Written by Derek Toney07/21/13
Dedication, determination and discipline are the core principles of the Maryland 3-D boys’ basketball program. It’s been dominant so far at the AAU National Tournament in Orlando.
The 3-D 17- and 16-under squads advanced to the Silver Super Showcase Gold championship bracket Saturday. The 16-under team crushed Venezuela’s Marcelo Silva, 83-23, to finish 3-0 in its pool.
The 17-under squad missed its opportunity at perfection in pool play, falling to Chicago’s Old Dream Team, 51-48. But thanks to overall point differential, Maryland 3-D gained the No. 1 spot in its pool.
The 16-under crew, featuring nine area rising underclassmen, had little problem in its lone match Saturday at the Orlando Sports Center as Calvert Hall College rising sophomore Nico Clareth had 24 points and rising junior guard Drew Edwards (Calvert Hall) added 17.
Along with Andrew Clark (Century), Bryce Thurston (Mount St. Joseph), Ray Toomer (Severn School), Darryl Williams (Glenelg Country School) and Charles Duckett, Xavier Griffith and Evan Phoenix from Calvert Hall, Maryland 3-D won its three pool matches by an average margin of 32 points.
“We had this group together for about four years and we have a great group of young men,” said Maryland 3-D coach Tank Duckett, who’s an assistant at Calvert Hall College and formerly coached at Severn School. “We do a lot of things right, we pass the ball, run the floor, it’s a credit to the young men.”
The degree of difficulty increases Sunday evening when 3-D takes on either Ohio’s Varsity White or The Unit from Florida at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.
“We know we’re going to have to step it up,” said Phoenix.
A second half comeback fell just short as the 3-D 17-under team tasted defeat for the first time in Florida. Ryan Luther, a rising senior forward from Pennsylvania’s Hampton High, had 22 points and Glenelg Country School’s rising senior guard Chancellor Barnard added 14.
Down 29-13 at halftime, 3-D closed to within 49-48 on a Barnard free throw with 49.5 seconds remaining in regulation. After a Jamani Pierre free throw put Old Dream Team up two, Anthony Richards (Pennsylvania’s New Castle) missed on a pair of three-point attempts for 3-D.
The Windy City squad added a free throw for a 51-48 advantage with 17.9 seconds remaining. Luther missed a three-pointer with a second left.
Earlier Saturday, 3-D defeated the Georgia Stars, 60-51, as Barnard finished with 13 points. The squad will play either North Carolina’s Mid State Magic or the Florida Tarheels late Sunday night in the championship Gold bracket.