Pizza Hut Invitational Boys’ Final – Greensboro Day School 55, Northeast Guilford 50

Greensboro Day School ties the tournament record with its 10th Pizza Hut Invitational Boys’ title. Dudley also has 10 titles. The Bengals have won five of the last seven Pizza Hut Invitational titles.

Greensboro Day School head coach Freddy Johnson has coached all 10 Bengals’ titlists, which is a tournament record among coaches.

Greensboro Day School is now 10-4 in Pizza Hut Invitational boys’ finals and has not lost in a championship game appearance since 2001.

2011 Pizza Hut Invitational Boys’ All-Tournament Team
Frank Eaves, Sr., Page
Bryce Benjamin, Sr., Northeast Guilford
Cameron Smith, Sr., Northeast Guilford
J.T. Terry, Jr., Greensboro Day School
Reed Lucas, Jr., Greensboro Day School
Tracy Gathings, Sr., Smith

MVP – Jalen Ross, Sr., Greensboro Day School

Jim Pritchett Sportsmanship Award: Cameron Smith, Sr., Northeast Guilford

Northeast Guilford vs Greensboro Day
12/28/11 8:10 pm at Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Cent.
At Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Cent.


NORTHEAST GUILFORD (8-3): Bryce Benjamin 7-12 6-6 25; Cameron Smith 5-8 1-1 14; Mohammed Tijani 1-5 1-2 4; Trevone Williamson 1-9 1-2 3; Jalen Hairston 1-3 0-0 2; Donavon Gilmore 1-4 0-0 2; Grant Griffin 0-0 0-0 0; Jesse Simpson 0-6 0-0 0. Totals 16-47 9-11 50.

GREENSBORO DAY (15-1): Reed Lucas 5-6 0-0 14; JT Terry 5-10 1-1 13; Jalen Ross 3-9 2-3 9; Reggie Dillard 2-5 2-3 7; Christian Hairston 2-5 1-4 5; Quayshad Williams 1-6 1-2 3; Montrel Goldston 1-3 0-0 2; Julian Sampah 1-2 0-0 2; Jake White 0-0 0-0 0; Jawahn Alexandre 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-46 7-13 55.

   Northeast Guilford............   12   19    5   14  -   50
   Greensboro Day................   12   10   17   16  -   55

3-point goals–Northeast Guilford 9-25 (Bryce Benjamin 5-9; Cameron Smith 3-5; Mohammed Tijani 1-1; Jesse Simpson 0-4; Jalen Hairston 0-1; Trevone Williamson 0-5), Greensboro Day 8-15 (Reed Lucas 4-4; JT Terry 2-4; Reggie Dillard 1-2; Jalen Ross 1-3; Montrel Goldston 0-1; Christian Hairston 0-1).
Fouled out–Northeast Guilford-None, Greensboro Day-None.
Rebounds–Northeast Guilford 24 (Cameron Smith 4; Bryce Benjamin 4; Donavon Gilmore 4), Greensboro Day 36 (JT Terry 6; Reggie Dillard 6).
Assists–Northeast Guilford 10 (Trevone Williamson 3; Cameron Smith 3), Greensboro Day 13 (Jalen Ross 4; Christian Hairston 4; Reggie Dillard 4).
Total fouls–Northeast Guilford 17, Greensboro Day 14.
Technical fouls–Northeast Guilford-None, Greensboro Day-None.

36th Annual Pizza Hut Invitational presented by NewBridge Bank Boys’ Championship Game Greensboro Day ties the tournament record with its 10th Pizza Hut Invitational title.


  1. Reed lucas and julian from Northwest
    hairston and goldston from grimsley
    Dilliard from dudley
    Williams from eastern guilford
    Terry from page district
    Ross from Northern

  2. Completely irrelevant. Greensboro Day is a private school without a district. You can only laugh when an ignorant comment like that is made.

    The entire student body would attend their respective district public school if GDS was not in existence. Actually they’d just attend whichever private school was in place because the public school system is failing the kids as a whole; that’s the real issue and it’s no joking matter. However, I realize this is not the right forum for that discussion. Goodnight!


  3. Congrats to GDS for winning the Pizza Hut. They had a slow 1st half. They played with a lot of desire and intensity in the 2nd half.


  4. GDS is stealing players from various high schools – wow! So, GDS is stealing players off the street or when their get off the bus like slaves and holding them captive until they graduate or the Guilford Co adm does something to stop it. Okay. The last that I checked it is the parents that made these decisions for their kids. I don’t think GDS has any kids on campus that writes their own check for full tuition and books. These kids left the public schools because GDS is offering something greater than what they could get or have access to within their district schools.

    What about all of the kids that are switching high schools via the academies and IB programs? Page and I believe Grimsley benefit from the IB programs year after year. Smith, Dudley and I believe Southern benefit from the academies year after year. It is great that parents and kids have options available to them when their district school is not meeting their needs.

  5. Dudley haven’t played in the Little four in (10 years,speaking sarcastically) and they also have won there 10 titles without 5th year players!!! How many of those have GDS won without 5th year players or reclasses? And number 2 who cares how many GDS have won? Why are you trying to compare the two?? There is no comparison it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Dudley is the true powerhouse. When’s the last time GDS been ranked nationally?

  6. We were the original charter member in 1974 and played in the event up until recently. (asides from going away for 1 year and coming right back). We have played in many more Little 4 tournaments than GDS to have the same # of titles. I hope we are back in the tournament soon.

    Congratulations to all the kids who participated in the Little 4 and experienced success.

  7. To Who Cares!!
    First – you should consider that kids also read this site and you should avoid putting words like “Sh##” in a posting for public view.
    Second – if a kid fails a grade at any point in time from k thru 12, should that kid be allowed to play ball. What is the difference in a kid that reclass to fix some educational issues or short comings (usually a gap in math and english) versus the kid that simply failed and has now recovered with up to standard grades? Until you can verify that Dudley does not have any kids on their team that have never failed a grade and were held back, then you don’t have an argument against GDS or any other school.
    Last – these arguments against reclassing are just stupid. No kid (with the support of their parents) would ever reclass without a solid reason. You should look back at the failures of the district elementary, middle and high school when kids are continuously getting pushed through school without any ensurance of a high educational background.

  8. why doesnt dudley play in tournament anymore? and if page would have won they only lost by one point-they won last year-would this change all the gds complaints? probably not

  9. Erick Hicks was in Northeast’s district – man I am sure the Rams would have loved to have him. Kevin Swinton played his freshman year Southeast before transferring to Dudley. These were two dominant high major division I players. The list continues.

    I do not know why Dudley does not play in the tournament.

    Congratulations to GDS they are a great team.

  10. I sent my child to Dudley strictly for basketball because they were known (at that time) to be a powerhouse. Because of the academy, we were able to send our child to Dudley. We do not or did not live in Dudley’s district so if private schools are stealing players then I have to say the academies are doing the same thing. However, I quickly changed the next year because I was not happy with the culture of the school or the administration. The one thing I would always notice was the excessive amounts of cigarette butts that would always be on the ground and the amount of cursing I would hear as I walk through the halls and on the outside of the school from students and some teachers (not all). When I walk through the hallways at GDS or walk the grounds I don’t hear cursing or see any type of litter on the grounds. Haven’t been to Dudley in a while so don’t know how things are now. Dudley had the best office secretary in the world. She was the nicest lady and so patient.

    There are some great educators at the great Dudley High just like everywhere else. It’s a parent’s personal choice to send their child to school wherver they want. People have to realize that and stop all this hate. I don’t understand it. It’s a branding issue. The GDS brand will get you alot further than the Dudley brand on your transcript. If you drive a Range Rover people will think you are more financially better off than if you drive a toyota. They are both automobiles and can provide transportation. But one will turn someone’s head faster than the other. Parent’s are just trying to give their kids an upper hand. For those hating on private school it’s a lost cause because as long as they exist, parent’s will apply and now that they are now getting great players the interest is really peaking.

    For those who think private schools teams are weak….do your research for both boys and girls. Most top ranked players from both sides are in private schools. Also, there are some public school teams that are extremely weak, can’t buy a win but they have some great individual players. However, there are some great teams in public school and have great records…but how many players in Guilford County public schools are ranked nationally right now? It’s not rocket science it’s strategy. FOR THE RECORD I AM NOT SAYING GOING TO A PRIVATE SCHOOL WILL GET YOU RANKED….I AM SAYING MOST RANKED PLAYERS ARE IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

  11. All I’ve seen on here is how powerful GDS is and how great the coaching staff is. They are so deep and play such great pressure defense!

    C’MON MAN!!!!!

  12. I sent my child to Dudley strictly for basketball because they were known (at that time) to be a powerhouse. Because of the academy, we were able to send our child to Dudley. We do not or did not live in Dudley's district so if private schools are stealin says:

    Congrats to the Lady Pirates and GDS!!! Both teams are deserving of the win and GDS don’t let these ignorant haters steal your joy!!!

  13. Ignorance makes me laugh……if you are good, doesn’t matter if you are at a private or “known” school, such an idiotic misconception…..fact is most kids aren’t D-1 players, but they and parents have this allusion that going to a certain school means their kid will get recruited….talent gets recruited, nothing more or less…..Congrats to NE, a public school with a district and no academy or IN program to recruit kids for being such a great team with class……high school athletics should be pure, but this recruiting nonsense takes it and makes it garbage……go and compete for the school in your district, have some pride….maybe if more did that some of these bad schools wouldn’t be so bad

  14. Congratulations to Coach Johnson and GDS. Both teams are good as is Page. Not that it matters but NE is not as “pure” as you might think. Gilmore and Smith transferred in somehow. Gilmore was at Western his freshman year. Everybody complains about “recruiting” but what Guilford County should do is have open enrollment. So-called “recruiting” has benefits for the kids for example, what if you are the 3rd string Center for Smith but you are a good player? If that player stays at Smith they may never play basketball and it may limit their hope of going to college. With open enrollment the player could transfer to another school and improve their chances of going to college and getting an education. Open enrollment would also make the GCS coaches better because if they are not good players will transfer. All of this benefits the kids and the schools because if you have a good coach the players will improve, teams will win and paying fans will fill the stands. Open enrollment would also cut down on the number of players leaving for private schools. We live in a free country, we pay taxes, and players are not professional athletes that are bound by contracts. If parents pay their taxes they should have the freedom to send their child to the school that is in the best interest of their child academically as well as athletically.

  15. Open Enrollment works fine in Forsyth County. Kids in winston which schools like its nothing. Guilford County needs to let basketball coaches coach these kids. Not teachers who are fill ins just because they are part of guilford county schools. From experience I know some of these public school coaches are not for the kids or not focused on basketball. Public school kids not getting scholarships can be blamed on how much the high school coach they have reached out to colleges. If you dont call the college coach back or kill the kid with coaches no one is going to college. Parents also have to be more involved the aspect of a kid going to college. Make the high school and aau coaches do the job they are suppose to do. Dont blame private schools for having the process more in place.

  16. I totally agree with the above comment. Let the kids choose where they want to go like Forsyth County. By doing this you could get rid of the County AD and have less goverance. If GCS would star educating instead of investigating maybe kids would stay.

  17. Cameron Smith drives from Denton, NC – 1 hour away to go to Northeast High School. The kid had a fantastic tournament (all tournament team). His family made the decision that it was in their child’s best interest to go to Northeast. People must respect the decision that these families make. The kid got to play for a Pizza Hut title and played awesome. He plays for a good coach too.

    Congratulations to both Northeast and GDS for making the championship game. I thought the seeding of the tournament was very good considering to the top 2 seeded teams played for the championship.

    Both GDS and Northeast represented Guilford County well. We should be proud of all the kids and schools that participated in the event.

    GDS made some good adjustments at half and really played well to finish the game.

  18. If you know what your talking about then you would know that Eric Hicks lived in walking distance to the school. Number 2. Everybody knows that this reclassing thing has nothing to do with academics. How many soccer,tennis,baseball or football players you here of re classifying? It’s all about if my child can get a better Basketball opportunity. Also how many of these kids that have reclassified and has gone to GDS have received major D1 scholarships and how many have come out of Dudley? If you take out all the kids that are on GDS team now and send them to the Highschool they were at previously, how good would they really be? And to Anwser that question of why Dudley don’t play in the little 4, it’s simply because they have been offered better opportunities to showcase their kids and also offer wonderful life time experiences as in when they traveled to Puerto Rico during the Christmas break.

  19. I really like what ‘Basketball is only a Game’ is saying….Very good tournament….63-62 game with Page-GDS on Tuesday and then the 55-50 NEG-GDS game last night…..That’s good competition and Page and NEG both had leads on GDS and the Bengals made adjustments and they came back and won….You have to love the effort turned in by Cam Smith of NEG…..Like so many kids, he puts his heart and soul into the games and laid it all out last night….He was very emotional at the end and he really turned in a super effort….Bryce Benjamin had one of the best games of his career for NEG, so NEG should not hang their heads, they will be in the thick of the 3-A race….NEG has 3 losses and they are 55-53 to Page, 56-54 to Northern and the 55-50 game to GDS last night….NEG seems to play a lot of games in the 50’s…..Was very impressed with the tournament that JT John Terry had for GDS and you could say the same thing for several other Bengal players….These kids work hard and the fans were treated to a very good tournament….Very humble Paris Kea took home that girls MVP award and we hope to see more big things from her and her Pirates in the future…….Seemed like everyone out at the games had a good time and that is the case, chalk one up for another successful year for the PHI…….Why were they calling it the Little 4 in the paper today???? No real big deal, but I didn’t get it unless there was supposed to focus on the original name in the notes…

    Again, great effort by the kids, Harper, Burrell, Munson, McGee, Conner, Thorpe, Wilkerson, Rogers, Spur, Kea, Johnson, Coleman, Barnes, Smith, Pegram, Robinson, Gathings, Eaves, Lucas, Ross, Cam Smith, Benjamin, Tijani, Williamson, Simpson, Hairston, Terry, Williams, and many, many more….VERY fun tournament to be around……

  20. I am all for recruiting and glad for parents to be able to choose where they send their kids but does the GCS System have a double standard? From above “Basketball is only a game” writes that Cameron Smith is driving 1 hour from Denton. I hope that is not the case and he does live in the district because if he does not then the GCS System has some explaining to do. If what is stated above is true then why has Mo Green allowed the transfer in this case but other schools have been punished for having players from other counties? The same criteria should apply for all kids that transfer into any GCS School. Again this is just another argument for why GCS should go to open enrollment then the county does not have to “police” who goes where. Open enrollment puts the responsibility on the head coach to do a good job and to help his players become successul because if he does not do that the kids will transfer.

  21. There are always exceptions that have to be looked at….Don’t know any details and shouldn’t, but you could or might have a case where a kid’s family moved right before his senior year and the county would allow the kid to attend the school where he has been the past three years for his senior year….Might be a long drive from the new home/location, but I could see that being allowed for a high school senior in his or her last year…….

  22. Open Enrollment is good? If I don’t play at school A, I will transfer to school B. If I don’t play at school B, I will go to school C. It just sounds ridiculous. Work harder, get better and you will play. How many of these kids actually get a scholarship!!!! Not many!!! A lot of these parents are delusional. If you put as much effort into your child’s academic success, they will end up in college regardless of the athletic acumen.

  23. 1 – I find it interesting that Dudley had “better” opportunities after losing 3 straight years in the title game to GDS when Dudley was the more talented team. The decision to leave the tournament after these three consecutive losses to GDS in the Championship game.

    2 – We have tons of kids in public schools that are not in their respective school districts. Smith and Gilmore from Northeast are not the only ones to transfer. Branden Clyburn left Dudley this past season to go to Southwest for his senior season…etc. Parents need to do what is best for their kids and not worry about what other people say.

    3 – Congratulations to GDS on winning their 10th title. That is a BIG accomplishment and should definitely be enjoyed. They have been a joy to watch at the Pizza Hut.

  24. Congratulations to GDS. It is very hard to win the Pizza Hut. They have a great program and do it the right way.

    It was a very well run event. It is an event that all the kids from every team will remember for years to come.

  25. I agree with Golden Eagle. It is very tough to win the Pizza Hut. Johnson has built a great program at GDS. Congratulations to GDS and their team.

  26. Lol…GDS can afford better cleaning services landscapers ect. U get the point. Secondly..the little four made some changes 3 yrs ago and was made an “invitation” tournament. They were disinviting Smith and Southwest to “invite’ Northern and Ragsdale. Dudley was always told that the main inaugural four had to participate when asking not to participate to go to other invites. Main four pagw grimsley smith and dudley. When tournament decided not to invite dmith dudley stated they were also not partcipating. Both gitls and biys teams were invited to play in puerto rico that year. Smith was reinvited and the powers that be choose either not to invite dudely or dudley chooses to take their teams to play in other invitational tournaments.

  27. GDS has a great team. They have a great coaching staff and I would love to see the panthers play the bengals again at the special events center. Congratulations again to GDS.

  28. Gilmore did transfer to Northeast last year but he is playing in the correct district due residence so definitely no recruiting involvement.

  29. Andy, since you shut down the Ragsdale/ NW comments in support of Shoe. What happened to Eric Carter a Junior @ Ragsdale? He has been a varsity player since a freshmen?? Stop avoiding the broken program@ Ragsdale. You need to stop avoiding or are you in Denial? Did Carter leave also?

  30. A lot of kids reclass, not just basketball players. That’s the problem, it happens way more than people think, but basketball is where it is known so people think that is the only place. Even non-athletes reclass.

  31. I agree with Local. It is popular for kids to reclass even if they’re non-athletes. The admissions to college is becoming more difficult and many parents believe that extra year will help them get into a better college. Parents believe this additional foundation or fundamentals will help them down the road.

  32. I have a hard time believing that non athletes reclass. The gpa is determined over the four years of high school so it would be very difficult to improve it significantly with 2 extra semesters.

  33. Example why kids go to private school. Jalen Ross played at Northern his 10th grade year and did not even start or play a lot. Goes to GDS and now a D1 prospect with offers and wins MVP at Pizza Hut Invitional. Thats coaching.

  34. Pirate, I disagree with you. Jalen didn’t play much his 10th grade year but didn’t that northern team win the state championship? Sounds like pretty good coaching. I know Jalen and he’s a good kid but sometimes kids think they deseve things before they earn it. I’m not talking specifically about Jalen but all kids in our society today. Nobody wants to wait and earn their chance. If that northern team had lost a lot I could agree with your argument about coaching but nobody gives a flying crap about mvp of the PHI. He would have been the same prospect if he had stayed at Northern. He’s still a low D-1 maybe, D-2 kid. So it’s not like GDS bumped him up to ACC caliber or big conference caliber. They have tremendous coaches at GDS but some times a lot of people on this board think that only private school coaches can coach and that’s simply not true. A coach is going to play his best players, if your job is on the line you’re going to play your best and I dont know any coach that likes to lose. It worked out as a win win for all parties involved but give some of your public school coaches more credit.

  35. Tom, you can replace grades, so reclassing helps kid improve on grades that may have slipped early. Trust me, it happens a whole lot more that people think.

  36. 1 – Northern did not win the state championship that year.
    2 – Northern has no state championship in basketball, it was vacated.
    3 – Jalen was playing behind Patrick Chandler whose a d3 player and a good pg.

    It was a good move for him to go to GDS.

    We have numerous good high school coaches in Guilford County which is good for all the kids.

  37. Tom,

    It happens a lot more than you think. Their is just no one talking about it because no one cares if they are a saxophone player and reclass. It is a frequent thing these days because of the lack of mathematics taught in some schools. It is the same concept as someone doing pre-kindergarten because they are not ready to start k-5 school and need another year to develop basic skills.

  38. Chandler is a darn good PG, and if he were s Bengal, Ross would still be playing behind him IMO. I have not heard about those D-1 offers, but he had better accept before they change their minds. He is a good he player, but his jump shot needs lots of work whether he’s a pg @ the next level or not. On another subject, I saw T’ville Prep in the Sheetz, and I thought I recognized several Oak Ridge players. Correct? We benefittrd from their dropping basketball as Sumpah is doing a nice job for Bengals. Nice young man too.

  39. Patrick Chandler and Jalen Ross both very good guards….Jalen Ross has an offer from Eastern Michigan, that is his primary offer right now and he should be getting more as this season moves on…..With Thomasville Prep now is Carlos Rankins was with Oak Ridge and CJ Plummer is with Thomasville Prep and was with Westchester last year…..Ryan and Xavier Johnson with T’ville Prep may both have been with ORMA last year too, not for sure, but that is part of the current and past mix…..

  40. A lot of people benefitted from the Oak Ridge dropping hoops. We benefitted the most (Theo). Second most benefit was HP Christian with Michael Obacha. 3rd was Thomasville Prep with Carlos Rankin in addition to the handful of other good players. Fourth was GDS with Sampah. 5th was Southwest Guilford with KJ Langley.

  41. I like watching good fundamental basketball as much as anybody, which is why over the years I have enjoyed watching GDS. They have been a dominant force to be reckoned with in the Greensboro area for some time. However, I can’t help but wonder If GDS had to play by the same rules as public schools, how many of these tournaments would they have actually won? As the old saying goes, “money talks” which is why they will always be “invited” to this tournament. To sum it all up, if you barely win a tournament, beating teams with their former players, by only a few points. Are you really worth all of this hype?

  42. Ragsdale, Page, and Northeast were the 3 wins that GDS had in the Pizza Hut. Not one of their players ever attended any of these schools. So no one did any beating teams with their former players.

    I think nowadays you have so many kids who aren’t going to school in their district or are transferring. Jackson Kent is a good example he played for his father at Page and was able to because his father works at the school but lives in HP. He now goes to HP Christian. So he is a good player who has attended 2 schools that are not in his residence district. I don’t think they win the Pizza Hut in 2010 without “lights out” Jackson Kent.

    Let’s take Ragsdale. They lost their point guard, CJ Plummer, a while back to Westchester and I think he is now at T Prep. Do they come in 8th place if they have CJ Plummer? I don’t know.

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