By Antonio Curro – Midwest Punks Editor

The 2008 Windy City Showdown went down this past Saturday inside the Gentile Center on the campus of Loyola University in Chicago, IL and with a number of the top prospects in the country putting it down, the talent level and games were nothing short of sensational as every single game was decided inside the final minute, including two that went into overtime. In the end the Chicago-area teams more than held their own, finishing 3-2 on the day.  Here’s a recap of what went down…

Game 1: St. Josephs (IL) 61, Milwaukee Madison (WI) 54 O.T.

This game was a tightly contested matchup the entire time as both teams went back and forth exchanging leads up until the end of the game. Big plays were made across the board as Ceeron Williams and Josh Brown hit a number of clutch baskets for Milwaukee Madison while Wayne Simon, Brandon Carr, and Mantas Dubauskas, and Louis Green came up big for St. Josephs in the 4th quarter and the overtime session. In the end it was key defensive plays by Wayne Simon and Nate Rogers combined with clutch rebounding by UIC-bound Louis Green that proved to be too much for Milwaukee Madison as St. Josephs was able to escape in overtime with a 61-54 victory to kick off the day.

Mantas Dubauskas led St. Joe’s with 18 points while Wayne Simon popped for 14 points and Brandon Carr hit for 13 points on the come up. Milwaukee Madison was led by sharpshooting guard Ceeron Williams who hit for 16 points while backcourt mate Josh Brown chipped in with 14 in the losing effort.

Game 2: Brooks College Preparatory Academy (IL) 55, Racine Horlick (WI) 52

In another back and forth affair this one saw the young Brooks squad start to come of age as big plays, big baskets, and excellent perimeter defense by the young Brooks team proved to be too much for Horlick, despite a monster performance by Jamil Wilson for Racine Horlick. A laundry list of guys stepped up for Brooks, led by super soph George Marshall Jr., whose ability to make big shots down the stretch and control the tempo of the game were huge against the taller Horlick squad. For Horlick, Wilson was sensational but big turnovers including 3 consecutive turnovers inside the last minutes of the game when the game was tied proved to be too much to overcome as Brooks was able to escape with the 3 point victory.

George Marshall led Brooks with 15 points while Justin Rabb hit for 9 points and Corey Jumper hit for 8 points to lead Brooks.  Jamil Wilson was virtually unstoppable as he it for 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the way for Horlick who also got 11 points from guard Antwon Oliver to pace the attack in a losing effort.

Game 3 Curie Metro (IL) 65, Bishop Luers (IN) 58

In what could be considered one of the surprises of the day depending on how you saw this game, Curie jumped out to an early 17-9 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they controlled the tempo of the game throughout on their way to a 65-58 victory against the defending 2A state champions from Indiana. A balanced attack and key plays at key times of the game combined with poor shooting and execution from Luers throughout the game were major factors in this one.  Deshaun Thomas struggled to find his shot most of the game and when he finally did start to get a rhythm in the 2nd half, Curie was able to get key plays from a number of different players and that was too much for Luers to overcome.

Super soph Wayne Blackshear led the way for Curie with 16 points while Jeremy Price chipped in with 12 points and Greg Travis added 11 for Curie in the victory.  2010 standout Thomas led Bishop Luers with 21 points while super soph Evan Blackmon added 12 points.

Game 4 Detroit Country Day (MI) 75, De La Salle Institute (IL) 72 O.T.

raymccallumWhat was billed as the game of the day proved to be exactly that as the #8 ranked team in the country from Detroit Country Day took on the #1/#2 ranked team in the state of Illinois in De La Salle Institute.  While both teams came in with big reputations, a host of major prospects also took the floor as well as Ray McCallum Jr. (pictured at right), Dashonte Riley, Miami-bound Donnavan Kirk, Amir Williams, Mike Shaw, Fairfield-bound Derek Needham, and Andre Henley all put it down in this one.

While DCD came in as the team to beat it was De La Salle who controlled the game from the start as they mixed solid execution with and inside/outside offensive attack that saw them pull away to a 12 point half time lead. Derek Needham was sensational in the first half as the ultra-quick tough PG attacked the rim, broke down DCD, and also kicked in a couple of trey balls. Also coming up big time before the break was super soph Andre Henley who’s multi-dimensional skills and ability to go inside or outside proved to be too much too handle in the first half for DCD. De La Salle led 38-26 at the half behind 14 points from Needham and 12 points from Henley. Ray McCallum did everything he could to keep DCD in the game during the first half as the multi-skilled talent hit for 13 points before the break.

As strong as De La Salle was during the 1st half, they were equally solid through most of the 2nd half as well and they looked like they were headed for the victory as they held a 12 points lead with a little less than 3 minutes to play in the 4th quarter.  The only problem with that was that someone forgot to tell Ray McCallum Jr. & Jordan Dumars about that as they came up big inside the last 3 minutes on both ends of the floor and when McCallum found Dumars spotting up for a 3 with less than 5 seconds remaining Dumars stroked a trey ball to tie the game and send it to overtime.

DCD took an early lead in overtime and never looked back as a last second 3 point shot fell off the rim for De La Salle and DCD was able to escape with a hard fought 75-72 overtime victory to stay undefeated on the year.

DCD was paced by Ray McCallum as he hit for 18 points to lead the attack.  Super soph Chris Fowler added 15, Jordan Dumars hit for 14, and both Dashonte Riley and Donnavan Kirk each added 11 for Detroit Country Day.  De La Salle was paced by super soph Andre Henley who hit for 20 points in a losing effort.  Derek Needham also added 20 while Mike Shaw chipped in with 11 points.

Game 5 Lawrence North (IN) 63 Simeon Career Academy (IL) 61

In a classic “David vs. Goliath” matchup (due to the size and length of Lawrence North), the fifth and final game of the day proved to be just as exciting as the first four as only a last-second miss by super soph Deshawn Greer allowed Lawrence North to escape out of Chicago with a 2 point victory 63-61.

Lawrence North took the floor with four high-major Division 1 commits and did not disappoint as a 12 first half from junior sensation and Kentucky-bound Dominique Ferguson helped Lawrence North to a 33-31 halftime lead.  Fellow junior Brandon Spearman of Simeon did everything he could in the first half to keep Simeon in the game as he hit for 14 points in the opening session to lead Simeon’s attack.

The 2nd half proved to be much of the same as both teams went back and forth with big plays being made on both ends of the floor. In the end it was Simeon who had the ball in their hands with a chance to send the game into overtime but super soph Deshawn Greer’s attempt came off the rim and Lawrence North was able to escape with a victory to wrap up the day.

Dominique Ferguson paced LN with 17 points while Louisville-bound Stephan Van Treese hit for 15 and super soph Ryan Taylor added 13 on the come up for LN.  Simeon was paced by Brandon Spearman who hit for 23 points while Jeremy Jones added 19 on the come up for the Woverines.

Top 5 performances of the day

1.    Ray McCallum Jr. – Detroit Country Day

2.    Jamil Wilson – Racine Horlick

3.    Andre Henley – De La Salle Institute

4.    Dominique Ferguson – Lawrence North

5.    Brandon Spearman – Simeon Career Academy

Top 5 2009 prospects performances of the day

1.    Jamil Wilson – Racine Horlick

2.    Dashonte Riley – Detroit Country Day

3.    Derek Needham – De La Salle Institute

4.    Jeremy Jones – Simeon Career Academy

5.    Josh Brown – Milwaukee Madison

Top 5 2010 prospects performances of the day

1.    Ray McCallum Jr. – Detroit Country Day

2.    Dominique Ferguson – Lawrence North

3.    Brandon Spearman – Simeon Career Academy

4.    Deshaun Thomas – Bishop Luers

5.    Mantas Dubauskas – St. Josephs

Top 5 2011-2012 prospects performances of the day

1.    Andre Henley – De La Salle Institute

2.    George Marshall Jr. – Brooks College Preparatory Academy

3.    Chris Fowler – Detroit Country Day

4.    Mike Shaw – De La Salle Institute

5.    Ryan Taylor – Lawrence North

Antonio Curro is the National Recruiting Editor for NY2LASports.com.