Closing thoughts after Day One of the Pizza Hut Invitational Tournament

Posted by Andy Durham on December 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm under High School | 24 Comments to Read

Heading to the Semifinals on Friday so do you see any more upsets coming??????

Greensboro Day School has won the boy’s side now four years straight and do you see Frye, Berry, McBeth and company calling out Daniel Downing and DC Arendas to help them pull off what could be the biggest upset in Tournament history or does GDS just move right on through to the finals with their usual steady and fundamentally sound play?????

As was mentioned previously, John Terry had a big game for GDS in game one and Robertson, Williams and Roberts are going to pose a big problem for Northern on the inside.

NG does not have the height to match up with GDS and GDS was working to get Williams off down low, on the blocks, against Smith and the only way to stop that action, is to prevent the entry pass and that is easier said than done…..

GDS may play Frye in a similar manner to what they did against Jay Canty in the final game last year, but Frye can burn you up from the outside, if you just focus on keeping him away from the basket….Frye had something in the neighborhood of 23 points, 8 boards, 8 assists and 5 blocks(one heck of a linescore) in the NG win over Ragsdale and it was a fine effort, but those numbers will be much harder to come by, against Greensboro Day….

One of the more impressive jobs defensively by GDS, came a few years back against Dudley, when the Bengals were able to take Will Graves, Kenny Belton and Josh Chavis all out of their games and the Bengals cruised to victory….

NG will be without Barry Scoggins(out with the flu), according to coach Ryan Freeman and that will be a target for GDS as we talked about already and that increases their purpose of trying to get the ball inside to Williams, Robertson and Roberts….

Coach Freeman said he feels that the Bengals will try and attack the point guard spot in the Nighthawks’ lineup and that will mean added pressure for NG’s Patrick Chandler and Jalen Ross…..

GDS tries to cut the head off of the Nighthawk and attack it and destroy it from the point of attack at the point guard position…..Here comes that Bengal pressure and they work to deny the ball to wings Frye and Berry and never let the Nighthawk offense get started……Screens and off-the-ball movement by NG becomes imperative….

What do you think Grimsley over Northeast or do the NEG Rams have one more big upset left in their system?????

Did Northeast Guilford use up their “Get out of Jail” card today or again, do the Rams have one left in them?????

I did not catch many minutes from the NEG win over NWG, but as far as Grimsley goes, the Whirlies got strong performances from Carter Gourley and Krechaun Williams and Burrell Brown did a steady job of running the offense…Grimsley was up early 10-0 on Page, but the Pirates came back and Grimsley was forced to win a tight ball game with Gourley getting untracked from the outside and Williams getting it done from all over the court….(Williams did a very good job of going after and staying after his shot and his five rebounds from the guard spot bear out those results.)

Grimsley’s top five was particularly strong on Thursday and we saw Rashad Sweeney get off to a very good start around the basket with 6 quick points off of three early buckets and he was owning the low blocks until Jon Spain came into the lane and took over the game in the second quarter to allow Page to move ahead, before the game went to a stalemate at 27-27, at the half.

In the second half is when Williams and Gourley took over and the those two young men will need to have equally heads-up games when the Whirlies meet the NEG Rams on Friday afternoon….

In the only meeting with Grimsley and Northeast this season, it was a close back and forth battle at Grimsley, with the NEG Rams pulling it out, 51 – 49….

One has to wonder this time, if the Whirlies don’t go on an inside-outside mission, with the ball going to Rashad Sweeney and then a quick kick-out pass to Gourley or Williams and then back inside to Rashad again, if the defense flys out at the wings….

Christian Hairston has been giving the Whirlies a boost off of the bench with his rebounding and shot-blocking and he could be a force/factor again on Friday with his linear frame going at around 6’6 155…..

We should all be ready to have some fun on Friday as we get set for Day Two of the Pizza Hut Invitational Tournament and this might be one for the books if another upset is lurking around the corner at the Greensboro Coliseum……

More coming as we head toward morning….

  • Wildcat Wonder said,


    You have seen Eastern Guilford’s boys play this year. How much difference do you think the Williams kid at GDS would have made for this Wildcat squad? They don’t look bad without him though.

    Who is going to win the Pizza Hut tourney in your opinion?

  • Andy said,

    Greensboro Day will win the Pizza Hut Tournament again, if for no other reason than the fact that they have so much depth….Pulliam, Dorsett, Weavil, Kleinmann, Terry, Williams, Robertson, Roberts…..That is all quality talent right there and there is very little drop-off when you go from number five to seven in the lineup, in fact there probably is no drop-off….

    Williams would have made a big difference at EG if he was happy there. There would have to be a chemistry and he would have to mesh with his Wildcat teammates.

    There is no way in the world that you could trade what he is receiving at GDS. No slap in the face to the coaching at Eastern, but GDS runs it’s program like a business and what they do is based on the learning and development of players.

    Williams is being taught to be a force on the low blocks at GDS and his improvement in posting up is like the difference in night and day from what it was at Eastern Guilford.

    For a kid with his upside, if you can swing it, GDS is the way to go.

    Eastern has gone through several coaches over the past five years, but the same man has been in charge at Greensboro Day for the past 30 years…

    At EG we have seen Duffy Westmoreland(who coached Eastern to the finals of the Pizza Hut Little Four Tourney against Grimsley and Walker Holt back in 1997…GHS was the winner), Tad Conner(who was there for one year and once played at High Point Wesleyan), a new EG coach took over last year(2008), the head man before him was there 1-2 years and so on and so on…..

    In the long run and in the grand scheme of things, Quayshad Williams is much better off at Greensboro Day with coach Freddy Johnson and assistant Jeff Smith(big man coach) than he would be at Eastern Guilford….

    My cousin Todd Lineberry started all this when he left Grimsley back in the early 80’s(say around 1981-1982) to join Freddy at Greensboro Day and Todd went to set a then-school record with 43 points in a game and he would have scored 53 if he would have listened more closer to what I was telling him from the stands, but you get my main idea…..

    I would have loved to see Williams and Brandon Hairston, along with Tre Radcliffe together this year at EG, but Williams made the right decision for his future…

    BTW, Todd Lineberry went on to play for the Virginia JV squad and he became even a stronger player after he got out of college….Last time we talked he said he was burning up Coach K(Stan) at Sportime/The Club, because Coach K was taking all those 3-pointers and at 6’7, Stan thought he was a guard and Todd took over the game and owned that Sportime Court….

    I wrote you a book and my New Year’s Resolution is to be brief and to the point, unless they start paying me by the word….

  • my Opinion said,


    I agree…Williams is much better at GDS.

    If Freddy can get Williams to respect him, he is already the better for it. Some coaches allow their big time players to act out big time. Disrespect teammates and coaches and that is exactly what Quayshad did at Eastern and got away with it.

    He will grow as a person at GDS; because he will listen he will also grow as a basketball player.

  • CoachKnow said,

    Northeast and Grimsley has played once this season and Northeast won that matchup.

    Northeast losses this season
    NE vs Eastern 65 -68
    NE vs Western 44-45
    NE vs Western 40-42
    NE vs Reidsville 71-76 (overtime)

    Northeast had the opportunity to win each game that they loss.
    Northeast were not outplayed, they beat themselves with turnovers.

    Bryce Benjamin put in 15 points.
    Donavan Griffith was in foul trouble, but he played well.
    Parris Scales, CL Mitchell, Darius White, Tre Williamson, Jalen Hairston, Tevin Campbell, Abdul
    Tijani contributed in the win.

  • Andy said,

    I did the check in and no score was reported at MaxPreps for either Grimsley or NEG on that game:
    12/14/2009 7:30:00 PM vs. Northeast Guilford (McLeansville, NC) Report Score

    That might have been the Monday right after NEG defeated Eastern Guilford at EG and then the Rams went over to Grimsley and beat the Whirlies….

    Maybe the Whirlie girls won that night…..

    At that time both teams were in the neighborhood of 4-3/5-3 range…..

  • I Saw It Myself said,

    Opinion, you mention Williams disrespecting coaches and teammates at Eastern and being allowed to do it. I saw him get benched last year at a couple of games and it didn’t seem like he wasn’t disciplined. He may be better off at GDS , mainly because they have more coaches on staff to give him more individual work and can work with him year round.

  • Andy said,

    Sometimes all these games run together but, I did the backtrack here on our site to the game from December 14 with NEG at Grimsley and here is what I came up with:
    One of our followers was at the game and filed this first-hand report and we say thanks for the details and the fine effort…..

    Close back and forth battle at Grimsley tonite, with Rams pulling it out 51 – 49. Grimsley missed a contested layup with 3 seconds to go that would have tied it. Griffith led the Rams in scoring and down the stretch scoring 12 points, including two clutch free throws that put the Rams ahead for good with 35 seconds left. Carter Gourley led the Whirlies with 9 points. Whirlies played every player but one and it did not look like anyone got in a groove, as no one was able to break double digits. As conference play begins soon, they have enough athletes and good players to give everyone but Dudley a run in the conference if they can settle on a rotation. Northeast also looked solid and looked to have a few more true scorers then Grimsley. Whirlie defensive specialist Leshaun Brown was in street clothes tonite, possibly injured?

  • CoachKnow said,

    Greensboro Day will always be a favorite because of the advantages they have over the public schools, such as GDS players are eligible to play more than 8 semesters(4 years) of high school basketball. Whatever other advantage they have I do not care. I welcome them because this is the only school in the tournament at this time that attracts many college recruiters and scouts. I wish Dudley and Oak Ridge could be added without dropping any. Next year we can expect Northwest, Smith and Northeast to be strong teams.

  • Andy said,

    Would you like to the Tournament expanded to bring in out-of-town teams, or do you like the current format?????

  • CoachKnow said,

    I would prefer to have all the Guilford County Schools such as High Point Central,
    Eastern and maybe Westchester, Wesleyan, Dudley, Oak Ridge
    Out of town teams would take away from the funding of the Guilford County schools.

  • Basketball Fan said,

    I wish that they would expand the brackets to include all the GCS schools. Have a 16 team girls bracket(2 eight team format) before christmas and a boys bracket after christmas. What a tournament on the girls side we could have NW at 8-1. HPC 9-0, Dudley 7-3, Eastern Guilford 10-1, Northern Guilford 8-3, Southeast 8-4, Page 5-2 and Ragsdale 8-2. That would be a tough match up every game.

  • Wildcat Wonder said,

    I would love to see a big GCS tournament. That would be awesome. OR even a Guilford County tournament with the GCS schools and some of the privates. It would be a lot of fun to wath.

  • Just For Fun said,


    What do you think of the coaching in Guilford County? Who are some of the top coaches in your opinion? Who does a good job with what they have? (obviously some coaches do a lot with a little less talent)

    That would be a fun article to read.

  • hoopsnut said,

    A full county tourney would be nice!! Not so sure it would be possible though. Unless you did a first round game at home site. Or multiple sites. Then final 8 teams on regular dates. That may fly. Something to think about. The tourney needs both Dudley and GDS in it. Nothing creates buzz in Guilford County like that matchup. People always asking how GDS will beat Dudley. Why dont they ask how Dudley can beat GDS?

    As far as coaching, I think the top is again at GDS. They have a great head coach and continuity with their assistants. Steve Shelton has been there for over 10 years and Jeff Smith has been running the D for the last 4 or 5 years. After that, I think u can look in a few different directions. Like the new kid at Northern. Corbett does a good job at Grimsley. Stan does a great job recruiting. No question Price at Dudley does less with the talent he has. They should have 8-10 state championships over there.

  • hoops observer said,

    As good as Freddy supposedly is and the way things are set up at GDS, they should win the private schools’ state title every yr. I’m not sold on Freddy winning the PHI every yr. Why don’t they do much travelling anymore like they used to? Atleast Price and K will play games around the country.

  • hoopsnut said,

    Hoops Observer how much observing do you actually do? There is a thing called players. They are needed to win championships. And even though GDS has had and still has its fair share of players, It’s not like they are supposed to beat the likes of Christ School every year. They have only had 4 high major D1 players over the past 3 years. And several others that received D1 scholarships. Plus they have 3 or 4 players this year that have already signed. I think GDS has had one kid sign high major in the last 10 years or so. I will give Stan credit for winning with his talented team last year. But take a look at Dudley. What school in its classification has had more talent year in and year out than Dudley? They have players every year. Kids that come to study at the “Academy”. Their best teams have been beaten by what most would say less talented GDS teams. Every year Dudley has at least one high major on its roster. Sometimes 2 or 3. Think about that. How many public schools have that type talent every year? What do they have 2 titles? Maybe 3 over the last 15 years.

  • dale fulton said,

    GDS 47-44 with our “D” forcing Frye to force shots. McBeth will lead the way for them. Jeff Smith, GDS’ defensive genius and CP will shut them down and we will dominate the “O” and “D” glass unless their big man makes a miraculous ecovery. What happened to playrs playing through sickness especially in a tourney like this. He could miss two weeks in their miserable conference and they would still win.
    Go Bengals!!!!!

  • my observations said,

    You are right on. If Dudley had had Freddy coaching them, they would have won 5-6 state championships (minimum) in that period. Price is not a very good coach, as evidenced by his stints in Rockingham county. The only thing to prevent Coach Johnson from winning would be the attitude issues that you might expect. I did get a big laugh out of the 3.0 comment about one of JBD’s star athletes—- things have really changed in the last 4 months is all I can say!
    The only issues that Coach Johnson would have to prevent his winning that many championships would be the attitudes and their being willing to work hard from top to bottom on the basketball roster during the period. Coach Davis does a great job of getting the max out of their football players, and that does not happen in basketball. They get away with murder ( not literally ), as those of you with good memories will remember the Kenny Belton saga ( he actually lived with Graves dad/parents).
    Anyone who believes that the Academy has helped anything other than athletics at Dudley also believes that Robbie perkins, Skip Alston, and Steve Arnold hold the best interests of the people in Greensboro and Guilford county high in their decision-making thought process.
    Happy New Year to all!!!!

  • David Duke said,

    northern 53 gds 46

  • Andy said,

    We should take a look at all the coaches in Guilford County and that might just be a good topic for us in 2010….

    That expanded tournament look s0unds interesting, with all the County schools involved….Say the High Point Central girls and Andrews boys and the Western boys and the Eastern Guilford girls….All of those teams plus SWG and Southern girls and the boys teams from those schools too…

    How about the Pizza Hut Guilford County Classic?????

    I for one would love to see the Dudley boys and girls return to the tournament ASAP!

    And as far as those coaches go, let’s not forget the boy’s coach at Caldwell Academy. I met him last year and he is very solid on the fundamentals and we have talked before about some of his talent, such as Michael Page, Ewing Carter and the Saunders kid….

    Good discussion and do we have any upsets cooking at the Pizza Hut??????

    Let’s all head to the HUT for the games today…..

  • Al Calhoun said,

    Northern in a mild upset 51-42, and coach Freeman establishes himself as the premier young coach i the area.

    Sent from my IPhone account by AT&T

  • lovethegame said,

    To My observation:
    The Wyatt kid had several Ivy offers as well as a verbal with the Naval Academy — sounds to me like the Academy is doing something right. As for Coach Price he is a very good coach that has won several state titles. Why doesn’t someone ask the question if Freddy is so good why hasn’t he gotten more opportunities for his players. A coach is responsible not only for winning but assuring that he helps his players get to the next level. There is a reason Coach price continues to have players go to the next level. He puts them in tournaments as well as situations to get that exposure. The kids at GDS are held to a system that does not allow them to show in a way that colleges are interested — granted they may win but at what cost?Then the next question is — who are they winning against? It doesn’t matter how many titles Price wins ther will always be someone on here hating him for all his hard work and dedication. Just be fair even Roy Williams/Coach K who are two of the greatest coaches ever can’t win the title every year and they are always loaded!!

  • Who needs a center!! said,

    To Dale Fulton,

    Don’t question our kids toughness or the strength of our conference, we beat GDS without a center!! You should be questioning a coach that can’t find a way to score in the paint with a 6′-5″ guy who was being guarded by a 5′-10″ guy most of the second half!

  • Shut Up and Play said,

    Dale Fulton

    Way to go bashing an entire conference that you consider ‘miserable’ when your boys don’t even step up and defeat Northern. Heck, Eastern Guilford got as close to Northern as you guys did and they did it without their post player that you guys recruited.