Slam Dunk Day 2 recap

December 29, 2018

#25 (MaxPreps) Roselle Catholic (N.J.) 76, Eleanor Roosevelt (Md.) 72 – Six-foot-11 junior forward Cliff Omoruyi caught an inbounds lob for the game-winning basket with five seconds left as the Lions clawed out of a late five-point hole for the win. Senior wing Kahlil Whitney showed why he’s headed to Kentucky next year, scoring 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting for Roselle. Senior guard Cameron Brown poured in 24 points and hit five three-pointers for Roosevelt. The Raiders erased a 13-point halftime deficit by connecting on nine three-pointers after intermission. Roselle also got 23 points and five threes from senior guard Colby Rogers, who almost singlehandedly kept the Lions in contention with seven points over the final five minutes. Senior guard Isaiah Gross added 23 points for Roosevelt. In the most entertaining game of the tourney so far, the teams combined for 25 three-pointers and four dunks.

Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.) 66, Archbishop Wood (Pa.) 57 – Senior forward Julian Champagnie scored 21 points, and his brother Justin added 18 to help the Lions pull away from the Vikings late. Loughlin had to work hard against a scrappy, well-coached Wood side that stayed within one point until late in the third period. Sophomore guard Daeshon Shepherd paced the Vikings with 18 points and eight rebounds, while senior forward Julius Phillips added 17 points. Bishop Loughlin shot 57 percent from the floor, getting to the hole all day for dunks and lay-ins.  

Hudson Catholic (N.J.) 55, Caesar Rodney 46 – The Hawks soared to a comfortable win over the Riders behind 14 points, nine rebounds, and four assists from sophomore forward Shane Dezonie and 13 points from freshman guard Zion Cruz. Hudson Catholic led by as many as 17 points in the first half before CR closed the gap to three in the third quarter. Senior forward Shaft Clark piled up 14 points and nine boards for Caesar Rodney, while senior guard Zayquan Eaton added 13 points.

Westtown (Pa.) 59, Vermont Academy (Vt.) 58 – Junior forward Noah Collier tallied 26 points, eight rebounds, and a pair of rim-rattling dunks as the Moose squeaked past the Wildcats. Westtown hit six straight free throws in the final 45 seconds to put the game away. Senior guard Jalen Gaffney, a Connecticut commit, netted 11 of his 17 points in the final frame to carry the Moose late. Senior guard Travis Evee led Vermont Academy with 20 points on 5-for-6 shooting from long range, while junior guard Symir Torrence posted a 19-point, six-board performance and wowed the crowd with his quickness.

Gonzaga College (D.C.) 76, Our Savior New American (N.Y.) 70 – Gonzaga used balanced scoring and smart, disciplined basketball to withstand a 40-point night from Our Savior sophomore forward Jonathan Kuminga. The 6-foot-9 Congo native, rated the No. 4 prospect nationally by 247Sports, went 8-for-12 from three-point range and carried the Pioneers to the brink of a major upset. Senior guard Anwar Gill scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Eagles, while junior forward Terrance Williams and sophomore wing Malcolm Dread added 13 points apiece. Gonzaga led by 10 points late in the third quarter, but Our Savior chipped away at the deficit until Kuminga tied the game at 62 with a vicious dunk midway through the fourth. The Eagles responded like champions, scoring the next six points to reestablish control. Kuminga set a new Slam Dunk scoring record in defeat.   

#11 (MaxPreps) Paul VI (Va.) 88, Liberty (Nev.) 61 – Senior guard Xavier Joyner came off the bench to score 23 points and knock down five three-pointers, helping Paul VI run away from Liberty. Sophomore forward Tyler Coleman added 14 points for the Panthers, who also got 10 points apiece from sophomore forward Avery Ford and senior big man Joshua Oduro. Paul VI took a 22-point lead into the locker room and cruised home from there. The Panthers connected on 63 percent of their field goal tries and forced 18 Liberty turnovers. Sophomore guard Kobe Stroughter netted 16 points and handed out five assists for the Patriots.

Player Of The Day – Jonathan Kuminga, Our Savior New American – Like it could be anyone else. Kuminga might be the most skilled, fluid big man ever to grace a Slam Dunk court, and he’s only a sophomore. The 6-foot-9 forward showcased a deadly shooting stroke in his team’s loss to Gonzaga, going 14-for-23 from the floor and knocking down eight of his 12 three-point tries. Kuminga, who came to the U.S. from the Congo, made one of America’s top teams look silly at times. He got to the rack with ease, using a deceptively good handle and a 40-inch vertical to score at will. Kuminga’s 40 points were the most scored by any player at Slam Dunk since the tourney’s rebirth in 2014, eclipsing 39-point performances by Jalek Felton of Gray Collegiate (S.C.) and Mikey Dixon of Sanford.

Dunk Of The Day – Jonathan Kuminga, Our Savior New American – With his team down a deuce to Gonzaga late in the fourth quarter, Kuminga made a steal in the backcourt, bounded down the floor, and did his best to break the backboard on a windmill jam.

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