The 47th annual City of Palms Classic tipped off Wednesday with five games at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.
Defending champion McEachern High, out of Powder Springs, Ga., highlighted Day 1 with a 69-65 victory over Philly Roman Catholic. Auburn 2020 guard recruit Sharife Cooper poured in 29 points to go with 7 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the Indians and earn the day’s MVP honors.
Cooper connected on 8 of 17 from the field and made 13 of 18 free throws in playing all 32 minutes. McEachern trailed 17-9 after one quarter but outscored Roman Catholic 60-48 the rest of the way. Cooper continually probed into the defense and caused problems, especially in the second half where he had 19 of his 29 points.
Cameron McDowell — a 6-4 junior — added 13 points for McEachern and 2020 Israel Palmer had 11. Wednesday’s other top performances included:
Zion Harmon (2021), Marshall County
The 6-foot junior guard blistered the nets for 36 points, including drilling the game-tying 3-pointer late to send the game into overtime. Harmon played all 36 minutes, shot 15 for 34 (6 for 19 from 3) and played an excellent floor game. Harmon is not just a shooter. He took good shots and passed off (9 assists) when it made sense.
Jalen Duren (2022) & Justice Williams (2022), Roman Catholic
The 6-foot-10 Duren, one of the top prospects nationally in the sophomore class, showed why. Duren put home 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting and hauled down 16 rebounds. Williams also had 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
R.J. Davis (2020) & Adrian Griffin Jr. (2021), Arch. Stepinac
Davis — a University of North Carolina recruit — went 9 for 9 from the free-throw line to finish with 22 points. The 6-1 guard made 6 of 12 field-goal attempts and also had 4 assists and 2 steals. Griffin knocked down 8 of 15 from the floor (including three 3s) and ended up with 21 points. Griffin is an early commitment to Duke.
Tai’Reon Joseph (2020), Scotlandville Magnet
The 6-4 Joseph — who is being recruited by Southern, Southeastern Louisiana and Lamar — was the difference in the game. On the offensive end, Joseph poured in 21 points. He drilled three 3s and made 8 of 10 free throws. Defensively, Joseph was key in forcing 18 St. Louis Vashon turnovers. He had a key steal and two made free throws in the final minute. Joseph brings the energy and is the Hornets “glue guy.”
Javian McCollum (2021) & Cayden Baker (2020), Fort Myers
McCollum, a 6-1 junior, played all 36 minutes against Marshall County and finished with 16 points and 5 assists. 2020 big Cayden Baker posted a double-double (16 points, 18 rebounds). McCollum has a basketball offer to Missouri Baptist and interest from USF, FGCU, FAU, New Orleans, Columbia, William & Mary and Drake. Baker signed to play football at UNC Wednesday morning. He is a 6-7 offensive lineman.
Kennedy Chandler (2021) Briarcrest Christian
The 6-1 junior kept Briarcrest close. In playing all 32 minutes, he hit 10 of 20 from the field to finish with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Teammate Marcellus Brigham added 21 and 8 rebounds.
Kobe Clark (2020), Vashon
Clark put up a double-double (18 points, 14 rebounds) in the loss to Scotlandville Magnet. The 6-7 wing hit on 7 of 13 field-goal attempts, four of which were 3s. Kentucky recruit Cam’ron Fletcher was held to seven shots and 9 total points.
Jamille Reynolds (2020), St. Pete Lakewood
Charlotte High had few answers for the 6-9 senior center. Reynolds — a UCF signee — canned 6 of 12 field-goal attempts on the way to a 18-point, 11-rebound, 5-block performance. His hook shot from point-blank range gave Charlotte fits. Reynolds continues to work on his lift. T.J. Tampa added 14 points and 2 steals.
Tre Carroll (2021), Charlotte
The 6-7 junior was about the lone bright spot on a Charlotte squad that hit 16 of 60 field-goal attempts. Carroll scored 24 points — including 9 of 11 free throws — grabbed 9 rebounds and had 2 blocks.
Wednesday’s final scores
Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) 69, Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) 62
Scotlandville Magnet (La.) 51, St. Louis (Mo.) Vashon 47
St. Pete Lakewood 53, Punta Gorda Charlotte 48
Fort Myers 74, Marshall County (Ky.) 71, OT
McEachern (Ga.) 69, Roman Catholic (Pa.) 65
1:00 — Briarcrest Christian vs. Vashon
2:40 — Riverview vs. Chicago Whitney Young
4:20 — Roman Catholic vs. Marshall County
6:00 — IMG Academy vs. Fort Myers
7:45 — Montverde Academy vs. Sanford School (Del.)
9:30 — Pompano Beach Blanche Ely vs. Seattle (Wash.) O’Dea
If you have high school or travel basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer at PatALammer@Gmail.com