After a commanding win last night in pool play, Atlanta Xpress opened this morning with another big win, this time over highly touted E1T1 Elite by a final count of 69-51. Danjel Purifoy was just short of a double-double, but his play in the paint really sparked Xpress in the win over the big frontcourt of E1T1, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds. Lamonte Turner led the Xpress squad in the victory with 17 points, a majority of which came in the final stretch of the game at the free-throw line, icing the victory.
After a physical first quarter, the E1T1 deficit was just four at 14-10, with Malik Maitland (Father Lopez HS) leading the way with four points and three rebounds. Maitland and his E1T1 teammate and Florida target Antonio Blakeney (Cardinal Mooney) combined for 13 of their 25 first-half points, but found themselves trailing 32-25 at the break.
Despite some highlight plays, including a monster tip slam by Daniel Giddens (Wheeler), the E1T1 squad could not keep up with Atlanta Xpress in the third. Oak Hill Academy’s Terrance Phillips for Atlanta Xpress really shined after the break, scoring 8 of his 14 in the second half, along with five rebounds.
A 16-8 third quarter gave Xpress a double-digit lead they would never relinquish, cruising in the fourth quarter to the 16-point victory. Despite the loss, C.J. Williamson (Evans) finished with a team-high 11 points for E1T1 Elite, adding in three rebounds. Big man Alex Owens (Oak Ridge) helped try and control the paint for E1Ti as well, finishing with seven rebounds, chipping in four points.