No. 1 Memphis East, No. 18 University advance to City of Palms Classic cham
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Gradelo Staff
11 months ago
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Video: City of Palms Classic slam dunk contest
New Jersey’s Scottie Lewis rose above the crowd Wednesday night in Fort Myers.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Friday night showdown between No. 9 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) and No. 18 University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the semifinals of the City of Palms Classic lived up to the billing.

University’s Vernon Carey Jr., the nation’s top-rated junior prospect, took over in winning time and directed a 71-63 victory at Florida SouthWestern State College that sends the Sharks to Saturday’s championship game.

Carey posted a team-high 21 points, including 15 in the second half. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and dominated the final quarter. New Mexico commit Drue Drinnon added 20 points and made key plays down the stretch.

Sophomore point guard Sharife Cooper of McEachern continued his strong showing in Fort Myers, pumping in a game-high 26 points in the loss.

In the other semifinal, No. 1 Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.) defeated No. 7 Simeon (Chicago) 70-60, sending the Mustangs to the championship game for the second year in a row.

Memphis East, led by former NBA great Penny Hardaway, utilized its size advantage to own the boards 33-25. The experienced bunch outlasted Simeon and outscored them 10-5 in the final five minutes to pull away.

Chandler Lawson led Memphis East with a game-high 17 points. James Wiseman, a 7-footer that is regarded as the No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2019, owned the interior with 12 points with 11 rebounds.

Wichita State commit Alex Lomax closed out the game by converting key buckets and notched 14 points with six assists.

Kenny Pittman tallied a team-high 14 points for Simeon.

Saturday’s championship game tips at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Photo by: Jim Redman

Vernon Carey Jr. put up 21 points and 10 rebounds Friday night to help lead University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to the final of the most prestigious high school basketball tournament in America.

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