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Game Reports-
3/24

 

PSAL Championship 3/16- Matt Grasso 
Lincoln Brings Home the Crown

    This afternoon in the PSAL Class A Championship game, the Abraham Lincoln High school Railsplitters took on the Paul Robeson High School Eagles at Madison Square Garden. This matchup got out to a very slow start as both teams failed to find a rhythym shooting on the perimeter. Jamal Dart and sophomore sensation Sebastian Telfair both hit a three pointer in the 1st frame, but neither team could really get anything going offensively. The score was 8-6 in favor of Lincoln at the end of the first quarter. Lincoln found a simple solution to their perimeter woes by putting it on the floor and taking the ball to the rack. Sebastian led that charge by setting up his teammates. The teammate that benefited the most was 6'6'' Junior forward Karron Clarke. He was very strong inside for the Railsplitters gobbling up rebounds and being very active when shots went. He had four blocks and altered a few other shots by getting back in transition. Sophomore forward Stewart Graddick did a good job finishing around the basket for Lincoln by scoring some baskets off the great passes of Telfair and Clarke. Senior guard Gary Ervin played below expectations that people had of him coming into this game, but he kept the loss respectable for Robeson hitting some key shots to keep their deficit under 15 points. Robeson made a late charge but could not get closer than 9  points late in the 4th quarter. Lincoln held on to win the PSAL championship 65-51. The major difference in this game was free throws Robeson went a miserable 10-23, and Gary Ervin went just 4 for 12, while Lincoln went 23-31 at the line despite 0-5 shooting from Stew Graddick, Clarke and Telfair combined to go 15-17.  Sebastian Telfair and Karron Clarke led Lincoln with 16 points a piece, while Gary Ervin kept Robeson in it with a game high 19 points. This was their first championship since Sebastian's second cousin Stephon Marbury led them to the title in 1995. Lincoln will take on CHSAA champion Rice High School in the NYS Federation tournament next Friday at 6:45 PM. The game takes place at the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, NY.

Keith Mason
Elliah Clarke on Top of His Game; Lincoln Gets Title

    Prior to the game all the talk was about Sebastian Telfair (16 points 4 assists) and Gary Ervin (19 points 5 rebounds), and rightly so as the two guards were both in the top 5 in scoring and are locks to be first team all-city. But the unheralded star Elliah "Karron" Clarke was utterly dominant in the paint for Lincoln as he scored 16 points grabbed 15 rebounds,  blocked 4 shots and 3 assists. He thoroughly outplayed his counterpart Shakeim Mitchell, who only scored 6 points to go with 6 rebounds but got nothing in the second half. Clarke's put back dunk early in the second quarter seemed to get Lincoln going as they only scored 8 points in the first quarter but still led by 2 because of Robeson's 3-17 shooting. Clark scored 7 in the 2nd quarter and sparked Lincoln to a 25-21 halftime lead. Clarke continued his solid play in the second half and Lincoln found their rhythm scoring 40 points in the half outscoring Robeson by 10. Ervin who had just 9 points through 3 quarters was helpless as he couldn't make a shot while he and his teammates fell behind by 12 at the end of 3. In the 4th quarter Gary scored 10 and Ontea Gates came off the bench to come up with a couple of steals and scored 6 in the final period but Robeson couldn't get any closer than 9. 5'11 Sophomore Stew Graddick scored all 10 of his points in the second half, 6 in the last quarter, as he constantly found seems in the defense to get open layups. 6'4 Junior Dominic Osei also came up big in the 4th scoring 7 of his 11 points in the final eight. Sebastian Telfair only scored 16 and handed out 4 assists but he did it on the defensive end coming up with 5 steals and forced Gary Ervin into an offensive foul late in the 4th quarter to sum up the game. This was a very sloppy game as the two teams combined to turn it over 37 times (15 by Robeson and 22 for Lincoln). Clarke went 8-10 at the line as the team went 23-31 and was the major difference in the game. At the end of the game the two stars Telfair and Ervin embraced and talked for a little while showing how much respect they have for each other. With Ervin headed to prep school next year, this will not be the last time the two teams meet. From what I heard Gary will be running with Riverside this summer.

CHSAA Finals 3/13- Matt Grasso & Keith Mason
Alleyne leads Rice Back to the Top

    Tonight at Fordham University, Rice High School took on All Hallows High School for the CHSAA "A" city championship. This game did not disappoint at all. This was Rice's first real test of the postseason as the Gaels came out matching them on the perimeter. All Hallows jumped out to an early 9-4 lead behind a 3 and a 17 footer from 6'8 PF Kiril Waschman, letting everybody know that this wasn't going to be an easy game. But Rice responded with a 14-0 run to go up 18-9. Despite that run All Hallows would not go away as they stayed in the game despite the inside presence of 7'2 C Shagari Alleyne who had 12 points in the first half, and outside shooting of 5'8 G Kiki Clark who had 9 at the break. Rice led 31-26 at the end of 2 quarters. Rice got off to a great start in the second half opening up a 39-28 lead seemingly putting All Hallows, but once again the Gaels did not rollover. They responded with a 10-0 run capped by a 3 pointer from 6'3 SG Ricky Soliver in which he was fouled but he couldn't make the free throw. Rice would maintain the lead but could never pull away holding a 44-40 after 24 minutes. All Hallows would keep it close throughout the 4th quarter. All Hallows had an opportunity down 2 with 20 seconds to go after Kenny Eusey missed the front end of a one and one Jason Wingate grabbed the rebound and seemingly got tied up for a jump ball but a foul was called, and he calmly hit the free throws.  Now Trailing by 4 with 13 seconds left Bobby Santiago had a wide open 3 but the shot didn't drop and All Hallows would come up short in their hopes for their first title since 1985. The difference at the end of the game was free throw shooting by Rice and turnovers and missed opportunities by the Gaels, as the Raiders made 7 of 9 free throws down the stretch. Besides the miss by Santiago the Gaels also committed several turnovers in the final minute.  But the story of the game was how All Hallows had no answer for  7'2'' junior center Shagari Alleyne. He has continued to steadily improve throughout the season and today showed off a wide range of post moves to go along with his already soft touch around the hoop. He did not miss a shot in this ballgame, going an amazing 12 for 12. I have nothing against Kiril Waschman  (he's going to Iona and all next year) but he didn't put forward that much of an effort on defense. There wasn't one shot that Shagari took that I remember Kiril or anybody putting a hand in his face and because of that Shagari had his way with Kiril. The big man had a game high 25 points and was named the unanimous tournament MVP honors in a 62-57 victory for the Raiders. Also named to the All-Tournament team was  Kiki Clark (12 points), Ricky Soliver (23 points), Kiril Waschman (12 points), 5'10 SG Steve Burtt Jr. who came up with some big shots, 5'8 PG John Baiano from St. Peter's, and 6'8 PF Chris Taft . This game was much closer than I thought it would be, but the depth of Rice and All Hallows' failures at the end of the game were too much for the Gaels to overcome. 
    All Hallows played a surprisingly tough man to man defense, and shot all of Rice's perimeter players down, but the only person on the Gaels who could get anything going offensively was Ricky Soliver, who played a great game, and will be an excellent player no matter where he goes to school at, since he has now shown the ability to play the point. All Hallows probably would've won the game if they would've game any offense from Bobby Santiago. I think Santiago took only 4 shots the whole game. There was no way All Hallows could beat Rice without any production from Santiago the team's leading scorer. On the Rice side without Shagari Alleyne Rice would've been blown away in this game. Although they are losing 4 of their 5 starters and 2 key bench players Shagari's dominance in the paint will be able to make a strong run for a repeat.

CHSAA Semifinals 3/10- Keith Mason
No Contest

    Rice stepped on the court with one goal in mind today, to make an example out of the only team that beat them in the City, Xaverian. The Raiders came out clicking on cylinders hitting the 3's, getting points in the paint from 7'2 C Shagari Alleyne. Rice was up 14-5 and never looked back. The difference in this game, was the guard play, the Raider guards were just way better then the Xaverian guards. Any time a Rice guard wanted to get to the basket he did, and then 6'9 PF Chris Taft would have to come over and help, and that would leave the middle wide open for Alleyne for either a put back or his teammates found him for an easy dunk. I really wanted to see a close game but Rice was just way too talented, and they had a chip on their shoulder. It seemed every open 3 they had you could just put in the books. 5'8 PG Kiki Clark, 5'10 SG Steve Burtt and 6'0 PG Jason Wingate all had it going today. Early in the 4th quarter the lead peaked to 40. In the end Rice made their statement and walked away with a 92-54 victory and the only thing that stopped them from hitting triple digits was emptying the bench with 3 minutes left in the game. In the matchup I really wanted Alleyne vs. Taft to decide the #1 player in the city in the 2003 class, Alleyne came out on top. The fact is Alleyne has gotten much better, and seems to improve every time I see him, and will only continue to get better. He proved me wrong today, when I said he couldn't catch tip dunks or alley-oops, by getting 2 tip dunks and attempting an alley-oop but missed. Alleyne also comes to play every game which is the biggest knock against Taft. Taft has the talent and skills to be the best player in the city regardless of class but he seems not to want it. I've heard that he doesn't come to play every game  but this is the first time I've actually witnessed him not play with 100% effort.

Clock Strikes Twelve

    St. Peter's fresh off their upset of nationally ranked Molloy looked to continue there Cinderella run against All Hallows. But the difference between Molloy and All Hallows was, All Hallows was ready. The Gaels 3-2 defense was too much for St. Peter's from the start as St. Peter's could not get anything in the early going, as All Hallows jumped out to a quick 14-2 lead behind 6'3 SG Ricky Soliver. But St. Peter's would respond and would close the lead to 4 with an 8-0 run. But that's as close as the game would be the rest of the way. In the second quarter Soliver continues to shine but he also got a lot of help from 6'0 SG Bobby Santiago and 6'0 PG Marvin McCullough, both of whom hit every open shot they had. The lead had open to 30-17 and was 38-26 at the half. A 10-2 run to start the second half capped by Soliver steal and a layup would push the lead to 20 at 48-28 which seemingly would put St. Peter's away but after a 3 by 6'2 SG Robert Mesjasz the lead was back down to 11 at 48-37. But All Hallows would respond with a 6-0 run to officially put the game away. All Hallows would by a final score of 75-54.  Ricky Soliver, to my surprise played point guard, and did a great job getting his teammates involved as well as getting his own shots. Every shot he took was in the rhythm of the offense and nothing was forced. Marvin McCullough has greatly improved his jumpshot. He made 5 jump shots in the game which really surprised me. In the past I expected him to miss when he took a jumper but by the end of the game I expected him to make the shot. 

New York State Quarterfinals 3/9- Matt Grasso
Belfor Sinks Kingston at the Line

    Tonight in the New York State Quarterfinals, two time defending regional champion Mount Vernon was taking on Section 9 champion Kingston with a trip to the State semifinals at Glens Falls on the line. Mount Vernon came out firing on all cylinders behind Randy Brunson and sharp shooting senior guard Will Cherry. Kingston was up the challenge in this one though behind the three point shooting of sophomore point guard Artavius Fisher. This kid has a very big upside due to his ability to make big shots. All of his three's either tied the game or put his team in the lead. This was the second occasion that I saw Kingston play this year and they impressed me for the second time. On that other occasion, they defeated Section 1 class B semifinalist Lakeland high school. Back to this contest, it went back and forth the whole way. Fisher continued his hot shooting throughout the first half as he finished it with a 3 to tie the contest 32-32. Artavius finished with a game high 28 points including 7 3-pointers. Mount Vernon mounted a lead in the second half, but they were never able to break it open. Kingston stayed close and led by three midway through the 4th quarter. At this point, the Knights got some big buckets inside from sophomore forward Dexter Gray. Most of all, Jomo Belfor won it for them at the foul by hitting 11 out of 14 free throw attempts. Mount Vernon came out on top in a hard fought battle 70-59 behind Jomo's 21 points along with 18 from Will Cherry. 

   In a side note, Peekskill is moving onto Glens Falls with a 62-36 victory over Monticello. This game was actually 26-24 at halftime, but the Red Devils outscored their opponents 25-4 in the 3rd quarter to really put the game out of reach. Rashard turner had a game high 20 points for the regional champions.

CHSAA Quarterfinals @ Iona - Matt Grasso 3/7
Alleyne, Dominant as Rice moves on

   In the final quarterfinal matchup, the #1 seeded Rice Raiders took on the Christ the King Royals in a continuation of their old time rivalry. CTK kept this one close for most of the first half, but the Raiders went on a run to build a 36-24 to end the 2nd quarter. Shagari Alleyne was outstanding in this ballgame for Rice. This was the best game that I have ever seen him play. This kid has tons of potential and it was shown brightly tonight. He almost recorded a triple double with a career high 30 points,15 rebounds and 8 blocks. He was a huge force on the inside against who lacked a serious post presence. Shagari took advantage of the opportunity and played an amazing game. Providence assistant Steve Demeo was looking on and seemed to be very impressed with 7 footer. Alleyne is on the wish list of many high major division 1 schools. Every school wants a kid who plays well on offense as well as defense. He threw down a plethora of dunks and was unselfish when he didn't have a good shot. Christian Brown benefited from the big man rotating the ball and put up 16 points for the Raiders. Christian has received scholarship offers from schools such as Wagner.The Raiders won by 20, 73-53. Rice was not at their best tonight, but they will need to be against Xaverian in the Semis. They play at 4pm on Sunday at Fordham University. Their game follows the other semifinal which features St. Peter's (fresh off their upset of Archbishop Molloy) and All Hallows.

Taft Too Much; No 3-peat for St. Ray's 

    Tonight in CHSAA "A" quarterfinal, Xaverian took on St. Raymond's. The Clippers had it going early behind the play of big time junior forward Chris Taft and Senior Guard Shamar Green. They came out firing right away, but the Ravens just could not get in the flow at all. Allan ray was only playing in his third game since returning from his season-long foot injury. He could not get a rhythm in his last high school basketball game. Xaverian capitalized on St. Ray's lack of scoring as they held on to a lead throughout the first half of this one. They were only up 27-19 at the half, but that score was very deceiving. The Ravens were very flat and Chris Taft redirecting shots around the basket didn't help either. He led the clippers with 23 points while Shamar Green added 18 points for Xaverian. Shaun Wynn was a very solid at the point as well with 11 points. Tariq Atkins and Davonne Folks added 15 and 12 points respectively.

CHSAA Quarterfinals @ Iona- Matt Grasso- 3/6
Stannners Get Stunned

    In the second quarterfinal match up of the evening, last year's runner up Archbishop Molloy of Queens took on St. Peter's of Staten Island. Coming in, this game looked to favor Molloy, but that was not the case on this night. St. Peter's came out with confidence behind the strong play of their 5-8 point guard John Baiano. He got their offense started very effectively from the beginning of the game till the end. This was the first time I have every seen this team, and they were extremely impressive. I had heard of Baiano, but one kid on their team really jumped out at me. Senior center Armet Thompson had a big time game for St. Peter's. He had 23 points and more than 10 boards. He controlled the inside in this one and that was the difference in the contest. This game was back and forth throughout. St. Peter's went on a 12-0 run in the second quarter and Molloy matched it with a run of their own. St. Peter's managed to hold a 32-29 lead at halftime. The game continued to go back and forth in the second half, but Molloy could not put their opponents away. St. Pete's tied it up at 62 with under 2 minutes remaining in the ballgame. They won the game at the free throw line as John Baiano and Michael Cavallo did not miss from the charity stripe at the very end. Down 4 points, junior point guard Marlon Smith hit an extremely long range 3 pointer to cut the deficit to one. However, Baiano hit 2 more free throws to seal the Stanners' fate. St. Peter's pulled off a stunning upset over Archbishop Molloy 68-65.

Sumpter Held in Check; All Hallows Advances

    Tonight, in a CHSAA "A" division quarterfinal, Bishop Loughlin took on All Hallows. I arrived at this game midway through the second quarter so I have no exact individual scoring. Upon my arrival, the score was 19-18 in favor of Bishop Loughlin. These teams continued to trade baskets and went to the half with All Hallows leading by the score of 27-26. All Hallows did not relinquish the lead in the second half, but Loughlin kept their deficit in single digits. The Gaels got very balanced guard play from Marvin McCullough, Ronald Ramon, and sharp shooting Bobby Santiago. Bishop Loughlin was not able to keep up with their quick opponents. Their biggest weapon, Villanova signee Curtis Sumpter, was almost a non-factor in this one due to the strong defensive job of Iona-bound forward Kiril Waschmann. He took Sumpter out of the game with his physical play. Curtis will not have to play down low in college and that will be beneficial to him. He's more of a perimeter player who crashes the boards. However due to his team's lack of size he was forced to play underneath the hoop. All Hallows held on for the victory 59-51.

James Smith is Hero in Section B Thriller - Matt Grass 2/26

Today in a Section 1 Class B semifinal, #1 seed Nyack took on #4 seed 
Lakeland in a big time matchup. Lakeland came out differently from what I 
thought they would. This was their first trip to the County Center since 1990. 
On the other hand, Nyack is the defending Class B champion  who plays there 
almost every year. Lakeland came out firing early on in this one behind 
sophomore small forward Ryan Schneider and senior power forward. They knocked 
down four three-pointers between them early on in this on in this one. Lakeland 
took a commanding 12 point lead behind their outstanding three-point shooting. 
They hit 9 as a team in the first half. However, junior forward Justin Jones 
kept Nyack in the ballgame. He played very strong underneath for the 
Indians. Lakeland held 37-31 lead at halftime. Lakeland continued their 
outstanding play early in the second half behind strong drives to the hoop for 
layups. Nyack went on a 10-0 run to tie the game up midway through the 3rd 
quarter. Nigel Morris did a great job distributing the ball for the Indians as 
well as hit jumpers in the lane. The game continued to be tied 49-49 at the end 
of third period. Nyack came out with a lot of energy in the 4th quarter 
and took a small lead behind senior forward James Smith's strong play down low. 
Lakeland matched that intensity behind the clutch three-point shooting 
of senior swingman Jason Weltman. The game was tied with under two minutes 
remaining, and senior point guard Tom Fazio went to the line for 
Lakeland. He converted the first free throw but missed the second. James Smith came 
down to hit 1 of 2 foul shots as well to the game at 66-66. Fazio came down 
and missed a driving layup. Down the other end, Nyack executed a great play 
behind the passing of point guard Nigel Morris, who dished it off to James 
Smith for the layup with 4 seconds remaining in the game. Lakeland was 
unsuccessful in tying the ballgame as the buzzer sounded. Nyack won 68-66 in a 
tremendous matchup. James Smith led Nyack with a game-high 23 points, while Justin 
Jones added 18 for the Indians. Nigel Morris contributed 12 points and 10 
assists for the victors. Jason Weltman paced the Lakeland Hornets with a 
game-high 23 points as well. Nyack plays the winner of the highly anticipated 
semifinal matchup at 4:30 pm tomorrow between John F. Kennedy Catholic of Somers 
and Peekskill. The championship game will take place Saturday night at 6:00 
pm. All of these upcoming games will take place at the Westchester County 
Center.

St. Raymond vs. St. Anthony 2/20-Matt Grasso

Tonight on Senior Night at St. Raymond's High School, the Ravens hosted the St. Anthony's Friars from Jersey City, NJ. This game was determined from the very start at the guard position. St. Ray's head coach Gary Decesare started all of his seniors, but his star shooting guard Villanova-bound Allan ray was seeing his first real minutes of the season. He looked very uncomfortable on the court and seemed to have a lot of trouble regaining his rhythm. On the other hand St. Anthony's point guard, St. John's bound Elijah Ingram had no problem getting it going tonight. He came out firing on all cylinders from the very beginning of this ballgame. He showed a great ability of shooting from the outside as well as penetrating and finding his teammates for open shots. One of those teammates was senior wing guard Donald Copeland. His shot was very on from behind the 3-point line in this one. Ingram set him up perfectly, and he did not disappoint at all. At this point, Donald is unsigned, but he would be an extremely nice late season pickup for any division one program in need of a guard who can handle and shoot the ball. They went onto hold a 41-28 lead at halftime behind their strong perimeter play. Much was the same in the second half as St. Ray's couldn't find a way to get anything going. They got small contributions from junior point guard Daon Merritt(12 hard fought points) on the perimeter and sophomore forward Brian Laing (team high 15 points) on the interior. These players are signs that St. Raymond's will be set down the road. St. Anthony's controlled the boards behind the play of junior center Terrence Roberts. He followed a couple of missed shots with powerful tip dunks. He helped jumpstart the St. Anthony's guards who were sensational tonight on all levels. The Friars won the ballgame easily by the score of 78-58. Elijah Ingram led all scorers with a convincing 28 points(5 three's) along with 8 assists. Donald Copeland contributed 23 points including five three balls, while St. Joseph's bound Dwayne Lee added 15 points for the Friars.

Carmel vs. Lakeland 2/11-Matt Grasso

    Tonight in one of last games of the regular season in section 1, Carmel Rams hosted the Lakeland Hornets. The Rams were very determined to win this game. They looked impressive from the opening tap. They kept it close early behind the play of junior forward Matt Calabro. On the opposing side, senior forward Tom Jennings was dominant down low for Lakeland. It seemed like he was one of the only ones on Lakeland who came to play. Junior small forward Mike Kach was very effective for Carmel. He drove to the basket and finished with ease throughout the contest. Kach would penetrate and kick to senior shooting guard Tomas Rapala. He knocked down 4 three balls in the contest. Matching him on the perimeter was Lakeland sophomore swingman Ryan Schneider. He bettered Rapala by knock 5 three-pointers in the ballgame. Carmel went onto lead 38-36 at the half. The third quarter belonged to them as well as they continued build on and hold onto the lead. Carmel led by 9 at the end of third quarter. Lakeland showed their heart as they scored the first 8 points of the fourth period to cut their deficit to one point. The last quarter went back and forth between the two squads. The game was deadlocked down the stretch, but Lakeland would not let themselves lose. Junior point guard Tom Fazio was having a sub par game for Lakeland, but he showed his talent as a player at the very end. With the ballgame tied at 75-75 and under ten seconds to go, Tom took it to the hoop and scored a layup supposedly at the buzzer to win the contest. The referees counted the hoop, but decided to put .3 seconds back on the clock. Carmel was unsuccessful at their attempt to tie. Lakeland won 77-75 in a thriller. Tom Jennings led Lakeland with a game high 30 points down low for the Hornets, while Ryan Schneider and Tom Fazio added 21 and 15 respectively. Mike Kach led Carmel with a team high 23 points. Matt Calabro contributed 21 points, and Tomas Rapala added 18 points.

Prime Time Shootout @ Sovereign Bank Arena 2/9-2/10-Matt Grasso 

    Saturday, at the 2002 Primetime Shootout, I saw many competitive contests which started off national top ten team Westchester High School (CA) took on New York Catholic League powerhouse All Hallows from the Bronx in a highly contested match up. All Hallows came out very determined to pull an upset in this one. They got strong play early out of Iona College-bound senior point guard Marvin McCullough and super sophomore Ronald Ramon. Marvin excelled at getting through the teeth of Westchester's defense and getting open shots for his teammates. Ramon benefited from this as he knocked down a couple three-pointers early in the ballgame. Westchester fought back with an onslaught of their own. Arizona- bound swingman Hassan Adams was very effective slashing to the basket. This was my first time seeing him playing since the ABCD camp, and he did not disappoint. He capped off a big Westchester run with an emphatic alley-oop slam dunk to tie the ballgame 38-38 going into halftime. In the second half, the game continued to go back and forth. Senior Brandon Heath made a strong contribution while shooting the ball well off the dribble. All Hallows got help from senior guard Ricky Soliver at the end of third quarter. He showed how good his handle is by pulling a behind the back though the legs dribble which faked out the entire Westchester defense. They led by 2 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Westchester got it going somewhat in the 4th period behind Adams and Heath. They scored 23 and 18 points respectively in the contest. This game came down to the last 10 seconds. Down by 2 , Iona-bound Senior forward Kiril Wachsmann got fouled on a missed put back. He knocked down the first free throw to cut the deficit to one, but he front rimmed the second. All Hallows was beaten 65-64 by the sixth-ranked team in the country. Ronald Ramon(4 threes) and Marvin McCullough had 18 and 15 respectively for the Gaels. In another matchup on Saturday evening, Rice High School took on New Jersey parochial power Camden Catholic. This was a blowout victory for the New York Catholic League powerhouse. Senior guard Steve Burtt Jr. continued his great season for the Raiders. He showed he has the ability to play division 1 basketball. I see him playing at a mid-major school. He has a good ability to shoot the three, and he is very successful at going strong to the rack. He finished the ballgame with 22 points. 7'2'' junior center Shagari Alleyne continued to show his vast growth as a basketball player this season. He has developed a very soft touch around the hoop, and he has gotten better at finishing plays off of dump downs. He finished the game with 13 points and 5 blocks. Rice won 62-37 in the blowout. In the late game, super sophomore Sebastian Telfair led Lincoln against Mcquaid Jesuit from upstate New York. This was a very sloppy game throughout. Sebastian never really got his rhythm in this one as he had several turnovers on botched passes. He was successful at taking it to the rack with some nice moves, but he was unable to finish. Mcquaid got solid perimeter shooting out of their guards to keep them in the ballgame. Tyler Relph knocked down 6 three's in the contest. Mcquaid actually held a 53-52 lead at halftime. However, Sebastian got Lincoln over the hump and finally was able to knock down some big shots. He knocked down three 3 pointers in the decisive 4th period. They held on for the sloppy 67-65 victory. Sebastian finished with a game-high 27 points, while Karron Clarke and Jamal Dart added 11 and 12 points respectively. 
Sunday at the 2002 Primetime Shootout, the day was started with Bishop Loughlin from Brooklyn, NY taking on on Clifton High School from New Jersey. This game was all Loughlin from start to finish. Villanova-bound Senior forward Curtis Sumpter had an outstanding contest while seeing limited action in this blowout. He finished with 23 points including a big time alley-oop dunk to close the first half. Bishop loughlin was victorious by 30 points, 78-48. In the most anticipated matchup of the event, # 1 rated player in the nation regardless of class, Junior Lebron James led his #2 ranked St. Vincent-St. Mary team against the #1 rated senior Syracuse-bound Carmello Anthony and previous #1 Oak Hill Academy. This game did not disappoint. Lebron had drooped 39 against the Oak Hill Warriors last year. The look of their team has changed somewhat this year, but Lebron did not. Oak Hill came out on a tear behind Carmello and highly rated senior center Sani Ibrahim. The Irish were able to keep their deficit to under 10 behind the sole scoring of James. No one else on his team contributed early in this one. Lebron brought his team back to tie the ballgame midway through the second quarter, However Oak Hill as a team was too much for the superstar to handle by himself as they trailed by 6 going into halftime. The second half was Carmello versus Lebron . They went back and forth each scoring at will on the opposition. The Irish got down by double figures in the second half, but Lebron pulled off many big steals and exploding to the rim with some amazing dunks. One included an emphatic and 1 slam dunk as he went through the entire Oak Hill defense. His best aspect was his ability to involve his teammates. He did everything in this contest. Carmello was no slouch either as he showed the abiity to dominate around the basket. Sani Ibrahim was strong on the interior as well for the Warriors. He has gotten better since I last saw him at the ABCD camp. He has a chance to play in the NBA next year if college is not an alternative for him. He showed more strength than I thought he had. This game came down to the end, but the strength of Oak Hill was too much for Mr. James in the end. Carmello finished off the game with big shots around the basket. Oak Hill won 72-66. St. Vincent-St. Mary had the potential to upset Oak Hill tonight, but one player can't get it done for you. Lebron finished with a game high 36 points, while Carmello put up a team high 34. Sani Ibrahim added 16 points for the Warriors. Lebron James and Carmello Anthony both might be ready for the NBA next year. Lebron will most likely skip college, while Carmello will probably pull a one and done at Syracuse next season. It will be an interesting draft with those two being picked very early. In another game this afternoon, CTK of New York defeated CBA from New Jersey 52-50. Japhet Mcneil was the high score with 16 points along with 10 assists for the Royals. I will have other notes including player profiles and general information regarding this event in the next few days.

National Prep Invitational @ Bryant College 2/10-Keith Mason

   The first game on Saturday was between Grassroots Canada and New Hampton Prep (NH). The big story in this game was the shootout that took place between 6'4 SG Rashad McCants (UNC) of New Hampton  and 6'6 SG Denham Brown (UCONN) of Grassroots. McCants went off for 42 while Brown responded with 32 of his own. Both players scored every way possible, from three, mid range shots, open court dunks. McCants once again had an impressive dunk, he split two defenders and took off from about 10 feet away and looked like he was about to finger roll but then out of nowhere he turned the ball over and dunked with 1 hand. New Hampton ended up winning the game 90-74. In another game Winchendon (Mass) played Laurinburg (NC). Winchendon just had too much talent for Laurinburg. 6'10 Martin Iti who is rumored to be headed to the NBA after he finishes up at Winchendon didn't play too much because of the fast lineup that Laurinburg had, and he couldn't guard anybody man to man. Besides him they had more then over talent to get the W, with 6'7 SF Francisco Garcia, 6'2 PG Curtis Stinson, 5'8 PG Kenny Minor and 5'11 PG Kyle Wade. Wade was the most impressive out of the 4, he finished the game with 17. He is a very strong player, with unbelievable athleticism. His hops are explosive, when he gets on the break you'll  think he's going to lay it up if you've never seen him but he'll rise and dunk real easy. Garcia finished with 12 but he passed the ball very well and played great defense. Stinson ended with 11 and he also passed the ball very well, as usual he rebounded the ball better then almost any other guard in the country. 
  Milford Academy played the last game of the night. Like always this team was loaded with city players, 6'0 PG Darryl "Showtime"  Hill, 6'3 SF Kelvin "Petey" Nelson, 6'8 PF Lamont Hamilton and 6'1 PG "D-Mack" Derrick  Mack. But the best player on their team is from Jersey, 6'4 SG John Winchester. Winchester scored 10 in the first half, which is when I left. Milford held a comfortable 10 point cushion at the time.

National Prep Invitational @ Bryant College 2/8-Keith Mason

  Today I finally got to see some quality high school ball. The first game was between New Hampton Prep (NH) and The Basketball Academy (FL). In warmups I looked at the two teams and saw a blowout coming, ad The Basketball Academy didn't look like a good team at all. But they came out looking to pull off the upset, over New Hampton who featured UNC bound Rashad McCants. 6'1 SG Mark Williams came out firing for the Academy, putting 10 of the teams first 15 points. He finished the half with 15. But McCants was obviously the best player on the court. One thing he did in the first half separated him from the rest, he caught the ball baseline, and since he had been knocking down 3's he hit his man with a little head fake to get past him, then he took off baseline with two but the big man for the Academy met him body to body, so McCants just put the ball in his right hand and made a poster. At half time New Hampton led 46-41. In the second half McCants made another poster, this time it was baseline with the left hand on a 6'7 kid. The second went how I thought the whole game would, with New Hampton dominating, they won by the final score of 101-68, McCants finished with around 30. I had wondered since last year where Mike Clarke from Grady was at this year, now I know he is at New Hampton Prep. He isn't sure what college he'll be attending next year but it'll definitely be a division 1 school.
   The second game featured Notre Dame bound 6'10 Torin Francis. This game wasn't all that exciting but Francis showed his talent. He showed he isn't just a post up player, as he hit a 19 footer and a 15 footer on the baseline. But his forte is playing on the blocks, and he did that well today, he caught a few dunks, and got a lot of easy layups. In the second half his team went away from him, but Tabor Academy still won the game over MacDuffie. Francis finished with 20. The last game I watched featured 6'9 C Akin Akingbala who is headed to Clemson next year, and his New Brunswick (CT) team against St. Andrews (RI). This was never a real game, St. Andrews jumped out to a 20-4 lead and led at half time 34-7. In the second half Akingbala dominated, with strong post moves, finesse scoop shots and quickness. He hung 24 points in the half, and finished the game with 29 but it all came in a 70-48 loss. Demetrius Nicholls had a good game for St. Andrew's as he scored 16 and showed a nice outside game along with athleticism by opening the second half with two alley-oop dunks. 

JFK Catholic vs. Horace Greeley III 2/6- Mat Grasso

    Today at Kennedy Catholic High School, the Gaels hosted the Horace Greeley Quakers in their third and final matchup this season. Greeley was successful the first two meetings, but those two games were as close as you can get. The first was settled in regulation, and the second ended in overtime. This game did not disappoint. The Quakers came to play this afternoon. They came out firing on all cylinders behind the 3-point shooting of their big guns, Brian Scordato, Chris Fleisher, and Sean O'brian. They built an early 11-1 lead. That lead jumped up to 17-4, but that is where the Gaels drew the line. They came back behind Section 1's leading scorer Providence bound senior Donnie McGrath and junior forward Dan Robstad. Head Coach Tim Welsh of Providence was in attendance to watch his future point guard at work, and Donnie did not disappoint. McGrath put up 25 points in the first half alone. Robstad made one of the best hustle plays that I've seen all year late in the second quarter. After missing a 3-pointer, he followed his shot and came up with the ball inside a crowd of 4 Greeley players. He then made a great pass to junior forward Colin Mckeon for an easy layup. The Gaels came back from a huge deficit with a lot of heart and went up 39-38 at the half. Kennedy continued their intensity in the second half behind the strength of their perimeter shooting. Mcgrath, Robstad, and junior guard Phil Dibuono knocked down a combined 16 three-pointers in the ball game. Kennedy went on to build an 11 point lead going into the fourth quarter. Greeley did not give up though. They showed how much heart they had by tying up the ballgame midway through the 4th quarter. That run was led by Brian Scordato and Chris Fleisher, who had 26 and 20 in the contest respectively. However, it was not enough as the Gaels got some big 3's from their sharpshooting trio to seal the deal. They won by the score of 92-77. Mcgrath led all scorers with a game-high 41 points including 7 three pointers. Phil Dibuono contributed a career high 21 points along with 5 three's, while Dan Robstad put up a career high 18 points including 4 three balls.

Horace Greeley vs. Peekskill 2/2- Matt Grasso

    Tonight in a rematch of one of last year's Class B semifinals, Horace Greeley hosted Peekskill. Peekskill took an early 12-5 lead behind the interior play of 6-10 senior forward Hilton Armstrong. It looked as if Peekskill was going to earn an easy victory. However, Armstrong picked up 2 fouls early and went to to the bench. This really affected Peekskill's game because they are a much different team with Hilton out of the game. Greeley jumped at the opportunity to take the ball inside. They went onto hold a 28-27 lead at the half. The second half belonged to Rashard Turner as he took over from outside. He knocked down four 3-pointers in the half and 5 for the game. Keeping Greeley in the game was the job of junior guard Sean O'Brian. He hit 5 three pointers in the contest as well. Peekskill held on in the 4th quarter behind the shooting of senior guard Brandon Speights and Turner. Hilton played very strong inside for the Red Devils. They held for the 69-63 victory. Armstrong finished with 20 points for Peekskill. Rashard had a game high 23 points while Speights added 12.Sean O'Brian led the Quakers with 23 points. This win helped avenge the loss that Peekskill suffered to Lakeland last Saturday.

Panas vs. Lakeland 2/2- Matt Grasso

    In a tough League II A match up the Walter Panas Panthers hosted the Lakeland Hornets. Lakeland won the previous match up between the two schools by a 20 point margin of victory. Panas looked determined to avenge that loss tonight. Lakeland opened up with a 6-0 lead, but Panas recovered to tie the game. This game was back and forth throughout the first half. Each team had their own little runs in this one. Panas took control near the end of the first half holding a 4 point lead. Panas had an extremely balanced attack in this one with all five starters scoring in double figures. Panas held onto a 7 point lead throughout the third quarter until Tom Fazio led Lakeland back to cut the deficit to one point. He gave them an all-world performance scoring a game high 32 points. He penetrated the Panas zone and set up senior forward Tom Jennings for many easy hoops. Jennings was the next highest scorer putting up 21 points on the interior. Ryan Schneider also contributed 15 points for Lakeland. However, Panas's defense was too much for the Hornets. They forced many turnovers and converted them for easy baskets. Panas almost let it slip away when Lakeland cut it to one with a minute and a half to go. Fortunately for them, Jon Ortiz converted some big free throws for Panas down the stretch. They held on for an 84-79 victory. Ortiz led their balanced attack with 18 points, while Mike Auerbach and Alexei Korolev each contributed 14 points. Edwin Minter and Danny Anderson had 13 and 12 pints respectively.

 

 

 

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