Inspired by Baylor's monstrous 106-65 win over Big 12 foe Oklahoma State earlier in the day, future Bear
and his Westbury Christian (Houston)
teammates went out and captured a huge basketball moment of their own Saturday evening.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 18 in the latest MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Boys Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
, took advantage of balanced scoring in their third Bass Pro Tournament of Champions appearance to upend Lincoln (San Diego)
69-61 in the title game of the 28th annual basketball fest held in Springfield, Mo.
"This has been a great experience," Rose said. "To come out here and play in Missouri…the hospitality was great. We were a little short-handed, but we didn't give up and we worked hard. We did what the coaches told us and came out with a victory."
Rose, who dished out 21 assists in the tournament's opening two rounds, has always been a pass-first kind of guard. But the 6-foot-4 senior also showed his ability to score at will when he needed to, pouring in 40 points collectively in wins over Glendale (Springfield, Mo.) and six-time T of C champion Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) Thursday and Friday.
Rose scored 14 points and dished out nine assists Saturday, and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. His name will now be added to a prestigious MVP list with names like Alonzo Mourning, Anthony Peeler, Lamar Odom, Wayne Simien and many more.
"It's a great honor," he said afterwards. "My teammates couldn't help me any more (than they did). They set me up. They played hard for me. They always have my back, so I gotta give it to them and my coaches.
"Behind the championship, it's No. 2. It means a lot. It's a great honor. There are a lot of great names on that list, and to have mine added to it is great."
Rose said that he's always been pass-happy.
"I try to get eight or 10 (assists) every game," he said. "Sometimes it comes easier because I have great finishers around me. I just try to get my teammates involved first. Ever since I was young, I've always played with great players, so I tried to elevate their game. I just wanna win."
As the Wildcats prepared to claim their first tournament title, Rose and company were well aware of the championship tussle that awaited them. Just three weeks ago, in Hawaii, Russell Carr's squad took a defensive struggle from the Hornets, 52-37.
In that matchup, Rose, the No. 62 player in the MaxPreps 2012 Top 100
, and Lincoln's Tyree Robinson
took each other's best shots. Saturday was no different as the standout guards went toe-to-toe for 32 minutes.
"I knew it was going to be tough," Robinson, MaxPreps' No. 56 player for the Class of 2013
, said. "We're both competitive. We're boys on and off the court. We just went out and played the game.
"We're going to earn our way back here next year. I think we're going to get this. Next year this is going to be mine."
While Rose and Robinson were busy canceling each other out, role players from both teams stepped up offensively. Delvin Dickerson
led the champions with 20 points, while Devon Turk chipped in 19. Julius Mitchell scored eight of his 16 points in the opening period as the Wildcats jumped out to a 14-11 advantage.
"I think he's one of the best shooters in the country," Rose said of Turk. "He doesn't miss. And Delvin Dickerson finished around the rim. Our role players stepped up and we just played hard. We dug down deep."Jeremiah Turner
led all scorers with 27 points for the Hornets on 11 of 16 shooting from the floor. Robinson's twin brother Tyrell Robinson
chipped in 16 points and dished out nine assists in the championship loss. Robinson scored 13 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Mitchell hit a pair of treys early in the opening period as Westbury Christian bolted out to a 10-2 advantage with 3:16 remaining in the first eight minutes of action. The Wildcats then opened up nine-point advantages twice in the second period following Rose 3-pointers.
But the Hornets didn't get to the championship match by lying down. Jason Bryant settled his club down at intermission after they fell behind 35-28. Lincoln stormed back and took its first lead since the opening minute of play, 49-46, on a Robinson 3-pointer.
"Great teams make great runs," Rose said. "So coach told us not to panic and that we'd come out with a victory. He said, ‘don't change what you're doing and play hard.'"
Westbury Christian eventually righted the ship that sailed earlier and regained the lead going into the final period, 50-49, following Rose's two free throws and a layup by Dickerson following a Rose assist.
The Wildcats then scored the first nine points of the fourth period, capped off by a 3-pointer and a layup by Turk to go up 59-49 with just less than 4 minutes remaining in the contest.
Lincoln cut the deficit to 63-61 with 51 seconds left following an old-fashioned 3-point play by Turner. But the Hornets could get no closer.
"We tried to pull off the win," Robinson said. "But, you know, they're a great team. They've been playing together a long time. Our team is very young and missing a couple of players, but it was a great game.
"We plan on getting back here again next year. We like it out here in Missouri. The fans show great support."Third Place Game – Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 79, Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) 76 (OT)Omar Calhoun
scored a game-high 34 points and pulled in 11 rebounds for the Royals in Saturday's only overtime game, claiming bragging rights as the three-day tournament's leading scorer. But he wasn't the only Royal to step up big for Joe Arbitello.Jordan Fuchs
was his usual steady self as he scored 19 points and reeled in 10 rebounds. Jon Severe
poured in 10 points and dished out three assists in helping the six-time Bass Pro champions to a third-place finish.
Tony Parker scored 19 points, pulled down five rebounds and blocked four shots for Sharman White's Wolverines. Despite fouling out Saturday, Tony Evans
and Brandon Morris
mirrored each other's performances. They each scored 14 points, claimed five rebounds and dropped in a pair of assists. Justin Colvin
chipped in 13 points and contributed five assists.
Parker's short jumper on an inbounds play with 1:30 left sent the game into overtime. Then the Royals claimed the consolation trophy by outscoring the Wolverines 10-7 in the extra frame.Fifth Place Game – Sylvan Hills (Sherwood, Ark.) 71, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.) 57
Sylvan Hills standout guard
showed why the University of Kentucky desires his talents so. MaxPreps' fifth-ranked player for 2012 not only scored 19 fourth-quarter points on his way to a game-high 34, he wowed the crowd at JQH Arena in Springfield with a reverse 360 layup with 3:42 left in the game to give the Bears a 56-50 advantage. Earlier in the period, the 6-5 senior raked in a rebound following his missed 3-pointer and scored a layup after faking right and then going left into the middle of the lane.
Sylvan Hills trailed Hillcrest 42-40 going into the final period. But Goodwin took over from there, scoring 19 of the Bears' 31 fourth-quarter points. Goodwin, who scored 81 points in three tournament games, also added four rebounds, a pair of assists and four steals. Devin Pearson was the only other Bear in double figures with 11 points, five rebounds, an assist and two blocked shots.
The nation's top football player according to MaxPreps, Dorial Green-Beckham, scored 31 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Hillcrest. Austin Petry added 14 points for the Hornets to go along with five rebounds, five assists and a couple of steals.Seventh Place Game – St. Rita (Chicago) 65, Glendale (Springfield, Mo.) 60
St. Rita overcame a 37-24 intermission deficit by outscoring the hometown Falcons 22-8 to grab a 46-45 advantage going into the final 8 minutes of action. The Mustangs shut out Glendale over the final 3:10 of the third period and for nearly four minutes altogether as they rallied with a 14-0 run. MaxPreps 2015 Player to Watch Charles Matthews
capped the run with a pair of free throws at the 7:27 mark of the fourth period to give the Mustangs a 48-45 lead.
Glendale tied the game 59-59 for the last time with 1:15 left when Blake Freedman
drove the baseline and layed one in. But Marty Tabb scored on a layup and Tony Hicks
finished the game with a dunk to seal the win.
Hicks poured in a team-high 20 points to lead a trio of Mustangs in double digits and help St. Rita's to the win. Hicks added four rebounds, four assists and two steals to his line. Matthews contributed 13 points and three assists, while Dominique Matthews
had a near double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Winona State football recruit Cameron Johnson
ripped the cords for a game-high 28 points for the Falcons and pulled down nine rebounds. Freedman chipped in 12 points and had seven assists in the loss.The Tournament's Top Scorers
Omar Calhoun, Christ the King 89 (29.7)
Archie Goodwin, Sylvan Hills 81 (27.0)
Dorial Green-Beckham, Springfield-Hillcrest 69 (23.0)
Delvin Dickerson, Westbury Christian 65 (21.7)
Tyree Robinson, Lincoln 56 (18.7)
L. J. Rose, Westbury Christian 54 (18.0)
Devon Turk, Westbury Christian 53 (17.7)
Jeremiah Turner, Lincoln 50 (16.7)
Tyrell Robinson, Lincoln 49 (16.3)
Tony Parker, Miller Grove 48 (16.0)
Isaiah Lewis, Christ the King 47 (15.7)
Cameron Johnson, Springfield-Glendale 46 (15.3)The Tournament's Top Rebounders
Dorial Green-Beckman, Springfield-Hillcrest 32 (10.7)
Omar Calhoun, Christ the King 29 (9.7)
Delvin Dickerson, Westbury Christian 26 (8.7)
Jeremiah Turner, Lincoln 24 (8.0)
Devin Pearson, Sylvan Hills 24 (8.0)
Tony Parker, Miller Grove 23 (7.7)
Cameron Johnson, Glendale 23 (7.7)
Blake Freedman, Glendale 21 (7.0)
Tyree Robinson, Lincoln 20 (6.7)
Brandon Morris, Miller Grove 19 (6.3)
Charles Matthews, St. Rita's 19 (6.3)
Tyrell Robinson, Lincoln 18 (6.0)
Marthely Senat, Christ the King 18 (6.0)Bass Pro All-Tournament Team
Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest
Archie Goodwin, Sylvan Hills
Tyree Robinson, Lincoln
Tony Parker, Miller Grove
Tyrell Robinson, Lincoln
Cameron Johnson, Glendale
Isaiah Lewis, Christ the King
Omar Calhoun, Christ the King
Devin Turk, Westbury Christian
Delvin Dickerson, Westbury ChristianMVP:
L. J. Rose, Westbury Christian