HARLEM, NY - If you were pressed to find an adjective to describe Wednesday's SMARTBall semifinals, WOW!! would be a good one. On an evening when rain came down in buckets, reigns also came down with buckets. NYCHoops.net checked out the end of the reigns.
Christ the King folds to South Shore, 83-82 in double OT
Perennial power, Christ the King from the Catholic League (CHSAA), would hope to set the stage for the upcoming regular season by putting the hard charging players from South Shore in their place. But from the onset, it would be the food chasing the prey as the CTK Royals played catch-up throughout against one of Brooklyn PSAL's finest.
Slower moving Adonis DelaRosa (6pts/8reb/1stl/1blk) would be somewhat neutralized by South Shore's up-tempo pace and a tough cover against 6'5" rising senior David Tait. Conversely, the Brooklyn squad seemed to have no answer for Jon Severe (24pts/3stl/1ast/2reb) who would score at will inside and out or from the foul line.
The first quarter was a sloppy one for both teams; South Shore came out of it ahead by four and would increase their advantage to 10 midway through the second.
The Royals were undeterred as two-sport stars Jordan Fuchs (19pts/6reb/1stl) and James Coleman (5pts/1stl) utilized their football skills and bogarded their way for baskets in the paint. A trey by guard Isiah Cosbert (12pts/6stl/3ast/1reb) would finally knot the game at 22 with a minute left in the half but a counter but Aldrick Ashley (6pts/1reb) would regain the lead and the momentum at the midway point.
South Shore managed to remain competitive even without Shamiek Sheppard (12pts/2reb/2ast), who arrived late and had to sit out the first half.
In the second half, the tandem of Sheppard and high-end point guard Terrence Samuel (19pts/4stl/4reb/4ast) would begin to run the show. With 3 minutes left in the third, South Shore had amassed a 12 point lead but Severe singlehandedly sliced that down to a point as the fourth quarter began
With PG Malik Harmon (4pts/4rebs/1blk7ast/2stl) running the offense, a basket by Maynard Grant (6pts/5reb/1stl/1blk) and the Royals had their first lead since the first quarter. Severe continued to attack offensively and a steal by Cosbert bumped their lead to 5 points.
With DelaRosa benched for a large part of the second half managing fouls, Tait would begin to dominate in the paint and regain the lead for the Brooklyn team down the stretch.
Both teams battled and the lead changed hands but with 27.5 left in regulation, Tait put South Shore ahead by 5. It seemed as if the win was in the bag but baskets by Cosbert and a buzzer beater 3-ball by Severe would send the game into OT at 61 apiece.
South Shore would jump out ahead in OT and as time wound down and up by 71-69, it again appeared a lock as Devlin Wilson (8pts/1stl/2reb) got fouled. South Shore would again leave the door open as Wilson went 1 of two from the line. Cosbert would then drain a second buzzer beater for CTK send the game into yet another OT knotted at 72.
It look like the Royals would steal a victory from the jaws of defeat as Severe finally put Christ the King ahead in an overtime but two missed freethrows by the exhausted guard and a drive and bucket by Sheppard with 1.7 seconds left would close the show abd seal the victory for South Shore in an unexpectedly exciting game.
Boys & Girls dethroned by Bayside, 60-53
In the second semifinal, a young Boys & Girls squad got clobbered by a veteran Bayside crew.
It was an uphill battle from start to finish as the two-time defending SMARTBall champions had no answer for Bayside's four guard offense.
With, Wesley Myers, their only true veteran still incapacitated due to injury, Boys & Girls was feasted on by a crafty Bayside who led 41-24 at the half.
The primary forces in Boys & Girls demise besides their youth was the offense of Tyler Whitehead (16pts/6rebs/2stl) and impressive 6'6" forward Jamal Roseburgh (12pts/3stl/6reb/1ast). The duo plastered "The High."
Boys & Girls 6'5" sophomore point guard Marvin Prochet (9pts/5reb/5ast/1blk) showed skill at running the show but his lack of offense was a deficit.
Down by 13 to start the fourth, buckets by sharpshooter Cortney Darnley (5pts/3ast) cut into the lead late in the game but Brandin King (12pts/1stl/1ast) kicked the lead back up to 11 with 1:40 left.
Jamie Killings (16pts/8reb/1blk) led the way and fought hard in the paint as Boys & Girls pressed full court and beyond making one final push. Pulling to within seven points would be as close as they'd get in a game that was over early.
The Brooklyn vs Queens championship is set as South Shore takes on Bayside 8:45pm at Lincoln Park (145 & 5th)