The 37th edition of the Beach Ball Classic kicked of today at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center with the Cox Mill Chargers (NC) taking on the Fairland Dragons (OH). Beach Ball Classic features the top boys high school basketball teams in the United States.
Cox Mill got the scoring started early with a fast break bucket by Wendell Moore Jr who lead all first half scorers with 9 points. The Chargers took off from there to take an early lead of 11-2 at the first media time out at 12:24. The full court pressure and fast paced offense was too much too early for the Dragons to handle and Cox Mill maintained their lead until the 5:29 mark of the 1st half and that is when Fairland’s offense woke up.
The Dragons got on track with forward, Luke Thomas scoring 8 quick points to lead a small comeback to get his team within 3 points at the half with the score being 27-24 as the teams headed to the locker room.
The second half opened the same as the first with a flurry of baskets by Cox Mill to run their lead back out to 9 points at 38-27 with 13:09 to play and their athleticism looking like it may be too much for the Dragons who were in the Ohio State Division III Final Four last year. Luke Thomas continued to shine for Fairland with 3-pointers trying to keep the game within reach.
With the score 43-37 with 11:08 to play in the game Cox Mill hit yet another 3 pointer, this time by No 22, Ahmad Baruti keeping the lead at 9 points. And then the full court press took over for Cox Mill.
The 1-3-1 full court pressure caused several costly turnovers and allowed the Chargers to run the lead out to 16 points with 6:34 to play. The run was highlighted by a few fast break dunks by senior Rechon Black who will be playing for Roy Williams at the University of North Carolina next year.
At the final media timeout of the game the Chargers had lengthened their lead to 71-47 as their team speed and overall athleticism proved to be way too much for Fairland. The game ended with Cox Mill holding onto the ball for the final 30 seconds to go on to win by a score of 76-50.
Wendell Moore (Cox Mill) finished the game leading all scorers with 29 points on 10-21 shooting and 6-6 from the line. Rechon Black added 19 on 9-17 shooting.
Fairland was led by senior guard Keedrick Cunningham with 19 points while Luke Thomas added 14 in the losing effort.
The Dragons will play in the consolation bracket tomorrow morning at noon ET against the loser of Game 2 between Clark (NV) vs Lanett (AL).
Cox Mill advances in the championship bracket to play the winner of that same game on Thursday at 3:30 ET.
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