RALEIGH -- In a final matchup of a pair of the Triangle's top basketball recruits, Word of God Academy's John Wall stole the show from Duke-bound Ryan Kelly's Ravenscroft.
Avenging an earlier 68-59 loss to the Ravens on January 7, Wall and the Holy Rams took control of the game in the second quarter and never looked back as they cruised to a 82-64 victory over Ravenscroft Wednesday night. Kelly finished the night with 29 points, but Wall's 28 were more than enough for the win.
The gym at Ravenscroft's Finley Center was so packed that hundreds of fans were turned away at the doors due to a lack of capacity, but the 1,200 in attendance — including N.C. State head coach Sidney Lowe — were treated to an impressive showing by the currently uncommitted Wall, who is ranked by recruiting service Rivals.com as the top player in the class of 2009.
Wall scored at ease in nearly every way possible in the first half, scoring 20 first-period points off of slashing drives to the hoop, ferocious dunks and parabolic 3-pointers from around the arc. At one point in the second period after nailing two consecutive 3-pointers, Wall hoisted up a third shot from at least 5 feet behind the arc. His "heat check" missed, but Wall still outscored Kelly 20-9 in the first period, propelling his team to a 43-30 halftime lead that would only grow during the second half.
Kelly struggled at times with his outside shot in the first half, as he began to force shot attempts as Ravenscroft started to fall behind on the scoreboard. Still, the 6-foot-10 forward recovered to outscore Wall on the game (29 points to Wall's 28) as he flashed his polished post skills during the second half.
But with out a doubt, Wall proved Wednesday night why so many analysts have him pegged as potentially the best player in the upcoming recruiting class. His athleticism is in the same category of a Gerald Henderson, he can play the roles of both scorer and playmaker, and at 6-foot-4 he has more than ideal size for the point guard position. There has been some speculation that Duke could offer the scholarship intended for guard Kenny Boynton (who committed to Florida in October) to Wall, but it is unclear if an offer has been made or if Wall has any plans to visit Duke in the near future.
Maybe there's a big game in Cameron Indoor Stadium Feb. 11 he'd be interested in attending? Keep an eye on those prime recruit seats behind the Duke bench next Wednesday.
Below: Postgame audio from Kelly (top) and Wall (below).
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