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ALL-USA Watch: Trying to guard 6-10 Charles Bassey isn't fun

Washington's Isaac Goeman goes up for a shot against Charles Bassey (Photo: Joe Alhmquist, Argus Leader)

Washington’s Isaac Goeman goes up for a shot against Charles Bassey (Photo: Joe Ahlmquist, Argus Leader)

Washington (Sioux Falls, S.D.) senior center Isaac Goeman had a different experience than he’s used to when Washington played St. Anthony (Texas) at the Mike Miller Classic.

The 6-10 sophomore is ranked as the No. 2 player in his class by ESPN. He opened the game with a dunk in the lane just 30 seconds in, helping lead the Yellowjackets to a 73-50 victory.

Bassey, who was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Boys Basketball Team, finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks and three assists on 9-of-17 shooting –  and he did it all in 24 minutes. He was also 3-for-3 from three-point range.

“I wouldn’t say that it was fun. Challenging is probably a better word,” Goeman said of guarding Bassey. “Whenever you get to play against a player that is that talented, it’s just one of those things where you have to figure out what you can do to guard him. He’s quicker, taller and can jump higher than me, but the one thing I could do was push him around little bit.”

Goeman finished the night with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting even if many of Bassey’s blocks came against him.

Washington trailed 31-16 at halftime and trailed by as many as 25 in the second half at 50-25 with 12:20 to play. But again, Washington didn’t fade and got it to 15 with 4:28 to play when Goeman scored on a three-point play.

The second half also offered the play of the day as St. Anthony’s Isiah Saenz stole the ball at mid-court, dribbled the length of the court and lobbed the ball off of the backboard where Bassey grabbed it and drove home a monster dunk to the delight of the crowd at The Pentagon.

It’s been an interesting season for Bassey and St. Anthony. Bassey was initially declared ineligible but he regained his eligibility when his school left Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools in December and joined the Texas Christian Athletic League. Coach Jeff Merritt as fired in late November after he decided to play Bassey after he was ruled ineligible.

Bassey was among five players ruled ineligible at the start of the season. All five regained their eligibility with the change in affiliation. Bassey was the only one among them who was with the team last year when it reached the TAPPS Class 5A championship game.

Contributing: USA TODAY High School Sports