Highs and lows from the high school all-star game
Posted: Thursday March 29, 2007 4:21PM; Updated: Friday March 30, 2007 11:37AM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- If it's the biggest night of the high school sports calendar, attended by all the best players, played in the one of the wildest basketball-crazy states, then it must be last night's McDonald's All-American games. Everything about the boys' and girls' contests in Louisville's Freedom Hall was superlative, as the East girls scored a 105-76 blowout, and the West boys held on to win a 114-112 nailbiter.
Best overall performance: The boys MVP award went to the West's Michael Beasley. The athletic power forward scored 23 points on 10-of-13 field goals -- mostly from dunking several of his six offensive rebounds (12 total) but also on shooting 2-of-3 on three-point attempts. The Kansas State recruit showed the most complete inside-outside game.
Most well-rounded performance: Girls' MVP Jasmine Thomas scored 16 points to go along with nine rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Biggest disappointment: The heavily-hyped O.J. Mayo connected on just 4 of 17 shots for 12 points. He missed his last four attempts, including a potential go-ahead three-pointer with five seconds remaining.
First overt display of defense: With 1:06 left in the first half -- and the score already West 63, East 51 -- Jonny Flynn held his ground as the powerful Michael Beasley barreled through him for a charging foul. It's extra impressive when you consider that Flynn is generously listed at 6-feet, 172 pounds, and Beasley checks in at 6-10, 240 pounds.
Most dominance of the glass: The East's Kelley Cain, a Tennessee recruit, set a McDonald's girls' game record with 14 rebounds. Ten of those boards came in the first half.
Most phonetically challenging duo: Coaching legends John Wooden of UCLA and Morgan Wootten of DeMatha High School sat next to each other all evening, undoubtedly twisting the tongues of all announcers with the subtle distinction of their surnames. Of course, with 2,159 career victories, the pair can far and away claim the title of most collective wins anywhere.
Most embarrassing moment on national television: The East's Gani Lawal -- who otherwise played well with a 12-point, 12-rebound performance -- air-balled a free throw.
Best re-enactment of a Sprite commercial: Duke-bound Nolan Smith failed to convert a first-half dunk, instead slamming the basketball squarely into the front of the rim and collapsing to the court. Thankfully for the East, Lawal followed with the jam for two points.
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