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WEST HEMPSTEAD, NY - On Sunday, in a highly anticipated GameOver Classic 17U championship at the Island Garden, the New York Lightning defeated the New York Panthers in a rout 78-44.
After a good competitive start by both teams, the Panthers had no answer for the second half run that would strike by the Lightning.
Early on, both teams got out to a good start and opened up playing hard half court man to man sets on defense. With 10:50 remaining in the half, the score was tied at 10 apiece and for the next three minutes the game consisted of back-to-back action between the two teams scoring one right after the other.
NY Lightning players, Khadeen Carrington and 6'7" Luis Montero, (Sophomore - Manson Academy) caught fire in the paint and made a ton of free throws to help keep their team up by a narrow margin. With 3:50 remaining in the half the Lightning began to gain momentum.
After a timeout called by the Panthers, the Lightning came out in a full court press which led to a couple of steals and lay-ups by Carrington giving them their biggest lead of the half 27-21 with the half coming to a close. At this point it appeared that the Panthers were in danger of getting blown out but a trio of lay-ups, including one at the buzzer by Temple Gibbs , kept the Panthers within reasonable striking distance at half 36-27.
To open the second half, the Panthers really struggled to score the ball. Aggressive half court traps and intense ball pressure caused the Panthers to turn the ball over leading to easy transition baskets for Lightning.
The Lightning then went on an 8-0 run with 8:05 to go behind a vicious alley oop slam by Carrington followed by a jumpshot and a three ball by Montero which suddenly ballooned the Lightning's lead to 57-37. Gibbs continued to play well and converted on several lay-ups in the paint off some nice crossover moves but it would not be enough. The Lightning's team effort led to a trouncing of the Panthers for the rest of the game and the score would only get worse until its final conclusion.
Carrington and Montero led the Lightning with 17 and 16 points each while Gibbs led the Panthers and was game's overall leading scorer with 18 points respectively.
Harlem Jets 15U team stun the Gauchos, 63-54
The 16U championship was between the NY Gauchos and the 15U Harlem Jets team that was playing up. The Choz would trail for the entire game but would only have a 34-30 deficit at the half.
Early in the second half, the Jets extended their lead to eight points but the Gauchos would cut that lead down to 2 points. The Jets would go on an 11-3 run and increase their advantage to 58-48 with 3:06 left to play.
The Jets would go on to win by 9 points led by MVP rising sophomore Davontay Wigfall from Bread & Roses HS with 17 points. Dontell Henry from Eagle Academy was high man for the NY Gauchos with 12 points.
Shooting Stars won the 15U championship over NY Lightning, 63-60.
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