ELMHURST, NY - The action at iS8 shifted to Elmcor in Queens on Saturday for another round of action.
The day was highlighted by a crowd pleasing buzzer beater, and a pair of games featuring high major future college talent, coached by a future Division 1 assistant coach. It was a good day of games all around, and here is a recap of the action from the day.
The "Maine" Attraction Get a Two-fer:
vs. Primetime, 63-59
vs. NYC Jazz, 83-63
It was a pair of wins for The "Maine" Attraction, which consists of a mixture of Abraham Lincoln players, along with on this day, Khadeen Carrington (Bishop Loughlin '14), Angel Delgado (The Patrick School, NJ '14) and Matt Scott (Brooklyn Law and Tech '14).
It was a D1 loaded team, coached by Dwayne "Tiny" Morton, who is rumored to be heading with a number of his players on this team, to Seton Hall as an assistant coach, including the injured Isaiah Whitehead (Abraham Lincoln '14) who missed these games on Saturday.
They first took on NYC Jazz, and The "Maine" Attraction, a team named after the late Railsplitters assistant coach Jermaine "Maine" Brown, who passed away suddenly earlier this year, looked sloppy in the early going. Delgado was able to use his superior size and strength in the paint to his advantage, and Carrington and Desi Rodriguez (Abraham Lincoln '14), who are both Seton Hall bound players on the on Maine Attraction along with a Whitehead and Delgado, carried the team early on, grabbing an early 6 point lead.
NYC Jazz scrapped back into the game though with Ray Taylor (Forest Hills '16), attacking down the baseline on a pair of possessions, getting by defenders and finishing inside.
The Jazz actually clawed their way to within 50-49 after a Noah Patterson (Newtown '14) three ball midway through the 3rd quarter, but at that point it seemed a light went on, and Scott, who is headed to Niagara, helped lead the charge as they pressure and trapped the ball on each possession, causing turnovers and leading to easy transition baskets.
After getting within 1, "Maine" Attraction outscored the Jazz 33-14 the rest of the way to cruise home for the win.
Delgado had 19 in the win, while Carrington added 18 as well for the Maine Attraction, with Taylor pacing NYC Jazz with 18 of his own.
The next game for "Maine" Attraction proved to be even tougher going up against a Karriem Memminger coached Primetime team, that while 0-2 in the tournament, had something to prove.
The man who seemed to dominate the game from start to finish for Primetime was Nick Richards (St. Mary's '17). The big 6'9" freshman was bordering on unstoppable in the paint, really outplaying Delgado all game long. His aggressiveness in the paint, finishing on 3 first half dunks, along with his ability to step out and make defenses challenge him by hitting on a left wing three, saw Primetime lead for most of the opening half.
Elijah Davis (Abraham Lincoln '14) stepped up his game in the 2nd quarter though, scoring on back to back trips up the floor to help even the game late, and see the contest at the half be tied at 26.
Scott opened the 2nd half scoring for "Maine" Attraction, connecting on a pull up jumper to give the Brooklyn based team their first lead of the game, but it didn't last long. Chris Kelly (St. Anthony's '17) scored 10 in the 3rd quarter, including a pair of threes, and whatever perimeter shots were missed by Primetime seemed to be gobbled up by Richards, and an upset seemed to be brewing with Primetime up 44-43 after 3.
While most of the "Maine" Attraction stars didn't find a rhythm in the 2nd half, it was Rakym Felder (Abraham Lincoln '16) who you could say saved the day.
In the 4th, Felder was excellent with the ball in his hands, and seemed comfortable running the show and penetrating to finish going inside, and it looked as if his toughness and tenacity were going to help Maine Attraction pull this one out late.
Primetime had chances though as down by 2 with 30 seconds left, Richards took a charge to give them the ball back, but Altine King (St. Edmund Prep '14) missed a three pointer, and then a loose ball rebound by Felder, who was in the right place at the right time, led to him being fouled where he calmly knocked down the game clinching FT's to keep The "Maine" Attraction unbeaten, taking this one 63-59.
Carrington had 17 in this one to lead The "Maine" Attraction, while Davis and Felder had 14 and 13 respectively.
Richards really showed he could be a major factor for years to come with an eye opening performance, leading Primetime in the loss with 20 points and 23 rebounds, with Kelly adding in 16 points as well.
JYO Buzzer-cut Ben Gordon All-Stars, 69-66
This was basically Cardozo vs. Mt. Vernon, though the Judges didn't play any of this year's seniors, while Mt. Vernon played only this year's seniors, and while it was nip and tuck the whole way, it was Cardozo super sophomore Rashond Salnave who came up clutch again to give JYO the victory.
It was a sluggish start on both ends, but Brandon Martin (Mt. Vernon '14) really got it going in the 2nd quarter, using his strength to back in on JYO guards, while he was able to slice his way down the lane as well. Judah Alexander (Mt. Vernon '14) was corralling the rebounds and finishing in the paint, while Akeem Krubally (Mt. Vernon '14) was solid from beyond the arc.
JYO just seemed lethargic for stretches, turning the ball over too much, with Salnave and Elijah McNeely (Cardozo '15) struggling from the floor, though Salnave was able, because of his ability to find creases in the defense, to get inside and finish. Wes Nelson (H.S. of Construction '16), the only non-Cardozo player on JYO, was also solid, especially late in the 2nd quarter with an important three, but the Ben Gordon All-Stars were up 41-32 at the half.
To start the 2nd half, JYO came OT with more defensive intensity coming back less than 4 minutes into the quarter to take a lead when Nelson hit on a jumper off the dribble on the right side. Nelson closed out the quarter as well with a three ball from the corner showing he can be a dangerous shooter for the Red Hawks in the future, as JYO looked like they were all of a sudden in good shape going into the 4th.
Martin though continued to be a problem as his size and strength were a matchup that JYO just didn't seem comfortable with. The lead changed hands multiple times in the final stanza with Martin and Salnave trading baskets. Martin hit a jumper, Salnave would drive in, and vice versa.
With 1:28 to go, it looked like a turning point. Ben Gordon only had 6 players, and with Jared Young (Mt. Vernon '14) having fouled out earlier, Yhanni Bartley (Mt. Vernon '14) then fouled out, leaving the Knights to go with just 4 players, and down by 3, but they never quit.
Alexander someone finished on a putback on the weak side to make it 65-64 JYO with 9.4 seconds left. Salnave got the inbounds and was fouled with 8.1 to go. He made the first and missed the 2nd, and off the miss, Martin got the ball and threw it up ahead to Alexander who again was open and finished in transition to tie it at 66 with 1.5 to go, but the Salnave magic was still to come.
"I was wearing the same shoes that I had on when I made the free throws to win the PSAL City Championship at the Barclays Center, so I felt like I had another big shot with these shoes today."
Those were Salnave's words after the game. With 1.5 left he got the inbounds, and from 3/4's court, he put it up, and it was nothing but net, and another celebration was on, with JYO pulling off the big time 69-66 victory.
Salnave led JYO with 26 points in the win, with Nelson adding in 14.
For the Ben Gordon All-Stars, who all seemed pretty shocked as to what happened, Martin led all scorers with 29 points, while Alexander chipped in with 13 of his own in the loss.
LP Fam Bandits Sweet Dream Nation, 86-81
Earlier in the day, Dream Nation won a game by forfeit when Frazier Sports Academy did not show up, but in this one it was an impressive 2nd half by Jamel Horton (Holy Cross '16) that led the way for LP Fam to pick up the 5 point win.
A pair of Springfield Gardens players in junior Travis Raynor, and sophomore Joel Boyce each had 14, while Horton had 10 of his game high 17 points to lead LP Fam from a 6 point halftime deficit to come back and grab the win.
Bernard Edwards (Walton '14) was a nice wing player with size to less Dream Nation with 19 points, while Jonathon Cummings (Evander Childs '14) had 18 in defeat.
NIA Prep Obliterate Kendall Madison Playaz, 68-46
Ramon Wright (NIA Prep'14)- 15 points
Jonathan Frazier (NIA Prep '14)- 15 points
Justyn Gardner (H.S. of Construction '14)- 12 points
Aaren Edmead (Deer Park '14)- 12 points