"Who wants the rock now," is the infamous question that frequently floats through the iS8/Nike tournament when a game reaches that point where someone has to rise to the occasion.
On Friday, there are quite a few high school games where big time players will need to make big time plays.
Long Island Lutheran vs. Cardinal Hayes
L.I. Lutheran (15-1) is at the top of the food chain in Long Island, ranked #1, but validation of their overall dominance will only come when they beat the best teams in New York City. During the Big Apple Basketball Invitational, LuHi made a move in the right direction, defeating #10 ranked Bayside HS but on Friday, Lutheran ups the ante. The Crusaders with UConn-bound Kentan Facey will be playing Cardinals Hayes (12-4) and their dynamic PG Shavar Newkirk, a team currently ranked #8 in NYC, in the SNY Invitational. Conversely, the Cardinals, who have been slipping in the rankings, needs to win this game to keep from possibly falling onto the bubble.
Christ the King vs. Bishop Loughlin
The Christ the King Royals (13-2) dropped from the #1 spot to the #4 spot in the rankings after they suffered an upset loss to unranked Boys & Girls. Khadeen Carrington, Mike Williams and the Loughlin Lions (13-2) have been on a steady climb up the rankings as they have notched recent victories.
Currently ranked #5, the Lions are looking to be the top CHSAA team and the Royals are the only thing standing in their way. CTK with sharpshooter Jon Severe will walk into Lions hostile home court and it will be all out war on Friday night as the Royals look to beat back the Lions
Boys & Girls vs. St. Anthony (NJ)
The three time defending PSAL champion Boys & Girls Kangaroos (9-5) fell on hard times and dropped from the top ten due to a string of losses. Recently, the Roos showed signs of life as they beat Chris the King. On Friday, they face perennial powerhouse St. Anthony (13-0), coached by the legendary Bob Hurley. If Wesley Myers and the young Kangaroos could manage upset the Friars during Friday's first round of the SNY Invitational (day 1), it would go a long way toward setting the tone for a possible Boys High four-peat.
Archbishop Stepinac vs. St. Raymond
Stepinac (12-3) is currently the #3 team in the Westchester/Upstate rankings. St. Raymond (13-4) is ranked #7 in NYC. Both teams need to win to at least hold serve. For Archbishop Stepinac to win they must find a way to contain Jaquan McKennon and Luis Santos. The Ravens will have to neutralize Josh James.
Archbishop Molloy vs. Holy Cross
The Molloy Stanners (13-5) recently lost a stunner to the up n' coming Xaverian Clippers. On Friday they host another unranked but equally dangerous team in Holy Cross (9-7) with Jermaine Bishop. Currently ranked #9, C.J. Davis and the Stanners cannot afford to lose this one.