The first half was a little rough for Terry Armstrong, but in the second 16 minutes, he showed why he is one of the nation’s best young basketball players and why UNLV is in early on him.
He drove to the hoop for a rim-shattering dunk, hung in the air to draw a foul and convert a three-point play, and scored 15 points overall in the second half.
Armstrong, ranked by ESPN.com as the No. 18 prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, finished with 18 points and four rebounds to help lead Michigan-based Greenwood Elite to a 76-58 victory over Southern California-based Coastal Elite in Sunday’s U17 bronze-medal game at Bishop Gorman High School.
Armstrong, who is 6 feet 5 inches and plays both guard positions, said UNLV and Mississippi State have offered him scholarships. He later tweeted that Southern Mississippi became the third school to offer.
But many more figure to follow because Armstrong is receiving considerable attention, which could be overwhelming for someone so young. But as a freshman from Flint, Michigan, he made the all-state team last season.
“I handle it well,” Armstrong said. “I don’t think about it too much.”
He said he also hadn’t thought much about the Rebels, and the recruiting process as a whole is early for him.
This week was an important part of the process.
“It was a big stage,” Armstrong said. “A lot of people were here, a lot of great teams.”
ADIDAS SUMMER CHAMPIONSHIPS — Backcourt partners Makai Ashton-Langford and Wabissa Bede combined for 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead Mass Rivals (Massachusetts) to a 93-78 win over Garner Road (North Carolina) in the final of the adidas Summer Championships at Cashman Center.
Ashton-Langford, a 6-2 point guard ranked No. 32 in the ESPN 100 with scholarship offers from Connecticut and Louisville, among others, had 14 points and six boards to help Mass Rivals finish July with a 21-0 record.
“Going undefeated is amazing,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll go down in history. These are my brothers.”
Bede isn’t ranked in the top 100 but was named tournament Most Valuable Player by ESPNU, which aired the final, after compiling 17 points and six rebounds.
“I’m still speechless,” Bede said. “Shout out to all the unranked players and three-star recruits and under.”
Portland Trail Blazers center Noah Vonleh, a former Mass Rivals player, was in attendance, and Golden State Warriors forward David West helped coach Garner Road, his former AAU team.
PLATINUM ELITE CHAMPIONSHIP — In an intense, physical matchup of teams missing their top players, Seattle Rotary Select outlasted the top-seeded Howard Pulley Panthers (Minnesota) 76-75 in overtime to win the Platinum Elite Championship at Spring Valley High.
Kevin Porter, a 6-5 guard from the class of 2018 who has a scholarship offer from Washington, scored 18 points to help Seattle erase a nine-point halftime deficit as Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar watched from courtside.
Seattle was missing its two leading scorers in Daejon Davis and Jaylen Nowell and the Panthers played without Gary Trent Jr., an incoming Findlay Prep senior ranked the nation’s No. 9 recruit by ESPN. The trio left the event early to travel to a Nike Elite camp in Los Angeles.
Seattle, which won three games Sunday with eight players, avenged a lopsided loss to Howard Pulley from earlier this year in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball league.
“We wanted this one bad,” Porter said. “The intensity was high and everyone was into it.”
Brad Davison, a 6-3 point guard who verbally committed to Wisconsin, scored a game-high 26 points for the Panthers and 6-9 forward Daniel Oturu added 18 and missed a half-court shot as time expired. Tre Jones, the younger brother of Tyus Jones — the former Duke star and fifth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves — added 11 points.
FAB 48 U17 INVITATIONAL — Jemarl Baker, who has committed to Cal, scored 20 points to lead California-based Earl Watson to a 65-50 victory over Splash City in the Fab 48 U17 Invitational championship game at Gorman.
For Splash City, which also is located in California, Jade Smith scored 12 points.