Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gill beats buzzer for big TOC win

RALEIGH – In his home gym Sunday, Ravenscroft junior-to-be Anton Gill provided a spectacular finish to the 16-and-under division of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.

Gill’s Garner Road team got the ball with a two-point deficit after the Long Island Lightning scored on a tip-in with four seconds remaining in the 16-and-under championship game.

Taking the ball in the backcourt, Gill crossed the halfcourt line, pulled up from 28 feet and rattled in a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded for a 58-57 win.

“I just wanted to get the best look possible,” Gill said. “I looked up, and I didn’t see anybody and I was open. So I got to a good spot and I just let it go and it went in.”

Gill scored 13 points to lead Garner Road in the championship game and was named 16-and-under most valuable player. The honor added to his reputation as a big-time recruit – he’s rated the No. 23 player in the nation in the Class of 2013 by

He said that at this point, he is not overly concerned with the recruiting process. His ACC scholarship offers thus far have come from N.C. State and Wake Forest.

“I’ve got a lot of offers, a lot of Division I looks, but I don’t think I’m ready yet to make a decision where I want to go to college,” Gill said. “I just have to keep working hard and working on my game and I know when it comes time to make a decision I’ll make the right one.”

Gill’s game-winning buzzer beater was his second in the Ravenscroft gym. On Feb. 2, he made a 3-pointer from the corner to defeat Middle Creek 59-57.

Sunday’s winning basket had him waxing nostalgic about attending the Tournament of Champions in past years and watching players such as John Wall (now of the Washington Wizards) and C.J. Leslie (N.C. State).

“There’s been so many great players in this tournament,” Gill said, “and I was definitely one of the guys up in the stands jumping up and down when shots like this happened.”

Garner Road’s successful overall weekend also included a championship in the consolation bracket of the 17-and-under division.

T.J. Warren scored 39 points in the title game win over Belmont Shore. Garner Road failed to make the championship bracket after a Saturday loss to Team Loaded when N.C. State commitment Tyler Lewis scored 47 points to outduel Warren, who scored 41.

“It was a tough loss, but we got over it,” said Warren, the MVP of the consolation bracket.

In the 17-and-under championship bracket, the Southern Phenoms defeated the South Florida Panthers 59-53.

Ken Tysiac

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tokoto opens TOC with a slam

RALEIGH - On one of the first possessions of tonight's game, future University of North Carolina wing J.P. Tokoto stole a pass on the wing and glided downcourt for a two-handed dunk.

Tokoto, who's committed to the Tar Heels for the Class of 2012, got off to a decent start tonight at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions at Ravenscroft School. Tokoto, who's 6-foot-6, scored a team-high 19 points as his Wisconsin Playground Warriors summer club team defeated the North Carolina Gaters 57-51 in their tournament opener.

Still, he didn't sound satisfied.

"Everybody was a little bit sluggish from the start," Tokoto said. "Everybody is coming back from two weeks ago we came back from a good tournament win in the adidas May Classic. Everybody was a little sluggish the first game, but we’ll look better by tomorrow."

Ken Tysiac

Monday, May 23, 2011

UNC gets two linebacker commitments for 2012

Two players who committed to North Carolina in the past few days will help shore up the Tar Heels' linebacking corps beginning in 2012.

Durham Jordan's Phillip Williamson and Holy Spirit High (Absecon, N.J.) defender Dan Mastromatteo have decided to join the Tar Heels.

Williamson plays strong safety at Jordan but has grown to 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds and is likely to help the Tar Heels at outside linebacker, according to Jordan coach Mike Briggs. Williamson had scholarship offers from North Carolina and Duke, and had several other schools showing interest.

Briggs said Williamson has natural size and strength, and displays an intense desire to improve.

"It's hard to outwork him," Briggs said. "He works hard in the weight room and works hard on the field."

Mastromatteo is about 6-2 and 215 pounds.

Ken Tysiac

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Murphy formally signs with Duke

Duke has received a national letter of intent from forward Alex Murphy, who recently decided to forgo his senior season at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass., and enroll in 2011 to play for the Blue Devils.

Murphy averaged 21.0 points per game as a junior while leading St. Mark's to a 27-3 record. He had started high school at the Prout School in Rhode Island before transferring to St. Mark's, where he repeated his freshman year and reclassified to the Class of 2012.

His family has strong ties to basketball. His father, Jay, played for Boston College and in the NBA in the 1980s, and his mother, Paivi played for the Finnish national team. Murphy's brother, Erik, plays at Florida. ranks Murphy as the No. 40 player overall in the Class of 2011. Murphy joins guards Austin Rivers and Quinn Cook, forward Michael Gbinije and center Marshall Plumlee in a Duke Class of 2011 group that will be rated as one of the top classes in the nation.

Ken Tysiac