NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – In 2016 when Mokan Elite (Kansas) won the Nike Peach Jam title, they boasted two eventual NBA Lottery picks Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) and Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets).
Whether this year’s tandem of point guard Kennedy Chandler and center N’Faly Dante, ranked No. 10 in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25, can repeat that trajectory remains to be seen, but on Sunday they duplicated another impressive feat, claiming the Peach Jam title 85-84 in overtime over Team WhyNot (California).
Dante took home MVP honors after posting 22 points and 18 rebounds in the win. Chandler added 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
Jalen Green led Team WhyNot with 25 points.
Chandler controlled the pace early and got to the basket at-will, scoring eight first quarter points to give Mokan a 22-19 lead.
Dante controlled the paint, changing shots and finishing plays and Mokan got out in transition in the second quarter to extend its lead to 47-38 at the half.
Mokan shot 58 percent from the field in the first half.
Green caught fire in the third quarter, scoring eight points in a variety of different ways then with 1:25 left in the quarter, Burnett scored on a run-out layup to give WhyNot its first lead of the second half, 58-57.
Chandler answered with four straight points and put an exclamation on Mokan’s run when he stole the ball from Green then dunked on him to finish the play.
Green answered with a highlight play of his own, catching a lob from Devin Askew and throwing down a dunk to tie it at 75 with 1:54 left in regulation.
After another Dante score and just 4.9 seconds left in regulation, Green took a pass on the left wing, maneuvered to the paint, hung in the air and finished with a contested layup to send the game to overtime.
Tied at 84 with 16.3 seconds left in regulation, Dante drained 1 of 2 free throws to put Mokan ahead. When Green’s tip-in off the inbounds pass fell short, the celebration ensued for Mokan.
As players begin to hone in on their recruitment processes with the summer winding down, the big question for Dante is whether he’ll stay in the 2020 class or if he’ll reclassify to 2019 and play in college next season.
As it stands, Dante is focused on Oregon, LSU, Kentucky and Tennessee. He took an official visit to Kentucky on June 27.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY