BROOKLYN, NY - The iS8/Nike Spring HS Classic championship game went down this Sunday at Nazareth Regional High School between the NY Panthers and Sports University (NJ).
Sports U totally dominated the Panthers for most of the game. The Panthers came roaring back late in the game but to no avail, losing 81-71.
The game opened up with St. Joe's bound DeAndre Bembry catching and dunking a vicious alley-oop followed by another lay-up he connected on off of a steal. Sports University found themselves up 7-0 early on behind the senior's good play.
The Panthers struggled a lot in the first half and could not get anything going on the inside or on the perimeter. Antoine Anderson (Senior/Bishop Kearny) played very hard for his team in the first half, diving for a loose balls, trying to earn his team some momentum for his team but the Panthers continued to struggle and fell behind big time. Perimeter shots by sharpshooter Jared Nickens helped to extend Sports U's lead and at the end of the first quarter, the New Jersey squad had gained a 21 point advantage.
Down 49-21 to start the third quarter, the Panthers tried to make a run. Anderson opened up with a sweet behind the back pass to 6'8" big man Hunter Sabety (Senior/Oceanside) for a dunk on the inside but his team continued to get throttled
The third quarter opened with the Panthers going on an 8-2 run topped off by a pull up mid range jumpshot from Aaron Cust (Junior/Uniondale HS) and some free throws by Anderson causing Sports U to call for timeout. By the end of the third the Panthers were only able to chip away a small part of the lead and still trailed 64-41.
In the fourth, Cust opened up with a three point shot coupled with a few more free throws and big plays on defense by his teammate Anderson which triggered the start of a run which would cut Sports U's lead down to as little as 10 with 1:55 remaining. However the scoring of Bembry coupled along with a strong 8 point fourth quarter effort by Quinnipiac bound, Kasim Chandler (Senior/Eastside HS) helped Sports U escape.
Bembry led all scorers with 26 point with Chandler adding 16 points and Nickens with 12 points. Wesley Myers (Senior/Boys and Girls) and Cust led the Panthers with 12 and 11 points respectively.