BRONX, NY - Tuesday at the Tru-Ballaz Pre-High School Classic featured two games. One was competition, the other was not. Two local teams squared off as John F. Kennedy went up against Cardinal Hayes while players from Wings Academy played Englewood, a team from New Jersey.
Cardinal Hayes puts J.F.K. away, 58-53
The Cardinals were minus a few players last time we saw them but were fully loaded during this outing. Playing against players from J.F.K., a team known for their defense, would prove to be a challenge in the first quarter. Shavar Newkirk would score an acrobatic and-1 that gave Hayes an early 6 point lead. A lead that would carry over into the second quarter.
Kennedy would keep the game interesting as 6'4" senior Bashir Ahmed proved to be unstoppable as he cut through the Cardinals defense like butter. With 3:08 left in the half, the lead was cut to a bucket as but baskets by Chris Robinson and Newkirk would once again widen the gap as Hayes regained their composure.
Down 34-21 to start the third quarter, Kennedy would be unable to make a significant dent in their deficit until 43.8 was left in the game. A trey by 5 followed by a drive by Ahmed would finally slice a double-digit lead in half. With no real offensive threat other than Ahmed, Kennedy could get no closer.
Robinson led Hayes with 15 points with Newkirk adding 12 points. Ahmed led all scores with a game high 30 points
Wings Academy steamrolls Englewood, 76-37
Even without Jaequan Brown, who hurt his tailbone in a previous game, the players from Wings Academy had absolutely no problem dismantling a scattered undermanned Englewood team. With offense from Sufi Diakite and shooting guard Marvileo Berroa, Wings went into the second quarter ahead by 16 points.
A quick 7-0 run to start the second quarter and Englewood began to implode, so much so that one player, Leon White, crumbled under the pressure, took his shirt and sneakers off and walked off the court and into the stand. Down to only six players, Englewood fell prey to an 18-2 avalanche of unanswered baskets by Wings that left them down 40-8 as the third quarter got underway.
Although painful to watch, Englewood actually had their best quarter as they scored 17 points but in the fourth quarter they were stripped bare as Brock Shawn picked up his 5th foul. Wings Academy would extend their lead to 39 points midway through the quarter, capitalizing on Englewood's constraints of being unable to score, coupled with now having to play with only five players. Somehow that 39 point deficit would remain intact until the game mercifully ended.
Diakite led Wings Academy with 16 points with Cisco Infante and Berroa contributed 12 and 11 points respectively. Justin Ilon was the only Englewood player in double-digits with 17 points.
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