67. The Holiday Invitational featured girls' games for the first time and Hillside's 102-92 win over Terry Sanford was hailed as one of the best girls' games ever played in North Carolina. Terry Sanford was led by Shea Ralph, the national player of the year.
Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy stormed through the Holiday Invitational in front of three days of sold-out crowds at the Raleigh Civic Center. The Warriors showed why they were the two-time national champions as they raced by Hillside, Garner and Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter by a combined 91 points. Ron Mercer, the top-ranked player in the country, led Oak Hill's championship victory with 28 points. Cary, the eventual NCHSAA 4-A state champion, successfully defending its Holiday Invitational N.C. title by nipping Wake Forest-Rolesville – the state's 3-A runner-up – in overtime, 66-64.
Miami (Fla.) Senior crushed Apex 84-51 in the championship of the national eight-team portion of the Holiday Invitational. Cary, which went on to play in the NCHSAA 4-A championship, defeated Northern Durham 77-72 in the four-team title game. Cary's Jeremy Pearson helped hold off a fourth-quarter rally by Chuck Vincent, who had 35 points in the final.
Randy Livingston, the top-ranked high school player in the country, was the headliner, but Bayonne (N.J.) Marist took the title with a 58-52 victory over West Charlotte. Donnell Williams, a 6-7 Seton Hall recruit, won MVP honors by scoring 35 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the championship game.
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony enhanced its reputation as one of the nation's finest defensive high school basketball teams while winning the 20th annual Holiday Invitational. Coach Bob Hurley's Friars tightened the game's defensive screws while racing past East Wake 76-52 in the championship game.
Point guard Travis Best and shooting guard Edgar Padilla led Springfield (Mass.) Central to a 76-73 championship win over Macon (Ga.) Southwest. Garner guard and UNC recruit Donald Williams set the Holiday Invitational scoring record with 115 points, a record that still stands today.
Hillside's Rodney Rogers, a Wake Forest recruit, led the Hornets to the championship in one of the Holiday Invitational's best events. Hillside defeated Bronx (N.Y.) All Hallows 61-56 for the title in a field that included future NBA players Rogers, Anfernee Hardaway, Shawn Bradley, Dickie Simpkins, and Shawnelle Scott.
Miami (Fla.) Senior forward Doug Edwards led the Stingarees to the championship against four teams ranked among the top 25 in the country. Miami nipped Louisville (Ky.) Ballard in the finals 73-70 as Edwards finished with a double-double of 26 points and 18 rebounds. Ballard was led by Allan Houston. The 1988 field also included freshman guard Jason Kidd of Alameda (Calif.).
Syracuse recruit Billy Owens led Carlisle (Pa.) to the championship with 29 points in a 68-55 come-from-behind victory over Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King. The Royals were led by Jamal Faulkner.
Broughton stunned Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha in the championship game 68-51 as coach Marshall Hamilton's club sank 32 of 41 free throws, including 18 of 20 in the final three minutes.
Guard William Massenburg led Wake ForestRolesville to a 68-57 victory over South Mecklenburg in the championship.
Broughton's Gary Mattison partially blocked a short jumper by Cherryville's Tony Griggs to preserve the Caps' 56-55 victory in the finals.
Cary became the first team to successfully defend a Holiday Invitational championship as first-year head coach Phil Spence – who helped N.C. State to the 1974 national championship – guided the Imps past longtime rival Garner, 60-52.
Cary, coached by Irv Slade, used the inside play of Hugh Gelston and Darryl Hughes along with the perimeter shooting of Leo Collins to defeat Millbrook, 77-65, in the finals.
In the 10th annual tournament, Wake Forest-Rolesville defeated host Athens Drive for the championship, 67-65, in overtime.
Brian Ellerbe led Bowman to the title, 69-58, over Athens Drive in a snow-postponed championship game.
South Mecklenburg made 72 percent of its shots in defeating Enloe 85-72 for the title.
Enloe's Danny Young and Gerald Peacock had to fend off Hoke County before claiming a seven-overtime 104-102 championship victory. "It was great to watch, but horrible to live through," Enloe coach Preston McClain said. Enloe center Anthony Rogers concurred, "That was the best game I've seen or played in, but I never want to do it again."
Buck Williams put on a sterling show during Rocky Mount's march to the title as the Gryphons defeated Cary 81-76 in overtime. Trailing by two points, with three seconds left in regulation, Rocky Mount drew a foul on an inbounds play. Although the Gryphons missed a free throw and the ball went out of bounds, Rocky Mount had one second left and lobbed the ball into Williams for the game-tying dunk that sent the game to an extra period. The Gryphons eventually won the state title.
"From what I've seen, North Carolina basketball teams can play with anybody in the country," said legendary Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten after his famed Stags slipped past Kinston in the finals, 68-64. Dutch Morely made his first start for DeMatha because of injuries and earned all-tournament honors. Future N.C. State stars Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg, who later led the Wolfpack to the 1983 NCAA championship, played on the DeMatha squad.
Enloe used three blocked shots by Gary Smith in the final minutes to slip past Broughton 69-68 in the championship game. Thomas Jeffries' two free throws with 21 seconds left provided the winning margin. The victory wasn't sealed until Smith blocked a shot in the final seconds.
Broughton, ranked among the top 10 teams in America, became the first Raleigh team to win the Holiday Invitational when it stopped defending tournament champion Kinston, 71-64.
Kinston couldn't handle Rocky Mount's Phil Ford in the finals as the future ACC MVP scored 26 points. But the Vikings got revenge for a loss in the inaugural Holiday Invitational finals as they raced to a 76-64 championship victory.
Phil Ford showed why he was considered the finest player in North Carolina although he was only a junior as he scored 97 points in leading Rocky Mount to the title. The quick point guard fired in 35 points in the Gryphons' 85-56 championship victory over Cedric Maxwell and Kinston at Broughton's Holliday Gymnasium.