Jones, Scott team up for final win
NEW YORK -- The last time Durand Scott and Lamont Jones played together in a high school setting, they were suiting up for a Rice squad (Harlem) that fell to Lincoln (Brooklyn) in the 2007 New York State Federation AA finals. Both were sophomores and were primed to place the Raiders among the nation's elite squads for two more seasons.
That all changed when Jones transferred to American Christian (Aston, Pa.) for his junior season before finishing up his high school career at Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) this past year. Scott, meanwhile, remained at Rice.
But after two years apart, the pair teamed up once more, this time to help lead the Black team to a 110-103 victory over the White team in the 2009 Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday. And fittingly, they got to share their final high school hoops moment at their home city arena, Madison Square Garden.
"The crowd showed me love, everybody showed me love, so it was a great environment to be in," Scott said.
For the Miami-bound Scott, it was another in a long line of big-stage victories this season. Rated the nation's No. 43 recruit in the ESPNU 100, Scott scored 23 points and was named MVP after leading Rice to a 70-68 overtime victory over Newburgh Free Academy (Newburgh, N.Y.) in the New York State Federation Class AA finals. He also helped earn a New York CHSAA AA title for Rice, which finished 25-3 and No. 6 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50.
"I'm having fun because I haven't lost in a long time," said Scott.
Jones also enjoyed a stellar senior campaign even though it didn't have a winning ending like Scott's. He averaged 13.5 points and 4.3 assists per game for an Oak Hill Academy team that went 41-1 and fell to Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) in the inaugural ESPN RISE National High School Invitational. The Warriors were No. 2 in the final ESPN RISE FAB 50.
The 6-foot, 190-pound point guard said he's still undecided on where he wants to go to college after decommitting from Virginia Tech last month.
But college was the furthest thing from Jones' mind Saturday night. Rather, he was just happy to be playing with Scott one more time.
"Coming back to play my last high school game with one of my best friends is tremendous," said Jones.
"We were the dynamic duo and for us to reunite in a game like this was great," Scott added.
Jon Mahoney covers high school sports for ESPN RISE Magazine.
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BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS
|Rank||School (City, State)||Rec|
|1||Oak Hill Academy|
Mouth of Wilson, VA
Jersey City, NJ
Flower Mound, TX
|See the full boys' basketball rankings »|