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Rewinding Cross Creek’s Impressive Tournament of Champions Win with a Special Film Review

Break down of impressive showings by Corey Trotter, Richard Visitacion, Josh Dorsey and Antoine Lorick.

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Corey Trotter – 6’6” Senior – Cross Creek

Cross Creek, class 3A’s #7 ranked team according to Sandysspiel.com, carries a 7-3 record into the new year as region play approaches. The Razorbacks will be aiming to better by one win its fantastic finish a season ago, when Cross Creek finished as class 4A’s state runner up after making it all the way to the state championship before falling to Woodward Academy.

Head coach Lawrence Kelly’s squad exited December on a roll after two Tournament of Champions victories earlier this week at Wheeler High School. The second, a 68-61 decision over Cumberland Christian, a mainstay on the “showcase” circuit that permeates Atlanta’s high school basketball scene in November and December, was particularly impressive. On the day after falling to Cross Creek, Cumberland (14-5) came up short again, but pushed class 7A power McEachern to a 79-77 decision, making the showing by the Razorbacks on Monday that much more encouraging.

Kelly called his team’s performance a “complete game,” and after reviewing the film I would add that his team’s offensive execution was nothing short of stellar, especially given the fact that leading scorer Devin Pope, a senior 6-1 guard with a sweet shooting stroke and explosive athleticism, remains sidelined because of an injury suffered in a loss against River Bluff in the second game of the season.

Film Review – Cross Creek vs Cumberland Christian

Four Razorbacks scored in double figures against Cumberland. 6-6 senior Corey Trotter led the way, posting 22 points on 10-14 field goal shooting while snagging 10 rebounds, 5 of which came on the offensive glass. Trotter scored the first 7 points of the game, including a pretty incredible three pointer that he swished through from several feet behind the top of the key after he received a bounce pass thrown from the jump ball circle. On the play, Trotter moved away from the basket to meet the ball, starting with his back to the hoop before turning, facing up and launching over a defender who couldn’t possibly have known the post player had that in his game. That bucket, along with the left handed finish by Trotter on the game’s first possession, which he scored after rolling off of a screen and pinning the defender deep in the paint, showed just how difficult it is to stop Corey, who has been our area’s most consistent producer dating back to the beginning of his junior season.

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Fellow senior Richard Visitacion, a 5-10 point guard who transferred from Butler, made things even more difficult for Cumberland because of his intelligent play in Cross Creek’s high pick-and-roll heavy offense, not to mention his explosive individual scoring ability. Visitacion scored 16 points and dished 6 assists in the win. His ability to make sure his team gets a good shot on nearly every possession, something that can’t be measured by a statistic, is even as impressive as the zero Visitacion posted in the turnover column. And Rich handled the ball the majority of every Cross Creek possession. I really can’t say enough good things about his play Monday. So I’ll attempt to show it, first through this set of clips, which start with Visitacion putting on a clinic in scoring off of a screen. His explosiveness off the dribble, his patience and intelligence in reading the screener’s defender, and his shot-making ability are all on display.

If you were impressed by Visitacion’s work in the pick-and-roll, check out the offense he generated himself in the second quarter when he scored 8 points combined on three straight possessions, beginning with a wicked step-back jumper after a move that left several feet of space between his defender and him, and ending with a deep three that gave the Razorbacks their largest lead of the game at 42-26 with 1:00 remaining in the second quarter.

The above were all scoring clips. But Visitacion played an equally impressive floor game, assisting on key buckets and generally ensuring that Cross Creek’s many offensive weapons were able to play to their strengths.

Those weapons include senior Josh Dorsey, a 6-5 senior wing who scored 10 points and nailed two three-pointers in the game, the second of which halted a 16-0 Cumberland run that tied the game at 42 in the third quarter. The bomb from the left corner on an inbound play was one of two timely plays by Dorsey, an athletic guard with a nice shooting stroke. With 1:25 left in the game and Cumberland surging again, Josh blocked a shot in transition to prevent what appeared to be a sure layup for Cumberland. Instead, the result was a field goal on the other end by Antoine Lorick which gave Cross Creek a 64-59 lead that wouldn’t be seriously threatened again.

Lorick, a 6-7 sophomore, scored 13 points against Cumberland. These clips of Antoine show why the scouting types who frequent such showcase tournaments tweeted about him pretty much as soon as they saw him. Lorick is long and athletic, which he showed in the first clip below when he flushed a dunk from high above the rim. But he also has game and good court awareness, as illustrated in the next clip when he swoops into the middle of the paint from the left corner to gather a rebound and convert a putback after a couple of tries.

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Because of the firepower, intelligence, size and experience the team possesses, Cross Creek should be poised for another magnificent run in 2021, especially if a healthy Pope returns soon like we all hope he will.

Entertainment

[Livestream] Evans Hosts Effingham Co. in State Playoff Showdown

Evans battles Effingham in Round 1 of the Georgia 6A State Playoffs. Live from Evans High.

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[Livestream] Grovetown vs Evans in Region Battle for Playoff Position

Evans hosts Grovetown and looks to avenge their buzzer beater loss to the Warriors on January 22nd.

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“Sophomore Malik Ferguson picked up a loose ball in the middle of the paint with one second remaining, and right before the fourth quarter buzzer sounded, he released a shot that found its mark to give Grovetown 61-60 win over Evans Friday, a result that threw the top spot in the class 6A, region 5 standings into a three way tie between Grovetown, Evans and Heritage to mark the beginning of the stretch run for the league’s regular season championship. Ferguson’s shot came at the end of a full court dash by Grovetown after head coach Darren Douglas was able to draw up a play during a timeout that was meant to result in a bucket in only six seconds. The play was designed for senior Zach Bell, who eventually fumbled the ball after spinning between defenders at the end of a drive that began near half court after he gathered the ball from freshman Derrion Reid.”

That was Chad Cook’s rundown of the instant classic that these two teams played two weeks ago. That win by Grovetown sets up a must-win scenario for Evans as they look to maintain their footing in the race for a region championship.

Be sure to get your ? ready early because if tonight’s game is as exciting as the last one, you just might forget those jokers altogether!

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Streams will be posted here. Tip-off times are as follows:
Girls – 6:30 PM
Boys – 8:00 PM

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