WEST HEMPSTEAD, NY - Friday evening marked the beginning of the 2014 Game Over Classic.
NYCHoops.net was on hand to witness two of the Lightning teams play; one in the 17U division and the other in the 16U division.
NY Lightning Batter Team Underrated, 63-34
In the opening game, two depleted teams played each other in the 17U division as the Lightning played Team Underrated. One Lightning player was present and accounted for as 6'10" Georgetown-bound center Jessie Govan went to work depositing 13 first half points on the Team Underrated which included a back-down, post-up, two handed facial dunk.
With the help of 5'9" rising senior PG 5'9" Darius Simmons (Garner HS, NC), the NY Lightning possessed an extremely comfortable 33-8 halftime lead.
Team Underrated managed to get up off the proverbial mat and exhibit some offense in the second half as 6'4" Niagara Community College bound Aarron Jackson (Malvern HS/2014) began to score from midrange. But it would be way to little, much too late as the Lightning would win by 29 points led by Govan with 25 points and Simmons with 18 points. Jackson would post 13 points in a losing effort.
Jayhawks Claw L.I. Lightning-Walsh, 60-48
As the 16U division game began, it appeared as if the Jayhawks had run into a buzz saw as an efficient Long Island Lightning team jumped out in front 16-10 due to good ball movement and led by scoring in the paint from 6'4 rising junior Matt English (Smithtown West)
The Jayhawks' athleticism would soon become a factor and with 6 minutes left in the half, after an 8-0 run spearheaded by 6'0" Chris Burkley (L.I. Lutheran/2016) decimated the Lightning's advantage, Alpha Diallo (Colorado West) gave the Jayhawks first lead, 18-16. The Lightning regained consciousness briefly but trailed 27-24 to start the second half.
As Lightning head Coach Chris Walsh shuffled his lineup in search of a winning formula, another 15-1 run launched the Jayhawks lead into orbit, 42-25 with 12:47 still left to play as Burkley nailed a trey and Diallo scored in transition
English, however, reentered the game late and had an immediate impact. With 5:56, the Lightning made a run of their own and cut their deficit to nine but the Jayhawks would begin to milk the clock and hold on to win by twelve.
Burkley and Diallo both notched 15 points for the Jayhawks while English dropped a team high 12 points for the Long Island Lightning-Walsh.
The 2014 Game Over Classic will continue on Saturday and Sunday. NYCHoops.net will provide coverage including recaps and premium top performer and player watch stories.