SOUTH JAMAICA, NY - For 28 years the iS8/Nike Spring HS Classic has delivered nothing short of exceptional basketball games for high school basketball fans to indulge in opening night on Friday proved to be no different.
Four teams-the Brooklyn Badgers, Team Bedford, LP Fam, and the Kendal Madison Playas-played their hearts out and as usual, great basketball games were played.
Team Bedford Get Brooklyn Badgered
The first match-up of the night turned out to be a thriller between the star-studded 5 manned Brooklyn Badgers and Team Bedford. Although Team Bedford made a valiant attempt at pulling off the mega upset versus the D-1 loaded team, they were unable to secure a win in the closing minutes and squandered what appeared to be a comfortable fourth quarter 13 point lead; losing 55-52 in dramatic fashion.
Early in the first quarter, both teams turned the ball over a lot and missed easy shots at the basket; more or less this was due to hard play a good defense at the rim by both teams. Team Bedford opened up the game in a hard full court man-to-man press which gave the Badgers problems scoring early on. After a couple of baskets by Team Bedford's, Emmanuel Joseph, and some tough defense by his squad, it appeared that the Badgers met their match, down 4-0 early until a vicious two handed alley-oop slam by Cincinnati bound, Jermaine Lawrence, off a pass from his fellow teammate, UConn signee, Terrence Samuel.
Throughout the rest of the quarter, both teams played sloppy, particularly Team Bedford who kept getting the ball stolen. The teams were knotted 10-10 at the end of the first.
"Phase two of action" as the Is8 announcer notoriously put it, AKA the second quarter, started off with a 4-0 run by Team Bedford off of 4 consecutive points by Joseph, giving his squad a 14-10 lead. The Badgers continued to struggle with the pressure from Team Bedford's press and appeared to be heading to the locker room down 20-19 at the half. That is until shockingly, Team Bedford fouled Towson-commit, Shamiek Sheppard on a half court shot as time expired; he would go on to make 2 of 3 free throws making the score 21-20 Dodgers at half.
To open the third, an irate Bedford head coach called time out and his team responded with a 3-point shot out of it and a 6-0 run. That led to a 33-27 lead which conversely forced the Dodgers to call timeout. To open the final quarter, the Brooklyn Badgers found themselves in a 13 point hole and with 4 minutes left, Team Bedford appeared to be cruising towards a win but a slam dunk by Antoine Didier changed all that. The Badgers continued a ferocious run behind several Lawrence buckets in the paint and took the lead 50-49 with one minute remaining in action.
After being up 53-50 with 30 seconds remaining, it appeared the Brooklyn Badgers had the game won until Kwanique Martin committed a foul on a Bedford 3-point shot attempt which resulted in 2 made free throw makes. The Badgers dodged a bullet luckily and never looked back.
The Brooklyn Badgers were led by Samuel and Lawrence with 13 points a piece. Team Bedford was led by Joseph with 13 points.
Kendal Madison Breaks Up LP Fam
In other action LP Fam took on the Kendal Madison Playaz in a competitive game. After some non-stop action the Playaz edged out the LP Fam 55-45.
At the start, both teams played very sloppy basketball and at the end of the first quarter the score was knotted at 7-7. The second quarter however, started completely different. Both teams came out firing and opened up with three point conversions from the arc. Madison knocked down three 3 pointers in the quarter while the Playas nailed a pair resulting in a 21-15 score at the half, Madison.
To open the third quarter the LP Playas came out in a 2-3 zone and the Madison Playas countered with a full court press. This quarter consisted of a much faster tempo and lots of fast breaking basketball at the hands of Madison point guard Aaren Edmead. Off of a few free throw makes by LP Fam forward, Ryan Yearwood, the quarter ended 30-27 in favor of Madison.
The fourth quarter was much of the same, and the LP Fam never got to within striking distance. With 2 minutes remaining Madison led 49-42 and never looked back.
Shandell Forman led with Madison with 22 points followed by Edmead with 12. Ryan Yearwood led LP Fam with 21 points.
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