Lutheran Tops Lincoln In Shooting Stars Finale
BROOKVILLE, NY - Sunday evening's Shooting Stars Showcase finale between Long Island's #1 L.I. Lutheran and the Abraham Lincoln Railsplitters, one of the top teams in NYC, was all about asserting dominance. "This was a really big game for us," said LuHi Head Coach John Buck. "In these last few years we've sometimes struggled in these battles down the stretch."
In a game of punches and counter punches, the host LuHi Crusaders would rise to the occasion and tap out the Railsplitters, 61-53. "I'm glad the guys figured it out and got the win," said Buck.
One of the main players Coach Buck credited for the win was 6'9" wing Jose Martinez '16 (11 points & 10 rebounds). Although Chris Atkinson (15 points) won the MVP honors with a stellar performance at the point, Buck said that his senior leader always plays hard and is an absolute warrior. "I thought [Martinez] was the MVP today," Buck admitted. "I've been really riding him hard. He's a kid from Puerto Rico so the pace is a little bit fast for him but I think we had a breakthrough today. He played really well."
It was helter skelter during the first half but Luhi played controlled chaos and led 12-4 with 2 minute left in the warm up quarter. Rojaye Campbell (10 points & 11 rebounds) and Atkinson paced Lutheran inside and out on offense while Lincoln struggled to get off shots due to solid Crusader defensive rotation. Down by ten with 1.3 seconds, Railsplitters 5'11" PG Donald Flores '17 (points) managed to get to the line but LuHi led, 16-7 Luhi after the first quarter.
LuHi's traps continued to be a problem for the Railsplitters as was the length of Martinez as the second quarter unveiled. Jahlil Tripp (22 points) opened things up for Lincoln off a LuHi turnover but Devonte Green (9 points) countered and Campbell put the Crusaders up 21-9 with 6:05 left in the half.
Lincoln stayed active on the glass with 6'6" Greg Poleon '15 (4 points) and Tripp crashing the boards but LuHi mostly controlled the offensive boards and still led 25-15 with 4:15 left in the half. With 3:25 a layup by Atkinson increased LuHi's advantage to 13 points.
One-on-one basketball did not serve Lincoln well and when 6'2" Elijah Bailey '15 (7 points) drained a trey and scored again from the charity stripe, with a minute left in the half, Luhi had its largest lead of the game and ended the half up, 36-21.
Martinez set LuHi off to start the third with a nice midrange shot but the Railsplitters made their move. Midway through the quarter, Flores hit a shot and with 2 minutes left in the third, Poleon and 6'0" Paul "P.J." Persons '18 (9 points) pulled Lincoln to within 5.
A trey by sharpshooting guard 5'8" Tyler Bourne '18 (5 points) with 1 minute made the score 44-40. A turnover and a foul by Green with 11.3 seconds put Flores in the line and Lutheran only led, 44-41, after three quarters.
Lincoln began to play hungry. With 6:45, Tripp scored an and-1 to knot the game at 44. Martinez nailed a big trey to put LuHi back up by two but the lead was brief as Lincoln responded. Tied again at 46 and at 48 with 4:03 left in regulation the competition evolved into a nail biter.
Off an Atkinson missed Campbell tried to dunk the ball and was whistled with a tech after he got caught over-hanging on the rim. With 3:52, Bourne shot the subsequent freethrows and gained possession as well and Lincoln led 50-48.
Atkinson drew a foul but went 1-2 but off a turnover 6'1" Chris Burkley '15 (7 points) grabbed the rebound to score, putting Luhi out front, 51-50. Another Lincoln turnover on the inbounds set Luhi for more offense as Green scored a floater.
Down by three points, Lincoln began to become unlaced and Greene put Luhi up 56-50 off an and-1. Flores cut that lead in half with a clutch three-ball at the 1:07 mark but Greene to the line once more as he aggressively attacked the rim.
42.1 seconds remain in the game and the Railsplitter were now down, 58-53. A miss trey by Bourne eventually put LuHi back on the line. Atkinson ups lead to seven and LuHi would win by eight as time ran out.
In other action :
St. Rays bounces back; beats St. Mary's, 77-63
After a starting one-point loss to un-ranked Mt. Saint Michael on Saturday, St. Ray's head coach Jorge Lopez told NYCHoops.net that his team needed this win in the worst way. "Yesterday was such a disappointing loss," he said. We needed a win today to bounce back from that."
Lopez attributed the Ravens loss on Saturday to simply being outworked. "They wanted it more than us. They were more compassionate than us about winning," he said.
Sunday's game started out as a track meet which favored Ravens who led 9-2 early off buckets by Cahiem Brown (26 points).
With 6'6" Chris Coalmon '17 (27 points) as its primary offense, the Gaels deficit grew to double digits quickly. The Gaels did manage to cut Ray's lead to 20-18 after 1 quarter with better ball movement.
A breakaway dunk by 6'4" Chris "C.J." Kelly '17 (17 points) tied the game briefly at the 7:24 mark but Brown countered to put the Ravens back on top where they remained. The lead grew to 9 points before St. Mary's found an answer from Kelly in the corner. With a minute to go, St. Mary's trailed by 12 as Wilson got free
St. Mary's was in a 42-30 hole at the top of the third quarter. An uneven exchange of baskets increased St. Rays lead to 49-34 with 5 minutes. Double-dunks by Sid Wilson (20 points) punctuated a dominate quarter by Ray's who led 59-42 to begin the final quarter
Kelly gave St. Mary's a good start with a three-ball from the corner pocket but it would be an uphill battle for the Manhasset, NY squad. 4:44 left to play and Ravens were firmly ahead, 65-49.
Kelly and Coalmon remained attack mode and sliced the Ravens lead to 10 points with 3:30. Wilson accentuated the Ravens desire to win with an emphatic putback dunk. Ahead by 10 with a minute to play, St. Rays would go on to win.
Asked about the takeaway from Sunday's win, Coach Lopez said, "No one is going to just bow down to us. I think they learned that you have to play hard all the time to win."
Brentwood knocks off South Shore, 75-68
South Shore (5-10) has already doubled down on losses in the New Year while the Indians have doubled up on wins to remain undefeated. Brentwood (5-0) led the Vikings in the half, 38-28 paced by Ali Mableton's 12 first half points.
6'6" Jamel Allen '16 and Tavon Ginyard kept the Brentwood Indians lead hovering around ten points until the Brooklyn, NY squad tried to make a run.
6'8" Cori Johnson '16 began to dominate inside and with 7:21, the Vikings only trailed 56-50 but Ginyard and Allen put Brentwood back on track and they led 63-50 with 5:30 left to play.
The Vikings pulled to within 6 again at the 3:30 mark but a slam dunk by Allen provided the cushion that would secure the win for the Long Island team.
Allen was high scorer for Brentwood with Mableton with 21 points with Allen and Ginyard 18 points and 17 points respectively. Johnson paced South Shore with a game high 28 points with Cheyenne Nettleton adding 17 points
In the opening game, Far Rockaway tops Harborfields, 48-44