CORONA, NY - The iS8/Nike Fall Tip-Off Classic opened up on Saturday with the tournament tipping off for the 1st time at the Elmcor Youth Center in Elmhurst.
This year's Fall Classic sees the number of teams at just 30, meaning pool play games should be very competitive, with the action in each game being extremely high. Here is a recap from Day 1 from Elmcor.
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Real Scout-Bedford blows up The City, 83-69
Don't be fooled by the team names, this had a definite Lincoln vs. South Shore feel, with The City comprised entirely of South Shore players, and Real Scout featuring mainly Abraham Lincoln HS players, with some H.S. of Construction and Wadleigh players mixed in.
The City got out to a nice start with Doudmy Saint Hilaire showing his aggressiveness, attacking the basket for 6 early points, and Ryan Preston blocked a pair of shots with Real Scout players trying to drive in. Real Scout didn't have many of their star Lincoln players in the early going but Lenny Kadisha showed that he was equal to the task, finishing on a pair of short jumpers, showing good range and the ability to stretch the defense. Real Scout led 15-11 after 1, and that is when the stars arrived.
Isaiah Whitehead, Desi Rodriguez, Elijah Davis, and Rakym Felder all showed up to start the first, and all four immediately entered, but they all mainly struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Whitehead, the recent Seton Hall commit especially found it tough going, air balling a couple shots, while also finding it tough to navigate going to the rim. The bright spot of the group was Rodriguez who was able to connect off fast breaks on numerous occasions, throwing down a couple of thunderous dunks in the process. The City wasn't intimated though with Hilaire continuing to impress in transition, and Tyrone Johnson leading the break, and using his elite speed at the one to best defenders up and down the floor. The City led 31-30 at the half, and looked poised to pull off the upset.
Felder hit a pair of threes in the third, connecting coming off screens to find open space on the wings, and Whitehead as well started to feel more comfortable, hitting a deep three in the left corner. It looked like Real Scout was going to pull away, going up 50-41 late in the 3rd, but The City closed strong finishing the quarter on a 10-3 run, including a pair of nice slashes inside by Johnson to make it just 53-51 Real Scout going to the 4th.
You would think it would be a tight close finish the way this one was going, but it seemed that late 3rd run was all The City had left as Rodriguez, and his athleticism took over. He wonderfully ran the floor, and finished in very loud fashion, scoring at will going inside, helping Real Scout go in 20-4 run to start the quartet to essentially put the game away. Kadisha also was smooth, finishing on a pair of spin more going to the rim, and Whitehead, while not scoring much, was masterful leading many fast breaks up the floor. It was a nice close for Real Scout as they closed out nicely with a 14 point win.
Rodriguez led all scorers in this one with 20 points, while Kadisha added 15, with Felder chipping in 10. Hilaire paced The City with 15, while Devyn Wilson added 13 in the loss.
The Rens (Artie) shuts down 2GZ Entertainment, 81-73
It may not have been the most beautiful performance from The Rens, especially since they were missing star wing man Rawle Alkins (Christ the King '16), but they rallied from a 4th quarter deficit to pull off a nice win over a talented 2GZ team.
The Rens got out to the quick start with Juan Ramos (Brooklyn Law and Tech '14) doing a great job from beyond the arc, stretching the defense and really being a knockdown weapon from three, as he banged down a couple early deep balls, and Travis Atson (Christ the King '15) also joined in, showing he could be a big weapon for the Royals this year, with his strength to be a solid rebounder, and his inside outside game, he carried The Rens for large chunks in the early going. Tenie Johnson was the main offensive weapon for 2GZ in the opening half, with good range, but it was his strength and versatility that helped keep his squad close. 16 from Atson in the opening half though helped The Rens build a 38-28 lead at the break.
The lead jumped to 48-31 for The Rens with Matt Scott (Brooklyn Law and Tech '14) using his impressive athleticism to help him attack the rim. It looked all good for The Rens, but it ended up getting real bad for them, real quick.
Will Valdez hit a pair of treys from the left side, and then Tyshawn Royster backed his way in on back to back possessions, and that was followed by Johnson once again proving to be a beast inside, and Daquaise Andrews (Thomas Jefferson '14) finished things up with some nice slashes, beating his defense inside. 2GZ took total control, going on a 31-8 run in the last 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter, to go from down 17, to up 6 at the end of three, in a shocking turnaround that looked completely unexpected.
The 4th saw The Rena get back to basic fundamentals on offense, spreading the floor, and looking for driving lanes, and playing much better defense, Rachard Moody was a valuable defensive cog, as he was a pain for the 2GZ guards in the backcourt all game, and Scott really turned up his offense game late as well. Ramos buried his 4th three of the game midway through the 4th, and they never really looked back. Adonis Delarosa (Christ the King '14), didn't have his best game for The Rens, but he was a defensive force in the paint as always. And he made nice passes out of the paint to open teammates on the wings for good looks. The arena closed strong for the hard fought 8 point win.
Atson really proved he is going to be a player to watch this season, pouring in 26 points for The Rens in the win, with Scott chipping in an impressive 21 as well in the win. In defeat 2GZ was led by the 22 points of Johnson.
Team Price derails Long Island Lightning Express, 59-51
This was a tight game from start to finish, but in the end the difference was Team Price star Javian Delacruz (Bishop Loughlin '14) who may have been the player of the day in leading Price to the 8 point win.
Express was really a perimeter shooting team that relied on a steady dose of threes to keep them in it, and Jimmy Golaszewski (Holy Trinity '15) did a great job in doing just that. He hit 5 threes, and Billy Sixsmith (Holy Trinity '15) hit on 4 as well, as Express was up 42-40 with 5:20 to go in this one. The difference truly was Delacruz who was a man amongst boys for a major stretch in this one. He was quick, and was able to blow by defenders on his first step going in. He also was one of the top shooters on the day knocking home 5 threes on his own as he and Tarik Allicock (Grand Street Campus '14) were tough explosive wings to stop as Price went on a late 7-0 run to take command of the game late, and squeak out the tough win.
Delacruz led everyone with 33 points in the win, with Allicock adding 14 for Team Price. Golaszewski was the high man in defeat for LIL Express with 24.
JYO 58- NYC Finest 52
A tight game throughout saw JYO pull away late behind Jaquan McKennon (Cardozo '15), who scored on a scoop while being fouled with the game tied at 47 with just over 2 minutes to play. That play helped propel JYO to the victory.
McKennon led all with 17 in this one, with Ray Salnave adding 12 for the winners. Ethan Harris (John Bowne '14) and O'Shayne Reid (John Bowne '14) each adding 12 in the loss.
Team Underrated 81- 2 The Rack 61
Marshall Louis (Team Underrated- Holy Cross '14)- 19 points
Travis Dickerson (Team Underrated- Amityville '14)- 18 points
Ramel Powers (2 The Rack- Campus Magnet '14)- 21 points
NJ Trailblazers 63- B.C. Eagles 60
Juwan Jones (NJ Trailblazers- Linden, NJ '14)- 18 points
Mark Isiofia (NJ Trailblazers- St. Benedict's, NJ '15)- 12 points
Ruben Jimenez (B.C. Eagles- Franklin D. Roosevelt '15)- 26 points
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