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High-Fly Eli Carter

June 28, 2012

Rutgers standout guard drops 41 to lead Seaview Jeep past Larson Ford

BELMAR — Rutgers fans will be thrilled to know that Eli Carter scored a game-high 41 points on Monday night, including 18 of his team’s last 20, as Seaview Jeep picked up a narrow, 109-106 victory over Larson Ford in Jersey Shore Basketball League [JSBL] action at the McCann Activities & Athletic Center [MAAC].

What will have Scarlet Knight supporters even more giddy, though, is the fact that Carter, who will return for his sophomore season at Rutgers after leading the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game as a freshman, is dominating despite his own acknowledgment that he is yet to hit his summer peak in terms of conditioning.

“I’m not really in full-game shape yet,” Carter said after the win, flashing a grin. “I felt good, though.”

What allowed Carter to make the smooth transition from his time at both St. Anthony’s in Jersey City and Brewster Academy in Wolfebore, N.H., to the Division I college game is the same thing that has always made the Paterson native successful at every level of basketball — hard work and the desire to improve. Carter, who also led Rutgers in minutes played at 29.8 per game, is using the summer to continue his development as a complete basketball player and all-around athlete.

“Just working out every day over the summer — hitting the weight room to get myself stronger,” he said of his offseason routine. “I’m just continuing to improve my game.”

After scoring just two points as Seaview Jeep took a 27-26 first-quarter lead Monday night, Carter ignited his offensive game in the second quarter. He showed his inside-outside versatility to score 13 points [15 total first-half points] and extend Seaview Jeep’s lead to 57-50 at the break.

After heating up, Carter stayed red hot the remainder of the night, and was able to showcase his unique ability to take over the floor late when Larson Ford refused to go quietly into the night.

Trailing throughout most of the game, Larson Ford was able to make a late, fourth-quarter run to tie things up at 89 on a 3-pointer from Isaiah Wilkerson [23 points] with 6:30 left to play.

The Wilkerson triple, however, did not keep the game tied for too long, as Carter picked up his aggression even further to seal things for Seaview.

A 10-3 run by Carter alone, followed by a 4-for-4 performance from the guard at the free-throw line after Larson Ford again pulled things within one, 105-104, helped Seaview preserve the victory in its first game of the JSBL season.

“I just kept trying to attack and keep the defense on their heels,” Carter said of his brilliant fourth quarter. “Tonight it worked out well for me.”

With a full year of big-time college basketball in the books and with another summer of JSBL to prepare, Carter looks forward to getting back with the Scarlet Knights and head coach Mike Rice for the 2012-2013 season.

Experience is everything, according to Carter.

“That year experience meant a lot,” he said. “Just learning how hard it is to win a Division I game — let alone play in the Big East.”

Follow me on twitter: @samcostantino

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