HARLEM, NY -- As the World Basketball Festival began on Friday, the first game of the Battle of the Boroughs between the Brooklyn All-stars and the Bronx All-stars took place at Rucker Park in Harlem, NY. The Brooklyn squad put up a fight but solid play by Nkereuwem Okoro and Daniel Dingle of St. Raymond HS helped give the Bronx team a 58-56 win.
Perimeter shot by Rashard Stores (5 points) and transition points by Dingle (15 points), the Bronx team was up 24-17. Kamari Murphy (13 points) provided some offense for Brooklyn but as did Davontay Grace (7 points) but the Bronx team would maintain their lead throughout the entire first half, up 26-23 at the midway point.
An inspired Brooklyn team would surge ahead at the top of the second half as a trey by Darrel Lucky (12 points) of Paul Robeson HS and points in the paint by Murphy resulted in a 12-0 run. Down, 35-26, the Bronx team seemed to play in slow motion until Kevin Douglas (9 points) and Okoro (15 points) started to weigh in. With 10:39 left to play Dingle cut the lead to a point.
Brooklyn would stay ahead of their opponent for the majority of the second have as Lucky began to find the bottom of the net. Added firepower from Derrick Randall (4 points) and Thaddeus Hall (5 points) kept Brooklyn out in front, 53-51 but Bronx team was slowly building momentum.
A triple by Okoro would regain the lead for the Bronx , 54-53, with 53 seconds left on the clock. A turnover by the Brooklyn team, extended the lead to 4 points, further exacerbating things. A Hail Mary three ball by Mike Taylor (6 points) would give Brooklyn a glimmer of hope, pulling them to within a point with 2.7 seconds left. All hope would be dashed, however, as time ran out.
The Bronx team will face off against the winner of Saturday's 3:00PM game between Queens and Harlem next week during the Nike Tournament of Champions.