High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Anton Gill

NHSI preview: Ravenscroft

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
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Team: No. 7 seed Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.)
Record, FAB 50 Rank: 31-3, NR (No. 19 in the Southeast)
Head Coach: Kevin Billerman (12th year at school, 279-70 career record

Key Players:

Madison Jones
Jones initiates the Ravens’ offense and brings a gritty, tough element that becomes infectious as the game progresses. Jones averages 16.5 points, 6.5 assists and 3.4 steals per game and serves as the team’s vocal leader on the floor. “He’s a true point guard and he just controls our team in all areas,” Billerman said. “He’s a great leader.”

Anton Gill
Gill is a freak of an athlete and, at 6-foot-4, will have one of the best high-wire acts at the NHSI. Gill, a Louisville commit, averages 18.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. When the Ravens are in need of a bucket to break a scoring drought, Gill is the player whose number Billerman typically calls.

Marcus Bryan
Bryan, a 6-foot-8 center, is the Ravens’ low post presence and averages 14.3 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. Bryan is versatile enough to step out and consistently knock down the 17-footer, making him a tough draw for most opposing big men.

Road to NHSI:

Ravenscroft knocked off North Carolina powerhouse Christ School (Arden, N.C.) twice in convincing fashion and also won the High School OT Holiday Invitational in December. In that tournament the Ravens knocked off Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) and United Faith (Charlotte, N.C.). Ravenscroft also knocked off Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) to claim the state title.

“We beat all of the top private school teams in our state,” Billerman said. “The guys really stepped up and met every challenge.”

Inside Scoop:

The Ravens lockup defensively and are almost always hounding the opposition with a suffocating man-to-man set. Offensively, the Ravens remain in attack mode at all times whether it’s pushing the ball up the court in transition or running one of the 16 plays in the halfcourt set.

“With Anton and Madison scoring a lot of points, obviously, we shoot a lot of jump shots,” Billerman said. “Both of them are very smart players and they pick their spots well.”

The Ravens average 71 points per game.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Ravenscroft claims the High School OT title

December, 31, 2011
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RALEIGH, N.C. – Madison Jones had the foresight to have the hindsight.

He knew that when he and his Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) teammates’ highly anticipated matchup against Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) ended in a comfortable eight-point win on Nov. 18, Wesleyan would have extra motivation the second time around, especially with the High School OT Holiday Invitational title on the line.

“It’s something that we talked about coming in,” Jones said. “We didn't want to look back and say we should've been more prepared. We knew that they would be ready to get us back, so we knew that we’d have to continue to play our game but also match their intensity.”

They did.

Ravenscroft used a second-half swarm of defensive pressure to knock off Wesleyan Christian 53-44 Friday at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C.

It was the Ravens’ second consecutive High School OT title.

Marcus Bryan led Ravenscroft with 18 points and nine rebounds while Anton Gill and Jones chipped in with 14 and 12.

Jaquel Richmond led Wesleyan with 23 points.

“We just came out and played our game,” said Gill, a Louisville commit who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. “We really locked up defensively in the second half. That was the biggest difference from the first half. Their guards were knocking down shots early, but we made the adjustment.”

Early on it was the Trojans that adjusted.

After falling down 9-0, Wesleyan used the hot hand of Richmond to put together a 24-14 run and claim a 24-23 lead at the half.

Richmond scored 15 points and the Trojans drained 50 percent of their 3-pointers during the run.

“They have three great perimeter players and they were hitting shots with hands in their faces,” said Ravenscroft coach Kevin Billerman. “We were playing really well defensively, and I knew that if we just stayed aggressive on the defensive end, good things would happen.”

Billerman was right.

The Trojans shot just 28 percent in the third quarter and fell behind by as many as 10 points, a deficit they couldn’t find the firepower to recover from.

With the win the Ravens became just the third team in the tournament’s 40-year history to repeat as champs.

“Just to be a part of history is great,” Jones said. “We did it with the same team and that made it even more special.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Five to watch at the HS OT Holiday Invitational

December, 27, 2011
12/27/11
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As much as Rasheed Sulaimon loved ripping open gifts and scarfing down hefty portions of Christmas dinner, he knows that taking home the High School OT Holiday Invitational title would trump it all.

“I’m all about winning,” Sulaimon said. “There’s nothing better than that.”

It won’t be easy.

Here are the top five players who will be in attendance at the basketball tournament in Raleigh, N.C. from Dec. 27-30.

Anton Gill, Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.), 2013, SG
Committed to: Louisville
Gill, who is ranked No. 48 in the ESPNU 60, is a talented combo guard with an exceptional mid-range game and remarkable athleticism to get to the basket and finish with authority almost at will.

Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012, SG
Signed to: North Carolina State
Purvis, who is ranked No. 16 in the ESPNU 100, is one of the best guards in the country and attacks the rim exceptionally well. When he makes up his mind to get into the lane there's little the defense can do to stop him.

Kaleb Tarczewski, St. Mark’s (Southborough, Mass.), 2012, C
Signed to: Arizona
Tarczewski has some of the best hands of any big man in the country and finishes in the lane with authority. Tarczewski, who is ranked No. 6 in the ESPNU 100, runs the floor well and erases shots in the lane.

Theo Pinson, Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.), 2014, SF
Uncommitted
Pinson, who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 25, dominates with his versatility. Pinson knocks down the trey and gets in to the lane and finishes with authority.

Rasheed Sulaimon, Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG
Signed to: Duke
Sulaimon, who is ranked No. 12 in the ESPNU 100, is a defender’s worst nightmare because he can break down his defender with his ball handling ability or knock down deep 3-pointers efficiently. It’s virtually impossible to stop him when he gets rolling.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN

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