The Preview of NY High School Hoops
BRONX, NY- Sunday was set up to be the biggest preseason day of high school basketball in New York City as The Preview brought together many of the top programs from around the area for a terrific one day showcase of action.
That thought was proven to be true as it was a high-level day of competition with many title contenders showing off for the first time this season just how good they can and may be. NYCHoops.net was in the building to take in the action and here now is a recap of the play at Fordham Prep H.S.
Christ the King’s Comeback to Beat Benjamin Cardozo, 67 - 55
At the outset in this one it looked like a shocker in the making as Errol White '20 was controlling the glass for Cardozo while the backcourt duo of Chamarri Baskerville '20 and Romello Faison '20 were knocking down outside shots while also attacking the Christ the King defense on a continuous basis.
For everything that the Judges were doing right it seemed as if the Royals were doing wrong as they were settling for shots from the outside early that weren't dropping, and their lack of interior size was hurting them on the boards as it was Cardozo who took a 35-30 lead into halftime.
Whatever was said at the half by Christ the King assistant coach James Horan, who was leading the Royals at the The Preview on Sunday, without question worked, especially with Ryan Myers '20 with the sensational shooting guard putting his stamp on this one just out of the break.
Back to back three's from well outside the NBA line to start the second half put Christ the King up 36-35, giving the Royals their first lead of the game and a lead they wouldn't relinquish again in part because of Myers and Lovell Smith '20 who both couldn't miss from the outside as the game went along.
Myers would hit 5 three's in the second half while Smith had 3, and when you add in the explosiveness in the open floor of Sterling Jones '21 and Quaran McPherson '20 who looks to be back at 100% after a knee injury ended his junior season short, Christ the King took full control and led by as many as 20 late in the game.
Faison led Cardozo with 13 points, connecting on a couple late buckets to draw the Judges a bit closer but this was about the dominating second half showing of the Royals as Myers led all scorers with 26 points, while McPherson and Jones added 11 and 10 points respectively as well to help Christ the King to the 67-55 victory.
Long Island Lutheran Filets Eagle Academy, 68 - 39
If you just look at the final score you would get the wrong impression of this one as the game was far more competitive than the final indicates with it being a 31-21 game at the half, and Eagle had it within 39-33 with 15 minutes to play in the second half.
From that point on though it was all LuHi all the time as they got a great effort from Ohio State commit Zed Key '20 inside to help lead the way for the Crusaders as they wore down Eagle late and rolled to the convincing win.
While the Crusaders weren't shooting their best in the early going, it was the inside domination of Key that helped LuHi get off to the early lead as no one on Eagle Academy could match up with the big man which enabled them to get second and third opportunities that they would cash in.
Newcomer Kasper Klaczek '21 would cash in on a couple of his chances from the outside and Jalen Celestine '20 would start to get going late in the half, but with Vernon Simmons '20 doing a solid job in creating for himself getting to the basket, and DaMarco Watson '20 thriving in the lane, Eagle hung close holding leads early on before trailing 31-21 at the break.
A Simmons dunk on a two on one break, and then a Watson and one finish to start the second half got Eagle within 31-26 before a follow up bucket by Key got LuHi on the board. Edwin Santiago '21 would drain a three on the other end as it looked like Eagle Academy would be in this one the entire way against a Crusaders team considered to be New York's best, but ultimately that would not happen.
It proved to be a very tightly officiated game with several close calls getting on the nerves of Eagle head man Ryan Queen which in turn seemed to affect the players as well. LuHi more than took advantage of the opening given to them as Celestine would can a pair of three balls, while Andre Curbelo '20 was making the offense roll like a well-oiled machine, it was the Crusaders taking control.
Leading by only 5 in the opening couple minutes of the second half, the lead expanded all the way to as many as 41 for Long Island Lutheran, with the Crusaders going on a pair of 15-0 runs that would seal the deal in this one.
Watson had a solid game for Eagle Academy with 19 points from his lead guard spot, but with Celestine's 16 points, Key's 15, and Drissa Traore '21 adding 12 it was all LuHi down the stretch as they came to the Bronx and took care of business by downing Eagle Academy, 68-39.
Thomas Jefferson Escapes Msgr. Scanlan, 62 - 59
Even though Jefferson led for most of the way, including holding a 31-23 lead at the half, a lead that was as many as 13 to start, this was a contest that ultimately went right down to the wire in a very good PSAL vs. CHSAA matchup.
In the end the Orange Wave had Jaquan Carlos '21 and the Crusaders didn't as his 30 points was the difference as Jefferson would hold on for the tight 62-59 win.
The duo of Carlos and Kevin Tabb '20 couldn't be stopped in the opening half as they combined for 6 made three's, and all by 6 of the Orange Wave's points with the tempo being pushed on nearly every possession, it caused a lot of problems for Scanlan to match that style.
Recent Dayton commit Koby Brea '20 was doing all he could to keep the Crusaders close as he found his range in the early going but it was still an 8-point lead going into the locker room for Thomas Jefferson.
A much more aggressive Joe Munden '20 allowed Scanlan to chip away slowly but surely as his ability to get to the basket and go straight at contact was huge, as was the play of Crusaders big man Hamdel Mohammed '20 who was able to get in great positioning down low to get easy buckets in the paint.
If not for Carlos who each time it looked like Scanlan was going to get over the top was there for a huge bucket, this could've been a different result but the junior had 30 points to go along with 16 from Tabb in what was a 62-59 victory for Jefferson that was sealed at the FT late.
Munden paced all scorers for Msgr. Scanlan with 23 points as he looks to be among the breakout stars this coming season in the competitive and deep Catholic League.
Iona Prep Embarrasses Canarsie, 50 - 26
Closing out on every shooter and making sure they got to every rebound on the defensive end were the Gaels in this one as they may not have been the most crisp offensively, but playing as well as anyone on the day on the other end of the floor carried the day as Isaac Gonzalez '22 and R.J. Greene '22 each had 13 points to pace Iona Prep to the victory.
When you hold your opponent to just 5 points in a half you know you are doing something right, and with Iona Prep limiting the Chiefs to just 5 points during the opening 20 minutes of the game on Sunday it was a half to remember as the Gaels led 22-5 at the break with Greene outscoring Canarsie himself 9-5 going to the locker room.
Gonzale was the shining light in the second half for Iona Prep as after Greene's big start he took over with the sophomore sensations doing all they could in transition, while Will Harrington '20 shined with 3 made three's from behind the arc to carry the day for the Gaels as they led comfortably from start to finish to down the newest PSAL Brooklyn AA team in Canarsie.