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July 1, 2004Dunwoody (Ga.) High School will be one of the top prep programs next year during the regulars season and they Wildcats kicked off their season on the right foot when they won the AND1 High School Basketball Championship last weekend. The Peach State team rallied around the efforts of Kris Thomas and An'juan Wilderness.
Dunwoody defeated Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) 70-57 in the 315-team tournament that spanned over the month of July. Thomas scored 26 points and had seven steals in championship game. Thomas, an athletic 6-foot-4 guard, was named the tournament's most valuable player. Wilderness, who has been hampered with an injured foot for the last month, contributed with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Guards Kierre Jordan (14 points, five assists) and Wesley Mency (10 assists) were also key in the win. Understandably, Dunwoody head coach Scott Bracco is happy with the way his team performed.
"The confidence level is huge right now," Bracco said. "We went in into it thinking we were pretty good. We came out playing better than we have in a while. It was a great experience for everybody. It was on television and that just gives us the great exposure that everyone wants to have."
Many believed Dunwoody was one of the top high school programs in the nation before the country-wide event. The AND1 title justifies that, Bracco said. The tourney was also a pre-cursor for the level of talent on the upcoming regular season schedule.
"I think this prepares us now for what we want to achieve in the regular season," Bracco said. "We have two national tournaments (City of Palms and Beach Ball Classic) and we were able to see the kind of teams we expect to see at those events. We saw big teams, fast teams, athletic teams and smart teams. It was a nice variety and I couldn't be any happier with my guys."
Seton Hall Prep was led by Porter Braswell (14 points), Andrew Pusar (13 points) and Chris Andrews (11 points). Pusar, a 6-foot-1 guard, averaged 22 in the Pirates final three games.