FLUSHING, NY - The Queens Jam Christmas Classic was played at John Bowne H.S. on Saturday with 5 games of action.
There were a couple of exciting Queens "AA" vs. Queens "A" matchups, along with a good Long Island vs. NYC contest. It was an exciting day of good basketball.
Bayside 63- Springfield Gardens 56
Springfield Gardens, who came in undefeated including wins over "AA" teams Campus Magnet and Thomas Edison, got off to a strong start scoring the first 7 points of the game led by a left wing three by Dupree McBrayer. Bayside, who looked sluggish early on, found its groove behind the play of Austin Williams and Brandon King. Each guard looked solid in the 2nd quarter with Williams scoring 9 points in the quarter, and helping the Commodores take a 25-19 lead into the break.
Williams continued his hot shooting connecting on a couple long threes and getting out in transition and finding open teammates to build up a lead that grew to as much as 9 in the 3rd. The Golden Eagles kept within striking distance behind the play of Ian Howard who proved to be a tenacious rebounder and a strong finisher around the rim.
Bayside could've been up comfortably if not for missing 27 free throws, but the strong guard play, and the timely perimeter shooting helped the Commodores hold off Springfield Gardens 63-56.
Williams led all scorers with 26 points, with King chipping in with 19. McBrayer paced Springfield Gardens with 20 points in the loss.
Bayside Coach Cory Semper, clearly not happy with the teams effort, spoke bluntly about what he felt of the team's performance.
"We were stuck in Christmas mode. It's not even like we're not practicing, we just didn't come to play." Semper said.
Thomas Edison 87- John Bowne 78
John Bowne came in looking to pull the upset against "AA" foe Thomas Edison. The Wildcats came in the smaller team with Inventors 6'8" big man Jaleel Charles a force in the paint, but it was wing man Nosike Obanya who did them in with a fantastic all around game to help Edison pull out the win.
Obanya was able to get to the basket with ease, using both hands to drive inside, while also showing good range from the perimeter to finish with 32 points for the Inventors. Charles, who also added 22 points and 12 rebounds, showed he can be a dominant inside player, while also stepping out and draining the long range shot. His versatility surely hit the eye of the many college coaches in attendance.
Bowne stayed in the game behind the play of Ethan Harris who at 6'2" dazzled with a couple of big dunks while driving down the baseline. Freshmen Hamadou Diallo added 17 as well hitting on 5 threes while proving that he is a player to watch for in the future.
St. John the Baptist 63- Eagle Academy 54
St. John the Baptist came in playing its 3rd game in 3 days, and didn't look worn at all, with Kyle Williams using his 6'9" frame to control the glass and finish strong around the rim early on. Vinny Abbondola knocked down a couple of long threes which helped stretch the defense to allow easier opportunities to get to the rim for the Cougars.
Eagle was put in a hole early on with point guard and leading scorer Juwan Chapman picking up 3 fouls in the first quarter which clearly hampered the Eagles. Olurunesan Osayomi showed a nice ability to stick the midrange shot, but even in the 2nd half with Chapman back in the Cougars were able to control the glass, and Abbondola continued to be a dangerous threat from the perimeter.
The Eagles worked hard to stay in the game and fight back, but it was too much height inside as Baptist controlled the boards and were fundamentally sound defensively to hold on and take the 63-54 victory.
Abbondola led St. John the Baptist with 17 in the victory with Williams adding 14 points and 14 rebounds. Kyle Hackett led Eagle Academy with 12 points.
Newtown 55- Flushing 44
H.S. of Construction 80- Roosevelt Educational Campus 71 OT
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