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December 4, 2008

Stars ready to shine in ASCS tipoff

Star gazing is usually reserved for the astronomy geeks who enjoy watching the show from the night sky. Thursday will offer basketball connoisseurs there chance to watch some of the states best talent before they move on to college.

The Atlantic Shores Tip-off tournament is one of the premier pre-season tournaments in the Commonwealth and it takes place over three days beginning Thursday at Atlantic Shores Christian School.

What makes the tournament so inviting is the teams and athletes that will make their way down to Chesapeake. Unlike some tournaments where the host team invites a bunch of creampuffs to beat up on, the ASCS Tipoff features four teams that played in the private schools state semi-finals last season. Atlantic Shores coach Bruce Croxton said he wanted a tournament format similar to the pre-season NIT.

The host school Atlantic Shores has a two-headed monster in their lineup with Duke committee Andre Dawkins, and Oklahoma recruit Steven Pledger. The dynamic duo are both capable of 30 points outings every night and they will try to give the Seahawks their third straight ACSC Tipoff title.

The Miller School was the tournament runner-up in 2007 and they return 6-foot-7 forward Marshawn Powell who has already signed to play in the SEC with Arkansas. Powell is exciting to watch because he has a variety of low post moves. He's joined by Mychal Parker, a smooth 6-foot-6 swingman who is rated the #15 forward in the 2010 class by Rivals.Com. He will be tough to defend no matter who matches up with him.

Perhaps the biggest star (at least according to the Rivals.Com ratings) is 5-star prospect James McAdoo who could possibly be a McDonald's All-American by the time he graduates from Norfolk Christian in 2011. McAdoo could be the best big man to come out of the Hampton Roads area in more than a decade. McAdoo and Powell will go head-to-head in the first game of the tournament.

Cape Henry lost to Miller School in the VIS semi-finals and they would welcome a shot at the Mavericks in the finals on Saturday. The Dolphins are led by 6-foot-6 forward Terrell Allen who opened the season with a 27-point, 19 rebound effort against Calvary Christian. Allen may be the most underrated star on the court this weekend but he is a quiet assassin.

Michael Gbinije (6-foot-5), from Christchurch, doesn't have a Rivals ranking yet but that's because Rivals.Com only released the nation's top 10 (a list McAdoo was on). Gbinije was the D-3 VIS Player of the Year after leading Evangel Christian to a State championship as a freshman. Also, with a championship ring is James Ford who was the starting point guard for Evangel as an eighth-grader.

Other players of note are Coron Williams of Christchurch, Jared Jernigan of Tallwood, and Dylan Shiftlett and Chris Astorga of Cape Henry. Shiftlett, Astorga, and Williams were on the VirginiaPreps.Com Top 100 Private School players list.

Schedule of Games

Thursday, December 4
Game 1: Miller vs. Norfolk Christian 3:30pm
Game 2: Christchurch vs. Hanover High School 5:15pm
Game 3: Cox High School vs. Atlantic Shores 7pm
Game 4: Tallwood High School vs. Cape Henry Collegiate 8:45pm

Friday, December 5
Game 5: Loser of Game 1 vs. Game 2, 3:15pm
Game 6: Loser of Game 3 vs. Game 4, 5pm
Game 7: Winner of Game 1 vs. Game 2, 6:45pm
Game 8: Winner of Game 3 vs. Game 4, 8:30pm

Saturday, December 6
Game 9: Loser of Game 5 vs. Game 6, 10am
Game 10: Winner of Game 5 vs. Game 6, 11:45am
Game 11: Loser of Game 7 vs. Game 8, 1:30pm
Game 12: Championship 3:15pm

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