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InsideHoops [High School Basketball] Feb. 17, 2004

2004 National Prep Invitational Tournament




The National Prep Invitational Tournament took place a weekend ago at the University of Rhode Island. There were several well-played and highlight-filled games during the three-day event. When Northfield/Mount Herman didn't show for Friday's game against South Kent (CT), Laurinburg Prep (NC) filled in after already beating Philadelphia Lutheran, 85-82, two hours earlier. Tournament MVP Dorell Wright (32 points) and Cheyenne Moore (20 points) paced South Kent over Laurinburg, 108-99, in arguably the best game of the weekend. Vincent Banks had 26 points for Laurinburg and Joe McCray added 22. I caught up with those four, all of them having already committed to schools for next year, and three guys from Troy Redemption (NY) that came in with a purpose and showed out. Juniors Will Harris, second in the MVP voting, and point guard Joshua Thomas, along with senior Charles Burgess spoke about their play over the weekend and their plans for next year as well.

PS: Any matchups you were looking forward to here, any players you wanted to go against?

Dorell Wright: Nah, not really. I didn't know much about the tournament. But I didn't think we was going to play against Laurinburg the first game. I got the chance to go against CJ Anderson again, so...

PS: What's the part of your game that you think is most respectable?

Dorell Wright: Creating my own shot.

PS: What made you pick DePaul?

Dorell Wright: I liked the coaching staff and the location. I have a lot of family in Chicago.

Note: Wright had 32 points against Laurinburg, 35 in the one SK loss to Northfield/Mt. Herman, and dropped 41 on Troy Redemption.

- - - - -

PS: What do you think of the tournament so far?

Cheyenne Moore: When I got here and saw the teams that were in it, I thought it was going to be a good tournament.

PS: How you feel you played against Laurinburg?

Cheyenne Moore: I played good, could've made some more free throws though. But they were playing aggressive so I played aggressive right back.

PS: Anything you've seen so far besides your windmill from like the foul line?

Cheyenne Moore: I didn't see nothing yet but this guy 22 (Dominique White) right here is doing his thing.

PS: What part of your game makes you think you'll be able to come in and contribute right away at Clemson?

Cheyenne Moore: I think my versatility. I can play the one, two or three. I can step outside hit the jumper or pass it whenever I have to.

PS: Talk a little about the ACC.

Cheyenne Moore: I'm looking forward to playing against the best. Clemson isn 't the best team in the ACC, but it's a challenge for me and I'm going there to make them better. I just want to play against the best talent there is and there's no better than in the ACC.

- - - - -

PS: How you feel you played against South Kent?

Joe McCray: I think we was a little tired. We had just played against Lutheran and they gave us a good run. We weren't supposed to play them but we played anyways. They played good though, they were hittin' all their open shots.

PS: Why did you commit to Nebraska?

Joe McCray: Nebraska's not very good but they can get better. I just want to get some minutes as a freshman and create, I'm ready to play.

PS: What do you like about your game going into next year and what do you need to work on?

Joe McCray: My jumper, but I need to work on my handle.

- - - - -

PS: What did you think of South Kent?

Vincent Banks: They was very good. They had the 6'5 big man Dorell Wright. He was killin' it.

PS: What about MCI today?

Vincent Banks: They was kinda little and scrappy. We got things together in the final minutes of the second half but we should've done that in the first half.

PS: What are you doing next year?

Vincent Banks: I'm goin' to Cincinatti. Goin' to the Big East, lookin' forward to it.

- - - - -

PS: How do you think you played yourself and as a team yesterday against Philadelphia Christian?

Joshua Thomas: I think I played good but as a team we needed to cut more in the beginning, get some guys to the middle because it was hard to penetrate. All in all we played a good game.

PS: How about today against Notre Dame?

Joshua Thomas: We wasn't really playing our game, a team game. We needed to pick and roll more and get some open shots. Everybody was just forcing it to the middle and they had like two guys right there all the time.

PS: What are you doing next year?

Joshua Thomas: I'm a junior right now so I'll be back.

PS: How do you think you played against Philly Christian?

Charles Burgess: Yesterday I played hard. Defense, offense, I was denying, got a little tired but I still played my hardest. I hit some shots I thought I couldn't make. Today, we started off sluggish but picked up some momentum towards the end.

PS: You had about five in a row when you guys cut the lead to six.

Charles Burgess: Yea, just some minor mistakes. Turnovers and fatigue, remember we didn't have that deep of a bench. They were subbing in five at a time. If we had a little bit more size and depth on the bench then we would have done much better than what we did. We were down by like 25 in the first half and brought it down to three, just fatigued kicked in towards the end. PS: What you doing next year?

Charles Burgess: I'm supposed to be going to college, hopefully. I came out here trying to get some looks--that's what I played my hardest.

PS: Yea you turned some heads today. Nobody was counting you in that game and you showed a lot of heart so I think it worked out good for you. What about tomorrow verses South Kent?

Charles Burgess: I'm looking forward to that. They're supposed to be a big powerhouse team. I heard they got some decent guards too. All we got to do is come to play and if our point guard comes to play, then I think we'll be good.

- - - - -

PS: How do you think you played yesterday and today?

Will Harris: Yesterday I went to the hole well and knocked down my jump shots, but today I had to go to the hole more because my jumper wasn't falling.

PS: What part of your game makes you think you're ready for the next level?

Will Harris: Everything really. My attitude, I'm humble. I work hard and I'm coachable. That's what coaches tell me at least. I play with my team and I don't try and go out there for myself the whole time.

PS: What did you think about the tournament coming into it?

Will Harris: When I heard about the tournament, I heard there was supposed to be a lot of coaches here. We're watching Notre Dame play and I saw a lot of coaches here so I was excited, but then when we started playin' everybody left. But then today, there was a lot of coaches here so I was happy. I'm looking forward to coming next year I know that. Maybe if I come here and play good next year, they'll put me in the McDonalds game. That's all I want.

Note: Harris had 32 points in the win over Philadelphia Christian, 24 in a loss to Notre Dame Prep and 30 verses South Kent.

- - - - -


Friday, February 6
Laurinburg Prep (86) - Philadelphia Lutheran (82)
IMG-A (85) - Philadelphia Christian (82)
Brewster Academy (84) - IMG-B (72)
South Kent (108) - Laurinburg Prep (99)
Notre Dame (63) - Bridgton Academy (50)
Troy Redemption Christian Academy (93) - Philadelphia Christian (79)

Saturday, February 7
Bridgton Academy (78) - IMG-A (53)
Brewster Academy (77) - St. Thomas More (74)
Winchendon School (98) - IMG-B (89)
Northfield/Mt. Herman (96) - South Kent (76)
Laurinburg Prep (89) - Maine Central Institute (69)
Notre Dame (84) - Troy Redemption Christian Academy (75)
New Bedford High School (71) - St. Raphael Academy (69)

Sunday, February 8
Northfield/Mt. Herman (94)- Maine Central Institute (92) OT
St. Thomas More (84) - IMG-A (56)
St. Andrews (77) - King Haywood Low & Thomas (45)
Laurinburg Prep (91) - Winchendon School (66)
Notre Dame (95) - IMG-B (72)
South Kent (96) - Troy Redemption Christian Academy (81)

All-Tournament Team
Dorell Wright (South Kent)MVP
Will Harris (Troy)
Joe McCray (Laurinburg)
CJ Anderson (Laurinburg)
Jeff Xavier (St. Raphael)
Adrian Joseph (Brewster)
Stephen McDowell (IMG-A)
Jesus Verdejo (Winchendon)
Rob Thomas (St. Thomas More)
Randy Jones (Notre Dame)

Patrick Stevens is a Journalism major at The University of Rhode Island. He can be reached at


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