SOUTH JAMAICA, N.Y. -- It is quite rare when two teams from the same program trounce their respective opponents in the same day.
However, that is exactly what the Rens (N.Y.) did on the gymnasium hardwood of Intermediate School 8 in Queens, N.Y. on Saturday as part of the iS8/Nike Fall Tip-Off Classic.
The Rens, which primarily comprises talented players from Christ the King Regional H.S. (Middle Village, N.Y.), were responsible for the only blowouts of the day.
Rens (Black) Run Through Unique All-Stars, 73-51
The Rens sparked on a 5-0 run in the opening minutes of the first quarter. That lead was extended to 10 points, 17-7, on a two-of-two performance by Rens' Matt Scott (Brooklyn Law (N.Y.) '14) at the stripe.
The Rens spread the floor very well, taking full advantage of spaces in the defense created by the squad's great ball movement. Led by the dynamic plays around the rim by Rawle Alkins (Christ the King (N.Y.) '16) and Jordan Fuchs, the Rens continued the storm surge in the second phase.
After a 3-pointer and a strong dunk by Alkins, the Rens catapulted ahead of Unique All-Stars by 22 points, 41-19.
The fiery squad led the competition by 26 points, 49-23, at halftime.
The third quarter was more of the same as Unique All-Stars' Terry Harris (Hills West (N.Y.) '14) continued to try to steady his team, producing the same offensive effectiveness from the first half. However, his efforts would go unnoticed as there were not enough options on the floor for Unique All-Stars to match the Rens.
By the fourth phase, the Rens remained consistent, maintaining the defensive posture that gave them so many extra offensive opportunities. The tight unit closed the game seeing many contributions from much of their players.
The Rens (Black) was led by the game-high 24 points of Alkins, who netted a dozen in each half. Teammates Fuchs and Scott recorded 14 points apiece. Meanwhile, Unique All-Stars' Harris tied the game-high with 24 points of his own.
Rens (Red) Rocket Past Team Blaze, 76-48
After the older group of Rens had long exited the gymnasium, the younger Rens took center stage in hopes of following in the veterans' footsteps with a 'W.' The Rens (Red) upheld the program's momentum of the day, by taking down New Jersey squad Team Blaze in the last contest on Saturday.
The Rens led 12-3 in the first four minutes of the game. At first, it appeared Team Blaze was going to close the gap as the out-of-state squad nipped the deficit down to seven points, 14-7. Team Blaze was able to answer again on their next possession, which maintained the margin at seven, 16-9, on a jumper by Tyrone Moore with 1:25 left in the period.
However, that would be the closest Team Blaze would get for the remainder of the contest.
By the second quarter, behind the 12-point first-half grind of Tyrone Cohen (Christ the King H.S. (N.Y.) '16), the Rens' points kept racking up as the squad scored on many buckets en route to its whopping 20-point advantage, 37-17. Team Blaze seemed to scramble for an answer to the young Rens, but could not find a solution.
As a result, the Rens led by 25 points, 46-21, by halftime.
Just like its elder counterpart, the young Rens never let off the gas, capitalizing on the open gaps in Team Blaze's defense. The Rens systematic passing forced the team's metropolitan foe to play erratically as it frantically moved about on both ends of the floor without much accomplishment.
The Rens demolished Team Blaze throughout the third and fourth quarters. With about 3:15 left in the matchup, the Rens held a 28-point advantage, 74-46.
The Rens (Red) were led by the 18 points of Rich Ross (St. Raymond H.S. (N.Y.) '15). Teammates Cohen, Jalen Rose (Abraham Lincoln H.S. (N.Y.) '15) and Meliek Thomas (St. Raymond H.S. (N.Y.) '15) posted 15, 14 and 13 points, respectively. Meanwhile, Team Blaze's Moore had a team-high 16 points.