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The University School Sharks powered past the Somerset Academy Panthers 75-55. The Sharks scored 22-points in the 4th quarter to put away the Panthers in-front of their home fans.
Vernon Carey Jr. is announcing his college commitment on Thursday afternoon. If his college choice was on his mind, he sure did not play like it. Carey came out like a man-possessed in the midst of one of his biggest decisions of his life. In many ways, it was a statement to the lucky winner of his services that he was coming soon to a campus near you.
Carey scored 33-points, using an array of offensive skills which proved too much for the Panther offense. At roughly 260-pounds, Carey glided to the rim for lay-ups like he was Stephen Curry. Carey also showed his smooth stroke from outside like he was Reggie Miller. Keep in mind we are talking about a center built like a defensive end or offensive tackle in football like his father. That being said, Carey Jr. used his size underneath to power down dunks over Panther defenders, who proved to be no-match for the big man.
“Vernon play’s so hard, he has meant so much to our team,” said University School Coach Jim Carr. “His ball handling skills have been terrific. His finishing tonight and maturity was terrific. That game got a little bit rowdy and I thought Vernon and Scottie (Barnes) in the second half were fantastic; we were like 17-for-19 from two. Vernon is a special player. It is great to coach these dudes because they buy-in so much to playing as a team.”
Whoever lands Carey when he makes his college decision on Thursday is getting a talented player with little flaws in his game. Carey’s college choices are down to Michigan State, North Carolina, and Duke.
While Carey scored 15 of his 33 in the first half, Barnes the other five star on the Sharks was held off the scoresheet until the second half. The junior exploded for 17-points over the final two quarters, including a huge trailing block with just over four minutes remaining in the third.
Panthers forward Nathan Montaque finished with a team high 16-points. Right behind him in the box score was the explosive Dudley Blackwell, a talented recruit in his own right. Blackwell finished with 15-points and kept the Panther momentum alive with back to back explosive dunks.
Despite the short bursts of momentum from the two players, the story of the game was Carey. During the fourth quarter, Carey made a strong move to the rim slamming it home and drawing a foul. Carey had no problem flexing his muscles for the fans and media attending the game.
“It was a great game for us, I thought we came out really well as a team,” said Carey. “I thought we used that second half to take control of the game and get a nice win for our guys. It was a great victory tonight.”
College coaches should be on stand-by.