Jordan Wright’s future may be on the football field, but he was very much living in the moment on the basketball court Saturday, scoring a game-high 23 points for Dillard (Fla.) to help lead the Panthers to a 54-51 overtime win over Pace Academy (Ga.) in the third-place game of the Beach Ball Classic at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Wright, who has committed to play football at Kentucky, finished the tournament with 103 points in his four games.
“He helps us in so many ways,” Dillard coach Darryl Burrows said. “He’s a horse right around the basket, and if we want some points, that’s where we’re going to go.”
Wright was 8-for-18 from the floor and 7-of-10 at the foul line, including a pair of foul shots with 16 seconds left in overtime to put the Panthers (12-4) ahead for good.
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Pace senior center Wendell Carter had a record-setting tournament. The 6-foot-10 Duke commit had 17 rebounds in the game to finish the tournament with 68, the highest four-game total in tournament history. Carter also had 17 points and seven blocks, including two blocks in the final five seconds of regulation to help force overtime.
“He can be a game-changer almost by himself,” Burrows said of Carter. “ But we’ve got kids going to Florida State, kids going to Kentucky for football. At this point at this level, it’s about our will. How much will do you have?”
The Florida State commit, Raiquan Gray, finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers.
The game started off slow for both teams as they scratched and clawed for points early on. The Knights led 18-15 at halftime as Dillard struggled, shooting just 17.2 percent in the first half.
“Both teams I think came out a little sluggish from (Friday) night. Both teams played really tough teams to get to this game,” Burrows said.
Dillard found its touch in the second half, hitting 13 of 22 shots, but missed all six shots in overtime. All six Panthers points in overtime came at the foul line.
Burrows said he was pleased with his team’s third-place finish considering the level of competition.
“We’re pleased with our trip overall, being 3-1 in the Beach Ball,” Burrows said. “Hopefully we can carry over some of the good things that we did this week, and we’ll have some bad things to improve on as well.”
PA (51): Mark Sommerville 9, Reign Watkins 4, Wendell Carter 17, Isaiah Kelly 11, Michael Simon 3, Harrison Lewis 7.
DHS (54): Jordan Wright 23, Bryce Oliver 8, Seth Coddington 2, Raiquan Gray 10, Joniya Gadson 4, Stanley Garner 3, Deshawn Bartley 2, Jacarri Anderson 2.
Halftime: PA 18-15. 3-pointers: PA 3 (Kelly 2, Simon), DHS 1 (Garner). Team fouls: PA 19, DHS 19. Fouled out: Watkins (PA), Gray (DHS). Technical fouls: None. Records: PA 6-8, DHS 12-4.