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New Jersey team wins Shoot Out

By Emily Badger | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted December 24, 2003





KISSIMMEE -- The Kissimmee Rotary Club couldn't have scripted it any better, with the Great Florida Shoot Out title game Tuesday night pitting the Nos. 1 and 3 seeds against each other in a matchup of the best story lines, the strongest drawing power and the top talent at the tournament.

Never mind that neither team was from Florida or even within 700 miles of here. St. Benedict's (N.J.) was attempting to repeat a tournament championship for the first time since 1982. And Colegio Bautista de Caguas (Puerto Rico) was attempting to prove itself off the island for the first time in school history.

The outcome of the game seemed like a meer afterthought in all the noise over the pairing, but in the end, the announced record crowd of 5,160 -- half of whom held their hands over their hearts for the Puerto Rican national anthem -- saw Caguas fall 78-72.

St. Benedict's J.R. Smith, last year's tournament MVP, traded baskets with Caguas' 7-foot-4 center, Peter Ramos, for most of the game. But the Gray Bees (10-0) began to mount an early lead as six of Smith's baskets came from behind the arc, while Ramos worked effectively inside.

"Whenever he scored, I knew I had to hit a shot, too," said Smith, who finished with 30 points. "I put a lot of pressure on myself having been the MVP last year, but Coach [Dan] Hurley just told me to take my time."

None of Smith's baskets had quite the same crowd appeal as Ramos' fourth-quarter dunk to make it 71-65. That launched Caguas (19-1) on a run that eventually cut its deficit to one point with 1 minute, 32 seconds to go -- the closet margin since the first quarter -- but Smith sank another 3 to cement the title.

Ramos, who finished with 29 points, played seven minutes of the fourth quarter in foul trouble.

"He's big, and he's a good player," Hurley said. "But he's really good when he's got four fouls and then they don't call the fifth, and the sixth and the seventh."

Hurley may have been unhappy with the officiating, but one postgame announcement blunted his frustration: Smith edged Ramos for his second Shoot Out MVP.
12-24-2003 10:19 AM
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rickheel Offline
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RE: JR!
Would have been nice to have him for a while.
06-04-2011 01:20 PM
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JRcanReid Offline
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RE: JR!
WHAT DO YOU WANT????? 01-lauramac2
02-25-2013 02:46 PM
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ndlutz Offline
I am the liquor.
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RE: JR!
Holy crap this is an old thread.
03-02-2013 10:25 AM
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