NYCHoops - Near Avalanches @ NYC Snowball Classic
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Near Avalanches @ NYC Snowball Classic

FRESH MEADOWS, NY – The third annual NYC Snowball Classic was held on Saturday at Francis Lewis HS and did not disappoint. Six games were held. NYCHoops.net was on board to check out the three games with rankings implications, two of which were closer than expected.

John Bowne Soar Past Seagulls, 71 – 58

Tyshawn Trail, Amadou Diallo & Mouhamed Dioubate
Tyshawn Trail, Amadou Diallo & Mouhamed Dioubate (M. Wingate)

The Wildcats may have been without big man Cherif Diarra ‘21 but depth of John Bowne was apparent as the #6 ranked squad handed McKee/Staten Island Tech its first lost. In the warmup quarter, it appeared as if the Seagulls were preparing to fly past Bowne.

Perimeter shots by Daquan Khamis ‘20 gave MSIT a 5-point advantage heading into the second half. The Wildcats woke up from its hibernation and began to respond as the tandem of Amadou Diallo '21, point guard Tyshawn Trail ‘21 and Mouhamed Dioubate ‘22 began to put in work. At the half, the Seagulls were trailing, 50 – 46.

In the second half, Bowne continued to disrupt until MSIT became un-flocked as the game wore on. To the Seagulls credit, with offense from Jalil Golden ‘21, they got a 10 point fourth quarter deficit down to 4 points with 5 and a half minutes left to play A strong finish capped off by relentless offense led by Dioubate would pluck the Seagulls comeback hopes from the sky en route to a 13 point loss to the Wildcats.

Dioubate led the way for John Bowne with 16 points, 8 rebounds and two assists, closely followed by Diallo with 16 points & 10 assists and Trail who added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Khamis was the high man for MSIT with a game high 24 points.

Chaminade invades Patriots, 64 – 48

Kiernan Dorney
Kiernan Dorney (M. Wingare)

With an unranked Francis Lewis team going up against Long Island’s #8 ranked Chaminade Flyers one would expect Francis Lewis to get blown out of its own gym. Even Patriots head coach Gerard Ciarleglio thought it was a strong possibility but the host team, missed that memo and had other thoughts.

In the opening stanza, the Flyers blasted Francis Lewis with a sustained aerial attack led by Kieran Dorney ’20 and Matthew Coletti ’20. Quick, fast and in a hurry, Chaminade was up by 14 points . While the Long Island squad lived by the jay in the first quarter, they died by it in the second and quarters. The Patriots seized the moment spearheaded by the play of Elijah Pratt ‘20 and Angel Pineda ‘22 and midway through the fourth quarter, Chaminade was only up by 3 points.

Although the Flyers balanced offense fell off, Dorney remained consistent. His fourth quarter almost equaled Francis Lewis’s team output. The Patriots would ultimately fall short of victory but there would be no expected low out.

Dorney was the high scorer for Chaminade with a game high 30 points. Elijah paced Francis Lewis with 18 points.

Eagle Academy Squeaks by Molloy, 58 -55

Vernon Simmons & DaMarco Watson
Vernon Simmons & DaMarco Watson

The final game of the day featured the #8 ranked Eagles against a rebuilding Archbishop Molloy. What started as a foregone conclusion for the Eagles ended up as a nail biter for the Bronx squad.

A slam dunk by Vernon Simmons ‘20 right off the tip-off set the tone as Eagle Academy jumped out front early. Additional buckets by Kevin Wilson ‘21 continued to promote the narrative that Molloy was destined to lose. Down by 4 after one quarter, the Stanners still trailed at the half by 5 and by 12, midway through the third quarter.

Apparently, unbeknownst to Eagles, Molloy was slowly taking stock in the fact that they were still within striking range and still in the game. Freshman Christian Bliss ‘23 was quietly leading a Stanners insurgence with fearless drives to the hoops that began to catch on with his teammates. Mick Browne ‘20 soon joined the insurgence and with 2 minutes left to play, Eagle Academy was only ahead, 52 – 49.

Eagles head coach Ryan Queen looked to put a stop to Molloy’s momentum, commanding his players while Browne was taking free-throws with 1:01 left in regulation. “They are not to get any more points,” he said. Browne calmly hit the foul shots, making Queen’s demand an impossibility at a minimum.

Molloy narrowed its deficit to a point with 29.1 seconds but a strong finish by DaMarco Watson '20 and Simmons sealed the deal for the Eagles who escape with the win.

Watson led Eagle Academy with 16 points with Simmons contributing 12 points. Bliss and Browne paced Molloy with 16 points apiece.