On Thursday and Friday, in its quest to mine all the nooks and crannies of NYC basketball for talent, NYCHoops.net went way uptown as well as to Greenwich Village to check out the action at Nike's Dykeman and West 4th St Leagues. The talent was there and some familiar and unfamiliar faces came out to play.
Dykeman's Standouts & Standoffs
Thursday took us to the hardtop of to 204th Street & Nagle Ave. in Manhattan, NY for Dykeman's League and we were able to check out a few games. The talent pool was raw in the 19U high school division but Oregon State bound Devon Collier put on an all-star performance on both ends of the court, honing his skills by dropping 25 points for his team, Raising Champions, before heading off to school on August 2nd.
Another player worth mentioning was the high flying 6-foot-5 rising senior, Dustin Hogue from Lincoln HS in Yonkers , NY who added on 19 points. Hogue normally plays for the Gauchos, who were at Peach Jam in South Carolina, but stayed local due to summer school.
Another player of note was, Tymell Murphy, who just graduated from Marcy Ave Campus who scored 25 points while playing with the Runnin' Rebels albeit in a losing effort. Kudos to the, 6-foot-5 forward who will be attending Seward County JUCO as he made an inspired effort to almost singlehandedly cut a 24 point half time deficit down to 6 points with 6 minutes remaining in the game while his teammates, Leroy Isler, Mike Taylor and Steve Whittingham (New Rochelle) inexplicably through in the towel early. Shorthanded, the coach was reluctantly forced to re-insert Isler and Taylor late in the game but it would be too little too late.
Boys & Girls Defeats Abraham Lincoln @ West 4th Street
On Friday, in what could be a preview of next season's Brooklyn PSAL championship, the Schoolers (players from Boys & Girls HS) and Starrett City (players from Abraham Lincoln HS) played a game Ken Graham's West 4th Street League that had all the pomp and circumstance of a heavy weight prize fight. On a packed court, with a multitude of press and even a guest spectator appearance by Queensbridge product, Ron Artest of the NBA world champs Los Angeles Lakers, the Schoolers came back to overtake Starrett City, 73-70.
Leading throughout most of the first half, solid play by Shaquille Stokes (24 points) and a markedly improved Kamari Murphy (17 points), gave Starrett a 10 point lead early on. 6-foot-8 rising junior, Will Benjamin (16 points) provided a spark for the Schoolers as did rising senior point guard Antoine Slaughter (15 points) but the Starrett City machine took seemed to be running on automatic, extending their lead 36-28 at the half.
With Boys & Girls head coach, Ruth Lovelace in the audience as a concerned onlooker, her assistant coach and Schoolers head coach Elmer Anderson gave his team a stern talking to. After an opening surge by Starrett, the Schoolers responded with a 9-0 run as rising seniors 6-foot-5 Leroy "Truck" Fludd (15 points) and Mike Taylor (20 points) began to score, cutting the deficit down to a point with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
Another bucket by Taylor, who had a better game than at Dykeman, would give the Schoolers their first lead, 44-43 with 2:20 remaining in the quarter but a supporting cast by Starrett City which included 5-foot-8 rising junior, Shaq Mosley (5 points) and shot intimidator, 6-foot-10 rising senior, Jordan Dickerson (4 points) which caused the lead to volley back and forth. Slaughter would hit a last second bucket to knot the score at 54 going into the final quarter of what would become a nail biter.
Starrett City seemed to have the momentum throughout the fourth quarter as Stokes continued to knock down crunch time shots and the team seemed to coagulate at just the right time. But down by 3 points with a 1:09 left in regulation, Fludd would come up big for the Schoolers with strong inside positioning in the paint that would draw fouls. The rising senior was also pure from the charity stripe which would ultimately result in a six point turnaround and a win for the players from Boys & Girls HS.