SOUTH JAMAICA, N.Y. - Though the squad is not loaded with the most well-known names in New York, the Money Team proved that it has the weapons in the artillery it needs to go to war with the best of them.
On Saturday, the squad went 2-0 in its first day of competition at the iS8/Nike Spring High School Classic, plowing through Learn the Game, 66-38, and edging a tough Panthers (Juniors) squad, 81-77.
After coming off an easy win over Learn the Game, where Tenie Johnson (Campus Magnet (N.Y.) '13) finished with a game-high 18 points to go along with a 15-point effort by teammate Omar Williams (Benjamin Cardozo H.S. (N.Y.) '13), the Money Team came out with fresh legs as it played Panthers (Juniors), its second competitor of the day.
Led by the 14 first-half points of Elijah Davis (Abraham Lincoln H.S. (N.Y.) '13), the Panthers dominated the first half, holding a 35-30 advantage by halftime.
The Money Team, which never strayed too far away from the Panthers' heels, remained hot on the trail, shifting between lead changes and ties with the competition throughout the second half. In fact, these uphill battles gave way to a great war of skill-sets: Panthers' Isaiah Whitehead (Abraham Lincoln H.S. (N.Y.) '14) and Davis going toe-to-toe with Money Team's Rasheed Robinson (team-high 21 points) and Williams (20 points).
Money Team paddled above water down the stretch, tying the matchup at 67 just before the close of the fourth quarter after the Panthers (Juniors) took a two-point lead.
With pressure high and the intensity at its peak at the end of regulation, neither team showed signs of panic nor discouragement. Both headed into overtime with an unnerved approach.
In the opening minute of the post-regulation period, Money Team tried to get an early start out of the gate, inching ahead by a deuce, 69-67, on a basket by Robinson. However, soon the Panthers were in possession of a two-point lead of their own when Whitehead secured a basket for his squad.
However, clutch baskets down the stretch by Money Team, namely Williams, pulled out the toughness win over the Panthers.
Panthers' Davis and Whitehead each scored the game-high of 22 points.
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