NYCHoops.net got a chance to check out some of the action at the iS8/Nike Tip-Off Fall Classic and got to check out some local and out-of-state teams.
Here are recaps of games the defending champion NY Panthers (NY), Old School Cavs (PA), Team Buckets (L.I.), Rhode Island Breakers, Bayside (NY) and Princeton Day Academy (MD).
NY Panthers new jack Old School Cavs, 89-88
The iS8/Nike defending champion NY Panthers were on cruise control even though that only came six deep. Early offense from Maryland commit Sterling Gibbs (29 points) and 6'7" Nermanja Djurisic (13 points) put the Old School Cavs on their back early. A late surge by OSC would somewhat change the complexion of things as Daquan Holiday (17 points), Branden Harrington (30 points) and Jalen Cannon (18 points) fought back but the squad was still down 49-38 at the half.
Domination on the boards would be the theme for round two as the second half began. Hofstra-bound Jordan Allen (21 points) would score garbage points in the paint while Gibbs and Cincinnati commit, Ge'Lawn Guyn (15 points) provided aerial offense. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers began to disband on the court and turnovers allowed Harrington to cut the lead to 5 points with 1:15 left to play. Furthermore the defending champ's free-throw percentage dropped off. Conversely, the Old School Cavs, who were also understaffed, had only 4 players left to play as Gibbs managed to go 1 for 2 to edge out a one-point win.
The Panthers also defeated Team Underrated (Red), 61-46 to go 4-0. The Old School Cavs fall to 3-1 after defeating Riverside Church earlier in the day.
Team Buckets send R.I. Breakers home winless
After losing earlier in the day to the Metro Hawks, the Rhode Island Breakers needed a win against Team Buckets (2-0) in order to save face. Unfortunately the Long Island team would not oblige, defeating the Breakers, 59-56.
The Breakers played hard during the first half and only trailed Team Buckets 31-30 and pulled ahead early in the second half by 4 points as Vusmon Darme (12 points) and Zach Chinouma (14 points) provided early offense. Emile Blackman (26 points) of Half Hollow Hills West HS would tie the game at 42. Jordan Parks (21 points) would add to Blackman's offense and by the end of the third quarter that equaled a 12-0 run and a 52-42 lead.
The R.I. Breakers, perhaps envisioning the long drive back home, closed the gap to 1 point with 2:30 left to play as Darme and Mike Neal (16 points) scored but Team Buckets responded And pushed the lead back to 3 points. With a minute left to play Blackman would come up big and stave off efforts by the Breakers to overtake and win.
Princeton Day Academy gets past Bayside, 66-63
It looked like a walk in the park for Princeton Day Academy as they were bigger and stronger than the Bayside Basketball Club. After losing a heartbreaker to the Jefferson Basketball Club, the Maryland squad's playoff hopes were on the line. Leading 18-3 at the end of the first quarter, Bayside seemed to have no answer for PD potent offense. The Bayside HS players however seemed to have overlooked the non-compete memo as Austin Williams (19 points) and his teammates came to play. After closing the gap to 20-18, Bayside still found themselves down, 41-34 at the half as Stephane Mango (27 points) was very athletic and his length overwhelmed Bayside's defense.
Once again Bayside came back to pull within a point and Williams gave Bayside their first lead at 42-41 off an 8-0 run. That run would extend to 14-1 as Bayside lead rose to 5 points and they ended the third quarter ahead 53-44.
Bayside tried to hold on to their lead while playing a zone but Princeton Day began to hit pay dirt attacking the zone's soft center which lacked height. With 3:59 left to play Chris Thomas (19 points) had cut Bayside's lead to 4 points and with 2:42 a bank shot off the glass tied the game at 62.
Bayside turnovers down the stretch furthered the Maryland teams cause and Christian Leach (13 points) would give Princeton Day a 64-62 lead with 1:06 left in regulation. Ahmad Shumseldin (9 points) would draw a foul and with an opportunity to tie would miss one of two free throws. In the end Mango would snatch a rebound close the game out with seconds remaining.
Princeton Day (Youngsters) finish pool play 3-1 while Bayside fall to 0-2.