Friday night began with a bang at the Spiece Fieldhouse, with the first round of games
featuring two teams talented enough to reach the final four of the seniors-to-be
tournament -- New York Gauchos and Spiece Central Stars. The Gauchos feature one of the
nation's top sophomores, 5'10 point guard Sebastian Telfair. The cousin of NBA player
Stephon Marbury, Telfair has the talent to maintain the family's tradition of power
point guards. And he has a decent amount of hype to go with it. The team actually
has a few talented guards, which matched up well with the guard play of Spiece Central.
Pat Mullin, head coach of Spiece Central, has won a national championship with relatively
small teams before. Again, Mullin has a few overachieving athletes battling successfully
with players much larger. 6'6 post Drew Conner is the workhorse for the team, usually
drawing the opponents top post player. Conner is deceptively strong and defensively
sound. Parnell Smith has thinned down, and now looks like a wing player. As a matter of
fact, 15-percent of his made shots for the tournament came from the perimeter. Mullin
also brought 6'5 Anthony Passley up from the junior team for the tournament. In the
game against the Gauchos, it was 6'2 guard Corey Johnson who led Spiece in scoring with
17 points. But the Gauchos were too much for Spiece, winning 76-63 behind a game-high
22 points from Telfair. For Spiece, Austin Montgomery and Zach Decatur both had 13 points,
and Smith finished with 10. Two Gauchos players, Elijatt Muldrow and Marion Smith, also
had 13 a piece.
Spiece coach Pat Mullin tells us Parnell Smith is getting some serious attention from
Wake Forest, and has several standing scholarship offers including one from Ball State.
Austin Montgomery is getting attention from Purdue, Wright State, Ball State and Duquesne
among others. Yet the player getting the most buzz this spring may be Ben Davis junior
Stanley Burrell. Look for him to have a breakout season for the Giants next year.
Over at IPFW, juniors Spiece Old School and Fort Wayne based Maximum Sports, coached
by former Purdue player Roosevelt Barnes, battled in a close one. Bryce Parker (Western HS)
led Spiece to victory with 22 points, followed by Brock Dawson's (Benton Central HS) 20
and 17 from Blake Snodgrass (North Harrison HS). The story of the game was and eighth
grader, Marcus Johnson of Fort Wayne. Johnson led all scorers with 28 points and laid an
early claim to the top soon-to-be high schooler at the tournament. Concordia's Kyle Thoms,
a deadly shooter if you leave him open, had 17 on four three-pointers. Former Purdue player
Eugene Parker's son, Geno Parker, also plays for Barnes and Maximum Sports. Parker,
a 6'0 guard from Concordia, finished third in scoring with 9. Spiece won the game 82-77.
On the court next to Spiece and Maximum Sports was another Spiece team, the Blue Demons.
This Spiece team would not win their opener, losing to DTA Wisconsin 84-75. Robert Dixon
(Rufus King HS) led the winners with 19, followed by 15 from Mike Bendall (Oconomonoc HS)
and 14 from Michael Flowers (Madison Lafolette). North Central's 6'3 Jason Malone led
Spiece with 22 while the two Spiece players who get most of the press -- A.J. Ratliff and
J.R. Angle -- scored 15 and 12.
Over at the Northrop site, Spiece Top Prospects lost their opener 71-68 against Utah Select.
Utah had the game plan, but absolutely no answer for Robert Vaden, who ended up with 32 points.
6'4 Fitzgerald Batteast (Arlington HS) had 11, while Purdue-bound Desmond Gadis had eight. The
two killer "Bs" for Utah proved too much for Spiece. Jake Bowers and 6'10 Branden Bell had 20
and 15 respectively.
Bloomington Red was victorious over Spiece Stars in sophomore pool play, 59-52. The state of
Indiana's top two freshman point guards are featured on Red. Dominic James (Richmond HS),
led all scorers with 22 points, and Armon Bassett (Terre Haute South HS) added 9. From
looking at James, if he can add a couple inches he should go high Division I. The game also
featured two of the top rated centers in the class of 2005 in Indiana. 6'10 Luke Zeller of
Spiece had 18 points including one three-pointer, with Bloomington Red's 6'6 Jordan Armstrong
(Muncie Central HS) adding 14. Also in double-figure scoring for Spiece were Derek Drews
(Elkhart Central HS) and Spencer Harris (Bluffton HS) with 10 each.
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