A North team coached by Larry Brown of Kansas wrought organization out of chaos last night to win the men's basketball gold medal at the National Sports Festival with an 81-77 victory over the South.
In the game for the bronze medal, the East team, coached by St. John's Lou Carnesecca, hit its first 17 shots from the field and received a 17-point effort from Shelton Jones to beat the West, 97-91. The East hit 72 percent of its shots in the first half and raced away to a 17-point halftime lead.
Forward Danny Ferry, who graduated from DeMatha of Hyattsville, Md., and will attend Duke this fall, had 12 points and five rebounds to help the East. He shot five of seven from the floor and hit two free throws in the stretch. Carnesecca's team finished the tournament with a 2-2 record. The West, coached by Stanford's Tom Davis, went 0-4.
Yulonda Wimbish and Holly Jones combined for 10 points for the South in the final 3 1/2 minutes to rally their team to a 65-61 victory over the East and the gold medal in women's basketball.
In the men's championship game, the North, led by Danny Manning's 19 points, overcame most valuable player John Williams' tournament-high 28 points and 11 rebounds and a late South surge in which a 10-point lead dwindled to two.
The South, trailing by 41-35 at the half, reduced Brown to his hands and knees drawing chalk diagrams in the late going as the game got tied midway through the second half and came as close as two points with 16 seconds left.
"That was work," Brown said. "I thought I was supposed to be on vacation."
The game came down to a scoring exhibition between two big men, LSU's 6-foot-8 Williams for the South and 6-11 Manning of Kansas. Both were named to the all-tournament team.
The South, coached by Alcorn State's Dave Whitney, had won the first meeting between the two teams Sunday with a late rally in a game similar to this one, 85-81.
With the North leading, 75-71, with two minutes left, Kenny Battle of Northern Illinois hit two foul shots and Ricky Calloway, a freshman about to enter Indiana, dunked to open it up again for the North, 79-71, with 1:10 remaining. The South then reeled off six straight points. Mike Porter, a guard from Pulaski, Va., who will attend San Jacinto Junior College in Texas, had a breakaway dunk to close it back up to six, and Frank Smith of Old Dominion stole the ball from Calloway and laid it in. Williams brought it to two with another lay-in after Jeff Grayer of Iowa State turned the ball over with a travel.
But with 16 seconds remaining, the South neglected to foul and Manning and Calloway got the ball upcourt. Ed Horton, a freshman about to enter Iowa, put the game out of reach with his layup with two seconds remaining.
Smith, of Alexandria, Va., scored 10 points for the South on five-of-12 shooting.
"We never quite got over the hump," Whitney said. "We couldn't get a rebound or a basket where we could control our own destiny."