May 13, 2007

Sabes Invitational - Sunday

The Panthers have been blowing teams out but when the competition got fierce against Portland it was Royce White who stepped up. Able to take defenders off the dribble with the skill and the first step, Royce also has the power to get shots up in traffic followed by the touch to finish. He scored with pull-ups, leaners and then White was able to get to the glass and finish strong. Royce scored 19 points and grabbed ten boards leading Pulley to a 56-39 victory.

Portland 3-Pt's Mike James is a 6-foot-1 guard with a lot of tools. The buzz around the Bloomington gym was his explosive dunk on a breakaway Saturday afternoon. He's got solid handles, a nice stroke from deep with the pull-up or set and Mike has the confidence to boot. James led Portland over East Troy in the first round yesterday and you could see the talent he has against Howard Pulley although he struggled with his shot in that game. James still put up 21 against Pulley but it was not enough.

Without Brett Thompson in the middle the Illinois Warriors were playing an even game with the South Dakota Heat until Warrior guards Derrick Branch and Lawrence Thomas took over at the end of the first half pushing their team to a 39-28 lead. Derrick drove for a tough angled lay-up and hit a pair of three-pointers and then Lawrence made a three at the buzzer extending the lead. From this point on the game was never close again as the Warriors were victorious 77-52. Thomas and Branch are a pair of guards standing about 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-8 and it was their quickness that the Heat just could not handle.

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