Las Vegas High’s Ray Smith wasn’t sure what to expect in his first game back since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament July 10 at the adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago.
The 6-foot-8-inch small forward, who has signed with Arizona, reminded everyone on Wednesday why he was one of the nation’s most coveted prospects.
Smith had 22 points and five rebounds to lead the Sunrise to a 119-118 win over the Sunset in the Southern Nevada Senior All-Star Basketball Game at Foothill High. Las Vegas’ Devon Colley, a New Orleans signee, hit the go-ahead bucket with 18.7 seconds for the Sunrise.
“This just tells me that no skill, no heart, no perseverance, no attitude, nothing is lost,” Smith said. “It was a setback for a major comeback. I really believe that. And I just thank God for everything he’s done for me.
“It’s a blessing. If all these people weren’t here, I’d be crying right now.”
Smith, who missed his senior season, received a loud ovation after splitting two defenders and throwing down a dunk for the game’s first points.
Smith, the 17th-ranked player on Rivals.com, then added an alley-oop off a pass from Las Vegas teammate Patrick Savoy on the next possession.
He finished the game with seven alley-oop dunks. Smith also had an emphatic off-the-backboard block for the Sunrise, which trailed 63-62 at halftime.
Canyon Springs’ Jordan Davis made it a point to get his friend and teammate involved early.
“We’re all childhood friends,” said Davis, who scored 20 points. “We grew up going to school together, playing against each other. And to see a top prospect like that come back that strong made me proud. He’s like a childhood brother. We spend the night at each other’s house. I’m just proud of how he played.”
Davis, a Northern Colorado signee, also had four rebounds and four assists for the Sunrise, which overcame a 113-110 deficit with 2:24 remaining. Davis scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half.
“There’s a lot of Division I prospects out here,” he said. “Some of us are going to play each other (in the future), so it’s good to get that competition now and take it into college.”
Bishop Gorman’s Richie Thornton, who finished with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, missed a desperation 3-point heave for the Sunset as time expired.
Valley’s Shea Garland finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and two assists, and teammate Taveon Jackson scored 17 points for the Sunrise, which also got 10 points from Foothill’s Kevin Woodland.
Centennial’s Darrian Traylor (UC Irvine) led the Sunset with 18 points and three rebounds. Cimarron-Memorial’s Terrell Walker had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Palo Verde’s Grant Dressler (Sacramento State) and Bishop Gorman’s Nick Blair (Idaho) each finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
Durango’s Apollo Corley added 12 points for the Sunset, which made 14 3-pointers but missed all six of its free-throw attempts.
Liberty’s Paris Strawther, a UNLV signee, had 24 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks to power the Sunrise to an easy 80-44 win over the Sunset.
“It’s definitely bittersweet to have another game in this jersey,” Strawther said. “It’s sad to leave, especially since my coach was coaching me this game. And I know a lot of the girls on the team. It was fun, but I’m sad that it’s over.”
Strawther’s Liberty teammates Aubre Fortner (12 points, five rebounds) and Kealy Brown (eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals) also made strong contributions for the Sunrise, which led 45-30 at halftime.
Coronado’s Dajah Washington scored 11 points, and Rancho’s LaKissa Martin had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks for the Sunrise.
Durango’s Jazmin Chavez led the Sunset with 22 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Bonanza’s Alyssa Powers added 14 points and six rebounds.
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson.