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The Oakville High public address announcer had a dramatic pause before revealing the most valuable player of the Rotating 8 boys basketball tournament Friday night.

But there was no drama at all as to the recipient. Whitfield senior Torrence Watson scored 39 points, including 32 in the first half, as the Warriors defeated Lutheran North 73-48 in the title game at Oakville.

"I've been talking to Torrence a lot about what he could do," Whitfield coach Mike Potsou said of the University of Missouri commit. "He proved tonight that he can do everything."

The 6-foot-4 guard had more responsibilities handling the ball Friday as starting point guard Amechi Ramsey was out. But it was his overall shooting which shined in the opening half as he scored 14 points in the first quarter and 18 in the second.

"Everything was going in tonight, so I wanted to keep shooting in the first half," Watson said.

The first quarter was actually close throughout as four of the five Lutheran North starters hit first quarter 3-pointers and the game was tied 16-16.

The Crusaders had a 20-19 lead early in the second quarter, but then Watson took control in a big way. The Warriors had a 12-point run in the second quarter and led 39-25 at halftime.

Watson's career high 50 points seemed to be easily within reach, but he spent most of the third quarter getting his teammates involved.

The other Whitfield players combined for just seven first half points but they scored the first 21 points of the third quarter as Whitfield led by as many as 34 points.

"We hadn't played that well the last couple of games and I wanted to get the rest of the guys involved and get the team into a good flow," Watson said.

Luther Taylor had a Watson-like quarter as he scored 14 points in the third quarter.

"Torrence took advantage of his opportunities to score in the first half and then did a great job of sharing the ball in the second half," Potsou said. "Luther was the beneficiary and really did a good job of finishing."

Watson did not score his first point of the second half until he hit a free throw with 1:13 to play (he finished 10 of 11 from the line). He put an exclamation point on a memorable evening with a thunderous dunk and a pretty feed to Taylor in the final minute of the quarter.

The Warriors led 65-34 after three quarters and much of the fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

"We didn't play well in the first two games of this tournament," Potsou said. "I was happy with the way we responded tonight."

Taylor finished was 19 points, 16 coming in the second half to go along with the 39 by Watson.

Jordan Smith had 13 to lead the way for the Crusaders, who had upset second-seeded Battle in the semifinals.

Oakville defeated Battle 65-52 in the third-place game.

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