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March 5, 2010

Pine Crest falls in Knight's last game

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Some times one player - even if he is the best player in the country - is not enough. Especially if he's not a full strength.

Brandon Knight and Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest found that out Thursday night in Lakeland, Fla., where their quest for a third straight Class A state title fell short, 70-46.

Don't be confused by the final score, this was a game for much of the action. Pine Crest was down just 45-43 early in the fourth quarter. Then Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards used a 14-2 run to take control and coasted to the title.

Knight, in foul trouble for much of the game (he fouled out with 1:08 to go), also battled muscle soreness in his left leg, according to the game report in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. He finished the game with a team-high 18 points. He finished his career with a Broward County high 3,515 points.

"It was frustrating not being able to do all the things you know you can do," Knight told the paper. "I felt the guys played as hard as they could. There were points in the game where we lapsed a bit. I tried to do the best I could."

His best may not have been enough to slow the Rickards' backcourt duo of Avery Moore and Devonte Johnson, who combined to hit 9 3-poitners and finished with 39 points.

"We got beat. Simple as that," Pine Crest coach David Beckerman told the paper. "We had a little bit of a matchup problem, and offensively we didn't get off well. It is what it is."

All that's left is for Knight, the top player on the Rivals 150, to make his college choice. The 6-3, 185-point point guard has Kansas, Kentucky and UConn high on his list. He visited all three schools last fall - and also visited Florida and Miami.

Rivals basketball analyst Jerry Meyer says Knight has an elite game: "His physical strength and tight ball handling get him wherever he needs to be on the court. And his shooting skill and court vision allow him to consistently finish plays. On the other side of the ball he is an elite defender who more than adequately rebounds his position. Top off all of this with high level competitiveness, and you have the top prospect in the country."

As for where he'll end up, Meyer - and everyone else isn't sure - though the latest rumor has him wanting to stay in-state.

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