Ballislife All-American Game Report
Team Elite 113, Team Future 110By Dave Rogahn
Kentucky signee Skal Labissiere (Reach Your Dream, Memphis TN) had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and international sensation Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep, ONT Canada) scored 17 points to headline the 5th Annual Ballislife All-American game Saturday in Long Beach.
Labissiere and Maker were named Players of the Game for their respective squads in a spectacular game that featured 22 of the top players from the class of 2015 from all over the continent performing before a sold-out house and a national television audience.
And the game itself was outstanding as Maker's team, dubbed Team Elite, scored the last six points of the game to pull out a 113-110 victory. Labissiere's team, Team Future, rallied from a 26-point first-half deficit to take a lead with 1:45 to play before Team Elite came back to snatch the win in the final minute-plus.
The game began with Maker, a 7-1 native of the Sudan, showing what all the fuss is about as he propelled his team to a 16-5 lead in the first four minutes. On one sequence he blocked a shot on defense, corralled the rebound and dribbled the ball the length of the floor for a lay-up. In those four minutes he had 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, an assist and a steal.
After that start, Team Elite continued to widen its lead, stretching the advantage to 49-23 at one point. Team Future rallied to cut the deficit to 16 points to trail, 63-47, at the half, but the margin continued to stay in double digits well into the second half.
Finally, a dunk by Labissiere brought his team within nine points at 79-70 midway through the second half. Then a basket by Jeremy Hemsley (Damien/SD State) cut the margin to seven, and Paris Austin (Bishop O'Dowd/Boise State) followed with a three to make it 82-78. Another basket by Labissierre made it a one-point game at 87-86 with about nine minutes still left to play.
For the next seven-plus minutes, however, Team Elite continued to hold onto the lead. A 3-point play by Maker with 4:16 left gave his team a 102-98 lead and invoked Lawler's Law, the proposition (popularized by longtime LA Clipper broadcaster Ralph Lawler) that the first team to 100 usually wins the game.
And that turned out to be the case, but just as it was for the Clippers across town in their Game 7 win against the San Antonio Spurs, it was hardly that simple. The Clippers, by the way, were also the first team to 100 in their game, though they needed a last-second basket by Chris Paul to get the win.
And Team Elite would also fall behind in the late stages of the game.
A driving lay-up by Dwayne Bacon (Oak Hill/Florida State) gave Team Future its first lead of the game at 108-107 with 1:45 left. Then Labissiere's fellow Kentucky signee, Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle Catholic NJ) scored on a lay-up with 1:15 remaining to make it 110-107.
But Team Elite battled back.
A dunk by Corey Sanders (Faith Baptist/Rutgers) with 1:03 brought Elite within a point at 110-109. Then Sanders stole the ball back, which led to a dunk by Jalen Adams (Brewster Academy/Connecticut) to put Elite back in the lead. Donovan Mitchell (Brewster Academy/Louisville) grabbed an offensive rebound near the basket and got the ball to Maker for a slam dunk to make it 113-110.
Team Future still had time to tie the game, and coach Dinos Trigonis called a timeout to set up a play. The ball went to Briscoe, but his 3-point try missed. Labissiere tried to slap the ball away as the clock wound down, but just like Vlade Divac in Game 4 of the Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers playoff game in 2002, he slapped it to a waiting opponent at the top of the key. But Stephen Thompson Jr. (Bishop Montgomery/Oregon State) was unable to replicate Robert Horry's dramatic 3-pointer, and his shot missed as the clock expired.
Malik Beasley (St. Francis, Alpharetta GA/Florida State) led all scorers with 22 points for the winners. Maker had his 17 points on 8-for-10 from the floor, and he also had 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals and an assist. Adams had 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, and Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove/Washington) also scored 12 points. Mitchell had 10 points, a game-high 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Justin Simon (Brewster Academy, Arizona) had 9 points and a game-high 6 assists.
For Team Future, Briscoe and Bacon each scored 20 points, with Bacon scoring 15 of his points in the second half to lead the comeback. He also had 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Briscoe finished with 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Labissiere's 16 points came on 8-for-11 from the floor and his 16 rebounds were seven more than anyone else in the game. Most remarkably, he had exactly 8 points and 8 rebounds in each half.
Other standouts for Team Future included Dejounte Murray (Rainier Beach WA/Washington), who had 18 points plus 5 rebounds and 5 assists, and Tyler Dorsey (Maranatha/Oregon), who finished with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Box score2015 Ballislife All-American Game
Saturday, May 2nd @ Long Beach CC - 5 pm
Team Future 110:1-Skal Labissiere (Reach Your Dreams, Memphis TN), C - 8/11 fg, 16 reb, 2 ast, 2 blk, 2 pf, 16 pts
2-Tyler Dorsey (Maranatha, Pasadena CA), G - 3/9 fg, 2/3 ft, 5 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 1 pf, 10 pts
4-Dwayne Bacon (Oak Hill, Mouth of Wilson VA), F - 9/19 fg, 1/2 ft, 4 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 20 pts
6-Derrick Jones (Archbishop Carroll, Radnor PA), F - 3/7 fg, 2 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 1 pf, 6 pts
12-Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle Catholic, Roselle NJ), G - 5/15 fg, 9/14 ft, 3 reb, 4 ast, 2 pf, 20 pts
0-Horace Spencer (Findlay Prep, Las Vegas NV), F - 0/3 fg, 3 reb, 1 blk ,1 stl, 0 pts
3-Paris Austin (Bishop O'Dowd, Oakland CA), G - 1/2 fg, 1/2 ft, 1 reb, 3 pf, 4 pts
5-Dejounte Murray (Rainier Beach, Seattle WA), F - 8/14 fg, 5 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 1 pf, 18 pts
11-Stevie Thompson Jr. (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance CA), G - 2/8 fg, 2 reb, 1 ast, 4 pts
25-Bennie Boatwright (Village Christian, Sun Valley CA), F - 2/4 fg, 6 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 4 pts
42-Jeremy Hemsley (Damien, La Verne CA), G - 4/4 fg, 3 reb, 2 ast, 8 pts
team rebounds: 2
Totals: 45/96 fg (.469), 13/21 ft (.619), 52 reb, 21 ast, 3 blk, 10 stl, 10 pf, 110 pts
3-pt fg (7): Dorsey 2, Murray 2, Bacon, Briscoe, Austin
Turnovers (19): Murray 5, Austin 4, Briscoe 3, Bacon 2, Jones 2, Dorsey, Spencer, Boatwright
Team Elite 113:2-Jalen Adams (Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro NH), G - 6/15 fg, 6 reb, 5 ast, 3 pf, 12 pts
5-Malik Beasley (St. Francis, Alpharetta GA), F - 9/18 fg, 2/2 ft, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk, 2 pf, 22 pts
14-Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep, Mono ONT Canada), C - 8/10 fg, 1/1 ft, 6 reb, 1 ast, 3 blk, 2 stl, 17 pts
15-Chimezie Metu (Lawndale HS, Lawndale CA), F - 3/4 fg, 5 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 2 pf, 6 pts
45-Donovan Mitchell (Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro NH), G - 5/10 fg, 9 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl, 2 pf, 10 pts
00-Chance Comanche (Beverly Hills HS, Beverly Hills CA), C - 2/3 fg, 3 reb, 1 blk, 3 pf, 5 pts
1-Justin Simon (Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro NH), G - 4/8 fg, 1/2 ft, 2 reb, 6 ast, 1 blk, 1 pf, 9 pts
7-Kendall Small (Mayfair, Lakewood CA), G - 2/7 fg, 3/5 ft, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 7 pts
11-Rex Pflueger (Mater Dei, Santa Ana CA), F - 2/5 fg, 3 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 2 pf, 4 pts
20-Corey Sanders (Faith Baptist, Lakeland FL), G - 4/8 fg, 1/4 ft, 3 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl, 9 pts
22-Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove CA), F - 6/9 fg, 2 reb, 1 blk, 12 pts
team rebounds: 2
Totals: 51/97 fg (.526), 8/14 ft (.571), 46 reb, 27 ast, 7 blk, 12 stl, 15 pf, 113 pts
3-pt fg (3): Beasley 2, Comanche
Turnovers (13): Adams 3, Sanders 3, Maker 2, Chriss 2, Beasley, Metu, Small
Halftime Score: Team Elite 63, Team Future 47
Players of the Game: Skal Labissierre (Future) & Thon Maker (Elite)
Team Elite led 49-23 in the first half.
Team Future rallied to take a 108-107 lead with 1:45 left and led 110-107.
Team Elite finished the game on a 6-0 spurt with dunks by Adams & Maker.
Team Future had a chance to tie but 3-point shots by Briscoe & Thompson missed.
In our next article on the event, we'll have a report on the skills competitions:
Briscoe won the 3-point contest; Maker was runner-up.
Jones won the Slam Dunk contest; Mitchell was runner-up.