Taurus Samuels said he wanted to have fun while donning his Vista Panthers jersey one final time.
The senior point guard was one of 30 players selected to participate in the San Diego County Hoops Report Senior All-Star Basketball Game at Mira Mesa High School, which pits the top graduating players against each other in a “north versus south” format.
Not only did Samuels have fun, he put on the performance of the night.
With the North team leading by seven points entering the final quarter, Samuels scored 19 consecutive points to turn what was a competitive game into a blowout.
The North defeated the South team 130-110 and Samuels, who finished the game with 31 points — including nine three-point baskets — was named co-Most Valuable Player. Akil Parrish, a 6-foot-5 senior from Morse High School, was named MVP of the South team.
“It was just good to get out and play with these guys who I have been competing against practically my whole life,” Samuels said. “I’m just glad I had the opportunity to wear this jersey one last time and be out there with my friends.”
Samuels, a 6-foot guard, opened up the fourth quarter with a driving layup over Mount Miguel senior DaRon Traylor. After Traylor answered with a three of his own, Samuels rattled off five consecutive three pointers, with the crowd getting louder with each attempt.
He finished his 19-point run with another driving layup, and added a nifty assist to El Camino’s Jalen Flanagan before exiting for the game’s final three minutes with the game in hand.
“I had a rough first half shooting the ball so I wanted to come out and play loose in the second,” Samuels said.
Samuels, who is headed to Dartmouth, was not the only player from The Coast News’ coverage area to have a stellar final game. Isaiah Morris, Samuels’ back court mate at Vista, Coast News Player of the Year Finn Sullivan, of Torrey Pines, and Mission Hills forward Warren Washington led the North onslaught, as the team maintained its lead almost the entire game.
Sullivan, who is scheduled to make his college decision in coming days, scored 17 points, and Washington, who is headed to Oregon State, scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Morris, who will play at Cal State Dominguez Hills, scored seven points but also added nine assists, a team high.
In the girls game, the North dominated the south to the tune of a 102-50 blowout.