HILLSBORO, Ore. – Down by as many as 13 points in the second half of the Nike Global Challenge championship game Sunday night against Canada, members of the USA East squad claim panic never set in.
Not with lethal scoring guards Will Barton, Kyrie Irving and Josh Selby on the roster. The trio combined for 64 points as the lone United States team in the winner’s bracket upended Canada for the tournament title, 105-104, at Liberty High School.
“We are East Coast, man,” tournament most outstanding player Irving said. “We have all the heart in the world and we wanted it more.”
“We wanted to bring it home for the East,” Selby added. “We played with heart and were determined to win and that is what we did.”
But the outcome was in doubt until the final second when Canadian guard Myck Kabongo missed a physically contested 3-point attempt that would have won the game.
Florida State commitment Okaro White, a 6-8 forward, hit 1-of-2 free throw attempts with seven seconds remaining to break a tie at 104 and give USA East the victory.
“I was mad I missed the first one because I don’t miss free throws,” White said. “I got it together and knocked it down (on the second attempt).”
Irving, a rising senior at St. Patrick in Elizabeth, N.J., led the United States with 26 points and four assists Sunday night, capping an impressive three-game run that culminated in MOP honors.
“I’ve been working really hard all summer and I think I deserve this,” Irving said.
Barton added 20 points and Selby dropped in 18.
But USA East head coach Steve Turner of Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., pointed to the guard-oriented squad’s national pride and defense as the keys to victory.
“That pulled them through,” Turner said of representing the United States in international competition. “We won two big games to get here and didn’t want to throw it away. Sometimes in these environments, guys want to do their own thing, but we committed to playing team defense and that is what won it for us.”
Canada’s Tristan Thompson (Findlay Prep/Henderson, Nev.) turned in a 29-point, 11-rebound effort in a losing cause. Kabongo (St. Benedict's Prep/Newark, N.J.) added 15 points and seven assists, while Gonzaga-bound wing Mangisto Arop scored 18 points.
Third/Fourth Place: Brazil 82, Senegal 50
Brazil opened the game with a 23-3 run and was never threatened in an 82-50 win over Senegal to capture third place.
Vitor Benite (15 points) and Jordan Burger (14) led Brazil in scoring. Rafael Maia grabbed 12 rebounds.
Gorgui Sy Dieng led Senegal with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Consolation: USA West/South 116, USA Midwest 104
With many of the nation’s top rising seniors on the floor and not a lot riding on the outcome, the first and only game of the event between two American teams turned into a dress rehearsal for one of the postseason all-star games next April.
North Carolinians J.T. Terrell and C.J. Leslie combined for 47 points to lead USA West/South to a 116-104 win over USA Midwest.
Terrell connected five times from 3-point range, while Leslie flashed his athleticism throughout the game with dunks, put backs and tip-ins en route to 20 points.
Harrison Barnes, who was Saturday’s biggest story with a 46-point game against FMP Beograd, poured in 28 more Sunday in a losing effort for USA Midwest.
Consolation: FMP Beograd-Serbia 77, All-Asia Camp 75
In a game pitting two teams looking for their first win in the tournament, FMP Beograd of Serbia defeated All-Asia Camp, 77-75.
For the second day in a row, it was all Svetozar Stamenkovic all the time for FMP Beograd. The 6-6, 220-pounder had another huge double-double with 38 points and 12 rebounds. Stamenkovic hit 15-of-27 field goals, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Milan Milovanovic added 11 for FMP Beograd against an All-Asia team that was much more competitive Sunday than in two previous outings where it allowed an average of 120 points per game.
Jie Zhao, a 6-5 guard from Dongguan, China, led the charge with 30 points. Zhao connected six times from beyond the 3-point line.
More highlights from Sunday’s action at Liberty High School;
C.J. Leslie, 6-8, F, USA West/South (Word of God/Raleigh, N.C.): At 6-8, Leslie’s athleticism and fluidity is impressive. With improved ballhandling and a functional outside shot, he could be a candidate to play on the perimeter, as opposed to being strictly a face-up four man. He is not 6-9 as he is often listed, so some semblance of a perimeter game will be a huge bonus the longer his career progresses. It’s a sure bet that some of the NBA scouts in attendance this weekend took plenty of notes on Leslie.
Svetozar Stamenkovic, 6-6, W/F, FMP Beograd-Serbia (Nis, Serbia): Apparently Stamenkovic’s 35-point, 14-rebound effort Saturday was no fluke. Looking closer to 6-7 and in the 230-pound range, Stamenkovic was impressive again with 38 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. He has a special feel for the game and adjusted to an All-Asia lineup that featured two 7-footers for most of Sunday’s game. Stamenkovic averaged 29.6 points per game in the tournament. According to FMP Beograd coach Aleksandar Glisic, Stamenkovic will stay with the club’s juniors next season but will likely make the jump to the professional level in a year or two. A quick Google search shows that Stamenkovic was the European junior player of the year, so don’t be surprised if he ends up on a NBA roster at some point in the future.
J.T. Terrell, 6-2, G, USA West/South (Cummings/Burlington, N.C.): Transition defense was non-existent in the 4 p.m. all-USA game and Terrell took advantage. The Wake Forest verbal commitment hit five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 27 points. Terrell isn’t going to wow on a consistent basis with athleticism, defense or passing, but when his shots are falling, he can be a game-changer.
Kendall Marshall (Bishop O’Connell/Arlington, Va.) could be the next Danny Green for North Carolina personality-wise. Marshall loves playing the game and has fun with his teammates. No word on his pre-game dance skills, however. … Michigan State commitment Russell Byrd (Blackhawk Christian/Fort Wayne, Ind.) struggled shooting the ball in this event, going 4-of-22 (18.1 percent) from beyond the arc. In three games, he attempted just two shots that weren’t threes and missed both for a tournament line of 4-of-24 from the field. … Juwan Staten was one of four participants in the event that will play at storied Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., next year along with Doron Lamb, Roscoe Smith and Senegal’s Baya Moussa Keita. Staten will be moving on from Marshall High School in Dayton, Ohio. “I just wanted to become a complete player. I know that Coach (Steve) Smith can help me with that.” Staten is also part of a surprisingly star-studded recruiting class headed to the University Dayton, joining fellow MaxPreps Top 100 guard Jesse Berry of Indiana and Brandon Spearman of Chicago. “It’s a great recruiting class and it means that Dayton is stepping its recruiting up.” Staten is hoping another Dayton high school product, Jefferson’s Adreian Payne (also a Global Challenge participant), can be enticed to become a Flyer, but Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State are also in hot pursuit of the athletic 6-10 post. Payne posted 15 points and 13 rebounds in his final Global Challenge appearance Sunday.
MaxPreps Nike All-Global Challenge Team
Harrison Barnes, 6-7, G/F, USA Midwest – 31.3 points, 9.6 rebounds per game
Svetozar Stamenkovic, 6-6, F, FMP Beograd – 29.6 points, 11 rebounds per game
Tristan Thompson, 6-9, F, Canada – 19 points, 9.3 rebounds per game
Kyrie Irving, 6-2, G, USA East – 21.3 points, 4.3 assists per game
Josh Selby, 6-2, G, USA East – 21.3 points, 5.3 assists per game