The famous iS8/Nike Tournaments are well known for the exposure it provides for participating squads. Whether that exposure is beneficial or not, is entirely up to the teams that stepped in the spotlight at tip-off.
On Saturday, the first weekend matchups of the iS8/Nike Fall Tip Off Classic ensued. Seven contests were scheduled. However, because both Team Delaware and New Heights Gold were missing in action from their respective matchups, the first and last game of the day ended in forfeits.
Let's take a look at three games that showed the two-sided nature of the beast of the iS8.
TWO UP . . .
Bunky Reid Sinks N.J. Pirates, Goes 2-0
Mike Jackson's Bunky Reid Allstars, still rolling from its first tournament win this season the night before, swallowed the N.J. Pirates 77-51.
The Long Island, N.Y. ball club quickly got off to an early 9-0 run, foreshadowing the rapid fire that would riddle any hopes for a Pirates' comeback. Bunky Reid played with a strong forward momentum that was truly hard to guard, allowing the squad to increase its advantage.
Bunky Reid's Paris Abram (20 points) and Chavaughn Lewis (13 points) led the charge for their squad. Meanwhile, New Jersey's Khalid Muhammad (16 points) and Tyrone Obarro (14 points) tried to keep the Pirates above water.
On a long jumper by Abrams, Bunky Reid held a substantial 13-point lead with 25 seconds remaining before the half.
In the third quarter, Bunky Reid was steadily pulling away. The N.J. Pirates tried to creep up on its New York opponent but, by the end of the fourth period, Lukens Victor (five points) sank 2-of-2 at the line to give Bunky Reid a 28-point lead, 75-47 -- the highest margin since tip-off.
As a result of the second consecutive win in the iS8/Nike's first week, Bunky Reid is already off to a 2-0 record in the Southeast division.
CBC Earns One, Holds 2-0 Record
The Connecticut Basketball Club also went two up in its division on Saturday -- one by forfeit, the other by a substantial 75-50 victory.
In the first scheduled game, CBC won by default over Team Delaware who failed to make it to the iS8 for the 9 a.m. matchup. Instead, spectators watched the Connecticut squad warm up for about an hour and a half.
Finally, CBC got to see some action when its second opponent of the day -- NIA Prep International (N.J.) -- showed up on the hardwood. However, the disparity in skill-set between the two out-of-state squads made the game look more like a scrimmage than a tournament matchup.
From the way CBC started the game, you knew it was going to be a high-energy contest. CBC came in like a fast-moving storm and did its damage quickly and completely.
It seemed like everything that could go wrong for NIA Prep International went wrong. This included missed shots, unforced turnovers, blocked shots, picked pockets and snatched boards.
At one point in the second quarter, CBC held a 32-9 advantage. The Connecticut squad just continued to play their game and extend their lead.
CBC's Andre Drummond had a team-high 16 points. Teammate Phil Gaetano added (11 points).
NIA Prep International's Massiah Merritt had 16 points.
TWO DOWN . . .
N.J. Pirates Gets Served Second Loss of the Day
The New Jersey team got served its second loss by yet another New York squad, after Above & Beyond (Staten Island, N.Y.) edged them 94-86.
The contest stayed relatively close from the beginning, with the N.J. Pirates holding single-digit leads in the first half.
The Staten Island squad held onto a lead from the 3:20 mark of the third quarter when the score was 60-58 up until the early minutes of the fourth quarter.
The N.J. Pirates took back the lead around the 6:41 mark of the final phase. However, because of the narrow margin between two raw and hungry teams, Above & Beyond and the Pirates ultimately tied at 77 with 4:55 remaining.
Above & Beyond widened the margin by surging ahead on a mini 7-2 run after a bucket by Deshon "Biggie" Minnis (37 points). As a result, the Staten Island squad led the Jersey team 84-79.
With about 2:30 left in the game, the Pirates could not get the stops or offensively chop the lead down in time to stage a comeback.
The Pirates' Brandon Wonters had a team-high 31 points.