Westchester New York's ninth annual Slam Dunk Tournament began on Thursday December 28, 2007 with eight boys teams squaring off against each other. Here is a brief recap of the first round action from The Westchester County Center.
Briarcliff High School, Briarcliff, NY vs. Jamesville-DeWitt High School, DeWitt, NY The Briarcliff Bears went up against the Jamesville-DeWitt Red Rams and even though the Bears 6'4" junior guard/forward Joe Lombardi scored a game high 24 points it was not enough to quell the balanced attack from the Red Rams starting five headed by Brandon Triche with 19 points followed by 17 points by Mickey Davis. Shooting 48% for the game, Jamesville DeWitt advanced by defeating Briarcliff. 69 - 54.
Peekskill High School, Peekskill, NY vs. Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, NY The Peekskill Red Devils have Syracuse-bound all-star Mookie Jones.
That being said, it would seem to be a foregone conclusion that the Cardinal Hayes Cardinals were going to be blown out of the arena when facing such a caliber player. The Cardinals however played great team defense and held, the usually high scoring Jones to only 19 points on 7 - 17 shooting. That coupled with 57.7% field goal percentage in the first half kept allowed them to go into the locker room at the half up by five. The Cardinals powerful senior guard Leroy Mayers scored a game high 19 points. Unfortunately for Cardinal Hayes, a dip in their field goal percentage, 0 - 4 in three point shooting, a sub-par scoring fourth quarter and 16 points from Red Devil Elliot Watson did them in as Peekskill managed to squeeze out a win 59 - 55.
Archbishop Stepinac High School, White Plains, NY vs. Port Chester High School, Port Chester, NY The Stepinac Crusaders won 3rd place in the Slam Dunk in 2006 and had their sights set higher as they faced the Port Chester Rams. Even though Archbishop Stepinac lost their star player Melquan Bolding, who is currently attending Notre Dame Prep, they still have the exciting and high scoring Tony Taylor. The Port Chester Rams on the other hand have a defensive specialist in 6'11" highly touted senior center Jordan Henriquez.
In a game that was neck and neck throughout it was key it was the was the 20 points with key baskets in the fourth quarter by Shakeem King along with the 13 points and five block shots by Henriquez that sealed the deal for Port Chester as the defeated Archbishop Stepinac 67 - 62. Taylor scored a game high 22 points for the Crusaders.
White Plains High School, White Plains, NY vs. St. Peter's High School, Staten Island, NY The last game of the evening was between the White Plains Tigers and the St. Peters Eagles. White Plains had the one-two punch of the 6'4" senior forward Sean Kilpatrick and the highflying 6'0 senior guard Rashad James. St. Peter's came in with heart and determination. The Eagles managed to stay close to the Tigers and tied the game six times.
They even managed to garner the lead twice. 6'5" senior guard Ryan Woods was sensational scoring 23 points for St. Peter's and the Eagle defense managed to keep Kilpatrick to only 4 points at the half. In the second half however, Kilpatrick stepped up his game with a blazing series of moves and scores. Before St. Peter's knew it, they were down by 15 points with only 6:31 remaining. With the urging of the St. Peter's fan, an ample dose of heart and determination and a well placed full court press, the Eagles managed to comeback and tie the game with less than 2 minutes remaining. For some unexplained reason, however, St. Peter's continued to press as if there were only seconds left in the game. The result was unnecessary fouls that usually resulted in two points plus the and one. White Plains then regained the lead and eventually won the game 70 - 63. Sean Kilpatrick scored a game high 30 points followed by Rashad James with 16 points.
The action continues on Thursday as Peekskill will face Jamesville-DeWitt at 6:15 PM and Port Chester will go up against White Plains at 8:00 PM.
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