SOUTH JAMAICA, N.Y. -- With one more week until the iS8/Nike Fall Tip-Off Classic playoffs, there are still some remaining games that need to be held in order to determine seeding.
On the last Saturday of pool play, there was not much action to note as matchups featured teams on opposite ends of the skill spectrum competing against each other for the 'W.' As a result, of the four games that actually took place at the gymnasium of Intermediate School 8, in three contests, under-challenged squads blew away the competition for easy wins.
One highlight of the day was watching a strong New Heights (Seniors) demolish their opponents to secure a perfect record in league play and a one-game bye in next week's one-and-done playoffs.
New Heights Go 2-0 on the Day, Finish 4-0 Overall
In New Heights (Seniors) first contest of the afternoon, the Bronx, N.Y. based team sacked Minutemen with much ease. New Heights proved to be too athletic, fast and strong for their competition. Minutemen watched its deficit grow exponentially very quickly, losing to New Heights, 79-36.
New Heights' Bashir Ahmed (John F. Kennedy (N.Y.) '14) posted a team-high 15 points, while teammates Osa Izevbuwa (McKee/Staten Island Tech (N.Y.) '13) and Monmouth-commit Josh James (Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) '13) added 13 points apiece. There were five New Heights players, who scored in double-figures.
As a result of the win, New Heights (Seniors) went to 3-0. Minutemen, however, dropped to 0-4 in pool play.
In the second matchup, New Heights (Seniors) saw another game-high performance by Ahmed -- this time, against Team Albany, 83-51.
Though James was not on hand for the second game, bruiser Jordan Washington (West Oaks Academy (Fla.) '13) served as a solid defensive presence in the paint.
Team Albany played New Heights (Seniors) very close in the first quarter, which extended into the early portion of the second phase. Despite being down by six points in the primary period, Team Albany came within a point of the competition, 19-17, in the second quarter.
However, after an expected sequence of events, New Heights (Seniors) quickly changed the complexion of the game, holding a 47-23 lead by halftime.
New Heights saw an advantage of as much as 32 points in the fourth and final phase.
New Heights' Ahmed led a balanced scoring attack, recording a game-high 28 points. Teammates Raven Owen (Xaverian High School (N.Y.) '14) and Izevbuwa scored 18 and 15 points, respectively. Washington added 11 points.
As a result of notching its second victory of the day, New Heights finished pool play 4-0, clinching the H.S. South division. Meanwhile, Team Albany held a 0-3 record at the close of the matchup.
PTP Elite Sends Team Albany Home Winless, 42-37
With a lot riding on the game for PTP Elite, which were holding a 2-1 standing coming into the contest, the Long Island, N.Y. team sprung to an early 12-3 advantage by the close of the first quarter.
The margin remained at nine points in the second period before a 3-pointer by PTP Elite gave them a 12-point lift by halftime, 26-14.
Team Albany's Isaiah Gurley (Westinghouse High School (N.Y.) '14) was the sole player that truly adjusted to the playing style of his opponent, and thrived well in both the halfcourt and the open floor. However, one player clicking on all cylinders was not enough to push Team Albany ahead.
Although PTP Elite did not use the height mismatch in the paint over the noticeably smaller Team Albany, Team Albany's second wind led by Gurley was still not enough to halt the growth of PTP Elite.
PTP Elite's Mike Milligan (St. Dominic High School (N.Y.) '13) netted nine points in the win, while teammates Luke Petrasek (Northport High School (N.Y.) '13) and TJ Danns (Hicksville High School (N.Y.) '13) each posted eight points.
Team Albany's Gurley scored 13 points in the loss.
PTP Elite finished with a 3-1 standing, while Team Albany dropped to 0-4.