What a difference a day makes.
Less than 24 hours after a 27-point loss in it’s first ever Beach Ball Classic game, St. James nearly knocked off East Rutherford (N.C.), falling 49-44 on Thursday in a consolation bracket game.
The Sharks (7-4) trailed by a point at halftime, and tied the game at 33 on a pair of Nehemiah Stafford foul shots with 9:58 left. The Cavaliers (10-2) regained the lead and went up by as many as seven, but a Stafford jumper in the game’s final minute got St. James back within three before East Rutherford hit three of four foul shots in the final 16 seconds to hold on for the victory.
“Playing in the Beach Ball Classic, you are going to see some very talented and well-coached teams,” Sharks coach Monty Carr said. “We understand the challenge that’s in front of us, so we came with the mindset that they want to win games, and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Stafford led all scorers with 19 points. St. James played without Caleb Duggan, who suffered a chin laceration in Wednesday’s loss.
East Rutherford was led by T.J. Watkins with 13 points and Travis Waldroup-Rodriguez with 12 points.• EAST RUTHERFORD (49) – Devonte Boykins 9, Travis Waldroup-Rodrigue 12, T.J. Watkins 13, Jarvis Hopper 8, Rodric Ross 3, Donald Wilkins 2, Benjamin Beckett 2.
• ST. JAMES (44) – Tyrell Dukes 3, TreDarius McCallum 6, Nehemiah Stafford 19, Matt Strange 3, Jackson Hurston 3, Haywood Brandon 8, Russ Sansbury 2.
• Halftime: East Rutherford 28-27. 3-point goals: East Rutherford 4 (Watkins 2, Ross, Waldroup-Rodrigue); St. James 1 (Hurston). Team fouls: East Rutherford 13, St. James 16. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: East Rutherford 10-2, St. James 7-4.
Consolation bracket• Spring Valley 60, Socastee 37 | Sharpshooting sophomore Perry Dozier Jr., who has scholarship offers from Clemson, South Carolina, Ohio State, Kansas and Georgia according to Rivals.com, had a game-high 15 points to go along with five assists and four steals, and senior Dominique Taylor contributed 13 points as the Vikings pulled away in the second half for a win over the Braves.
Spring Valley’s pressure defense worked wonders as it forced 26 turnovers, including 18 steals and the Vikings outscored Socastee 27-10 in points off turnovers during the contest. Spring Valley also worked well inside, outscoring the Braves 26-14 inside the paint.
Socastee couldn’t get its shots to fall as it was 13-for-41 (31.7 percent) from the field. Dante Moore was 5-for-14 with a team-high 12 points for the Braves, and Will Caswell had a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with nine points.• SPRING VALLEY (60) – Steven Thomas 5, Dominique Taylor 13, Perry Dozier Jr. 15, Jabari Johnson 6, Kenneth Legette 11, John Miller 3, Rashaad Zimmermen 2, Malik Wilson 2, Ja’lon Williams 3.
• SOCASTEE (37) – Dante Moore 12, Adarius McCray 4, Devin Melko 4, Will Caswell 9, Dylan Thompson 2, Dakota Morgan 6.
• Halftime: Spring Valley 33-24. 3-point goals: Spring Valley 6 (Legette 3, Taylor, Dozier Jr., Miller); Socastee 3 (Moore 2, Caswell). Team fouls: Spring Valley 17, Socastee 12. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: Spring Valley 9-5, Socastee 4-5.