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September 29, 2013
SOUTH JAMAICA, N.Y. -- Since the iS8/Nike Fall Tip-Off Classic is renowned for its gritty competition, the tournament is a great way for high school student-athletes to prepare for the long, physical, uphill climb of a roller coaster season.
During this time of the basketball year, emotions are high as each player is working to be or remain quality, impact components on their respective squads, in their respective states. And, because of this quest for betterment, teams descend upon Intermediate School 8 in Queens, N.Y. to sharpen iron with iron.
Let's take a look at some of the matchups.
The City Steals 'W' with Comeback Victory, 65-53
The fiery 2 The Rack squad, coached by Antoine Tutt dominated the contest with an advantage of as much as 15 points, 38-23, early in the third quarter. Behind the efforts of 2 The Rack's Ramel Powers (Campus Magnet (N.Y.) '15) and lightning quick point guard Isaiah Simpson (Flushing H.S. (N.Y.) '14), it appeared the Queens, N.Y. team was headed for victory.
However, little by little The City (N.Y.), coached by Shawn Mark, picked their opponent apart, dismantling portions of 2 The Rack's game piece by piece.
First, The City got into driving and passing lanes on the defensive end to create turnovers and transition points. Secondly, utilizing their interior advantage, Latiek Laney (South Shore (N.Y.) '15) The City was able to secure rebounds and second chance opportunities. And, lastly, The City capitalized on the frustration of 2 The Rack players by drawing fouls and securing points at the free throw line.
Cashing in on consecutive baskets seemed to come naturally, as Devyn Wilson (South Shore (N.Y.) '14), Donnell Clayton (South Shore (N.Y.) '14) and Tyrone Johnson (Quality Education (N.C.) '14) converted on free throws, midrange jumpshots and 3-pointers.
In the fourth quarter, The City's Johnson really made his presence felt, making his defender pay for guarding him too closely. It was, ultimately, his 2-of-2 performance from the line and a 3-point dagger from teammate Wilson that tied the matchup and gave The City a three-point lead at the midway mark of the period.
The City never looked back, as the team gained an advantage of as much as the final score.
The City's Wilson scored a game-high 13 points, while Johnson and Clayton netted 12 points apiece. For 2 The Rack, Powers recorded 14 points, while Simpson added nine.
Rens (Red) Hold Off Feisty Impact, 61-55
The Rens (Red) finished the first quarter leading by seven, 16-9. In the second quarter, the Rens (N.Y.) and their opponent, Impact (N.Y.), put forth the same production as the first. In fact, the halftime score was 32-18.
The Rens had proven to have young, yet proficient, players, namely Tyrone Cohen (Christ the King Regional H.S. (N.Y.) '16). It appeared that, though slow-moving and low-scoring, the matchup was certain to end in a lopsided victory in favor of The Rens because Impact's Noah Vickers (Campus Magnet (N.Y.) '14), who netted 13 of his team's 18 first-half points, was the squad's sole, reliable scoring option.
Yet, that is not how the matchup played out.
In the third quarter, Impact began to match The Rens bucket for bucket. The way Impact executed their offense and defense in the period disturbed the rhythm of the young Rens and almost permanently threw them off their game in the presence of a helter-skelter style of play.
Though, by the close of the period, Impact was trailing by a substantial 12-point margin, 46-34, the break in The Rens' hold on the game was visible.
Led by Vickers, Impact was able to come back and earn a one-point advantage, 53-52, on a basket by Justin Myers (Campus Magnet (N.Y.) '14).
However, thanks to a veteran three-point play by Cohen, The Rens regained the lead, 55-53. An Impact turnover and a basket in transition extended The Rens advantage to two possessions.
Impact was unable to overcome the hump in the final 30 seconds of game time.
The Rens' Cohen netted a team-high 24 points, while teammates Jordan Walker (LuHi (N.Y.) '17) and Jose Alvarado (Christ the King Regional H.S. (N.Y.) '17) netted 14 and 11 points, respectively. Impact's Vickers posted a game-high 28 points, while Myers and teammate Koron Williams (Campus Magnet (N.Y.) '15) chipped in eight points apiece.
Capitol Christian Double-Up in Pool Play, Go 2-0
Capitol Christian Academy (Md.) took down two New York teams -- Lightning Express and Team Price -- to earn a perfect standing in pool play.
In its first matchup of the day, Capitol Christian used its deep and plentiful bench to overwhelm Lightning Express. Though Lightning Express hung in with their competition for the first half, only trailing by 10, 35-25, the out-of-state squad pressed and trapped its way to many extra possessions in the second stanza.
As a result, Capitol Christian trounced Lightning Express, 70-39.
Capitol Christian's Marquise Reed ('14) and Brandon Better ('14) recorded a game-high 22 and 20 points, respectively. Lightning Express' Jimmy Golaszewki (Holy Trinity (N.Y.) '15) posted a team-high 23 points, while teammate Jack Sixsmith (Holy Trinity (N.Y.) '15) added nine points.
In Capitol Christian's second contest of the day, the squad edged Team Price, 43-41. Both teams played tirelessly intense defense, which is to the credit of Team Price, which only had six players. Still, it was Capitol Christian that pulled out the victory with points spread among its many players on the roster.
Capitol Christian's Brandon Better had a team-high 14 points. Team Price's Albert Veras (H.S. for Language and Diplomacy/Washington Irving Educational Campus (N.Y.) '14) posted 19 points, while teammate Jerry Mejia (H.S. for Language and Diplomacy/Washington Irving Educational Campus (N.Y.) '14) added 11.
New York NEWS