HARLEM, NY - The unique thing about SMARTBall Classic is that it gives you an unadulterated glimpse at the potential or lack thereof in NYC and Metropolitan area high school teams.
On Monday evening, point guards were in full effect as four teams faced off in the quarterfinal round of the one game elimination tournament. NYCHoops.net was there to take it all in.
Christ the King takes out Cardozo, 76-72
Two things that stood out with Cardozo was their lack of size and their talented guards. As a result of the size deficit, Christ the King's center Adonis DelaRosa (11pts/6rebs/3blks/2ast) pounded the players from Dozo in the paint while Jon Severe (20pts/2stls/1blk/2rebs/1ast) punished them from the perimeter.
However, to their credit, guard Omar Williams (13pts/2ast/3rebs/1stl), Kyle Credle (12pts/5ast/2rebs), Kendall Brown (13pts/2ast/2rebs/1stl) and Darnell Holmes (12pts/3rebs/1stl) kept the game interesting throughout as they attacked the Royals bigger but slower interior.
CK's point guard Malik Harmon (7pts/7ast/1stl) remained composed throughout and his floor generalship gave the Royals a 9 point lead at the half. The halftime lead was in no small part due to the grunt work put in by Buffalo bound football star James Coleman (15pts/3rebs/2ast.).
As the third quarter began, there were signs that it was going to be a Royals blowout as two sport star Jordan Fuchs (6pts/3rebs) scored increasing their lead to 11 points to start the fourth.
With big man Dan Janel (8pts/7rebs/1blk) battling for boards, Dozo was relentless and decreased the disadvantage to 3 points as Williams and Credle scored inside. The table seemed to completely turn as Severe got ejected after a technical foul with 4:42 left to play. Cardozo rode the momentum shift, knotting the game at 63.
Christ the King would withstand the onslaught, quickly regaining and this time keeping their lead as Fuchs scored a runner. Additionally, the two point guard alignment of Harmon and Isiah Cosbert (6pts/5ast/3rebs) would manage to help contain the hard charging Cardozo players.
Christ the King's Isaiah Lewis, who is rumored to be transferring to St. Patrick's (NJ), did not play.
Boys & Girls decimate Wadleigh, 74-59
The second quarterfinal game of the evening was a track meet from start to finish as the players from Brooklyn's Boys & Girls HS went up against players from Wadleigh HS in Harlem.
With Wesley Myers sidelined with a leg injury suffered during AAU season, Boys & Girls relied heavily on 6'7" rising sophomore Marvin Prochet (4pts/4rebs/7ast/2blk) to run the point. One of the tallest players on his team, Prochet displayed a good handle as well as a good court vision. As a consequence of that, along with aerial offense from Courtney Darnley (14pts/2rebs/2ast/1stl) and interior firepower from Jamie Killings (13pts/1ast/4rebs), Wadleigh found themselves in a 17 point hole at the half.
While the young Wadleigh Tigers were unable to withstand Boys & Girls patented full court pressure defense and was never quite in the game, they did show potential and never gave up.
Lenny Khadijah (13pts/4rebs/1ast/1stl) showed promise as he fought in the paint for buckets. Additionally, high flying big man, Dave Henry (10pts/3rebs/2blks) should prove crucial during the regular season.
On Tuesday, the quarters continue as Bayside take on Satellite Academy and South Shore does battle versus Paterson Eastside(NJ). The games begin at 6:30pm at Lincoln Park (135th St. & 5th Ave., NY, NY.). The rain site is at the Kennedy Center of Harlem (34 West 134th St. between Lenox & 5th Ave.)