New Heights and Sportsfest both have multiple squads in this year's IS8/Nike Spring Classic.
Both were matched up against each other in the final two games of the afternoon played at Variety Boys & Girls Club. Despite there being two different games, the result was the same. New Heights was able to get both wins and do so comfortably as they prepare for the IS8 postseason.
One of the two games held significant importance, meaning that the winner would advance to the playoffs. The game between New Height's (sophomores) and Sportsfest (White) would determine who that would be. A close game late turned into an easy win going away for a 71-66 win that was only close because of a couple of late threes when the game was decided.
New Heights controlled the first half and took a 43-28 lead into the break. They weren't threatened much until the third quarter, when Sportsfest came out with an 18-6 run to make it 49-46. Despite making that big run to open the second half, New Heights was able to regain their composure and a three by Tory Ferguson late in the third allowed New Heights to take a 53-46 lead into the final period.
Sportsfest's Mike Brown (19 points) made a three early in the 4th to cut it to 53-52, but that shot was answered by New Heights Khalil Kanef to give New Heights the boost it needed to begin to pull away in the period. Kanef scored 9 of his team high 19 points in the fourth. Sportsfest was led Leo Vincent who knocked down 5 threes while leading his team in scoring with 23 points.
The win allowed New Heights to go 3-1 and finish second in their division to make the playoffs, while Sportsfest lost their opportunity to continue playing next week.
New Heights (seniors) 79 Sportsfest (Red) 53
New Heights was only ahead 39-32 at halftime even though it appeared they were dominating the game. They had the better team and Sportsfest was playing with only 5 players. New Heights didn't fully take advantage of that until the second half when they opened up with a 13-2 run. After the period was over, New Heights led 63-38 and the fourth was time for a running clock.
Jimmy Hall was just too big and too long for any player on Sportsfest to deal with. He altered almost every shot that came his way and he finished with ease over the defenders whenever there was a battle near the rim. Hall was the game high scorer for New Heights, finishing with 21 points. It was an all-around balanced effort in the scoring column. Rashad Andrews and Brian Bernardi each scored double digits with 14 and 13 points respectively, while Joel Angus also chipped in with 12 points. Lloyd Irons scored a game high 23 points for Sportsfest.
New Heights went 4-0 and won their division outright. They will be playing in the playoffs that begin later in the week.