basketball Edit

iS8/Nike Round-of-16 Recaps

SOUTH JAMAICA, NY- It was a busy day of action on Saturday at the iS8 Fall Tip-Off Classic as it was Round of 16 day with six games taking to the court to decide who will make it to Sunday and the quarterfinals in the tournament where you bring your game, not your name.

Some games were solid from start to finish, while others proved to be one sided battles, but throughout the day there was a lot of hard fought and strong play. was on hand for all six of the games that took place and now bring you a recap of how the action went down in Queens.

Road to Riches takes out Vikings Basketball Club, 67 - 64

Joe Toussaint & Jalen Murray
Joe Toussaint & Jalen Murray (M. Libert)

This one may have been the last game of the day, but it was far and away the best as it was the duo of Joe Toussaint (Cardinal Hayes '19) and Jaylen Murray (Cardinal Hayes '20) who led a Road to Riches comeback as they overcame an 8-point halftime deficit to rally back for the 3-point win.

Road to Riches jumped out to an 11-1 lead before the Vikings Basketball Club, which is South Shore H.S., came to life as Dwight Davis Jr. '19 was able to stick a pair of pull up three's in transition, and with Isaiah Richards '19 doing a strong job controlling the paint the Vikings went on a 15-2 run to propel into the lead.

Toussaint did all he could in scoring 13 first half points to keep Road to Riches close, but Femi Odukale '19 came on with a big finish to the half with dunk driving down the right baseline to see the Vikings go up 40-32 at halftime.

The South Shore lead was slowly being chipped away early in the second half as Murray was able to break down two defenders and finish at the rim to open things up, and then Christian Ray (Haverford School, PA '19) began to find his rhythm from deep to give Road to Riches a solid long range weapon, with his second three of the half putting them back in front 43-42.

From that point on it was a back and forth battle with neither team leading by more than 3 points the rest of the way. Odukale was stroking in three's from both the left and right sides, though it seemed like each time the Vikings knocked down a three, there was a Road to Riches player to match.

It was a 65-62 lead for Road to Riches with under a minute to go when the 6'8" Richards connected inside on a lay in to make it a 1-point game. Toussaint was immediately fouled, and he calmly hit his 2 FT's with 13 seconds to play, and while Phillips Joseph '19 was able to get off a good look at a corner three just before time expired, the shot was no good to see Road to Riches knock off South Shore H.S. for the 67-64 victory.

Leading the way for Road to Riches was Toussaint who had 19 points, Murray would add 17 points as well with the Cardinal Hayes pair doing all they could to push their team to the win.

In the loss for South Shore it was Odukale leading the way with 19 points with the big man inside in Richards chipping in with 13 points as well.

PD Nation Beats Beacon Elite, 92 - 76

Julian Champagnie & Tayejon Lynch
Julian Champagnie & Tayejon Lynch (M. Libert)

We go from the last game of the day to the opening game of the day in which a pair of local Queens based teams met. It was a single digit game for 3 quarters of play before PD Nation led by Julian Champagnie (Bishop Loughlin '19) were able to pull away and take the 92-76 win.

While it was Champagnie doing most of the damage early inside for PD Nation with his length, it was a multitude of their guards who were able to push the tempo and get out and finish in transition. Tayejon Lynch (Our Savior Lutheran '19) and Kayontay Williams (St. Benedict's, NJ '21) were able doing a lot of damage getting the ball up the court fast, allowing PD to go up double digits before the end of the opening quarter.

There weren't a lot of bright spots for Beacon Elite in the opening half, though Posh Alexander (Our Savior Lutheran '20) was showing off some of his vision and passing abilities in making some impressive looking passes, but he wasn't looking for his shot and Beacon fell behind 42-30 at the break.

Once the second half got going though Alexander seemed to be more offensive minded, showing off his deep range and going right at bigger defenders and finishing with contact. He would have 22 points in the second half alone, but it still wasn't enough.

The deficit did get down to as little as 6 points late in the third quarter after Justin Hendrick (St. Francis Prep '19) buried his fourth three ball of the game, but Lynch and Kervin Benoit (Springfield Gardens '19) came on strong down the stretch to push the momentum back toward PD Nation.

In the final stanza it was all Positive Direction as Beacon ran out of gas which PD more than took advantage of with Champagnie throwing down an array of impressive dunks in what was a dominant close to the game in giving PD Nation a solid 92-76 to advance them into the quarterfinals.

Champagnie had 18 points for PD with Lynch adding 16 and Williams tallying 15 in what was a balanced all-around scoring attack.

Finishing with a game high 30 points was Alexander, as he and Hendrick, who added 19 points, were the only offensive pieces who got going in the loss for Beacon Elite.

Castle Athletics dethrones Northeast Basketball Club, 72 - 69

Julien Soumaoro & Majesty Johnson
Julien Soumaoro & Majesty Johnson (M. Libert)

Having brought some impressive teams to iS8 so far this season, this wasn't the strongly group that the Northeast Basketball Club could've brought, but with Xavier bound forward Zach Freemantle (Bergen Catholic, NJ '19) and St. Bonaventure wing commit Justin Winston (Immaculate Conception, NJ '19), it was still quite a solid squad.

Castle though relished the underdog role and came out strong and never relinquished control in the second half, holding on for an impressive 3-point victory.

It was a back and forth contest early on with Freemantle getting going inside and showing off his skills around the rim for Northeast Basketball, but Kalique Mitchell (McKee/Staten Island Tech '19) was able to send in a pair of threes’, and once Majesty Johnson (Brooklyn Collegiate '20) got going, Castle proved to be tough to stop.

Johnson would send in a three from the right side at the halftime buzzer, culminating a run where he scored 10 straight for Castle, and gave his team a 33-24 lead showing that at 5'8" big things come in small packages.

As strong as Mitchell and Johnson were in the second quarter in controlling the game from deep, it was Julien Soumaoro (Cardinal Hayes '20) who rose to the challenge in the third quarter as he sent in a pair of treys in the stanza and scoring 8 straight during a 12-2 run to give Castle their biggest lead of the game at 63-49.

Seemingly in total control, Castle took their foot off the gas a bit and Northeast Basketball Club responded and made a big closing run. Jose Cuello (Wings Academy '20) was able to create off the dribble and finishing going to the basket, while Winston was able to use his inside/outside skills to finish all over the floor.

After cutting the deficit down to 71-69 in the closing seconds, Johnson would hit 1 of 2 from the FT line giving Northeast a last look to tie, but they never got a shot off as Castle clamped down on defense and came up with the big stand when they needed it to come away with the 72-69 win.

Finishing with a team high 22 points was Johnson who did a masterful job leading the offense from start to finish, with Mitchell coming up with a strong effort and adding 18 points as well for the winners.

With a game high 24 points it was Cuello who showed he will be a major presence in the PSAL this season, while Winston came on with a very solid fourth quarter to end up with 14 points in the defeat.

2GZ taps out Manhattan Sports Academy, 71 - 59

Hassan Diarra & Trey Clarke
Hassan Diarra & Trey Clarke (M. Libert)

Taking a 10-0 lead early on because of Manhattan Sports showing up nearly 30 minutes late, 2GZ didn't have an easy go of it the rest of the way but did just enough to keep control and take the 12-point win.

Even though they were in the quick hole because of being late, Manhattan Sports came out with a flurry as Nick Rivera (Trinity-Pawling '19) was able to get off a couple of good quick looks, with Elijah Wynn (Wadleigh '19) also doing a solid job beating defenders in one on one situations with his great quickness.

Once 2GZ settled in though it seemed like everything went back to normal for one of the iS8 favorites as Hassan Diarra (Putnam Science Academy, '20) and Josh Pierre-Louis (Roselle Catholic, NJ '19) each were able to get good looks from deep, pushing the lead for them up to 16 at the half.

Manhattan Sports never went away as Wynn continued to be among the best players on the floor, but as Trey Clarke (Metro BDA '19) got hot late in using his size on the wing to bully his way to the rim, the overall depth and talent won out for 2GZ.

Diarra would finish with 16 points to lead the way for 2GZ as they would control the play and take down a gritty and tough Manhattan Sports Academy team for the 71-59 win.

Wynn would be the high man of the game as he had 24 points, including 6 threes’ as he showed the combination of passing and shooting skills that should make him a player to watch going forward into the high school season.

Team Long Island Cooks Eagles,  83 - 38

Rhyjon Blackwell & Malik Edmead
Rhyjon Blackwell & Malik Edmead (M. Libert)

It was Long Island's best against Robeson H.S. in a game that proved to be all Long Island from the get-go as Malik Edmead (Deer Park '20) had 21 of his 23 points in the opening half. While it was all Edmead at the start, it was Rhyjon Blackwell (Baldwin '19) who finished it with 14 of his 17 points in the second half to see Team Long Island roll into Sunday's quarterfinals with the easy win.

For the Eagles it was Anfernee Pena '21 who had 15 points as he was a solid bright spot in an otherwise rough afternoon for a young Robeson team.

Goldminz grounds Shooting Stars, 84 - 59

Tyshawn High & Justin Champagnie
Tyshawn High & Justin Champagnie (M. Libert)

It was veterans vs. youngsters in this one as Goldminz was led by Justin Champagnie (Bishop Loughlin '19) and his 24 points, while Tyshawn High (Bishop Loughlin '19) and Dontae Walker (Innovation Charter '20) had 17 and 16 points respectively in what was a dominating performance for the experience Goldminz group in the victory.

Shooting Stars ran just out a group of Class of 2022 future stars, and Antonio Sellers (Hudson Catholic, NJ '22) showed that he is absolutely the real deal in closing the game out with 31 points and proving to be the best player on the floor for large spells even in the defeat.

Click above banner and Follow us on Twitter @NYCHoops
Click above banner and Follow us on Twitter @NYCHoops