LAS VEGAS, NV - The 17U NY Rens had individual standouts but limped into the Adidas Super 64 playoffs with a one and two record.
With a lower seeding and a longer path to a possible chip, New York's lone representative played D1 Minnesota in the first round.
Reenergized and committed in their resolve, the Rens, paced by the Queens, NY high school tag team of Justin Wright-Foreman and Rawle Alkins would take down a resilient Minnesota squad, 89-82 on Friday in front of a slew of division I college coaches to advance to the next round. Wright-Foreman, who scored 48 points in the team's only pool play victory, scored a quiet and efficient 31 points (12 of 14 and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line). Alkins added a double-double with 29 points (9 of 18 and 1 of 6 from three). The rising junior also had 11 rebounds.
D1 Minn. Kept the Rens within striking distance with a balanced scoring attack led by Stephon Sharp with 19 points and Delshon Strickland who contributed 17 points. With additional rebounding and interior points from 6'7" Ryan Preston (South Shore), the Rens held onto a 42-35 halftime lead.
Applying pressure on the Rens point guards, D1 MN was able to force turnovers and matched the NYC team offensively with transition buckets. Masterful clock management and keep away techniques down the stretch implored by NY Rens head coach Artie Cox would hold off a hard charging Minnesota team for the win.
Next up, the NY Rens will face the Compton Magic (CA), on Saturday in the second round.