Featuring some of the nation's top rising juniors, Stars' power forward Braxton Dupree showed that he is clearly a player to be reckoned with in the Class of 2007.
Dupree scored 24 points, and his brute physicality in the low post caused fits for the Greyhounds' frontcourt of 6-9 Orlando Allen and 6-10 Keenan Ellis.
Following a close first half, the Greyhounds opened up a 52-42 lead on a pair of free throws by high flying forward William Walker with 10:27 remaining.
Baltimore rallied behind Dupree, who earned many of his points at the charity stripe. His free throw with 2:52 to play sliced the deficit to 64-61.
As big as Dupree came up for the Stars, O.J. Mayo was equally brilliant for his D-I squad. His three pointer with 1:20 remaining stretched the lead to 71-66, yet Baltimore hung tough and trailed just 74-70 with less than 20 seconds remaining.
With 11.9 seconds left, Baltimore had a golden opportunity to pare the lead to a single point when Winchendon bound guard Brian Johnson was fouled while attempting a three-pointer. However, Johnson hit just two of three, and the Greyhounds maintained a two point edge when Mayo was fouled with 8.4 seconds left.
Mayo, who led all scorers with 32 points, sank a pair to effectively put the game out of reach. A late Stars basket made the score more cosmetically appealing, but the Greyhounds still emerged with a 76-74 victory and slot in the tournament semis.
Here is a capsulated look at the three other quarterfinal round games:
Blessed IJN 55 Blue Chips 52
Tennessee bound Marques Johnson pumped in 20 points and DeShawn Wright added 10 as Indiana based Blessed IJN staved off a late rally by D.C./Maryland based Blue Chips. High scoring combo guard Steve Harley, who has bounced around quite a bit the past few years, led all scorers with 24 points in defeat. Harley reportedly committed to Quinnipiac last fall, but it's unclear if he has met NCAA initial eligibility requirements. He was slated to enroll at a junior college last fall, but then detoured to prep school at the last minute.
Sun Youth 77 Queen City Prophets 58
Sun Youth blew open a close contest late, claiming a 19 point victory over one of the pre-tournament favorites in the Elite Eight. Swingman Etienne Labrecque and combo guard Hamza Ruhezamihigo each scored 22 points to power Sun Youth. David Bergman, a 6-5 small forward, chipped in 17 for the winners. Adrion Graves' 28 point output wasn't enough to keep Queen City from being eliminated.
Mt. Pleasant 62 Cleveland Titans 49
In one of the bigger upsets in the quarters, Philadelphia based Mt. Pleasant bumped off the Cleveland Titans' 17 and under squad, 62-49. Since there were no rosters in the program for Mt. Pleasant, we have last names only. Hyman, a 6-5 forward, led the Bulldogs with 16 points and guard Ramey added 12. Guard Billy Grant led the Titans with 12 points.