GHS near upset highlights tournament action

Tre Wilson of Williston has the ball stripped from him by Deltona Trinity Christian Academy's Ryan Hagy (20) during Saturday's opening game at the fourth annual Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational at Eastside High.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 12:17 a.m.

Pompano Beach Blanche Ely outlasted Gainesville 80-76 in double overtime in what was a back and forth and entertaining affair in the finale of the fourth annual Dante Anderson


Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational

Deltona Trinity Christian 76, Williston 66
Miami Southridge 92, P.K. Yonge 71
Eastside 43, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson 40
Pompano Beach Ely 80, Gainesville 76, 2OT

Memorial Invitational hosted by Eastside and on Saturday.

Ely guard Benji Bell had a smile on his face following the Tigers' win over the Hurricanes. It was a fitting end for Bell in the event, which is named after his brother Dante Anderson,

the fallen Eastside star who died in a single-car accident on southwest 13th Street in May of 2007.

"It was great to come back to Eastside where my brother played, it was a great opportunity," said Bell, who played two seasons for Eastside, before playing in North Carolina last season. "It feels good to come back and get a win and represent for my brother."

Bell finished with 11 points for the Tigers (15-2), Class 7A's top-ranked club according to, while Clide Geffrard led the way with 25 points and 19 rebounds. GHS (12-4) led for most of the first three quarters, before Ely quickly erased a five-point deficit to start the fourth quarter. Both clubs battled back and fourth throughout regulation and extending into both overtime periods. Isaiah Jackson, who poured in 25 points for the Hurricanes, nailed two free throws with 14 seconds left in the quarter to tie the score at 63-63 to send the contest into overtime. In the first extra session, Geffrard scored on a put back with 31 seconds left to tie the contest at 69-69. GHS failed to score in the final seconds as the game went into a second four-minute period. The Tigers, who shot just 14-for-30 from the foul line, shot 9-for-14 from the line in the second overtime period. Ryan DeMoss, who ended with 12 points, drained a 3-pointer with 1:02 left to pull the Hurricanes to 77-76. However in the final 22 seconds, Krishawn Myers (11 points) hit one free throw for Ely while Anterio Smith hit a pair which iced the game and provided the final margin.

"I am extremely proud, they fought from beginning to end," said GHS coach Kelly Beckham, whose team is ranked third in Class 6A according to "They have big hearts, they wanted it bad tonight and unfortunately it didn't go our way."

Prior to the finale, tournament director Robert Sumpter, also the Director of Florida Prospects, introduced Anderson's mother, Sheila Baker, who briefly addressed the crowd. Anderson was a 6-foot-4 swingman who was named the MVP of the FHSAA Class 5A final four in 2006, when as a sophomore, he led the Rams to their only state championship in basketball.

In the third game, the host Rams, despite shooting 8-for-23 from the foul line, edged Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson 43-40. Sir Jackson scored 13 points for Eastside (11-2), while Barry Johnson followed with 10 points. Antonio Long had 17 points in the loss for the Cobras (4-7).

"It was great, the competition was great," said Eastside coach Pop Williams. "It was a great event and we plan on having it next year."

In the the event's earlier games, Detereon Ross poured in a game-high 28 points for Williston, but the Red Devils fell to Deltona Trinity Christian, 76-66. Tre Wilson followed with 14 points for Williston (7-6). Dustin Hagy netted 25 points as Trinity Christian had four players score in double digits. In the second game of the four-game slate, Van Turner scored 23 points to lead P.K. Yonge, but the Blue Wave fell to Miami Southridge 92-71. Guided by former Eastside assistant coach John Herron, Southridge led 52-31 at halftime en-route to victory.

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