ATLANTA – The consensus among NBA scouts at McDonald’s All American practices this week was that Orlando (Fla.) Christian Prep wing Nassir Little was one of the more intriguing prospects because of the energy he brought every time he stepped onto the court.
Little carried over that unrelenting motor to the game and parlayed it into 28 points and five rebounds to lead the West past the East 131-128 and take home MVP honors.
“We were just out there having fun,” said Little, a North Carolina signee. “Bigger than just my play was how we played together as a team and were able to get the win.”
Jordan Brown added 26 points and eight rebounds in the win.
R.J. Barrett, a Duke signee, led the East with 26 points and three rebounds.
Barrett went 5-of-6 from the field in the first half and scored 14 points to lead the East to a 63-54 halftime lead.
The West clawed its way back into the second half and after six lead changes, the West took the 129-128 lead on Brown’s breakaway dunk with 19.5 seconds left in regulation.
Barrett drove the lane and had the ball deflected which led to Cameron Reddish’s run-out dunk to extend the West’s lead.
Darius Garland’s desperation three fell short as time expired.
East wing Zion Williamson went down holding his finger late in the second half and did not return. McDonald’s officials said he was being evaluated after the game.
Now Barrett, Keldon Johnson (a Kentucky signee who scored eight points for the West) David McCormack (a Kansas signee who scored 14 points for the East) and Bol Bol (an Oregon signee who did not play due to injury) head to New York for the GEICO High School Nationals. Barrett and the No. 1 Eagles face Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m., Johnson , McCormack and Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) face No. 11 Garfield (Seattle) at 4 p.m. and Bol and No. 3 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) face No. 6 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) at noon on Thursday.
“That’s been our focus all season,” Barrett said of Montverde. “We want to get it done, so we’re locked in.”
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