WEST HEMPSTEAD, NY - The New York Lightning run Slam N' Jam tournament concluded on Sunday, and it featured a highly anticipated 17u rematch between the NY Lightning and The Rens in the championship game.
The Lightning won in pool play on Saturday, and The Rens were out for payback. It was a back and forth contest that could've gone either way until Omar Williams (Cardozo '13) hit a big three to break a 73 all tie with 3.5 left to propel The Rens to the revenge 76-73 victory and the title.
The Rens got out of the gate quick going up 10-0 early on behind a pair of early threes from Williams and Mohamed Touray (Christ the Ling '15). Undeterred, the Lightning fought back and went on an 11-0 run right after that to take the lead behind 8 in the run from Jessie Govan (St. Mary's '15).
Rawle Alkins (Christ the King '16) started off slow for The Rens, but he got in a comfortable groove as the half went on, sticking a pair of treys midway through the half, but the Lightning were slowly able to pull away. Kayvon Williams (St. Raymond '14) and Kahari Beaufort (Notre Dame Prep, MA '14) were lethal from deep, and C.J. Davis (Molloy '14) was running the show to perfection helping them go up 34-21 late in the half. A couple of late strong buckets inside by Jordan Fuchs (Christ the King '13) helped at least grab some momentum back for The Rens, but the Lightning had a 38-29 lead at the half.
At halftime the Lightning were greeted by the arrival of Khadeen Carrington (Bishop Loughlin '14) who had just gotten in from the Nike Global Challenge in Washington D.C., he came into the game right away and immediately made an impact hitting on his first shot of the game, a three from the left wing.
With 7:30 left in the game, the Lightning were up 65-54 and seemingly in control, but The Rens started to press the ball in the backcourt, and the Lightning seemed a bit passive, letting the trap come to them instead if attacking it and breaking it down. Turnovers became much more common for the Lightning, and The Rens really started to feed the ball inside to Adonis Delarosa (Christ the King '14). He was light on his feet and showed good post up and finishing sills in the paint. Another thing he did was draw contact, getting Govan, Luis Santos (St. Raymond '15), and Angel Delgado (Redemption Christian '14) into foul trouble, which really hurt the Lightning's offensive sets, and rebounding.
The Rens went on an 11-2 run punctuated by an Alkins dunk to cut the deficit to 67-65 with 3 minutes to go. The Lightning got a couple FT's from Davis, but Delarosa kept doing his thing in the paint, enabling him to get to the line. With 1:25 left, the Lightning, while up 2, had the ball stripped just over mid court, and Alkins threw a pass down court to Fuchs who threw it down with 2 hands to tie the game at 71.
Alkins ended up giving The Rens their first lead since early in the first half when he got a steal and slashed his way inside for a deuce to make it 73-71 with 37.5 to go. The Lightning called timeout to set up a play and Delgado hit on a beautiful spin in the lane to tie it back up with 16 seconds to go.
The Rens did not call timeout and Williams brought the ball up the court. He surveyed his options quickly and took a deep right with three that hit nothing but net with 3.5 seconds to play to put The Rens back up 76-73.
The Lightning called a timeout and executed a very good inbounds play getting the ball off the inbounds to Delgado near midcourt. He then made a feed to Beaufort near the left wing. Beaufort got up a real good look just as time expired but it fell off the side of the rim, and The Rens took the 17u title over the NY Lightning 76-73.
Alkins led all scorers in the game with 24 points, while Delarosa had. 16, 12 of which came from the FT line.
Williams led the Lightning with 17, while Delgado added 16 in defeat.
NY Lightning 78- The Rens 53- 16u Championship
After a tight first half that saw the Lightning only up by 6 at the break, the Lightning poured it on the 2nd half going up by as many as 31 before coasting to the title.
Dimencio Vaughn (Thurgood Marshall '15) led the Lightning to the title with 27 points. including 18 in the 2nd half where he really carried the load in helping his squad charge to the win. Melik Thomas (St. Raymond '15) and Jermaine Bishop (Holy Cross '15) added 17 and 15 respectively for the winners as well.
In the loss The Rens were led by the 17 points of Christian Wilson (Holy Cross '16)
NY Lightning 67- LP Fam Bandits 56- 15u Championship
Bryan Assie (Redemption Christian '16) was a force inside leading the Lightning with 23 points to help them get payback on a defeat they took Saturday to the Bandits, and defeat them for the title.
Caheim Brown (St. Raymond '16) was a versatile perimeter threat who threw down two monster dunks, and added 16 as well to help pace the way.
Cameron Winston (Rectory School, CT '16) led the Bandits in defeat with 15.
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