BROOKLYN, NY - On Saturday, the playoffs of FunSport HS Classic took place at Thomas Jefferson Campus. The atmosphere was electric as the results of the semifinal games set up a championship dream match-up that's usually on hold until deep into the high school season.
Jefferson eliminates Westinghouse, 68-61
Jefferson goes up 28-11 early as Patrick Brown and Shamorie Ponds scored in transition. Westinghouse made run to cut lead to 10 with 3 minutes left in the half as Tremaine Elder and Isaiah Gurley stepped up their games. Jeff's defense proved to be too much in the first half and Westinghouse found themselves down, 41-28 to begin the third quarter.
Daquise Andrews was the difference maker in the third quarter as his speed continuously broke Westinghouse's defense. Brown was also pesky to defend and Westinghouse was in a 17 point crevice at the end of three quarters.
Gurley did a yeoman's job and keeping the game interesting as he found his mark on numerous occasions and either scored off acrobatic shots or got to the foul line. All that being said, in the end, Westinghouse simply was lacking the offense to compete with Jefferson for four quarters.
Andrews led Jefferson with 16 points & 6 rebounds with Brown and Curtis "C.J." Smith contributing 12 points and 11 points respectively. Elder paced Westinghouse with 21 points & 4 rebounds with Gurley adding 20 points & 9 rebounds.
Lincoln roll dice; beat Banneker, 63-56
After soundly beating Poly Prep, 71-54, in the first round led by recent Seton Hall commit Isaiah Whitehead's 17 points, Lincoln opted to go up against Banneker in the semis without the services of their Rivals.com 5-star senior guard.
Banneker appeared to take advantage, jumping ahead 5-2 quick, fast and in a hurry but Lincoln seemed to eventually get its sea legs With 4:48, a dunk by Desi Rodriguez capped off a 7-0 Lincoln run that put them ahead by two. All signs pointed to Banneker never seeing the lead again.
With 2:48, Lincoln was up 16-5 and although Banneker began to find some offense and closed the gap to five, Elisha Boone and A.J. Williams put the Lincoln back up 22-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Things got heated as Banneker pressured Lincoln and began to ignore all the signs. In a late push, Banneker sliced Lincoln's lead to 32-31 with 30 seconds left in the half paced by diminutive guard Parrish Roberts and surprisingly, only trailed 37-31 to start the third.
It looked as if the decision not to play Whitehead was coming back to haunt Lincoln as Roberts and Davonte Carolina soon gave Banneker their first lead since the early moments of the game. Down 40-37, at the top of the third, Lincoln suddenly realized the potential for an upset if they continued on the course of taking the game lightly. Boone quickly unleashed some offense that re-established Lincoln's lead as well as their momentum.
Banneker fell back by 10 points to start the fourth quarter and needed another offensive wave to pull off the upset. Kevin Williams would provide a ripple in the final moments, cutting Lincoln's lead down to 60-56 with 4:12 left to play but the Coney Island squad tightened the screws on their defense and kept Banneker scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Boone led Lincoln with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Rodriguez added 11 points and 3 rebounds. Roberts also scored 21 points for Banneker followed by Brandon Powers with 14 points and Carolina with 9 points
The wins by Jefferson and Lincoln set up a FunSport HS Classic championship next weekend between the two PSAL Brooklyn powers. Pre-season bragging rights are on the line.