PHILADELPHIA, PA - The highly anticipated 4th Annual Sneaker Villa Classic on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in the Pallestra Gym featured four games between New York City and Pennsylvania teams.
In most of the contests on Sunday, the off-court drama almost eclipsed the on-court action as the NYC squads would end up winning all four match-ups. In the last game, the home town squad would even give the NY team a victory in OT.
Lions Outrun Mustangs, 63-54
Bishop Loughlin (NY) would face Murrell Dobbins Tech (PA) in the opening match. Although the Dobbin Mustangs had 6'7" Jerrell Wright it would not be enough as the unranked Loughlin Loins would present a balanced scoring attack led by MVP Joel Angus. The junior led Bishop Loughlin with 12 points and 8 rebounds.
Boys & Girls One-Up Imhotep, 62-61
It would be an emotional second game as the Kangaroos would be come home from a championship loss in the Beach Ball Classic only to find out about another loss. Senior wing, Malik Nichols would find out that his mother had passed away on New Year's Eve but would show up to play with his team. Nichols would play inspired basketball, scoring 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Imhotep would still manage be in front by a point with 9.9 seconds remaining. On the cusp of losing, Nichols' teammate Leroy "Truck" Fludd would score a game winning buzzer beater that would seal the Boys High win. Fludd would win the MVP, netting 17 points, 6 rebounds and the game winner but would give his trophy to Nichols in honor of his mother.
Rice -Aroni Penn Wood, 69-54
In the third game of the evening, the Rice Raiders systematically cut the feet from under Penn Wood with a solid defensive effort. The PA team was fortified with West Virginia bound Aaron Brown and Penn State bound strong man Sean Oakman but that would not be enough to withstand the patented Raiders pressure cooker. Stepping up to the plate for Rice was the MVP Melvin Johnson who dropped 15 key points while grabbing 3 rebounds.
The Half time show featured Lil Wayne's recording artist Tyga. The crowd which exceeded 5000 people began to get a bit unruly as fans rushed the court. Security managed to retain order.
CTK Squeaks out, 69-66, OT win over Neumann Goretti
In the final game of the evening, the Christ the King Royals all but handed Neumann Goretti win as 0-7 free-throw shooting down the stretch by CTK allowed Neumann Goretti to creep back into a game that was a lock. St. Peter's bound Lamin Fulton would almost singlehandedly lift the Philly Catholic school into overtime. Once again the Royals surge ahead in the first OT and once again Neumann Goretti would claw back into position to win. THis time CTK would receive a return on their gift as 5'8"guard Billy Shank missed a point blank lay-up that would have tied the game for Neumann Goretti, sending the game into a second OT. On a positive note aside from the win was the return of starting point guard Corey Edwards who has been out since the season began. Omar Calhoun would receive MVP honors with 31 points.
In-depth Game analysis, Top Performers stories and game highlight video coming soon.