Hyattsville, MD – It’s no secret that there is a plethora of talent in the trifecta of D.C, Maryland, and Virginia. The “DMV” has become a great pipeline for several sports, specifically basketball. DeMatha Catholic High School opened the doors of it’s gym to host the Inaugural Crab Ball Classic. An All-Star game pitting the best senior ball players in a game between D.C. and Baltimore, the senior game was preceded by a youth game featuring very talented 8th graders.
The North All-Stars outlasted the South All-Stars in the Youth Game by a very slim margin. Leading the way for the Norh were Deonte Hill, Stephen Cannady, and Darnell Dupar. Hill finished the game with 15 points, 8 rebounds and two assists. Dupar had one of the games two double-doubles as he pulled down 14 rebounds and scored 10 points. There were equally as impressive performances by members of the South team as well. John Morgan had the games other double-double with 11 points & 11 rebounds, two of his teammates really cleaned the glass as well. Raymond Boone with 11 and Daniel Oladapo with 13 rebounds. As expected with younger players, there were some shooting struggles but the promise and potential in the young men were clearly evident. There were seven lead changes with it getting very tight down the stretch, the crowd was in it the whole way. The 8th graders showed that there is plenty more talent on the way!
The main event was definitely worth the price of admission as the two Senior teams put on one heck of a show! Team Washington(Team DC) and Team Baltimore got the crowd into the game very early, as early as the layup lines which might of well been called dunk lines. Each team had it’s share of high flyers, it didn’t take long for the athletic displays from the layup lines to transfer to the game. While it was an All-Star game, there wasn’t a lack of intensity in this game at all. Both teams played with a strong sense of pride, as the lead changed 26 times. The ball moved well for both Washington and Baltimore had five players scored in double figures. There were several players that stood out amongst their peers in this game, both teams shot lights from the field and from beyond the arch.
Washington’s biggest lead took place 6:44 into the game, they were up by three. Byron Hawkins did a terrific job distributing the ball to his teammates as he tallied 7 assists to just one turnover. Hawkins is well known for his ability to score the ball as well, he scored 24 points including knocking down a few timely three pointers(5 of 7) for his team. James Palmer looked like he belongs on the next level, he got going very early and didn’t let up on his way to 31 points on 12 of 19 shooting. Palmer is a versatile scorer, but he also pulled down 9 rebounds. One of the few true big men in this game, Quadree Smith made his presence felt. Smith provided team Washington with a herculean effort as he nearly had a 20-20 game. He finished the game with 17 points and 19 rebounds, during a stretch in which his team was down by 10, Smith was the conduit to their run to close the gap. All three Robinsons were impressive; Clint, Andrew, and Aaron provided energy and production in limited minutes. Washington was down three at the half and that was their margin of defeat, the foul line is the only area in which the team struggled. They shot 52% from the floor, 37 % from deep, but just 59 % from the charity stripe. Washington did most of it’s damage close to the basket, scoring 68 points in the paint and converting 19 second point chances. They also got out on the break where they took the opportunity to entertain the crowd. Unfortunately they fell short, but they fought to the end.
Team Baltimore displayed a superior touch from beyond the arch, nine players hit at least one three pointer. With Team Washington’s Quadree Smith hoarding most of the rebounds, Baltimore hit the glass by committee. Rysheed Corbin’s willingness to share the ball was infections as the team had 32 assists. Corbin led the way with seven helpers, four of his teammates had three or more assists. John Crosby played a well rounded game, he definitely filled the box score with 13 points, 3 boards, four assists and two blocks. Tariq Owens struggled a bit offensively but was phenomenal on the defensive end, pulling down 10 rebounds and erasing four shots. Baltimore had three players that carried the load offensively, the trio answered every Washington run at one time or another. Jaylen Adams knocked down three from deep on his way to 17 points. Kamau Stokes knocked down five triples, dished out four assists on his way to 24 points. Timmy Bond had an extremely efficient performance, he only missed one category in the box score. Bond had 25 points, 8 rebounds, six helpers and one block. He shot 10 of 14 from the field, including five of eight from deep. With both teams scoring 70 points in the second half, Baltimore’s ability to go 15-19 from the foul line was huge. They shot 46 % from beyond the arch for the game, connecting on 20 of 43 shots.
The Senior game was great from start to finish as was the event, all of the young men should make valuable contributions to their teams on the next level. The Crab Ball Classic was a great way to end their seasons, the fans definitely enjoyed it. If this was just the beginning, the event should only get better in the years to come.
Stats provided by Legit Stats LLC. Video highlights will be up on our site in the coming hours.