The word versatile seems to follow Theo Pinson around.
It was used to describe the North Carolina signee in the program for the Under Armour Showcase at Phillip O. Berry, where his High Point Wesleyan Christian team played the final game of the night Saturday.
Its the first word ESPN recruiting analyst Reggie Rankin used to describe him, and its how his coach, Keith Gatlin, describes him.
He displayed his versatility Saturday night, scoring 36 points in a variety of ways. But his last shot of the night fell short at the buzzer and Wesleyan Christian lost to Prime Prep (Texas) 68-67 in overtime.
I had a good look at it, but it just, I put too much touch on it and it was short, Pinson, 18, said. Its all good. Ill get another chance.
Pinson earned runner-up most valuable player honors, given to the best player on the losing team. But it wouldnt be hard to make the argument that Pinson had the best all-around performance in the game.
Theos a great kid, a great leader, a great competitor, a great player, so Im not surprised at nothing Theo does now, Gatlin said. Theo rises up every game.
Pinson, ranked by ESPN as the No. 13 recruit in the country, knocked down three 3-pointers and drove the lane for lay ups. He scored on backdoor cuts and on turnaround jumpers in the post.
The 6-foot-6 wing often brought the ball up the court and was strong inside, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking a shot.
He brought the crowd to his feet with a two-handed dunk over a Prime Prep defender in the second quarter.
Pinson said he loves playing in big games against tough competition. Prime Prep features Southern Methodist signee Emmanuel Mudiay, the No. 5 recruit in the country according to ESPN. The two spent a lot of time guarding each other in the second half.
I love it. I mean you can tell I was smiling the whole game, having fun playing against the best competition, he said.
He scored just two points in the first quarter and his team trailed 20-9. He had 11 in the second and his team trailed 37-27 at half.
Pinson scored 10 more in the third, when his team outscored Prime Prep 19-10, pulling within one point 47-46 at the end of the period.
All seven of his points in the fourth quarter came from the free-throw line. Wesleyan led 59-56 when Prime Preps Terrance Ferguson hit a 3-pointer to force overtime.
He hit a 3-pointer to open the overtime period and made three more free throws, but needed two more points on that final shot to give his team the win.
Pinson never came out of the game. With injuries to teammates like Harry Giles and Jaquel Richmond, hes been forced to put the team more on his shoulders.
He caught breaks whenever he could, during timeouts and free throws he wasnt shooting. During one set of free throws in the second quarter, he walked to the edge of the court near his bench where an assistant coach handed him a cup of water.
I aint come out since weve had injuries, said Pinson, whose team had played a game the night before, losing to High Point Christian 55-48. But, I mean, Im used to it. Ive got to get ready, in shape, stuff like that.
Pinson likes to be called a versatile player. He looks forward to taking that versatility to Chapel Hill later this season.
You dont want to be one dimensional going into college or going to the next level, so I just try to make every facet of my game better, he said.
Saint Johns (D.C.) rolled to a 99-59 win over Math Civics and Sciences. Game MVP Mike Morsell led Saint Johns with 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Samir Doughty finished with 19 points for MCS.
Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) held off a late run by Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian to win 72-68. Senior power forward Jabari McGhee led Hargrave with 17 points. Roy Holston scored 28 for Oldsmar.
In the next to last game of the night, Saint Joseph (N.J.) took a 20-5 lead after the first quarter and went on to beat Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Mass) 64-50. Karl Towns Jr., a 7-foot-1 Kentucky commit, had 17 for Saint Joseph, as did teammate Marques Townes.
Taylor Fortin led Wilbraham and Monson with 16 points. Indiana recruit Max Hoeztel had 15 and UNLV recruit Goodluck Okonoboh had 11.
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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