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Posted On: 03/29/18 2:18 PM
Geico Nationals started on Thursday with an opening quarterfinal matchup between Class 5A Florida state champion University and Class 4A Arizona state champion Shadow Mountain.
Tournament host Christ The King (New York) gave us a nice meeting between two highly athletic squads. University pushed away late winning 75-63 and moving into Friday’s semifinal against the winner of Oak Hill (Va.) and Garfield (Wa.).
The Sharks led by just four at the break, 34-30 and Vernon Carey Jr. picked up his third foul early in the third quarter. However, he came back to put down 20 points and seven rebounds.
Here are the top performers from the quarterfinal.
Vernon Carey Jr. (University)
By far the best player in this game was Vernon Carey Jr. A clear high-major Division I forward, he cruised to a 20-point, seven-rebound outing, while shooting 9-of-10 from the field. As a team, the Sharks made only two 3’s (both coming from senior guard Logan Alters). The work inside was consistent for University, but for them to win the National Title, making shots from outside will have to be a priority.
Jovan Blackshear (Shadow Mountain)
Jovan Blackshear was the only player in this game to be on the court for all 32 minutes. The junior floor general has a knack for a big shot. He connected on 50 percent of his shots (8-of-16), scoring a team-best 20 points. Blackshear fits nicely in what the Matadors offense does with their fast pace.
Scottie Barnes (University)
A versatile player who fills a stat sheet often, Scottie Barnes did that once again on Thursday. The sophomore forward had 18 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals for the Sharks. He is packed with energy and plays a great second role to Carey Jr. inside.
Immanuel Allen (Shadow Mountain)
The best shooter on the day for Shadow Mountain, senior forward Immanuel Allen made 7-of-11 field goals for 19 points. Allen had early foul trouble which forced him to sit on the bench a bit, but he made the most of his time on the floor and was hard to slow down.
Trey Doomes/Drue Drinnon (University)
A pair of Division I commits, Trey Doomes (West Virginia) and Drue Drinnon (New Mexico) did their part. Doomes added 12 points and six rebounds while Drinnon had nine points and six assists. Doomes is a reliable offensive threat while Drinnon can dish it out with ease and score when needed.
Jaelen House (Shadow Mountain)
It wasn’t the best shooting performance from the field for junior guard Jaelen House. However, the Arizona State commit made up for at the free throw line, connecting on 8-of-10 free throws. He had 12 points in the game while pacing and controlling his offensive tempo.