CORONA, NY - The iS8 Fall Tip-Off Classic continued on Saturday at Elmcor Youth & Recreational Center with 5 games being played, including one team coming up big twice on the day, and a local power coming up with a big 2nd half to pull away from a pesky opponent. Here is a recap of the day's action from Queens.
Wilbraham & Monson Academy (MA) knocks off Minutemen, 87-64 and
NIA Prep (NJ), 86-72
Wilbraham and Monson came down from Massachusetts, and in the schools first is8 tournament, they opened up strong, taking care of business against two pretty solid opponents, looking very good at less than full strength.
The Massachusetts prep power was without 3 players, including 2014 nationally ranked big man Goodluck Okonoboh, who was on an official visit this weekend to Ohio State. Without him though, others got to show off their games, looking very impressive in the process.
Against the Minutemen in the opening matchup, Max Hoetzel, a 6'7" wing, showed off his impressive ability to move without the ball and get free from nice looks from the outside. He connected on a pair of early jumpers, as he and nationally ranked Class of 2015 guard Curtis Cobb were able to run the floor with ease and get out to a quick 29-10 lead after one.
The Minutemen came back in the 2nd quarter and fought their way back into the game. Dajour Armstrong was able to weave his way inside for back to back slashing finishes at the rim. Wilbraham and Monson also lost star sophomore guard Mustapha Heron for an extended bit as he was throw into the wall on tough foul that saw him favor his shoulder and go to the bench for the rest of the quarter, and some of the third. W&M was able to withstand a Minutemen run and maintain a 42-32 heading to the half.
The start of the 3rd saw the Minutemen get to within 7, but Hoetzel was a matchup nightmare, and Cobb was a versatile combo guard as Wilbraham and Monson went on. 18-2 run early in the 4th quarter to essentially put the game away as they coasted the rest of the way for the win. The duo of Cobb and Hoetzel torched the Minutemen with Cobb pouring in 32 points, and Hoetzel adding 29 for W&M. Armstrong had a solid game, scoring 17 points in defeat with 12 coming in the opening half.
In Wilbraham and Monson's 2nd game of the day, they once again jumped out to the quick lead. Hoetzel connected on a beautiful floater in the lane showing the solid all around game the transfer from Calabasas (CA) has. He had 16 first half points, including three long balls as they took a 53-39 lead at the break.
Much like their opening game though, they let their opponents hang around. Keywon Savage was a nice weapon slashing to the rim and finishing in tight spaces inside for NIA Prep as the New Jersey school closed to 8 late in the third before once again, W&M pulled away.
Hoetzel finished on a transition drive midway through the 4th while being fouled to punctuate what was a great day for him, helping lead his team to their second win on the day, as they headed back to Massachusetts in good shape in the tournament.
Hoetzel had 25 in the win, with Cobb adding 20, and big man Marcel Pettway proving to be a beast in the paint in this one as he put in 24 for the winners. Savage led NIA in the loss with 21.
The Rens (Artie) Extinguish Newburgh Panthers, 98-72
The Rens were looking to go 2-0 in the tournament, but the final score was a bit misleading as the game was very tight in the early going with Newburgh leading for a majority of the 2nd quarter before The Rens turned things around and went on a major run to pull away for good.
Anthony Salmon (Newburgh Free Academy '14), was on fire early in for Newburgh, a team consisting of primarily Newburgh Free Academy players. Salmon scored 22 in the first half as he was able to get free and find holes in the Rens zone, and knock down 4 in the half. Both teams were hot early on, but defense was not the order of the hour, as both teams had issues stooping the other. Rawle Alkins (Christ the King '16) hit a couple jumpers after he was entered into the game, but his defense was lacking and he was soon subbed out, and didn't return for the rest of the game. It looked like The Rens were in trouble. Salmon was dominating and the lack of energy was disconcerting for The Rens as Newburgh was up 44-35 with 2:08 to go in the half. With Alkins out, and only Travis Atson (Christ the King '15) showing any consistency offensively, as he was basically carrying the load, things didn't look good for the NYC team, but suddenly a switch seemed to go off, as Juan Ramos (Brooklyn Law and Tech '14) scored on a slash inside, and Jared Rivers (Christ the King '16) looked like a mature leader on the floor, making all the right passes, stepping up his defensive game, and scoring on cuts going inside, as he helped The Rens go on a 12-2 run to end the half, as they took a 47-46 lead at the break.
The 2nd half was no contest. Newburgh couldn't finish regardless if it was a wide open three point attempt, or a chippy on the inside, Atson and Adonis Delarosa (Christ the King '14) were able to score at will inside and out as from 2:08 of the 2nd quarter, to 1:27 of the 3rd quarter, The Rens outscored Newburgh 47-6 to take a commanding 82-50 lead. The defense they played was impeccable, and they were draining shot after shot, getting out on the break and doing a lot of damage in transition. With only 6 players available after Alkins left the bench, every player stepped up. Atson bit 5 threes in the game, and Rivers did a nice job maintaining a good tempo and leading the team as the floor general. The Rens coasted in the 4th for a 98-72 win.
Atson, who had 26 in last week's game, came up even bigger in this one with a game high 32 points for The Rena, with Delarosa adding 17, and Rivers scoring 11. Salmon was really the only offensive weapon that Newburgh had, and he did a real nice job proving to be a player to watch in Section 9 this year scoring 31 points in defeat.
All Long Island Seniors deplete Real Scout-Bedford, 99-94
A high scoring affair that saw swings in momentum throughout saw the Long Island based squad fight back from a 5 point hole midway through the 4th quarter to take the 5 point win.
All Long Island got off to a 7-0 lead with 5 points coming from Iona bound Dwayne Daniel (Lawrence '14) as he sent home a three to open the game, a beautiful step back shot from the wing. Mike Smith (Amityville '15) was also a threat attacking the rim much like Daniel was. Real Scout was without most of their key players such as Lincoln's Isaiah Whitehead, Desi Rodriguez, Elisha Boone, and Elijah Davis who all had prior commitments and they fell behind in the early going because of it, going down by as many as 12 before Lenny Kadisha (Wadleigh '15) started to get more comfortable using his length and fighting his way to the basket. A surprise for Real Scout was Justyn Gardner (H.S. of Construction '15), as the 6'6" big was able to control the paint for the most part, doing a lot of damage on tip ins and putbacks to close the gap up for Real Scout. Nigel Carter (St. Anthony's '14) was the one who stemmed the tide late in get first as he hit 3 three's on three straight possessions for Long Island to help them up the lead back up to 46-39 at the break.
The 3rd started the beginning of the Jon Grimsley (Valley Stream Central '14) show. Grimsley, who at 6'4", is a load to handle going inside, but also showed excellent and underrated range from the outside, began a run where he scored almost every trip up for Long Island. He would get out in transition and not hesitate when defenders approached, showing good footwork to spin around and connect. He also pulled up and hit from the midrange on a couple occasions as he really put Long Island in a position of strength late in the 3rd. Marlon Alcindor (H.S. of Construction '14) wouldn't let Real Scout roll over though. Pressure defense and the ability to create off the dribble made him a big time player in the 4th, as the play of him and Gardner pushed Real Scout back in front, but it was too much Grimsley late as he gave Long Island back the lead with 2:13 left at 91-90 on a tip in off a Smith miss, and that started a 10-4 run to end the game as Long Island shocked Real Scout in this one, 99-94.
Grimsley was an absolute stud scoring a game high 30 points in the win for All Long Island, 24 of which came in the 2nd half. Smith added 15, with Carter contributing 14 as well to the win. In the loss, Real Scout was led by Gardner, who was a real threat finishing with 25 points, and showing excellent post up skills along the way.
2GZ Entertainment blow-out NJ Trailblazers 101- 64
A blowout from start to finish as 2GZ, a team that lost last week and needed a win here bad, came up with a monster performance from everyone involved. They went up 12-2, and 26-11 early on, and they never looked back. Tyler Whitehead and Will Valdez put in great performances from the guard spots, really hurting the Trailblazers with their speed, and ability to just blow by them up the floor in transition. It never got better for the Trailblazers either as 2GZ couldn't miss in the 2nd half going up by as many as 43 before settling in for the 37 point victory.
Valdez led all scorers in this one with 21 for the winners, as he paced 2GZ who had 6 players in double figures. Whitehead added 17, and Tyshawn Royster added 13 as well. For the Trailblazers, they were led by Mark Isiofia (St. Benedict's Prep, 15) who had 20 points in the loss.
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