The 2009 USA Junior National Select Team watched a nine-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter as the World Select Team rallied to outscore the USA by 17 points in the final stanza to capture a 97-89 win in the 12th annual Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday night in Portland, Ore.
Xavier Henry (Putnam City H.S. / Oklahoma City, Okla.) led all U.S. scorers with 22 points, including 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point, which tied the U.S. Hoop Summit individual game record for both 3-pointers made and attempted. Avery Bradley (Findlay Prep / Henderson, Nev.), who made 10-of-14 shots from the field, added 21 points, and John Wall (Word of God Academy / Raleigh, N.C.) finished with 13 points, a U.S. Hoop Summit game record 11 assists and tied the steals mark with five.
Played in front of a nationally televised audience and a Nike Hoop Summit record crowd of 11,246, the Nike Hoop Summit is the country’s premiere annual basketball game featuring America’s top male high-school-age players taking on a World Select Team comprised of the top international players, 19-years-old or younger.
Led by 23 points from Serbian big man Milan Macvan (Hemofarm-Stada / Serbia) the World Team win ended a seven-game winning streak for the USA, which now holds a 9-3 advantage over its foreign opponents in the 12-game history of the event. Macvan also collected 14 rebounds to tie a World Team Hoop Summit record, including nine rebounds on the offensive glass.
“Their big man got it going in the second half and their guards hit two threes back-to-back in crunch time,” said Wall. “No game is going to be easy. Even though you’re getting the highlights and getting the crowd into it, a team that is big caliber and can make shots like they can, I knew the game wasn’t over. They started making the shotsâ€¦the lead started getting lower and lower, and they came out with a good win.”
Trailing 70-61, the World Team put the fourth quarter’s first points on the board and then compiled a 13-5 run that cut the USA’s advantage to 75-72 when Donatas Motiejunas (Aisciai Kaunas / Lithuania), who tallied 12 of his 21 points in the fourth period, capped the run with a three-point play.
Following a USA timeout, Henry knocked down one of his six 3-pointers at 6:05 and Bradley slammed home a fast-break dunk at 5:44 put the USA back up 80-74. From there, however, the USA struggled to score as the World Team closed the game with a 23-9 run to secure the win, which equaled its highest-ever margin of victory.
“Number 10 (Milan Macvan), he was the glue to that group,” said USA head coach John Olive (Torrey Pines H.S. / San Diego, Calif.). “I don’t know if there was a key turning point, but whenever they needed something, he seemed to get it done.”
The USA was hurt by poor free throw shooting, making just 7-of-16 from the charity strip, and also badly lost the battle of the boards 48-29, giving up 25 offensive boards and 27 second-chance points.
A total of seven Hoop Summit records were tied or bettered. The international squad dished out a record 21 assists, while the U.S. team equaled its assists mark with 23.
“We had to play a very, very well structured game, and we had to take care of the ball,” said World Team head coach Rob Beveridge, who is now 1-4 as the World squad head coach in the Hoop Summit. “The USA guards are some of the best guards that we’ve come up against. We had to put a system in place that was going to counter that. I thought our players really, really did a great job when we got down 8 to 10 points to stay focused and disciplined enough to follow the game plan. We played as a team and that’s why we won the game.”
The game’s first three periods were fairly evenly matched, with the USA holding onto a 23-19 lead after the first period and a one-point, 42-41, advantage at halftime.
The USA reached a 10-point lead with 1:22 remaining in the third quarter when John Henson (Sickles H.S. / Tampa, Fla.), who tallied 10 points and nine rebounds — six of those coming on the offensive end — cleaned up a USA miss with a dunk that made the score 68-58. Tomislav Zubcic (Cibona / Croatia) responded with three points the old-fashioned way for the World Team, but after Wall countered with a slam with 11 seconds remaining the third stanza ended with the USA up 70-61.
Olive was assisted on the USA sideline by Antwan Harris (Washburn H.S. / Minneapolis, Minn. / Pulley Panthers AAU).
The Yahoo webcast of the Nike Hoop Summit had over 100,000 viewers worldwide.