On Saturday, the opening day of the Shooting Stars appearance in the iS8/Nike Tip-Off Fall Classic, Coach Kareem Memingers team tried to duplicate their earlier win against the NJ Trailblazers.
The Shooting Stars would take on the always dangerous B.C. Eagles from Upstate New York. After a measured start, the Star power and shear length of the Shooting Stars (2-0) took its toll on the Eagles (0-2), resulting in a 76-52 loss
This game started out like a chess match that could only be appreciated by basketball aficionados. Both the B.C. Eagles and the Shooting Stars looked to impose their strategies on their opponent. The feeling out process resulted was a low scoring first quarter. 6'5" junior from Newburgh Free Academy, Jonta Rudy (21 points), would break out score big for the Eagles with midrange shots, giving them a 13-6 lead at the end of one.
Terry Brutus (13 points), a 6'5" senior from L.I. Lutheran HS, began to power his way to the paint as the Shooting Stars looked to close the gap but early on Rudy and PG L.J. Scurlock (9 points), another junior from Newburgh Free, countered. Tennessee commit, Kevin Ware (14 points) also weighed in offensively for 'The Stars' but again Rudy responded well.
The game began to open up as the pace quickened. Shooting Stars PG and recent Iowa State commit, Tavon Sledge (20 points) who basically set up teammates in the first quarter, started to become more aggressive to the hoop. Soon, a lay-up by Sledge tied the game at 18 with 5 minutes left in the half.
Rudy was a reoccurring problem for the Stars as he regained the lead for the B.C. Eagles who were once again ahead by 6 points. The lead would change hands once again as Brutus tied at 25 at the two minute mark. As the half ended turnovers by the Eagles prevented them from retaking the lead and the Shooting came away with a 1 point advantage at the break.
Up 27-26, Brutus and Dashawn Richmond (11 points) would extend the Shooting Stars lead to 5 points early but Peekskill's Shane Carter (17 points) retaliated with a trey. The lead which changed hand a few times as both teams were somewhat successful with their strategies but a 5-0 run by Ware would give the Shooting Stars a 51-44 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Sledge raised his intensity in the fourth quarter as B.C. Eagles defense could seem to be able to stop him from driving down the lane almost uncontested. The Eagles tried to make a run as time was slowly running out but the Shooting Stars began to exploit the Eagles soft defensive middle and etched out a 13 point lead with 2:30 on the clock.
With the Eagles demoralized, Chris McCough (4 points) began what would become a Shooting Star dunk-fest. At one point, Sledge dunked so hard that he caught a cramp. On another occasion he bounced the ball off the backboard to himself and initiated a tomahawk dunk. Debonair Edward (8 points) would give 'The Stars' a 15 point lead with 34 seconds left to play. Game Over.
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