NEW YORK, NY - On Saturday, the BKYSC Spring Invitational Tournament comprised of several talented teams opened up action at Baruch College and featuring two exciting games in the 17u division in which Team Underrated took on the City and New Heights looked to fly over the Riverside Hawks.
New Heights Topples Riverside Hawks, 65-55
This game featured two teams that match-up well against each other. Early on, both teams had trouble scoring but it would New Heights that got out to an early 11-5 lead with 10:47. Paul Jorgensen and Chris Robinson of New Heights were able to push the tempo and set up easy baskets for teammates which gave them early control. However, the Riverside Hawks came roaring back following a slam dunk by Joseph Kuo and impressive inside scoring bring his team back to within two points. New Heights responded with a couple of buckets by Washington to close the half and led 24-17.
To start the 2nd half, New Heights opened up in a tough full court press. After a couple of free throw connections by Mike Bourke, New Heights appeared to be pulling away and led 30-23 with 12:31 in the game.
The Riverside Hawks, with their backs on the ropes, soon went on a run of their own started by a couple of three point connections by Tyler Anderson and a lay-up off a stolen inbound pass by Stephen Millhaven. After blowing a small lead, New Heights regained momentum off of a couple of transition lay-ups by the big man Washington who scored most of his points in the second half - New Heights never looked back. After a lay-up by Jorgensen with 4 minutes remaining, New Heights captured their biggest lead of the game 56-42 and after a ferocious shot block by Washington in the closing minutes on Jack Ely, New Heights sealed a victory.
Robinson and Washington led all scorers with 16 a piece while teammate Paul Jorgensen contributed with 12 points. Anderson and Millhaven led the Hawks with 12 points apiece.
Team Underrated takes over The City, 48-43
The game started off with both teams trapping in the full court and Nate Feites getting two early buckets off of a jumpshot and a left-handed lay-up in the paint. Team underrated continued their good play early on and took an early 10-2 lead. With 10 minutes to go in the half, it appeared that Team Underrated would run away with the game but The City's Isaiah Gurley responded with a couple of 3 point knocks downs to quickly bring his team back to within two points and after a ferocious two handed slam by Eric Paschall, The City tied the game and 14.
Play soon began to get physical, both teams dove on to the court for loose balls lose balls and referees let both teams play without being over aggressive with the whistle. A bazaar three pointer off the glass by Josh Smith and hounding defense put Team Underrated in a hole and they were having problems scoring the ball, the City found themselves rolling and held a 21-17 lead with 4:18 remaining in the first half. Towards the end of the half Kyle Williams grabbed a ton of boards for his team and made big plays on the defensive end which helped slow down the inside penetration of the City which gave his team the opportunity to edge back in front. The City's Thomas Ryan connected on an exciting four point play as he got fouled to propel but it was not enough to recaptured control and they trailed at the half, 28-24.
The second half opened up with Feites and Paschall trading off with a pair of free throws. Team Underrated came out playing in a tough full court trap defense which began to frustrate the City and cause problems with their offense. With 12:12 remaining Team Underrated's, Travis Dickerson, made a strong move to the basket and got clothes lined viciously by Paschall. The refs called this a flagrant foul and Dickerson went on to connect on 4 free throws to tie the game at 31 apiece. Dickerson continued to drive hard to the basket during the half and drained all free throws after being fouled during drives to the basket giving his team the lead in the final minutes 48-43. The City never could get back over the hump and suffered a heartbreaking defeat.
Claude Payne and Williams led Team Underrated with 12 points and 8 points respectively while the City was led by Josh Smith and Paschall with 10 points apiece.