Cully Payne, PG, Schaumburg (Ill.) – The Alabama signee struggled some with his shooting, but hit some big shots in the clutch and scored a game-high 39 points to lead the Saxons to am 83-80 victory over Francis Howell in two overtimes. Payne made 16 of his 30 shot attempts, including four of 14 from behind the 3-point arc, but his buzzer-beating shots at the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime to keep the game going. Howell was led by seniors Cody Sorenson (32 points) and Camron Cathcart (31).
Kendal Brown, PG, Evansville (Ind.) Harrison – A senior point guard who has signed with Southern Illinois, Brown put on a show with his speed and quickness and passing ability. He finished with 20 points, nine assists and four steals as he led the Warriors to a 73-55 victory over Parkway South.
Reggie Buckner, F, Memphis Manassas – The 6-8 Mississippi signee nearly registered a triple double in a 69-54 win against Whitfield. Buckner was a dominant force with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine blocked shots. Buckner's unique talents will make him an interesting player to watch at Ole Miss.
Lonnie Boga, SG, McCluer – A strong 6-3 guard who can score from all over the floor and plays with a purpose, it looks like Wisconsin-Milwaukee got a good one. Boga has been one of the best players in the St. Louis area so far this season and is the leader of one of the best teams. Along with younger brother Shaquille, Boga had 29 points and 13 rebounds to help the Comets come back from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Chicago Foreman 87-83 in overtime. Teammate Jerrel Partlow added 21 points.
TOP 2010 PERFORMERS
Phillip Jackson, F/C, Providence St. Mel – A 6-foot-9 junior post player, Jackson had 24 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocked shots in a 70-63 victory over defending Missouri Class 2 champion Harrisburg. Jackson has offers and interest from several mid-majors, but his recruitment is just getting started. He's a slender-but-skilled post player with a soft touch that could remind some of Gonzaga signee Sam Dower.
Tommy Woolridge, G, Chicago Foreman – The Hornets already have two junior guards — Lavonte Dority and Mike McCall — who are racking up scholarship offers and interest from several Division I schools. If Woolridge keeps playing like he did on Saturday, he'll be one to watch as well. A 6-3 guard, Woolridge knocked down six 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 31 points in the loss to McCluer. Dority added 17 points. McCall suffered an ankle injury early in the game.
Julian Johnson, SG, Whitfield – A junior, Johnson isn't your typical 6-3 swingman, but he's surprisingly athletic and his toughness and soft touch make him a productive scorer and rebounder. Against Buckner and Manassas, Johnson had 21 points and 12 rebounds and threw down a nasty dunk over the Mississippi-bound senior but was called for a charge. Johnson had an offer from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and interest from several mid-majors.
TOP 2011 PERFORMERS
Ben McLemore, SG/SF, Wellston (Mo.) – The top two sophomore prospects in the St. Louis area are Brad Beal of Chaminade and 6-7 forward Christian Kirk of St. Charles West. McLemore, a smooth and unselfish 6-5 swingman, is the next best and already has schools like Southern Illinois and Missouri paying attention. McLemore led Wellston to a 56-40 victory over Decatur (Ill.) MacArthur with 14 points, 14 rebounds, six blocked shots and four steals. He also had six turnovers, but McLemore's future is very bright.
Shaquille Boga, PG, McCluer – Lonnie's younger brother, a 5-10 point guard, had a strong debut as a freshman a year ago and showed on Saturday he can play with anybody. Against a Chicago Foreman squad with some good guards, the younger Boga had 31 points, seven assists and five steals. His size may keep him some schools from recruiting him, but he's been more productive than Beal, Kirk and McLemore so far in his high school career.
Keonte Minor, G, East St. Louis – Minor has shown flashes of being one of the top prospects in the sophomore class in the St. Louis area, but his future is probably brighter on the football field, where he helped the Flyers win the Illinois Class 7A championship this fall. Minor had 19 points and 11 rebounds to help East St. Louis come from behind to beat Normandy 74-73 in the final game of the night. Teammate Durand Sain added 18 points.
FACES IN THE CROWD
Girls: Miller Career 63, Memphis Manassas 41
Wellston 56, Decatur MacArthur 40
Providence St. Mel 70, Harrisburg 63
Evansville (Ind.) Harrison 73, Parkway South 55
Schaumburg (Ill.) 83, Francis Howell 80
Memphis Manassas 69, Whitfield 54
McCluer 87, Chicago Foreman 83
East St. Louis 74, Normandy 73