Team NYC takes down Beacon Elite
HUNTINGTON, NY - While most kids were celebrating Easter with their families, Team NYC was at Nxt Level’s facility, Long Island, taking down the Beacon Elite in the championship. This showcase by Lucky City had NY’s future on display with several prominent programs participating. The tournament originally featured 12 teams in 4 pools but was ultimately cut down to 7 due to certain teams being unable to attend.
When league play finished it was made clear the top two teams in the tournament were Team NYC, featuring younger players from Archbishop Molloy and the Beacon Elite, featuring players from St. Francis Prep. They faced off earlier in pool play, in a great battle which ended with a buzzer beater by Team NYC to win the game.
Beacon Elite started the game off fiercely, with an 11-3 run, featuring some second chance and fast break points. Right when it looked as if Beacon was ready to extend the lead even more, 6”4 Jayden James finished a tough layup and the foul to get NYC back in the max. The bucket by James seem to spark the offense, as they cut lead to 1 with the score now 15-14, with 8 minutes remaining. While NYC was fighting back, Beacon Elite’s top player, 6”2 sophomore guard, Josh Pascarelli, was determined not to give back the lead, hitting a big three.
The Beacon Elite lead 21-18 with 8 minutes to go before they extended the lead to 29-23, after a quick 8-5 run. Pascarelli and company continued to move the ball, rebound well, and make tough shots. Team NYC, while struggling early, felt their offense slowly start to wear down the defense, as 6” sophomore, Malachi McMillan, was able to finish inside. Despite McMillan and the rest of the team starting to click they found themselves down 33-27 at the half, with Pascarelli leading Beacon with 12 and James having 13 for Team NYC.
Immediately as the ball was inbounded you could see Team NYC was ready to ramp up the pace and flow of the game. James knocked down a three and finished a tough lay up through contact, to tie the game up at 36-36 with 16 minutes remaining. Beacon Elite responded with a quick 5-0 run until James once again connected on a deep three, trimming the lead back to 2 points with under 14 left to play. During the next couple minutes each team traded baskets until Team NYC was able to convert a big and1, to finally take a 47-45 lead with 11 minutes on the clock.
Beacon Elite starting to run out of gas and looked to their guy Pascarelli who was able to knock down a tough two before Team NYC’s 6-0 run. The run was capped off by a monster slam by 6”5 freshmen wing, Elijah Small, who held down the paint defensively all game. Team NYC up 53-47 with 7 minutes to go, grinded out some tough possessions and found themselves with their biggest lead of the game up 61-54 under 3 minutes to go. This game came down to free throws as James and company were able to sink enough to pull away and give them a 65-59 victory. James was the high man for Team NYC with 27, McMillan had 16, Small 12 and Pascarelli lead all scorers with 28 points.