KETTERING — L’Christian Smith and Roderick Caldwell each had 15 points to lead unbeaten Wayne (12-0) past IMG Academy (Fla.) 68-58 in the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop Basketball Showcase at the Trent Arena Saturday night.
The game featured a match-up of Wayne coach Travis Trice and his son D’Mitrik Trice, who graduated from Wayne in 2015 and now plays for IMG.
IMG featured Kenny “KJ” Smith, the son of TNT NBA announcer Kenny “The Jet” Smith, who was sitting court side. KJ scored eight points.
“Leading up to it, it’s pretty tough,” said Coach Travis Trice concerning coaching against his son. “You have mixed emotions, but once the game gets started you get dialed in and focused on what your guys are doing. Tomorrow I get to watch as a Dad, that will be totally different.”
IMG Academy will face off against Advanced Prep (TX) on Sunday at 6:45 p.m.
In the first quarter Wayne and IMG were tied twice at 5-5 and 8-8. IMG’s Trewston Pierce hit a bucket to go ahead, but Wayne regained the lead when Caldwell connected on two consecutive 3-pointers to put the Warriors ahead 14-10 at the 1:20 mark. Caldwell hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter to spark the Warriors and ignite the capacity crowd. IMG scored one more time to cut the lead to 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Two Demond Parker 3-pointers extended Wayne’s lead to six points at the 3:10 mark in the second quarter, but IMG scored six unanswered points to tie the game at 22-22 with 1:51 to go in the half. On the next possession Chandler Fointno got the steal and took it to the basket drawing the foul. Fointno hit both free throws to give Wayne the lead 24-22. Smith took the ball strong to the hoop for the score and Fointno hit the front end of a one and one to extend the Warriors lead to 26-22 at half time.
The third quarter started close as IMG’s Aleem Ford drove in the lane for a dunk to cut Wayne’s lead to 34-33 at the 4:10 mark. But Wayne made its move as Caldwell drove the length of the court and dished to Trey Landers for the easy bucket to spark the beginning of a 13-2 run.
On the next possession Smith tipped in a missed shot for Wayne and made it a three point play as he hit the free throw. After an IMG possession Smith made a pass to Kenny Couch who was wide open under the basket for an easy layup to put the Warriors in front 43-33 with 2:00 left in the third quarter. The Warriors continued to hit the gas and ended the third quarter with a 47-38 advantage. Wayne controlled the game the rest of the way as Fointno and Max Morgan-Elliot hit all their free throws down the stretch and Davaughn Alexander hit the final basket to ensure the victory.
Three Warriors were in double figures as L’Christian Smith and Roderick Caldwell each had 15 points while Demond Parker added 12 points. Aleem Ford had 26 points to lead IMG Academy.
“Our thing was to keep our record intact,” said Coach Trice. “We didn’t play very well tonight, that makes it tougher. Our number one goal was to get the win, it really doesn’t matter how great a game or sloppy the game is. We only had three turnovers in the second half which is a huge plus and we got the win.”
“It felt great,” said senior Demond Parker concerning the win. “This was a big game for us. It’s not our main goal to be undefeated, but we knew we needed to win this game. We didn’t play our best, but we ultimately won.”
Wayne will host Meadowdale Tuesday, Jan.19 at 7:30 p.m. and will play at Centerville Friday, Jan.22 at 7:30 p.m.
IMG 12 22 38 58 – 58
WAY 14 26 47 68 – 68
IMG Academy: Aleem Ford 26, Kenny Smith 8, Sam Mack 7, Jacob Winston 6, La’Vette Parker 5, Trewston Pierce 4, D’Mitrik Trice 2. Totals: 22-9-58.
Wayne: L’Christian Smith 15, Roderick Caldwell 15, Demond Parker 12, Trey Landers 7, Chandler Fointno 7, Chazz George 4, Kenny Couch 4, Max Morgan-Elliot 2, Davaughn Alexander 2. Totals: 24-14-68.
3-point goals: IMG Academy 5 (Smith 2, Pierce, Ford, Mack); Wayne 6 (Caldwell 4, Parker 2).
Reach Steve Granata at email@example.com