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Must-see TV: Francis Howell's Paulson leading Kaminsky Classic performers

Jan. 5—Leo Gayman of William Chrisman registered the Kaminsky Classic's only double-double in Day 1 with 23 points and 23 rebounds. He blocked eight shots to go along with the points and boards.

He picked up another double-double today with 11 points and 13 rebounds but it wasn't enough to slow down Francis Howell and their big man Will Paulson.

Paulson registered 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Vikings to the championship of the tournament. The 6-foot-7 junior added those stats to his 20 points and seven rebounds from the opening round.

Paulson and Gayman were two of the four double-double's recorded on Friday. The others went to Joplin's Whit Hafer (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Carl Junction's Wyatt McAfee (14 points, 13 rebounds).

There was a list of nine players that stood out to me after the first round, and I've reduced that down to seven after the second round.

Paulson and Gayman top the list with Paulson coming first after outplaying Gayman in their head-to-head matchup on the interior. Especially since Paulson's team won and advanced to the tournament championship.

There are still two players to mention from this game and those are Trey Taylor and DeAnthony McJames.

Taylor has scored the second-most points in the tournament after tallying 25 and three assists in his team's loss to Francis Howell.

McJames scored 17 to open the tournament and made all three of his 3-point attempts. He made 3 of 6 outside shots in the Vikings' win Friday and totaled 15 points.

Webb City

Two Webb City players were on my list after Thursday and they're both sticking around.

Barron Duda was on fire with 30 points in the Cardinals' 65-49 win over Carl Junction. He also pulled down seven rebounds.

Holton Keith responded with 16 points against the Bulldogs and also collected seven rebounds.

Poplar Bluff

The Mules are in the championship game and they've been led by the rebounding efforts of their 6-4 senior Preston Moore.

Moore scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Poplar Bluff defeated Union (St. Louis) 63-49 in the semifinals. That makes two days in a row that Moore has nearly picked up a double-double.

Ranking the performances

1. Will Paulson's 42 points and 21 rebounds for the entire tournament. His big game of 22 and 14 on Friday moved him up from third on my list to No. 1. He is also leading the charge for Francis Howell's championship run which helps his cause.

2. Leo Gayman's 34 points and 36 rebounds for the entire tournament. He didn't respond with nearly as big of a game as his 23-23 performance in the opening round, but another double-double is enough to keep him near the top. He's looking for a trifecta in the tournament if he can get another double-double on Saturday.

3. Barron Duda's 50 points for the entire tournament. Duda had four steals in the opening game to go along with 20 points and managed seven rebounds to go along with his 30 points on Friday. He isn't racking up many stats but as the tournament leader with 50 points he deserves a top 3 spot.

4. Trey Taylor's 47 points and seven assists for the entire tournament. Taylor isn't racking up any other stats either. But again, his scoring ability deserves a nod. Taylor picked up four assists in Game 1 and three more in Game 2.

5. Preston Moore's 29 points and 17 rebounds for the entire tournament. Moore isn't getting crazy big stats but he's helping to lead Poplar Bluff who is in the championship game. Moore's near double-double's are worth being a top-5 performer along with helping his team to the championship.

6. Holton Keith's 33 points and 11 rebounds for the entire tournament. Keith has been No. 2 behind Barron Duda through two games and has played an instrumental role for Webb City. He is a big part of what the Cardinals do.

7. DeAnthony McJames' 32 points on 6-for-9 3-point shooting for the entire tournament. McJames is similar to Keith as he's been the No. 2 option behind Will Paulson through two games and is a big part of the Francis Howell offense.