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3rd Annual Southpoint ShootOut
Posted, 02/10/2005 7:11:15 AM

Eagle Lake, FL. - A little thought about the upcoming 3rd Annual Southpoint ShootOut puts a youthful perspective on the two day event. It looks like 4 of the top 10 freshmen (Miguel Paul, Rayford Shipman, Kevin Foster, and Xiangdre "Bo" Reliford) in the state will be in attendance.

The 3rd Annual Southpoint ShootOut features a wide variety of high quality teams this year. Defending Class 1A champion Northwest Christian opens up the tournament and defending Class 6A state champion Edgewater closes out the tournament. Lake Region will have it's hands full as they open with Monsignor Pace, featuring top ranked freshmen in Ray Shipman and "Bo" Reliford, on Friday and defending Class 5A state champion W.T. Dwyer on Saturday. Coach Williams was looking for a couple of extra games. It looks like he found a couple of good ones. Up-n-coming Kathleen High School, featuring Miguel Paul (one of the top 5 freshmen in state), will play a tough Eustis team. The Pendleton School has struggled with injuries all season. But, if you want to get a look at 7'1" freshman James Tyler, come check them out when they take Lake Wales, Friday and Haines City, Saturday. Polk County is represented well enough as Auburndale, with their fantasstic freshman Kevin Foster, will take on Northwest Christian on Saturday morning.

GAME SCHEDULE: Friday February 11:
5:00 PM Haines City vs Northwest Christian
6:30 PM Lake Wales vs Pendleton
8:00 PM Lake Region vs Miami Pace

Saturday February 12:
8:00 AM Lakeland vs Tampa Wharton
9:30 AM Lakeland Kathleen vs Eustis
11:00 AM Haines City vs Pendleton
12:30 PM Bartow vs Rockledge
2:00 PM George Jenkins vs Mount Dora
3:30 PM Auburndale vs Northwest Christian
5:00 PM Lake Gibson vs Miami Pace
6:30 PM Winter Haven vs St Pete Gibbs
8:00 PM Lake Region vs WT Dwyer
9:30 PM Lake Wales vs Edgewater


Auburndale (17-7): Coach Eric Robinson's club is currently ranked #12 in Class 4A and brings one of the best groups of underclassmen in the field. Junior guards PJ Turner (17 ppg, 3.5 apg) and Kendrick Johnson (15 ppg), junior wing Brandon Giles (15 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 bpg) and freshman post Kevin Foster (8 rpg, 4 bpg) are all college prospects and are having sensational seasons. The Bloodhounds are quick and athletic and their matchup with equally-talented and athletic Northwest Christian is one of Saturday's best contests.

Bartow (6-17): Bartow easily enters the Shootout as the field's most underrated club. Totally snake-bitten by losing a number of close games, Coach Terrence McGriff's team has a bright future behind talented junior wings Isaiah Kelley and Jack Murphy and sophomore post Jeremiah Manning. Senior point guard Jameson Young runs the show and will clearly be missed but the future is very bright for the Jackets.

Edgewater (20-3): The defending Class 6A state champions (currently 6A #3) refuse to rebuild, they simply reload. Led by shooting guard and defensive stopper Rickey Claitt (12.5 ppg, 2.4 spg), point guard Omar Qazi (11.5 ppg, 4.3 apg) and junior forward Sheldon Oliver (11.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg) the Eagles are deep, physical and athletic. Travis Jones' club is poised once again to make its annual trek to Polk County for the Final 4.

Eustis (18-4): Currently ranked #9 in Class 3A, the Panthers have made the Elite Eight four consecutive seasons and certainly have the firepower to do the same this season. Two-sport star Joe Burnett (11.9 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.5 rpg) leads the way, and is joined in double figures by Kadero Terell (11.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Anthony Walters (10.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Marlin Vilius (10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Rob Gordon's club is relentless defensively and will provide a great challenge to Kathleen.

George Jenkins (14-9): Coach Corey Barnes' Eagles have had a fine season led by junior star Sheldon Dennis (17.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg), an impossible matchup for most high school teams. Jenkins has also gotten fine play from seniors Lance Williams (8.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.7 apg) and Lee Wilson (7.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg), while Anthony Wilcox, Henderson Taylor and Larry Dennis provide tough defense and leadership. The Eagles are physical, tough and well coached, a difficult combination to prepare for. Haines City (7-16): The Hornets are struggling through a long season, but Dave Mead excitedly adds 5 talented JV players to his roster for this weekend. The Hornets have been led all season long by talented senior forward Alonzo Saunders, a relentless slasher with a nose for the ball. In addition, senior shooting guard Roosevelt Marks adds the ability to shoot the "3" and get to the rim. The future is bright for the Hornets in the next couple of years.

Kathleen (19-3): The Red Devils are back! Drew Taylor's squad may not have the same "star-power" of previous Kathleen teams, but the results certainly are the same. Winners of 16 games in a row and now ranked #8 in Class 4A, Kathleen has dominated opponents with relentless defense and balanced offense. Senior Trent Newton (10 ppg, 7 rpg, 6 apg) sets the tone with his toughness, while heralded sophomore Idell Bell (11 ppg) and freshman Miguel Paul (9 ppg) are worthy of the hype. Posts Albert McClellan and Terrence Howell anchor the inside, while seniors Tommy Smith and Corey Williams seemingly improve every game.

Lake Gibson (9-13): The Braves have recovered from a slow start resulting from their football team's success to post a 7-3 district record and are clearly a playoff caliber team. Coach Travis Young's squad relies heavily on the 3-point shooting of perimeter stars Chris Duvalt (13 ppg, 2 spg), Raymond Martin (12 ppg) and Laron Shaw (11 ppg, 5 rpg). Post Jeremy Watson (9 ppg, 9 rpg) is a presence inside but the catalyst is senior point guard Albert Cunningham (9 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg).

Lakeland (8-14): Deron Collins' rebuilding job at Lakeland continues, with the pieces slowly fitting into place. Junior forward Jordan Prais (11.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.1 bpg) has become one of Polk's best underclassmen, while shooting guard Jason Hernandez (9.7 ppg) cannot be left alone. The Dreadnaughts get much of their toughness from football standouts Kendrick Stewart, Troy Johnson and Matt Grier, all 3 who play large roles at both ends of the floor.

Lake Region (21-3): The home-standing Thunder comes into the Shootout in reverse, losing their last 2 contests to Auburndale and Lake Wales. Needing to elevate their games to stop the bleeding, Lake Region will rely heavily on senior wing Derek Cassidy (12.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg), senior post Anthony Williams (8.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.8 bpg) and junior point guard Quentin Cullop (6.8 ppg, 3.5 apg, 2.1 spg). Coach Scott Williams' club will need its usual supply of quality bench play this weekend to compete with Pace and Dwyer.

Lake Wales (15-8): The Highlanders have endured an incredibly challenging year without a home gym (hurricane/fire damage) yet are poised to make a deep run in the 4A playoffs. Senior forward Marvin Williams (18.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3 apg, 2 bpg) is a major college prospect, while unheralded big men Anthony Johnson (10 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.5 bpg) and Jerrell Wilson (14 ppg, 5 rpg) are underclassmen with great potential. Guard play for Jimmy Johnson's team has greatly improved with the play of Dominique Jones (7 ppg, 4 apg) and TJ Hawthorne (6 ppg, 3.5 apg).

Miami Monsignor Pace (17-5): The Spartans are an annual visitor to the Shootout with their regular Friday night meeting against Lake Region on the schedule. Mark Lieberman's team despite being very young and inexperienced has had an incredible season, now ranked #4 in Class 3A. Josue Vazquez (21 ppg, 6 rpg) leads the way along with fellow seniors Johnny Miller (9 ppg, 3 apg) and Quinton Andrews, while nationally-regarded freshmen Ray Shipman and Xiangdre Reliford have already had an impact. Expect the Spartans to be playing in March again this season.

Miami Northwest Christian (19-3): The #1 ranked 1A team in Florida is on a mission to bring home its 3rd straight state championship. Behind 1st year coach Juan Ramirez, the Eagles are led by all-stater DeLuis Ramirez (25 ppg, 6 rpg), along with talented guards Wagner Joseph (17 ppg, 6 rpg) and Jose Rodriguez (10 ppg, 5 apg). Northwest Christian overwhelms teams with its pressure defense and attacking offense, and their contest against Auburndale should be fun to watch.

Mount Dora (9-13): The Hurricanes have played a murderous schedule, with 9 of their losses to ranked opponents. Senior guard Marcus Durias (10.5 ppg, 2 apg, 2 spg) keys a balanced attack that includes John Steadman (8.5 ppg, 40% 3's), Jarvin Vines (6 ppg, 7 rpg) and sophomore stars Andy Summerlin (11 ppg, 4 rpg) and Ian Scott (7 ppg, 4 spg, 3 apg). John Liptak's club already owns victories over state-ranked Alachua Santa Fe and Winter Springs and now looks to gain a Shootout win as well.

Pendleton School IMG Academy (18-6): Pendleton returns for the 3rd straight year to the shootout with its usual arsenal of great talent. Leading the way for coach Dan Barto's squad is 7'0 wing Rickey Sanchez, already committed to Memphis after next season. If that's not enough, 7'1 FRESHMAN center James Tyler and 6'3 senior Chase Kosterlitz also are having great seasons. Although not participating for a district or state championship, Pendleton clearly is among the top 15 teams in the entire state this year.

Rockledge (14-9): The incredibly young Raiders are coming on, having won 4 of 5 for coach David McGreal. Leading the way is Earl Butterfield (17.5 ppg, 8 rpg) a football star signed to play at Southern Illinois University next fall. He is joined by Lorenzo McDowell (12 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.5 spg, 3.2 apg) and talented sophomore Demetrius Harvey, an excellent rebounder and shot blocker. Watch out for Rockledge in the playoffs and into next season.

St Pete Gibbs (12-11): Another of the very young squads in the Shootout, the Gladiators have 8 freshmen or sophomores on the roster and will return 4 starters a year from now. Gibbs relies heavily on do-it-all senior guard Naason Borden (17.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.5 spg). Coach Larry Murphy's team will be a force to reckon with in Pinellas County for years to come.

Tampa Wharton (20-2): Tommy Tonelli's Wildcats have dominated Hillsborough County opponents this season, winning its 10 district games by an average of 18 points and currently being ranked #10 in Class 5A. Seniors Josh Simpson (12.8 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.4 rpg), Nate Erickson (12.3 ppg), and Darryl Richardson (15.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.4 bpg) have all had big years, along with talented sophomore guard Shawn Vanzant. Wharton is looming large as a 5A Final 4 team, playing in the same region as Lake Region and Brandon.

William T. Dwyer (19-4): The defending state champions in Class 5A and current #4 team in the rankings roll into the Shootout with yet another extremely talented club and appear to be headed for a South Regional showdown with #1 ranked Dillard in the playoffs. Seniors Alonzo Gee (20.8 ppg, 7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 3.1 spg) is one of the state's top 10 players and signed early with Alabama, while forward Kyle Marks (10.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.2 bpg) signed early with Nebraska. Junior post Tuboris Larkins (8.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and point guard Shanard Williams (4.2 apg) ensure the cupboard will never go dry in Palm Beach for coach Fred Ross.

Winter Haven (9-15): The 2-time defending Class 4A runner-ups have struggled a bit this season, but still bring a dangerous, talented club to the Shootout. Junior post Quentin Cosby (12 ppg, 6 rpg) leads the way, but good play from 6'8 senior David Aaron (8 ppg, 4 rpg), Marcell James (9 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 apg) and the greatly improving Stephen Gardner are the key to Don Grant's club being successful. Don't sleep on the Blue Devils!

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