By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
COACH Jamal Smith liked what he saw in the reunion of guard Deyton Albury and forward Garreth Edgecombe at the Big Shots Myrtle Beach Tournament in South Carolina over the weekend.
The two 18-year-olds, who are heading to two different prep schools in South Carolina, made their presence felt in the three games they played in so far for the Defenders.
The Defenders won their opener 70-66 over the Dallas Seawolves on Thursday. Albury was the team’s second highest scorer with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Edgecombe added eight points.
On Independence Day on Friday, the Defenders lost 70-66 to the Big Shots Elite Tri-Cities 17 as Edgecombe turned out to be the second highest scorer with 10 points. Albury was held to just eight.
And in their third game on Saturday, the Defenders lost again (69-52) to the Flight 22 Elite UA Rise 17. Once again, Albury finished with eight and Edgecombe added three.
Despite his numbers, Albury was named the Player of the Game in all three games.
Smith, who reunited with both Albury and Edgecombe since he last coached them at Temple Christian about two years ago, said they performed very well.
“Deyton had a couple of games where he matched up well against some division one players and he performed very well,” said Smith of Albury. “He took care of the ball and he showed that he is capable of playing at this level.
“As for Garreth, he’s making the adjustment to the wing and he performed very well. All in all, I was very leased with the way they both played. They came in and gelled well with the team that we had in place.”
The Defenders closed out play in the showcase on Sunday, but results were available. Smith said the good thing is that both Albury and Edgecombe got to display their skills to over 200 coaches, who got to live stream the event.
This week, the Defenders will be participating in the National AAU Tournament that starts today at the same venue in Myrtle Beach. The Defenders first game will be played on Tuesday. The tournament will run through Sunday.
Albury, a graduate of Sunrise Christian Academy, is looking to enroll in a Prep school before he decides on which college he will participate for next year.
“We’re still trying to get the chemistry back, but individually the performances were good,” Albury said. “Every time I get a chance to play against the high level competition, I try to make the most out of it.”
With an average of 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Albury said he was able to hold his own in the showcase. He noted that it was extra special doing it alongside Edgecombe.
“We haven’t done it in a long time,” said Albury of Edgecombe, who transferred from Temple Christian to finish his high school at Galilee Academy. “Every time we get a chance to get on the court together, we play like we did before.
“We still had the chemistry and we got to get each other involved in the offense, which was good for our team. We hope that we can continue to gel together for the rest of the summer in the tournaments ahead of us.”