Posted: 1:48 pm Thursday, March 31st, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Dwyer hoops upsets national powerhouse in ESPN Rise Invitational 

By Jeff Greer

BETHESDA, Md. — It’s an occasion unlike any other in Dwyer basketball’s history.

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And yes, that was said with a Jim Nantz voice. But seriously, this is a huge day for Dwyer (and Palm Beach County) basketball, as the Panthers compete in ESPN Rise’s National High School Invitational for the first time in school and county history. Granted, the tournament is only in its third year, but no other Palm Beach County has gone in the previous two years.

This tournament features a who’s who of high school basketball powerhouses, and it’s a huge credit to Dwyer’s program that it was invited. So stay tuned, and I’ll be updating as we go from Georgetown Prep School in Bethesda, Md., just outside our nation’s capital.

Let’s get going with the game here …

FINAL
Dwyer has upset Findlay Prep 70-61.

Jacoby Brissett was the best player on the court today, from start to finish. He didn’t take over a specific period, he just played the best the whole game.

Stats:

Dwyer: Jacoby Brissett had 30 points, five rebounds and four steals. Vic Adams hit three 3s and 12 points. No other Dwyer player reached double figures. As a team, the Panthers shot 50 percent.

Findlay Prep: Nick Johnson scored 22 points, but had six turnovers. Anthony Bennett had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Nigel Williams-Goss had 10 points. Findlay outrebounded Dwyer 44-24 and had 22 offensive boards, but the Pilots shot 37 percent.

AFTER THREE QUARTERS
Dwyer’s starting big fellas Greg Louis and Joel James sat on the bench for much of the third quarter in foul (and possible injury) trouble, and the Panthers have kept it close. Findlay Prep started the quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 49-45 lead into the third-quarter break.

AT THE HALF
Dwyer got hot from distance in the second quarter and spaced itself from Findlay Prep, taking a 32-24 lead into the break. The Panthers have been executing in the halfcourt, getting big 3s from Vic Adams and Montel Williams. Jacoby Brissett is playing the facilitator role, attacking the basket and finding open shooters. Joel James sat much of the second quarter, but proved effective around the tin during the first frame.

Here are some stats:

For Dwyer: Brissett had nine points and three boards. Adams has six points, and so does James, who also has three rebounds.

The Panthers are shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 3 of 7 from 3. They’ve turned Findlay Prep over three times.

For Findlay Prep: Nick Johnson and Anthony Bennett each have eight points. No one else on Findlay has more than three points.

The Pilots have outrebounded Dwyer 26-15, but they’re also shooting 28 percent and just 8 of 15 from the foul line.

AFTER FIRST QUARTER
Amir Garrett’s fadeaway at the buzzer gave Findlay Prep a 14-12 lead after one. Dwyer has been OK in halfcourt, but hasn’t been able to run as much as it would like. I get the sense the Panthers’ fullcourt pressure wouldn’t bother Findlay Prep as much as their other opponents. Findlay has the guards to handle it.

So far, Jacoby Brissett looks aggressive, taking the ball to the basket with confidence. He has two fouls, though, and Dwyer needs him, 6-10 center Joel James and 6-7 forward Greg Louis to avoid any foul trouble to stay competitive.

Pregame
Dwyer’s rocking the away blues, as the Panthers are the No. 6 seed in the NHSI. Findlay Prep has white jerseys with blue lettering and red trim.

Dwyer starters: 6-7 F Greg Louis, 6-10 C Joel James, 6-3 G Terrell Harris, 6-3 G Vic Adams and 6-4 G Jacoby Brissett.

Findlay Prep starters: 6-3 G Nick Johnson, 6-4 G Nigel Williams-Goss, 6-8 F Winston Shepard, 6-9 C Landen Lucas and 6-8 F Anthony Bennett.

Here’s some pregame reading for those interested:

– Dwyer’s Greg Louis, Joel James close to 100 percent

– Some brief recruiting updates on James, Vic Adams and other Dwyer and Palm Beach County players

– Dwyer readies for fun experience — with some serious intensity

– Dwyer guard (and quarterback) Jacoby Brissett picks basketball over football … for now

– Here’s an interesting read from the Washington Post’s Josh Barr. It details the emergence of this tournament a few years ago and how it impacts high school athletics.