Last game of the event and fans were in for a treat, as there were over 15 D1 players on the court between Combine Academy National and Bull City Prep National.  Bull City brought the energy early and played with something to prove and that they did, getting out to a double-digit lead early, eventually leading 26-16 at the end of the first. But Combine started to pick up the energy in the second, especially on the defensive side.  They wanted to play their game but Bull City Prep continued to play a physical game and stay aggressive, helping them hold a 45-37 halftime lead.  The second half kicked off and that same energy that was going on in the first was there in the second.  Combine looked to start making their run, cutting it down to six but Bull City had an answer and did a really good job at second-chance points. It helped them hold a 74-65 lead at the end of the third.  It came down to the fourth quarter and Combine started to chip away and eventually tied the game up with a tough three by Dillingham at 78 with just over two minutes to go.  Combine eventually took their first lead with under a minute, Bull City Prep answered right back, and then it was AJ Smith with a big bucket to give Combine the one-point lead in the final seconds. Bull City Prep had a chance at the end but couldn’t come up with a shot, as Combine won 83-82.

Stats:
Combine:
Robert Dillingham 34 points
AJ Smith 17 points
Michael Dudley 9 points

Bull City:
LJ Thomas 16 points
Treyvon Byrd 17 points
Derrick Butler 18 points

Standouts:

2022 AJ Smith (Combine Academy): Smith played with such heart and with tenacity in this game; he really left it all out there. As a 6’4 guard, he does a tremendous job in battling in the paint, playing incredibly physical, and taking contact.  He made so many tough plays for his team and with so much effort.

2022 LJ Thomas (Bull City Prep): Thomas plays like a veteran on the floor.  When he was called upon to score, he stepped up and showed he has that leadership and wants the ball in his hands, but you also have to love his composure and understanding how to make the right play on the floor.

2021 Derrick Butler (Bull City Prep): Butler may not be a name you always hear but boy, did he step up when his team needed and more.  He was terrific in running the floor and scoring in transition, showcased bounce in his game, but also got to his spots and knocked down big shots in this one.  He seemed to just be all over the place on the floor offensively.

2023 Robert Dillingham (Combine Academy): Dillingham stepped up his offensive game and got back to what we are used to seeing.  His ability to pull up on a dime but also attack off the dribble is why he is considered by many one of the top players in his class.  He isn’t afraid of the big shot and wants the ball in his hands when it matters.