On Saturday, spectators were starting to get antsy in anticipation for the one-and-done iS8/Nike Spring High School Classic playoffs next week. However, the end was not yet.
The last week of pool play featured some of the Jamaica, N.Y. tournament's rescheduled games. Four of the five contests should have been automatic losses before tip-off for many of the losing teams, as a blizzard of blowouts invaded the Spring Classic this weekend.
Sports U. Order Take Out for Two N.Y. Teams
Coming with a deeper bench and, subsequently, fresher legs, Sports U. saw vastly different results. Sports University (N.J.) proved that its blowout loss to New York-based Real Scout (4-0) on April 30, would not be a repeat offense, as it inflicted a severe trouncing on two New York teams this Saturday.
Sports U. and Gotham Hoops (N.Y.) came into the matchup with a 2-1 standing and a fighting chance to clinch a spot in the playoffs next week. However, the New Jersey squad, now 3-1, dismantled Gotham quarter by quarter. At halftime, Sports University was leading Gotham Hoops by 17 points, 33-16.
In the third quarter, no momentum shifts occurred as Sports University's five players in double figures extended its lead to 22 points, 52-30, by the end of the third. Although Peter Aguilar (18 points) tried to keep his New York team showing a pulse, the highly intense New Jersey squad brought so much heat that Gotham Hoops had to drop the game like a hot potato.
Sports University's Lucky Jones led all scorers with 19 points in the matchup, while teammate Mario Moody Jr. netted 17 points.
In the New Jersey team's second contest of the day, Determined Student Athletes did a slightly better job at keeping it close early. The New York team, which contained some players from Campus Magnet H.S. (Jamaica, N.Y.), trailed by only five points, 17-12, by the close of the first quarter.
However, Sports U. proved that Determined Student Athletes was no greater competition when it went on an 18-5 run throughout the second period. The score at the half was 35-17.
In the second half, Sports University's usual suspects, officially, dusted off another New York squad. Jones led the way with 19 points in the 74-39 victory over Determined Student Athletes. Teammate Derrick Gordon finished with 18 points.
No player from Determined Student Athletes had double-digit scoring. Aaron Fox had a team-high nine points.
Panthers Make Deep Impact, 110-65
N.Y. Panthers (1) took advantage of the size disadvantage over Impact, consisting of some players from Campus Magnet H.S. (Jamaica, N.Y.). The Panthers, which came into its first contest of the day 2-0, looked to secure its place in the tournament's playoffs.
Thanks to the lights-out effort of Panthers' Fordham-bound Jeffrey Short's offensive performance, Impact was down by 22 points, 54-32, at halftime.
There was no answer to Short's game-high 56-point thunderous shooting spree. He did not pull back the punches, as he scored in a variety of ways - at the rack and from the perimeter. Impact had no real impact on either end of the floor, watching the Panthers have a warmup game and go 3-0.
N.Y. Panthers' Hofstra-commit Malik Nichols aided in the barrage against Impact, finishing with 20 points, and teammate Devante Adams netted 18 points in the win. Meanwhile, Impact's Tarik Raynor and Nohah Vickers each recorded 19 points a piece.
The N.Y. Panthers would later lose to the N.J. Trailblazers in the last matchup of pool play, dropping to 3-1 in the Mideast division. After the New Jersey win, the Trailblazers improved to 4-0.
See game story on the N.Y. Panthers' loss to the N.J. Trailblazers in its second matchup on Saturday: "Trailblazers Stun Panthers in Final Minutes."
Ben Gordon All-Stars Drains Buckets, 102-78
Ben Gordon All-Stars, which consists of players from the New York State Federation Class "AA" Champion team, Mount Vernon H.S., were in a two-way tie for second with Team Buckets, each standing at 2-1 in the Southeast division. However, Team Buckets (2-2) proved no competition for Ben Gordon (3-1), who washed them away with the second 100-plus point finish for a team on Saturday.
Ben Gordon All-Stars' Jabarie Hinds (game-high 42 points) used a 32-point performance to electrify the first half with a 62-35 advantage at the break. Teammate Khalid Samuels (21 points, 14 in the first half) also added his touch on the offensive end.
Lifting the team to a near 30-point advantage, Hinds took a backseat in the second half, allowing other players like Isaiah Cousins (19 points) get in on the action to pace Ben Gordon.
The Mount Vernon, N.Y. squad played tough defense, forcing Team Buckets to cough up the ball on many of its possessions before it had a chance to set up an offensive set. And, other times, Buckets could not flush the ball down the rim or get the subsequent defensive rebound. Team Buckets' Nick Fesseden scored a team-high 21 points in the game.
In Other News. . .
Team Delaware, which was 1-1 before Saturday, forfeited both games this weekend - one against Impact (N.Y.) and the other against N.J. Trailblazers. The out-of-state team wrapped up pool play 1-3.