BRONX, NY - The playoffs began at the Tru-Ballaz Pre-High School Classic on Thursday and the results were brutal for two of the participants as two others advanced to the next round.
The opening game at Frederick Douglass Academy III HS was between St. Raymond and players from Bayside HS. The night cap was between Cardinal Hayes and Iona Prep.
Bayside Cooks Ravens, 76-62
The score was not indicative of the severity of the win as St. Raymond's man-to-man defense got scorched by Bayside's relentless attack to the rim in transition.
The Ravens actually started out in front as 6'2" junior Shawn Jones was a terror from the perimeter but Austin Williams (10 points) and Tyler Whitehead kept Bayside close. With 27.5 seconds left in the first quarter, Bayside took the lead and St. Rays never saw it again.
A two point lead to start the second quarter grew into a 10 point lead by halftime as a 10-0 run left St. Ray's in the dust.
Ravens' sophomore PG Jaquan McKennon (1 point) had his hands full on both ends of the court versus Bayside's counterpart Cantrell Barker (6 points). The pint sized guard set up teammates Daquaise Andrews and Whitehead frequently as he decimated St. Ray's attempts to trap him
The Ravens tried to shoot their way back into the game but unfortunately only Jones seemed to have the hot hand. The sniper would drop back-to-backs treys from the arc but a dunk in transition by Whitehead followed by a "don't even try it" stare would quickly squelch the St. Ray's momentum.
The Raven's did manage to cut the lead in half as Kayvon Williams (17 points) went on a spurt but for the most part they lived by the jay and died by it.
Andrews and Whitehead paced Bayside with 25 points apiece. Jones led St. Rays with a game high 30 points which included four three-pointers.
Both teams were without their starting bigs as Bayside was without 6'7" Jamal Roseburgh and Rays was without 6'8" Luis Santos.
Cardinal Hayes busts up Iona Prep, 63-52
Cardinal Hayes was undermanned it didn't seem to matter. With point guard Tyler Wilson (8 points) keeping the pace at break neck speed, Hayes guards Chris Robinson (12 points) and Shavar Newkirk feasted on Iona Prep defenders.
On the other end of the floor, Hayes pressed and trapped Iona end to end for most of the game and scored multiple buckets when they coughed it up.
Down by ten to start the second quarter, Iona Prep suffered from a porous defense. As a result, whatever offense they got from point guard Isaiah Ice and 5'11" sophomore off-guard, Thomas Capuano (12 points) would equal a net-zero effect on the scoreboard.
Hayes would take a 45-37 lead into the third quarter and Iona Prep would remain unable to make a significant dent in that point spread.
Newkirk scored a game high 20 points for Cardinal Hayes. Ice led Iona Prep with 17 points.