SOUTH JAMAICA, NY - The iS8/Nike Spring H.S. Classic sprung back into action on Saturday.
Although there were eight contests scheduled, one forfeited game caused the lineup to be snipped to seven matchups. On this first day of pool play, there were some teams that showcased strong collective skill-sets and, as a result, cruised to solid finishes.
Let's take a look at the rest of the action of the day at the iS8/Nike.
Determined Student Athletes Down King Street Kings (Red), 51-41
Determined Student Athletes came with a full arsenal, bringing a loaded bench to play King Street Kings (Red), which only had five players on its bench. Though Determined Student Athletes were able to lead by as much as 10 points, 39-29, in the second half, King Street Kings' Paul Little (15 points, all in second half) attempted to keep his squad above water. King Street Kings would continue to fight, but the steady rotation of fresh legs off the Determined Student Athletes' bench forced fatigue, and made it difficult for the Kings to get over the hump.
Determined Student Athletes had much scoring contributions from its starting five and its bench, but were led in scoring by the 10 points of Chuck Obunse. Meanwhile, King Street Kings' Chris Myers added 11 points in the loss.
Sportsfess (White) Break Even with Win Over Team Universal, 70-61
After suffering a disappointing loss to Brooklyn Badgers (A) earlier in the day, Sportsfess (White) from Pennsylvania was able to bring its record to .500 with a hard-fought win over Team Universal. Though Team Universal also lost a contest to Brooklyn Badgers (A), it failed to redeem itself and dropped to 0-2 in pool play.
Both squads battled throughout the game, which made points hard to come by. Though Sportsfess led for much of the matchup, Team Universal was always just a few steps behind. After the contest became tied at 53 at the start of the fourth quarter, each squad had to make smart plays in order to pull away. Team Universal was able to hold a 59-57 lead as late as the 5:50 mark of the final phase before Sportsfess (White) regained the advantage and built on it with some free throws.
Sportsfess' Anthony McKie led all scorers with 17 points, while teammate Mike Brown added 14 points. Team Universal's David Campbell had a team-high 13 points.
Mavericks Outlast Brooklyn Rens (Red), 50-43
Though the Brooklyn Rens would hold a 19-18 lead at halftime, it would be the hard work of Mavericks' Darius Ward (13 points) and Danny Lomax (nine points) that would help separate the winners from the losers in a competition between two dynamic squads. While the Rens made it difficult for the Mavericks to get a shot down, the Mavericks created tough plays off the bounce to get balls to the rack. The Brooklyn Rens converted on the extra offensive possessions their transition defense was giving them.
Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, despite being tied with the Rens at 32 earlier in the period, the Mavericks were able to cash in on inside shots and stroke some 3-balls to go up by 10 points, 46-36. Soon after, Rens' Fabian McDonald (eight points) nailed a clutch trey to narrow the margin to seven points, but there was not enough time for his squad to stage a comeback.
New Heights (Seniors) Trounce Kendall Madison Playaz, 70-48
The game was over before it began, as New Heights (Seniors) took control of the contest from tip-off. In the first quarter, New Heights led by just 13-4 with two minutes left in the stanza. However, by halftime, it was clear that New Heights had taken flight, as the squad was led by the first-half production of Josh James (19 points, 14 in the first stanza).
New Heights held a 42-27 advantage at the break.
Kendall Madison Playaz' Anthony White attempted to narrow the margin, scoring his team-high 13 points in the second stanza alone. However, his work was outmatched by New Heights' steady offensive grinding that could not be contained. In fact, New Heights led by as much as 26 points twice in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
New Heights (Seniors) James Coleman added 11 points in the victory.