basketball Edit

iS8/Nike Round of Sixteen

SOUTH JAMAICA, NY- Saturday meant playoff basketball at the iS8 Nike/Spring Classic with the Round of 16 taking place at the famed gymnasium in South Queens. The day's play was full of some of the area's brightest stars taking the court to help their squads get one step closer to the goal of the prestigious iS8 Championship.

Most of the games ended up of being a bit on the one-sided end of things but a couple stood out as strong matchups from start to finish. was on hand for all five games played at I.S. 8 on Saturday so here now is a detailed recap of the days play.

LPAC Cashes Out-Road to Riches, 83 - 81 OT

Charles Brown & Joe Toussaint
Charles Brown & Joe Toussaint (M. Libert)

It was the final game of the day but it was without question the most intense and exciting as a pair of teams based in the Bronx took to the court hoping to get bragging rights and move onto Sunday's quarterfinals.

Road to Riches were missing their two big stars in guards Posh Alexander (Our Savior Lutheran '20) and Jaylen Murray (Cardinal Hayes '20) due to Nike EYBL commitments, along with a handful of others as well this weekend but it looked as if they would still pull through leading nearly the entire way in this one.

Harry Eghan (Our Savior Lutheran '19) was a force around the rim for most of the game, while Charles Noonan (Our Savior Lutheran '19) provided a spark from behind the arc as Road to Riches were neutralizing all of the big names for LPAC and lead early in the second quarter 25-9 before holding on to take a 36-24 lead at the half.

With a team like LPAC though with a backcourt of Joe Toussaint (Cardinal Hayes '19), Elijah Wynn (Wadleigh '19), and Glen Anderson (Brooklyn Collegiate '19) it was always going to be hard to slow them down for a full game and slowly but surely they started to chip away.

LPAC never led in regulation but they nearly finished off their comeback with 3 seconds left as Toussaint held the ball down 67-65 and drove to the rim and finished while getting fouled. The FT would've given them the lead for the first time in the game but Toussaint surprisingly missed, giving Road to Riches hope and sending the game into OT tied at 67.

Almost immediately it was Toussaint and Charles Brown (Brooklyn Collegiate '19) who would drain long balls to put LPAC in front for the first time moments into the extra session, and with Anderson doing a great job as an on ball harassing defender and the momentum squarely on their side, everything came up LPAC down the stretch.

It was an extremely balanced offensive attack for LPAC as Toussaint had 17 points, Anderson had 15, and Brown added 13 in what would be an LPAC 83-81 come from behind victory.

D1 Stars Outshines-Beacon Elite, 70 - 60

Fousseyni Drame, T.J. Morris & Hassan Drame
Fousseyni Drame, T.J. Morris & Hassan Drame (M. Libert)

Another pair of teams who were missing their biggest names, D1 was without Jonathan Kuminga (Our Savior New American '21) while Beacon Elite didn't have the services of Max Amadasun (Our Savior Lutheran '20) as each were on the Nike EYBL circuit in Indiana this weekend.

That meant others would need to step up and early on it looked as if Beacon Elite would be in complete control.

Justin Hendrick (St. Francis Prep '19) and Jasiah Wright (H.S of Construction '19) were feeling it in a big way from the outside in the first half as each had 14 opening half points as at one-point Beacon held a commanding 25-8 lead.

From that point on though it was T.J. Morris (Nazareth '21) who took control as in the final six minutes of the second quarter it was the super sophomore who showed he could score from anywhere on the court as he had 16 points during that stretch to see D1 Stars go from down 17 to tied up at 35 at the break.

D1 did a much better job of closing out on the shooters of Beacon Elite in that second quarter, and the defensive pressure really got turned up as well. That intensity kept up in the third quarter as Fousseyni Drame (Our Savior New American '19) was able to score 8 in the stanza to see them take a 56-41 lead.

Nothing was going to stop D1 Stars from that point on as even with Wright again finding his range, with very little space to connect as well, the overall depth and size of their opponents proved to be too much.

Wright would lead all scorers with 26 points for Beacon Elite but with Morris scoring 22 and both Fousseyni and Hassan Drame (Our Savior New American '19) adding 11 each it was D1 Stars who would move on pulling away in the second half for the 70-60 win.

Goldminz Collapses Mt. Vernon, 78 - 66

Gary Grant & Dashawn Davis
Gary Grant & Dashawn Davis (M. Libert)

After defeating Elmont in a play-in opening round playoff game on Friday night it was Mt. Vernon coming back less than 24 hours later looking to pull the shocker against a talented and deep Goldminz team.

Credit to the Knights for hanging close most of the way but getting 18 points from Seton Hall bound Dashawn Davis (Our Savior Lutheran '19) allowed Goldminz to ultimately do enough to move into Sunday's quarterfinals with a 12-point victory.

At the outset this one seemed as if Goldminz would run away and not look back as Nariq Chisolm (Martin Luther '19) had 9 in the opening quarter as the lead was 23-8 for the Bronx based team, but Mt. Vernon proved to have fight in them to not let this one get away.

Charles Lovett '20 hit on all three of his triples in the second quarter as he would score 13 in the quarter that saw a once 15-point lead brought all the way back. The Knights actually tied the game up late in the half before a late and one by Alejandro Vasquez (The Patrick School, NJ '19) put Goldminz up 35-32 at halftime.

Whatever was said to the Goldminz players at the break seemingly woke them up as defensively they were quicker and more aggressive, and with Gary Grant (St. Raymond '20) and Davis each starting to turn things up in the opening floor the lead was back up to 19 late in the third.

Continuing to do all he could for Mt. Vernon was Lovett as the junior did all he could without Troy Hupstead '20 who was away with his AAU team this weekend. Lovett was able to get the Knights back within single digits with 1:40 to go, but Grant closed things out strong as he had 8 in the fourth to allow Goldminz to advance with the victory.

Leading Goldminz was Davis as he would score 16 points in the win, Chisolm would add 14, while Grant had 13 in a strong and balanced performance across the board for the winners.

2GZ's Depletes Diallo Elite, 84 - 70

Jaylen Gaffney & Trey Clarke
Jaylen Gaffney & Trey Clarke (M. Libert)

Another team that had to win a play-in game on Friday to get to this one was Diallo Elite who pulled out a close one against Shooting Stars to get the honor of playing the iS8 top seed in 2GZ's.

2GZ's was missing a number of their top stars which possibly gave Diallo Elite, which is John Bowne H.S., some confidence as while they never led in this one they also never found themselves completely out of the game either.

Amadou Diallo '21 had it going in the opening half for Bowne as he had 10 points, while it was Tyshawn Trail '21 who heated up in the second half to the tune of 16 points all in the third and fourth quarters, but while they along with a number of other Diallo Elite players did have strong outings no one was able to match the performance of future UConn star Jalen Gaffney (Westtown, PA '19).

With most of the other big names for 2GZ's not on hand for this one it was Gaffney who more than carried the load as he had a cool and calm 27 points, 11 of which came in the second quarter to open up a close game early and give 2GZ's a 38-26 lead at halftime.

Trey Clarke (Metro/BDA '20) was another solid performer inside for 2GZ's as the Brooklyn native would finish with 21 points including 12 in the fourth quarter to put away a scrappy and tough Diallo Elite team away for good in what would be an 84-70 win for the iS8 #1 seed.

Northeast Basketball Club Shuts down Manhattan Sports Academy, 91 - 66

Joe Girard & Aidan Igiehon
Joe Girard & Aidan Igiehon (M. Libert)

When you looked at the Manhattan Sports roster they featured one Division 1 bound player in New Hampshire signee Nick Johnson (All Hallows '19).

Northeast Basketball Club on the other featured just six players but all six lit things up as it was Louisville bound Aidan Igiehon (Lawrence Woodmere Academy '19), future Syracuse star Joe Girard (Glens Falls '19), Rutgers commit Paul Mulcahy (Gill St. Bernard's, NJ '19), soon to be Xavier big man Zach Freemantle (Bergen Catholic, NJ '19), Villanova post commit Eric Dixon (Abington, PA '19), and Harvard sharpshooting signee Idan Tretout (Wilbraham & Monson, MA '19) taking the court for star studded group.