BROOKLYN, NY - Sunday evening's Sharette Dixon Memorial Classic started out as a game and ended up as dunk competition. New Jersey brought a butter knife to a gunfight and got massacred, 112-98 by a potent New York team with four of NYCHoops Top Ten Players. The final score was not indicative of how badly New Jersey lost.
First off, New Jersey came to the affair shorthanded and had to borrow three New York players, 6'4"Jermoine Faison (Thomas Jefferson/2014) and Tyler Whitehead (Bayside/2014), just to make weight.
NY would not take it easy on NJ. Chris McCullough (17 points) went up high and came down hard with a dunk that made fans in Bishop Loughlin HS's gym cringe with delight.
Reggie Cameron (23 points), Faison (16 points) and Kavon Stewart (3 points) stood their ground early on and with 6 minute left in the opening quarter, NJ was only down by a deuce. The team from across the water was actually ahead by 4 points at the 3:18 mark but Jordan Washington (19 points) bullied his way in and to the rim to tie the game. He then stripped Quadri Moore (10 points) to take the lead. A lead that was extended by Hassan Martin (22 points) to take a four point advantage into the second quarter.
Down 22-18 to begin the quarter, Mike Young (21 points) began to take things personal and momentarily abused McCullough down low. McCullough reciprocated as he snuffed Young defensively on New Jersey's following possession.
Washington continuously dominated the boards for New York, spearheading points in transition; Cameron frequently countered. As a result, the game was knotted at 27 and again at 33 with 3:34 left in the half.
McCullough, Martin, Khadeen Carrington (8 points) and Isaiah Whitehead (10 points) joined in a 13-2 gangbang that left New Jersey battered and down 53-36 at the half.
During the halftime intermission, Cameron and New Yorker Josh James received Academic Excellence awards but it didn't take a rocket scientist to do the math. NJ needed buckets, quick fast and in a hurry.
With late arrival Dayshon Smith (11 points) on their squad, NJ attempted to make a comeback. Buckets by Cameron would briefly cut New York's lead to seven points but back-to-back jumpers by Wesley Myers (6 points) pushed the lead back to 12 with 6:26 remaining in the third quarter. That would be the last time, New Jersey was ever in range to even try to win this game.
For a short period, both teams exchanged baskets as Myers and Jaquan Lynch (2 points) matched NJ's offensive efforts. That moment ended when Mike Williams (11 points), 6'1" junior from Bishop Loughlin, would go off and single-handedly spike NY's lead up to 22 points.
In a 20 point hole to start the final quarter, when New York added insult to injury and increased their lead to 28 points, it seemed as if the game suddenly ended and an impromptu slam dunk competition ensued for the remain four minutes of garbage time.
For the record, the slam dunk competition was underwhelming as there were multiple boinks from players who had tired legs.
Washington would earn MVP honors with Cameron taking home the Sportsmanship award.
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