Check out the top plays from the 2013 McDonald's All-American game in Chicago, Ill.
CHICAGO, Ill. -- Mercedes Russell (Springfield, Ore.) posted a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the West squad to a 92-64 trumping of the East team in the 12th Annual Girls McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago.
Russell, who will play for Tennessee next season, was named Most Outstanding Player, receiving the John Wooden Award.
“It means a lot,” said Russell after the game about receiving the award. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates passing me the ball.”
The West squad opened the game with a 17-6 run and was up 45-35 at halftime, paced by the scoring of Russell and future Duke Blue Devil Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro, Ky.) with 8 points each. Most of difference can be attributed to the West ability to rebound on the offensive end and Greenwell’s ability to shoot from beyond the 3-point arc. She converted two of her three attempts in the first half.
“When she hit her first two three we started encouraging her to keep shooting and that opened up a lot on the court,’ said West teammate Linnae Harper (Chicago, Ill.) about the hot start by Greenwell.
"We wanted to push the ball in transition and get good shots and have high intensity the whole game,” added Russell about the opening run.
Stanford-commit Erica McCall (Bakersfield, Calif.) would establish herself at the start of the second half with two quick baskets to negate any thoughts of an East second-half comeback. Tennessee-bound Jordan Reynolds (Portland, Ore.) finished with a double-double of 10 points (all in the second half) and 11 rebounds.
The play-making combination of Kentucky-bound Harper and Rutgers-signee Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark) would prove to be too much for the East to overcome. The duo was just too quick for the East backcourt and stymied every small attempt at a comeback.
Scaife finished with 15 points, four assists and five rebounds. Harper finished with eight points and four assists.
Poor shooting plagued both teams, the East connecting on just 30.4 percent of their shots while the West wasn’t much better, shooting 36.2 percent from the floor. This made for some impressive totals on the boards as the West out-rebounded the East, 72-65, and also forced the East into 21 turnovers.
A trio of future North Carolina Tarheels were featured in this game -- for the East, Diamond Deshields (Norcross, Ga.), the No. 1-ranked player in the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50, posted 15 points and four steals and Stephanie Mavunga (Indianapolis, Ind.) added seven points and a game high-13 rebounds, while for the West Jessica Washington chipped in six points, four assists and three steals.
“I’m proud of the idea of a recruiting class involving three McDonald’s All-Americans,” said DeShields after the game about her future teammates. “To know that I’ll be going to the next level to play with those two girls is pretty exciting. They are very skilled and highly intelligent on the court.”
Likewise, Kentucky-bound Harper was impressed with her future teammate Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.), who dropped in 13 points.
"This was my first time seeing her play on the court. I’ve never seen any footage of her, and I was amazed. She’s a talented player,” said Harper of Epps. “Our positions are the same and I think next year we can make a very good impact on Kentucky and hopefully we can get them to the Final Four.”
The game had one other intersting twist as Ieshia Small, the only unsigned senior coming into the game, announced her decision to attend Baylor.
- 2013 McDonald's All-American rosters announced
- Ieshia Small picks Baylor over South Carolina
- UNC, Duke top the 2013 recruiting rankings