17U Southern Jam Fest Afternoon Update

As the afternoon began, so did East Coast Fusion’s tilt with Southern Maryland All-Stars on Court 2. Southern Maryland had plenty of fight to give Fusion, but ultimately couldn’t overcome the might of their opponent’s loaded roster. Fusion went into the half with an eleven-point lead, 44 to 33, and expanded on that some more in the second. It was an 84 to 68 route for the Virginians.

Fusion’s Andre Washington, a Wake Forest commit, was the tallest player on the court at 6’10” and he was able to use that advantage to own the low post. He had 8 points in the game and took control of the boards to help create opportunities for his team.

Jordan Burgess lead the Fusion team with a 20-point performance, and Jerome Hairston, a 2012 point guard, notched 19 points to come in a close second to his teammate.

Marshall Wood, a 6’7” forward, came on strong in the second-half, scoring 10 of his 14 points late. “I wasn’t going as hard as I could in the first half,” he offered, “but then in the second half I told myself, ‘you gotta get in the game.” Currently, he has two Division 1 offers from Liberty and William & Mary, and Richmond has also been in contact with him.

In the second half their strategy was to hit the boards and run and get back on transition defense, to stop the easy buckets that opponents had scored.

Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest

Great crowd on hand all day for the Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest.

The Baltimore Panthers went into the half leading by 12 points, only to let NJABC crawl all the way back and then some in the second half. NJABC got the win, 80 to 71, and Baltimore got an earful from a very disappointed coach.

It was a tremendous battle between stud point guards Aquille Carr and Montana Mayfield, and both put up a big number for their team. The 5’7” Carr (a 2013 prospect) logged 21 points in the contest for Baltimore, while Mayfield, out of Roman Catholic High in Philadelphia, scored 31 points after putting NJABC on his back for much of the second half.

It was not the result that Baltimore had hoped for or expected after a first half that made Carr and teammate Rodrick Harrison (who scored 14 and drained 4 shots from beyond the arc) look unstoppable. Second half adjustments for NJABC were able to slow down the athletic Panthers backcourt and help produce the thrilling comeback.

Cecil Kirk had something to prove, if only to themselves, when they faced DC Assault in pool play. Right from the tip, Kirk had their eyes on victory, and took a 43 to 35 lead into the break. DC Assault wasn’t about to go down without a fight, however, and was able to chip away at that lead in the second half. It was to no avail, however, as the Kirk kids ultimately recorded a 66 to 63 victory.

The previous meeting between those teams had resulted in a one-point DC Assault win. Asked about their prior meeting, Quentin Judd said, “It definitely motivated us.”

Judd scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half. “My team kept giving me the ball,” he said of the first half, “I was hot so they just kept giving me the rock.”

The 6’4” shooting guard has been a favorite of new Miami coach, Jim Larranaga, who also offered him a scholarship while he was at George Mason. He was also offered by Iona and has talked to coaches from George Washington, Clemson and Maryland.

The Sampson County All-Stars (Gold) weren’t willing to win small. With a five-point advantage at the half over Team Jersey Elite, the motivation rose for Sampson to really go hard in the second half, ultimately vanquishing the Jersey boys, 70 to 53.

The Southern JamFest is the first opportunity for these players to take to the hardwood as a unit. This group has never played together in a competitive game before.

According to James Miller, in the second half, “We really got hyped and we played together as a team. Our chemistry… it blended in.”

The 6’3” guard, who scored 15 points to lead the team, has received offers from the coaches at, The Citadel, UNC-Wilmington, and Campbell, and has also heard from ECU and a few high-major schools.

His teammate C.J. Ford, also 6’3”, sat out most of the first half in foul trouble, but still managed to record 14 points in the game after a big second half. On his foul trouble he stated, “I couldn’t help my team in the first half, so I told myself I’d bring it harder in the second.”

Ford has been on the radar at Florida State, Western Kentucky, UNC-Wilmington, VCU and Miami. He also noted that he plans to visit Clemson University this summer.

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