By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Trenton — Durand Scott had a keen observer watching him play.
Scott had one of his future college assistant coaches watching him play. There were many college coaches in attendance watching many high-profile high school students. He also helped Rice High School (NY) to a 61-35 victory yesterday afternoon against Rancocas Valley High School in the 4th game of the PrimeTime Shootout at Sovereign Bank Arena.
“It’s actually a great win,” said Rice’s Shane Southwell. “We lost a couple of games this year, but this shows that we still are dominate.”
Rice improved to 13-2 on the season, while RV dropped to 13-3 on the season.
Scott was named the MVP of the game for Rice. Scott had 15 points in the win. Mike Bersch was awarded the MVP for Rancocas Valley. Bersch had 12 points in the loss.
“My teammates got me the ball and I made some shots,” said Scott.
Scott has recently signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Miami (Fla.) next season. Hurricanes associate head coach Jorgé Fernández was in attendance. Scott will be joining fellow New York native, and former Villanova transfer, Malcolm Grant with the Hurricanes next season.
“I like the support that they gave me,” said Scott. “I think they showed me more attention after the decision. Going to Miami was a great decision for me. When it came down to my choices, it didn’t come down to basketball. It came down to my surroundings and my family. Miami is the best fit for me.”
The PrimeTime Shootout is the premier event to showcase high school talent throughout the country. The three-week event is capped off with a weekend of events at Sovereign Bank Arena, featuring nearly 20 games in two days.
“The shootout has always been a pleasure to play in,” said Rice head coach Maurice Hicks. “You always get quality games — and its one of the biggest events in the country. I think what it really does for us at Rice High School is that it gives us a great game before our playoffs start.”
Rice hopes the win will help them get back on the national level. They were nationally ranked in recent years, before falling off the national rankings this year.
“I think we fell off a lot,” said Southwell. “We lost a lot of players. And I thought we needed to come out and show that we’re still the same team even if we didn’t have the big-time players.”
Both teams were able to have better second halves in the game. Rice scored 38 points in the second, while Rancocas Valley scored 29 points.
“I thought they played good,” said coach Hicks. “I thought they had some quality players, including (Bersch), who could really shot the ball. Those guys came out and played hard.”
All of Bersch’s points came from the three-point line. His teammates only made three three-point baskets in the game.
Nnamdi Njoku was second in the game with 10 points for the Red Devils. Shane McLendon and Kendall White had 6 and 5 points, respectively. There was only one more player to score a basket in the game for RV.
James Stukes had 13 points in the game for Rice. Southwell had 6 points in the game. There were two other players to score a basket in the game for Rice.
Rice went into halftime with the lead. They held just a 4 point lead going into halftime. They were up 19-14 at the half.
“We hung onto the lead at halftime,” said coach Hicks. “I thought we didn’t establish ourselves offensively, as they were using a zone against us. We didn’t attack it like we would have liked. I thought in the second half, we attacked the zone more.”
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