LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - The first round of the iS8/Nike Spring H.S. Classic playoffs started Saturday morning at both IS8 and Variety Boys & Girls Club.
Here is a recap of the first wave of games at Variety. Some of the winners had to travel to the IS8 site and play a second game later in the day.
Juice All-Stars Puree Raising Champions, 78-64
Leroy Fludd came out on fire from behind the three point line, knocking down two of them, as Juice jumped out to a 15-2 lead from the tip. 7 feet from Jordan Dickerson and Juice was just too big and too much for Raising Champions.
Offensively, Juice was led by 22 points from Fludd and 19 points from Shaquille Davis. They were also able to frustrate Raising Champions on defense, jumping into the passing lanes and turning steals into fast breaks. On the other hand, there really wasn't any resistance from Raising Champions as the allowed Juice to dominate inside the paint. Of course there was nobody close to the size of Dickerson to counter the 7 foot center.
The lead was 56-38 going into the final quarter and Raising Champions were able to cut it to nine, but Juice was able to get a couple of stops and cruise their way to the victory. Marquise Moore was the only bright spot for Raising Champions, leading all scorers in the game with 29 points.
New Heights (Soph) Out ball Brooklyn Ballers, 67-66
The Ballers had the high number on the score board for almost the entire game, just not the most important part. After point guard Kevin Little split a pair of free throws and made the score 66-65, Malik Gill had an opportunity to increase the Ballers lead to three. However, Gill missed the front end of the bonus and New Heights pushed the ball up the court. With less than 20 seconds left, Little found Alex Wolf as he was rolling to the basket and the big man was able to finish the lay-up. Wolf scored a game high 19 points for New Heights.
Gill had an opportunity as he went the full length of the court and tried to score on a floater. It was a real good look, but it hit the rim and didn't have enough momentum to fall through. That was the last shot of the game as time ran out and New Heights sophomores came away with the improbably win.
New Heights trailed 59-49 midway through the fourth quarter, but they came storming back with a 15-4 run, including two treys from Paul Jorgenson (13 points), to take a 64-63 lead with a minute left in the game. Anthony Maestre, who seemingly hit every jump shot he took in the game, nailed his third three of the fourth quarter to give the Ballers a 66-64 lead to set up the final scenario. Maestre and Gill each scored 18 points for the Brooklyn Ballers.
Ben Gordon All-Stars Overpower Hoops Depot, 84-71
Hoops Depot came to play with five players and they did well until the third quarter. They held a 57-53 lead before the BG All-Stars turned on the ignition switch. First they went inside to William Robinson two times in a row and came away with a positive result, two inside buckets. Then Isaiah Cousins broke the 57-57 tie with a deep three with no one in his face. Cousins added the old-fashioned three-point play to help the floodgates open.
The BG All-Stars went on a 19-0 run and absolutely crushed Hoops Depot the rest of the way. To add insult to injury, Hoops Depot played with 4 players the last four minutes of the game when a player fouled out.
Cousins scored a game high 25 points to lead the BG All-Stars. Robinson scored 17 points while Jarrel Marshall added 18. Carlos Galen scored 25 points and Lebrent Walker dropped in 18 for Hoops Depot.
The Rens (Jrs.) Over Team Underrated 84-75
Team Underrated held a 17-15 lead early in the second quarter before things got out of control. The Rens were like a little kid riding a bike with training wheels in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the training wheels came off and things got serious.
Shamiek Sheppard started an 18-1 run when he started getting inside and bullied anybody near him. A couple of times Sheppard was able to get the offensive rebound and finish the lay-up. Each time he did that he looked at the referee and yelled "And one". The rest of the team turned every turnover or missed shot into a fast break. They shared the ball on the breaks, and many times there were three-on-one and two-on-one. Whoever had the easiest lay-up was the one who got the ball.
The game was never really a contest the rest of the way. There was just a lot of scoring and dunking from the Rens, including an alley-oop show with Sheppard on the "oop" end.
The Rens juniors are loaded with division one talent. Sheppard and Wayne Martin each scored 16 points, while Terry Tarpey added 15. Shaq Mosley scored a game high 27 points for Team Underrated. Emile Blackman added 20 points for the losing team.
Playaz Soph wins by forfeit over Nia Prep
The first game of the day started off badly when Nia Prep was late to the gym. They were behind 22-0 when the game was finally started with 4:35 left in the second quarter. If the team is not there when the game is supposed to start, the team that is there is awarded two points a minute. The game was called with two minutes left in the third quarter when a Nia Prep player got into an altercation with the coach. The game was officially called at that point.