Typically, the guys who do the thankless grunt work don’t get noticed in high school all-star basketball games. Fans come to see high-flying dunks, ankle-breaking crossover dribbles and great moves to the basket.
In Friday night’s 42nd annual Capital Classic at Catholic University, however, the contributions of North Carolina-bound Luke Maye couldn’t be ignored.
Maye, a rugged 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward from Cornelius, N.C., grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds to go along with his 15 points as the U.S. All-Stars rallied past the Capital All-Stars late for a 105-102 victory.
“That’s my game,” he said. “In an all-star game, it’s gonna be hard to do everything like you do during the season. So I just tried to work hard and take my shot when I could and it worked out for the best.”
He was an efficient six for 11 from the floor, but his rebound total was twice as high as anyone else on the U.S roster.
Malik Beasley a 6-foot-4 shooting guard bound for Florida State shared team scoring honors for the U.S. with South Carolina-bound P.J. Dozier. Each netted 16 points.
Haanif Cheatham (Marquette signee) contributed 15 points while Notre Dame signee Rex Pflueger added 14 points, including five in the last three minutes as the U.S. team rallied from a seven-point deficit.
Largo’s Abdulai Bundu led all scorers with 21 points for the Capital All-Stars, while grabbing eight rebounds as well.
The 6-foot-8 Bundu, the area’s leading scorer this past season and the Washington Post’s All-Met Player of the Year, is headed to Quinnipiac.
He and the rest of the locals couldn’t quite hold on, though it wasn’t for lack of trying. Gonzaga’s Bryant Crawford (Wake Forest) and Clinton Christian’s Kevin Dorsey (Minnesota) scored 18 points each for the locals. Dorsey converted a pair of three-point plays down the stretch while Crawford hit a key 3-pointer with 2:19 left to give the locals a five-point lead.
Crawford, who scored 15 of his points in the second half, nearly did in his regular-season coach, Steve Turner. Turner coached the national squad, but had to sweat out a couple of big plays by Crawford down the stretch first. Crawford also finished with a game-high seven assists. Turner was well aware of what his senior guard was capable of.
“You know it’s gonna happen,” Turner said of Crawford’s performance. “In those situations, he’s gonna find a way to step up.”
Turner’s Eagles, with a lot of help from Crawford, upset DeMatha in the WCAC Tournament finals at American University on Feb. 27 to win the league title.
River Hill’s Charlie Thomas IV (13 points) was the only other Capital player in double figures. National Christian’s Sylvester Ogbonda (Ga. Tech signee) grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the locals.
NOTES: Former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. and longtime Five-Star basketball camp guru Howard Garfinkel were among those in attendance. Several former Capital Classic players were introduced at halftime, including Donald “Duck” Williams (Mackin), Stacy Robinson (Dunbar), Billy Bryant (Archbishop Carroll) and Mark Tillmon (Gonzaga).