Prospects rising

UM recruits Padgett, Williams impress in all-star game

Varsity Boys Basketball Charm City Challenge

April 06, 2009|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Playing together for the first time in their basketball careers, forwards James Padgett and Jordan Williams on Sunday gave local fans a glimpse of their future at the University of Maryland.

On this night, their performance wasn't bad, either.

Padgett, 6 feet 8, earned Most Valuable Player honors by scoring a game-high 22 points on 11-for-13 shooting, and Williams, 6-10, added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks, leading the U.S. All-Stars to a 112-86 win over the Baltimore All-Stars in the Charm City Challenge.

The pair, along with 6-7, 235-pound North Carolina State commitment Richard Howell (17 points, eight rebounds), gave the U.S. team an inside presence the Baltimore squad simply couldn't match.

"The kids were saying just how big they were, and that was what surprised them," said Baltimore coach Dave Herman (Winters Mill). "One of the kids said, 'We're used to seeing big guys, but not that big and that good.' "

The loss was the first in five years for Baltimore in the annual matchup.

Of the 11 players on the U.S. roster, 10 will continue their careers at either an Atlantic Coast Conference or Big East school. None, however, was more in the spotlight than Padgett and Williams, who each received standing ovations during the introductions.

Afterward, Padgett, who recently led his team at Lincoln High to its fourth straight New York Public Schools Athletic League title, said he had been long looking forward to taking the court with his future Terrapins teammate.

"Very much, so we could get an early experience of how we'll try to play with each other," Padgett said. "Jordan's a great player. He's athletic, and he works hard. I think we're going to complement each other on the court."

They showed that best with just less than seven minutes left in the second quarter, when Padgett took a pass near the top of the key and drove the lane for a layup, then seconds later Williams blocked a shot at the other end.

"I'm not a selfish player - I just want to go and win games," said Williams, who averaged 35 points and 20 rebounds this season at Torrington (Conn.) High. The Terps "lacked size this year, so I'm happy to help them inside a little bit. I want to play as much as I can right away."

The U.S. took control early, outscoring Baltimore 30-13 in the second quarter and building a 46-31 lead at halftime after Dalton Pepper (West Virginia) fed Ari Stewart (Wake Forest) for an ally-oop dunk at the buzzer.

The team sealed the win by shooting 62 percent in the second half as the game turned into a series of highlight-reel dunk tries.

Aberdeen guard Devon Saddler (Delaware) and St. Frances forward Terrell Vinson led the Baltimore squad with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

City 89, County 86

In the earlier game, Lake Clifton guard Ja'Quan Jones scored a game-high 20 points, and Darrius Gilmore (Princeton Day) sealed the win for the City All-Stars with three foul shots in the final 11.3 seconds.

George Jackson (Digital Harbor) and Gerald Hill (Mount St. Joseph) added 14 points each for the City team, and Donn Hill (Bel Air) and Micquante Green (Patapsco) led the County squad with 17 and 16, respectively.

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