BROOKLYN, NY - The Conrad McRae basketball tournament is winding down and the high school division was down to the semi-final round.
The marquee matchup was between Thomas Jefferson and Bishop Loughlin, two talented teams from Brooklyn. The other semi was Wings vs. Xaverian, and that game came down to the last second…literally.
Loughlin controlled the game against Jefferson early, leading 32-24 at halftime. They scored most of their points inside, scoring on put-backs off of offensive rebounds. But Jefferson completely turned the game around in the third quarter behind a frenzied full-court press. Loughlin couldn't even get the ball across the halfcourt line. Loughlin held a 42-36 lead and Jefferson went on a 17-0 run to take the lead by the end of the third. They never gave it back and Jefferson ended up winning the game 70-62 behind that suffocating defense.
Jermoine Faison, a 6-5 forward, was a monster all game. He scored a game high 23 points, mostly everything coming inside the paint. Faison wasn't the biggest player on the court, but he grabbed more rebounds and was just tougher than everybody else when it came to going for the ball. Jaquan Lynch, a 6-0 guard, scored all 13 of his points in the second half, mostly from the free throw line. Khadeen Carrington led Loughlin in scoring with 19 points.
Xaverian clips Wings, 58-55
Wings fell behind 17-2 early in the game, but they fought their way all the way back to take the lead in the second half. Xaverian was down 55-49 when they scored the last 9 points of the game, including a buzzer beating three-pointer by Lamel Faison.
Xaverian got back in the game with the help of a controversial illegal defense call. Wings believed they never got a warning and when the illegal defense was called, man-to-man was mandatory, Xaverian was given a free throw.
But the most important sequence came with 0:10 seconds left in the game. A 5 second violation was called on Wings guard Marvilio Berroa just as he appeared to be making a move to drive the ball down the sideline. The game was tied at 55 and the ball ended up in the 5-9 Faison's hands. He actually had his dribble knocked away but he was able to get the ball back in the scramble. As the clock was about to hit zeroes, Faison let the ball fly and it swished through the net. The team celebrated a win that seemed improbable a few moments earlier by rushing the court. Xaverian will get to play Jefferson in the title game on Sunday.
George Lambert led Xaverian in scoring with 16 points. Faision scored 13 points, and Robert Rossiter chipped in with 11. Wings was led by Jaequan Brown who scored 17 points. Berroa scored all of his 12 points in the second half.
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