Duren, Waiters lead Team Final
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In the first of two games Sunday featuring teams from the AAU Super Showcase 17U Division I field, Team Final's backcourt of Dion Waiters of Life Center Academy (Burlington, N.J.) and Tyreek Duren of Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) each scored 19 points in a 69-51 rout of Baltimore Elite at the Milk House in Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.
Waiters, who scored nine of his 19 points in the second half, will sign with Syracuse. Duren is still undecided but drawing attention from several major colleges, including Virginia, Virginia Tech, St. Bonaventure, LaSalle, Temple and Massachusetts.
Duren enjoys partnering with Waiters.
"We have crazy chemistry; it's tough for teams to stay in front of us," Duren said. "We didn't play well here. A lot of people thought we'd at least make it to the semifinals; that we weren't must have been confusing to some."
In a scary moment, Michael Gilchrist of St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), the nation's top-ranked ESPNU 60 player, took a shot to the face in the final seconds. He fell to the floor and eventually left with the game in hand after scoring 12 points for Team Final.
Team Final of Philadelphia never trailed and opened the third quarter scoring the first eight points for a 41-24 lead with 5:10 left. Will Barton of Brewster (N.H.) Academy, a Memphis recruit, tipped in an errant shot making it 52-36 after three.
"They jumped on us early," Barton said. "We made a couple of runs at them and played hard. We didn't have enough to come all the way back; they are a great team."
Barton said he'll play next month at the Nike Global Challenge in Oregon and the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Showcase at the famed Rucker Park outdoor court in Harlem.
Duren (12 points) and Waiters (10) combined for 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting as Team Final led 33-24 at the break.
Barton provided some excitement late in the half when he jammed home a missed shot to cut the deficit to 31-24, but Waiters, who scored his team's final five points, knifed through traffic for a layup, beating the buzzer.
Midway through the first quarter, Team Final took a 12-2 lead and settled for a 16-9 edge through eight minutes.
Christopher Lawlor has covered high school sports for more than 20 years, most recently with USA Today, where he was the head preps writer responsible for national high school rankings in football, baseball, and boys' and girls' basketball. He also worked for Scholastic Coach magazine, for which he ran the Gatorade national Player of the Year program for nine years. Lawlor, a New Jersey resident, grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University.
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