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West Orange Pre-Season Classic

Game 1 :Winter Park vs. Evans

Austin Rivers final season at Winter Park High School has begun the same way his Junior season ended: with a win. Rivers, who is headed to Duke in 2012, and the Winter Park Wildcats easily defeated Evans 64-48 at West Orange High School. While the season has begun the same way last year ended, many other things about Winter Park has changed, including its’ entire rotation.

With transfers  Senior Austin Keel (Winter Springs) and Junior BillyDee Williams (Edgewater) being added to the mix under Head Coach David Bailey, it looks like it could take some time for the team to gel together and by time I mean one quarter. After trailing after the first quarter against Evans, the Wildcats went on to win by 16 points and have a complete team effort in doing so.

Austin Rivers led the charge for the Wildcats, pacing them with 24 points and 4 rebounds, including an alley oop dunk off the backboard from teammate Brett Comer that woke the crowd up. Along with the effort from Rivers, FAU signee Comer added 11 points and 3 steals, new transfer Austin Keel contributed 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals and Junior transfer BillyDee Williams added 9 points and 9 rebounds (6 offensive) off the bench.

While Evans didn’t have many bright spots to brag about, they do have one future stud in sophomore big man Dre’Kalo Clayton who added 21 points and 8 rebounds, including a number of step out jumpers and a three ball.

With potentially four future Division 1 players in the main rotation, it looks like Winter Park is ready for yet another run at another state championship and don’t be surprised to see a more balanced attack from Winter Park all year long.

Winter Park concludes this two day event with a match-up against host West Orange on Thursday night.

Game 2: Edgewater vs. West Orange

The host of this two day event, the West Orange Warriors, controlled the game from start to finish on Tuesday night. With 2 returning starters and 5 other returners, the Warriors of West Orange were well balanced and controlled every aspect of the game in the 57-41 victory over Edgewater. While West Orange had a balanced effort, they were led on the floor by senior guard Dewayne Gallimore who had 8 points, all of which came in the first two quarters of the game. Fortunately for West Orange, they will most likely improve on their record last year of 17-10 with a veteran team.

While Gallimore is their floor leader, they have a number of juniors who are exciting to watch and in just 24 months should be suiting up somewhere in Division 1 basketball. ┬áThose Juniors include 6′6 forward Eric McCree, who had 11 points, and Junior guard Branden Williams and Sophomore forward Will Richardson who had six and nine points respectively.

With a strong core group of guys looking to be around for the next couple of years, I expect West Orange to use their athleticism and ability to play full court defense to challenge many teams, not only in the Central Florida area, but across the state. Again, while Edgewater also didn’t have many positives in the game, senior forward Tim Burkett had 11 points and they also have a talented Freshman in 6′1 guard Eddie Keith to continue to keep an eye on.

The event concludes on Thursday with West Orange hosting Winter Park and Evans and Edgewater battling it out as well.

This article was written by Josh Baker.

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