BROOKLYN, NY - In the opening round of the SNY Invitational, New York City high school rivals Rice (Harlem, NY) and Boys and Girls (Brooklyn, NY) met in front of a packed house, each side hoping to earn a spot in Saturday's final against the winner of St. Anthony (Jersey City, New Jersey) and Mt. Vernon (Westchester). NYCHoops.net was live at the scene to breakdown the prestigious tournament.
Boys & Girls Mashes Rice, 69-53
6'5" junior swingman, Jeff Neverson (17 points, 2 steals) was not bothered by the bright lights of tonight's match-up, quite the opposite, the Boy's & Girl's superstar reveled in them. Neverson was the game's leading scorer, and his breakaway dunk after forcing a turnover with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter put his team up 62-51, slamming the nail in the Rice coffin. "I was just going up to do a crazy dunk to try and get the crowd loud," commented Neverson, clearly excited, after the win.
The game's top scorer was not the only Kangaroo to provide a solid effort in the victory. Leroy "Truck" Fludd (14 points and 10 rebounds) added a double-double and Hofstra-bound Malik Nichols showed versatility, netting 14 points, dishing out 3 assists, and thieving 4 steals.
The game was fast at the start, as the two sides felt each other out. Boys & Girls grabbed a 19-14 lead after one but struggled in the second quarter, going cold shooting 32.1% and only hitting one shot from the field. Rice was up 25-21 heading into the locker-room.
The second half was all Brooklyn, as Boys & Girls began dominating the game, easily beating the Raiders' pressure and patiently moving the ball to find the hot hand. 6'5 Harlem forward, Jermaine Sanders (16 points, 1 steal, 1 assist) competed admirably, topping his team in scoring, but was one of the only Raiders capable of beating the swarming Kangaroo defense, which allowed just 28 points in the paint, a convincing effort from Brooklyn.
St. Anthony (NJ) Rises; Knights Fall, 60-47
6' 8" combo guard/forward Kyle Anderson (8-13, 16 points, 10 rebounds) proved he is a complete basketball player Friday against the Mt. Vernon Knights . The junior utilized skillful ball-handling, a soft-shooting touch, and a presence on the glass in guiding St. Anthony to Saturday's primetime fixture against the Kangaroos.
Darting point-guard, Myles Mack (12 points and 2 assists) was never bothered by the Mt. Vernon press and Lucious Jones (10 points, 2 assists, 4 steals) was impressive on both sides of the floor for New Jersey.
Mt. Vernon attempted to stifle the efficient St. Anthony offense by applying full-court pressure but was unsuccessful in making any affect. If not for the inspired effort of NYCHoops #1 player, Jabarie Hinds (22 points, 2 steals), this game would have been out of reach from the tip-off. Hinds' streaky shooting gave Mt. Vernon a chance but by end, they simply could not contend with the physically superior competition. The Jersey City defense held the Westchester team to a 37.5% shooting from the field and cruised to victory in a game was never in contention.
Saturday afternoon's final features two teams playing with a lot of confidence. Expect a highly emotional, skillfully-played basketball game. Who will step up for New York City?
In other Top Ten action:
St. Raymond upsets Christ the King, 74-73 in OT. Nkereuwem Okoro scored 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists. Daniel Dingle added 23 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.
Holy Cross defeats Archbishop Molloy, 77-67.
Xaverian takes St. Francis Prep, 78-51. Manny Thomas scored 20 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists.