MANHATTAN, NY - July's live recruiting period ended on a high note for New York in Hoop Group's Buzzer Beater Classic at Basketball City on Sunday. In the 17U gold bracket championship, the NY Lightning inched away from the NY Jayhawks in the second half to win 68-60.
On a court lined with Division I college coaches and paced by an MVP performance from Kuran Iverson, the Lightning managed to stave off multiple runs by the Jayhawks.
"It felt good to finally win a [gold] tournament," said Lightning's crafty point guard Dayshon Smith (8 points) . "We came close all summer so this was a great way to end the season.
Tied at 18 with 8:48 left in the opening half, the Jayhawks remained neck and neck due to a solid 16 point opening half by Emile Blackman (22 points).
Iverson would counter with 11 of his 19 points in the first half to keep the Lighting a mere point ahead of their opponent to start the second half.
Smith would finally extend the Lightning's lead to six points as he weaved his way to the rim but Leroy Fludd beasted his way to the paint, scoring a game high 23 points and quickly closed the gap.
Jon Severe (14 points) would once again widen the NY Lightning's point spread knocking down clutch shots from the perimeter.
With a 1:29 left in regulation, the Jayhawks were down by eight and were unable to gain ground as the Lightning spread the floor and ran the clock down.
"It was a great win for the kids," said NY Lightning head coach Shandue McNeil
NY Gauchos Take 15U Chip
While New York was unable to take the 16U championship, the Gauchos secured the 15U chip knocking off Team Philly, 62-54.
MVP Jared Armstrong led the Choz with 13 points with Kai Mitchell contributing 12 points.