SOUTH JAMAICA, N.Y. The New Rens (Artie) and N.Y. Elite kicked off the afternoon games of the iS8/Nike Fall Tip-Off Classic at the gymnasium of Intermediate School 8 with electrifying sequences and hardnosed play. Ultimately, the New Rens would capture the lead and win, 78-70.
Though the teams matched up against each other well in the backcourt, it seemed as if N.Y. Elite had the advantage with its frontline. Bigs 6-foot-9 Cheick Diallo (Our Savior New American High School (N.Y.) '15) and 6-foot-8 Kassoum Yakwe (Our Savior New American High School (N.Y.) '16) smothered New Rens' 6-foot-9 Adonis DelaRosa (Christ the King High School (N.Y.) '14) in the paint, preventing him from getting usual boards and buckets under the rim.
With DelaRosa rendered pretty much as a non-factor, except as a defensive body against penetrating guards, the New Rens' 1's, 2's and wings had to step up.
One player that lit up the hardwood, exhibiting unmatched play, was New Rens' Jon Severe (Christ the King High School (N.Y.) '13). Though N.Y. Elite held as much as a five-point lead, 21-16, over the Rens in the second quarter, Severe knocked down long jumpers to help his team get back.
The Rens held a brief lead before the close of the first half. However, by the break, N.Y. Elite led by one point, 38-37.
Rens' floor general Isaiah Cosbert (Christ the King High School (N.Y.) '13) and teammate Malik Harmon (Christ the King High School (N.Y.) '13) served as great complementary pieces to Severe.
The guard play of N.Y. Elite slowed to a drip in the second half. Kevin Little (Our Savior New American (N.Y.) '14), who nailed 11 of his 16 points in the first half tried to keep his squad's momentum going. In the first few minutes of the third quarter, N.Y. Elite's Diallo and Evan Hubbard (Neptune High School (N.J.) '14) extended their squad's advantage to as much as six points, 43-37.
That would be the largest lead N.Y. Elite would hold over the competition for the duration of the contest.
The Rens went on to knot the game at 45 on a bucket by Severe. And the Rens would tie again at 57 before going up by a deuce, 59-57, at the close of the third quarter.
The Rens went on a 12-2 run in the fourth period, leaving the Rens with a 71-59 lead at about the 4:45 mark of the quarter. By the 1:45 mark of the period, a completion of the conventional three-point play by Little helped cut N.Y. Elite's deficit to seven points, 71-64.
N.Y. Elite attempted to keep chipping away, slicing the Rens lead to six points, 72-66, with about a minute left to play. However, N.Y. Elite could not get over the hump due to poor execution in the final minute, either by committing turnovers or bad shot selection.
New Rens' Severe finished with an impressive 33 points, while teammates Cosbert and Harmon posted 18 and 13 points, respectively. N.Y. Elite's Diallo netted a team-high 20 points, while teammates Little and Hubbard added 16 and 10 points, respectively.