68th ANNUAL
PORTSMOUTH INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT
APRIL 13-16

CHURCHLAND HIGH SCHOOL
4301 CEDAR LANE, PORTSMOUTH, VA 23703

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GAME 1 RECAP

Norfolk Sports Club 78  Jani-King 67

It was, above all, good to be back.

In front of dozens of NBA and international scouts and several hundred fans, the 68th annual Portsmouth Invitational tipped off Wednesday night, after a two-year hiatus.

It had been three years since NBA hopefuls squared off at Churchland High School. For Nate Watson, a 6-10 forward from Providence, playing here was extra special. A Portsmouth native, he played a season at Churchland before transferring and finishing his high school career at Bishop O’Connell in Arlington.

“This is where I got my first dunk,” Watson said.

Watson got a couple more Wednesday night, scoring 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting in a losing effort as his team, Jani-King, fell to Norfolk Sports Club 78-67 in the tournament’s first game.

Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall) scored 19 points for the winners, while Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech) added 15. The 6-6 Rhoden and the 6-8 Aluma each grabbed eight rebounds.

Norfolk Sports Club stretched a three-point halftime lead to double digits with seven minutes left, and held off Jani-King from there. An and-one conversion by Aluma after an alley-oop layup pushed the lead to 17 with 4:07 left.

Turnovers doomed the losers. Jani-King committed 22, with Quenton Jackson (Texas A&M), R.J. Cole (Connecticut) and Jamal Cain (Oakland) committing four each.

Watson, a second-team all-Big East selection who averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Friars, was upbeat in spite of the loss, excited to have played well before family and friends.

“It’s come full circle,” he said. “I was thrilled to get the invitation. Why would anyone pass up a chance to play in front of NBA scouts?”

Ed Miller

GAME 2 RECAP

Roger Browns 107  K&D Rounds 103

In the second game Wednesday, Roger Brown’s Restaurant used a late run to spurt past K&D Rounds Landscaping, 107-103.

Jeriah Horne (Tulsa) scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Roger Brown’s, which trailed 98-93 before embarking on an 11-0 run.

K&D Rounds pulled within two on a 3-pointer by Charlie Moore (Miami) with .6 seconds remaining. Tommy Kuhse (St. Mary’s) hit two free throws to ice it for Roger Brown’s.

Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State) scored 18 points to lead K&D Rounds.

Ed Miller

GAME 4 RECAP

Sales Systems, Ltd. 92  Portsmouth Sports Club 80

Missing 17 of 20 shots from 3-point range was no deterrent for Sales System, Ltd., which got 18 points each from big men Josh Carlton (Houston) and Cole Swider (Syracuse) to beat Portsmouth Sports Club, 92-80.

Swider typified the night for Sales System, going 0 for 7 from distance and 6 of 7 from inside the arc, running the floor in transition. Sales Systems scored 48 points in the paint.

“Our bigs told me they’d be running the floor and to just look up,” point guard Alonzo Verge (Nebraska) said.

Still adjusting to running the show after playing off the ball earlier in his college career, Verge had seven assists and four turnovers in 29 minutes.

“Learning the point guard position – that’s what I’m doing now,” he said.

Carlton shot 9 of 15 and grabbed nine rebounds, four of them offensive.

Darius Days (LSU) led Portsmouth Sports Club with 21 points. Alex O’Connell (Creighton) showed off his shooting touch and bounce, hitting 3 of 5 from distance and throwing down the dunk of the night.

Ryan Turell (Yeshiva), the rare Division 3 player to play in Portsmouth, front-rimmed many of his attempts, but got a 3-pointer to fall late.

GAME 5 RECAP

Mike Duman Auto Sales 81 Portsmouth Partnership 77, 2OT

Is there a curfew at the PIT? Mike Duman Auto Sales and Portsmouth Partnership seemed determined to find out in Thursday’s nightcap, battling into double overtime.

Buckets were hard to come by down the stretch. Each team managed just one in the first three-minute overtime session. In the second, a post-up basket by Mike Duman’s Stanley Umude (Arkansas) was the lone field goal.

Guard Jamaree Bouyea (San Francisco) led Mike Duman with 18 points, on 8 of 12 shooting. Guard Alex Barcello (BYU) was also efficient, scoring 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting.

“Hands, hands, get your hands up!” Portsmouth Partnership coach Jason Maxiell implored his players repeatedly. They were solid defensively – holding Mike Duman to 40.8 percent – but shot just 31 percent themselves, and hit just 10 of 45 3-point attempts.

Javante McCoy (Boston University) led Portsmouth Partnership with 19 points, and was the only player to find success from distance, going 4 of 9.

GAME 6 RECAP

Portsmouth Partnership 72, Portsmouth Sports Club 64

Devante’ Jones (Michigan) filled the stat sheet with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to lead Portsmouth Partnership. Javante McCoy (Boston University) added 14 points.

Portsmouth Sports Club, which shot just 28 percent, was led by D’Shawn Schwarz (George Mason) with 13 points.

GAME 7 RECAP

 

Sales System, Ltd. 106, Mike Duman Auto Sales 88

 

Justin Bean (Utah State) looked bouncy, and Ryan Turell (Yeshiva) showed he belonged, and then some, as Sales Systems rolled in a semi-final game.

After playing just 18 minutes Thursday due to a gash on his head, the 6-foot-7 Bean scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and had the dunk of the tournament, soaring for a put-back slam at the basket directly in front of NBA scouts.

“No stitches, thankfully, but they taped it up pretty good,” Bean said, pointing to the bandage above his ear. He sustained the cut Thursday in a scrum for a loose ball, when an opponent’s tooth dug into his head.

“First time for that,” he said.

Bean returned to the game after getting patched up, only to have to leave a second time when the cut reopened and the blood began flowing again.

It left him feeling fresh Friday. Bean ran the floor with abandon, crashed the boards and got to the free throw line, where he hit 9 of 10.

“I just wanted to showcase a little bit of my offensive ability, off the dribble, rebounding the ball, getting out in transition and knocking down shots,” he said.

As for the dunk that electrified the crowd, he said: “It was a perfect storm. I felt like the game was slowing down at that point.”

Turell felt in the flow, too, after a disappointing offensive debut Thursday, when he scored just three points.

The rare Division 3 player to get invited to Portsmouth, Turell said he hadn’t played organized ball since Yeshiva lost in the NCAA tournament.

 “It definitely took me a little bit to get my legs into it, but shooters shoot and I had to keep shooting,” he said.

Turell warmed up late in the first half Friday, and finished with 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range.

Even when his shots weren’t falling Thursday, the 6-7 Turell made the smart play offensively and tried to make his mark on the other end.

“I tried to impact the game defensively,” he said. “It’s all about effort. I’m not the most athletic guy here, I’m not the quickest guy here but I leave it all on the floor.”

GAME 8 RECAP

Roger Brown's Restaurant 88, Norfolk Sports Club 82

 

Jeriah Horne (Tulsa) was again productive, scoring 23 points to pace Roger Brown's.

 

The 6-foot-7 Horne followed up a 24-point performance Wednesday. In two games, he's made 16 of 31 shots overall, including 8 of 16 from 3-point range.

 

Tyrese Martin (Connecticut) added 21 points and eight rebounds for Roger Brown's, which advanced to Saturday's championship game against  Sales Systems, Ltd.

 

Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall) led Norfolk Sports Club with 17 points. Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech) added 16.

GAME 9 RECAP

Jani-King 87, Portsmouth Sports Club 69

Payton Willis (Minnesota) scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Quenton Jackson (Texas A&M) had 18 points and seven assists to lead Jani-King, which blew open a tight game in the second half.

 

The 6-4 Willis hit five of nine 3-point attempts. Portsmouth Sports Club hit just 8 of 31 from distance, and was led by Darius Days (LSU) with 14 points.

GAME 10 RECAP

K&D Rounds Landscaping 96, Portsmouth Partnership 86

 

Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State) scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead K&D Rounds. Terrell Brown Jr. (Washington) added 23 and three assists.

 

K&D Rounds did much of its damage in transition and on second-chance points, scoring 66 points in the paint, which was fortunate, as 19 of 21 3-point attempts missed the mark.

 

Javante McCoy (Boston University) had 21 points and Savion Flagg (Sam Houston St.) 20 for Portsmouth Partnership

GAME 11 RECAP

Norfolk Sports Club 87, Mike Duman Auto Sales 58

 

Score one for the Division 2 duo.

Ryan Hawkins and Trevor Hudgins, former teammates at D2 power Northwest Missouri State, helped propel Norfolk Sports Club to a lopsided win in the third-place game Saturday night. Hawkins (Creighton) scored 24 points and hit 5 of 10 3-pointers, while Hudgins (Northwest Missouri) handed out eight assists.

“We’ve got multiple Division I (caliber) guys in D2,” said Hudgins, the D2 player of the year. “Our conference is full of Division I talent.”

The 6-7 Hawkins transferred to Creighton after being named Most Outstanding Player at the 2021 Elite Eight, helping Northwest to its third NCAA championship. The 6-foot Hudgins led Missouri State to its fourth in 2022.

“Our conference is better than some Division I conferences,” he said. “Better facilities, better support.

“Some guys don’t go Division I because it’s not the right fit,” he said. “If you play well in Division 2, you can go D1, or you can wind up here.”

Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech) also scored 24 points for Norfolk Sports Club, which ran away early and never slowed. Aluma shot 8 of 11 and 3 of 5 from 3-point range.

GAME 12 RECAP

Sales Systems, Ltd. 106, Roger Brown's Restaurant 94

 

With all eight players averaging in double figures for the tournament, Sales Systems, Ltd. was nothing if not balanced.

 

The team spread the wealth again in Saturday's title game, getting 25 points from tournament MVP Michael Devoe (Georgia Tech), 23 from Michael Flowers (Washington State), 20 from Gaige Prim (Missouri State) and 18 from Alonzo Verge (Nebraska).

 

Flowers went 0-for-7 in Friday's semifinal. The 6-1 guard more than made up for it in the championship game, hitting 8 of 9 shots, including all five of his 3-point attempts. 

 

"I had a bad game, and I just wanted to show I could bounce back," Flowers said. "The shots I missed (Friday), I made today."

 

Sales Systems rallied from six points down at the half. The versatile 6-5 Devoe hit timely buckets, both from the perimeter and on drives to the hoop. For the tournament, he averaged 18 points seven rebounds and 5.7 assists, while shooting 18 of 31 (58 percent).

 

Prim took control inside, finishing 6 of 10 attempts and drawing fouls on many others. He went 8 for 8 from the free throw line.

 

Verge had 7 assists to go with his 18 points, and shot 8 of 10.