Wednesday's 62nd annual C.Y.P. championship game pitted the MetroHawks against the defending champion Team Frenji in a packed Our Lady of Mercy Gym in Port Chester, NY. Over the years the C.Y.P. High School Tournament has hosted a laundry list of future NBA talent including Ron Artest, Elton Brand, Malik Sealy and Lamar Odom and back in the day stars such as Ed Pinkney, Pearl Washington and Billy Cunningham.
2007 champion Team Frenji's MVP Sean Kilpatrick of White Plains was ready to defend his turf but Wings Academy star Deshawn Wiggins struck first for the Metro Hawks scoring on a mid-range jumper.
Kilpatrick responded quickly on the offensive end for Team Frenji signaling that winning the upcoming contest would not be easy task for Hawks. Although it was not an easy victory at first, the Metro Hawks would eventually prevail with a balanced offensive and defensive attack, defeating Team Frenji 86 - 76
Mt. Vernon's Sherrod Wright would attack early putting Frenji up early but his defensive assignment was Virginia-bound Sylven Landesberg of Holy Cross who was deadly from the perimeters for the Metro Hawks. Landesberg's teammate, Boys & Girls, Kyrie Sutton was effective by scoring inside the paint while swallowing up rebounds off the defensive glass. This combo would put the Hawks up by 8 with 2 minutes left in the quarter until Peekskill's Mookie Jones hit key buckets off feeds from Tony Taylor to bring Team Frenji back to within 3. The Metro Hawks managed, however, to regain their early lead to end the quarter 25 - 18.
To start the second quarter, Frenji attempted to stifle the Hawks with a zone defense which temporarily slowed down the MetroHawks attack. Molloy star Russ Smith ran the Frenji offense and was effective at drawing fouls but could not convert free throws which negated his efforts. West Virginia-bound Kevin Jones was tenacious for Team Frenji and would bring the defending champs to within four.
Both teams played physical as the refs employed the C.Y.P.'s legendary "No blood no foul rule".
Kevin Jones kept Frenji within striking range but Metro Hawks tenured member, Andy Garcia weighed in successfully providing both defense and offense which combined increased the Hawks lead to 8 with 4:24 left in the half.
A feed by Mookie Jones to Kevin Jones brought the Hawks lead down to five but Landesberg kept the offensive pressure up while converting from the charity stripe. Blessed Sacrament's Jhared Hall would nail a three to increase Metro Hawks the lead to 11 with 2 minutes left.
Frenji could not seem to score although they had many attempts while Sutton continued to inhale defensive rebounds pushing the lead to 13 points off foul shots on the offensive end.
Garcia would score to push the Hawk lead to 15 with 47 seconds and with 29 seconds left, Frenji got a turnover. Tony Taylor, unfortunately, would force a shot and the clock would run out with the score 46-31, advantage MetroHawks.
In the second half, Frenji came out frenzied and aggressive as Kevin Jones and Kilpatrick crashed in on offense cutting the lead quickly to 9 and causing an abrupt Metro Hawk timeout. It suddenly became a straight up street ball game as Kilpatrick scored again on the inside. The Hawks were momentarily stunned by the change of pace but eventually Landesberg and Garcia reemerged offensively.
The game became mano y mano as Sherrod Wright stuck to and tried to unnerve Sylven Landesberg.
Tony Taylor would score off a Kilpatrick pass but Garcia countered. The scoring swung back and forth as Metro held the lead 58-50 with 2:40 left in the third.
Frenji managed to eat into the hawks lead ending the third down by 6.
The Jones boys, Mookie and Kevin, tried and failed at buckets to start the fourth and Landesberg would miss on two attempts. Kyrie Sutton would score to break the drought and push the Hawk lead back to 8 but Kevin Jones countered to make the score 68-60 with 4:48 left in regulation.
Sutton would hit another key inside basket followed by another from MetroHawk's 15 year old man-child Derek Williams of Life Center.
Landesberg would score a put back and suddenly the score was 72-61 with 3 minutes remaining in regulation as the Frenji defense fell apart.
The Hawks would go on a run and with 2:40 left, the Hawks were up by 15pts.
Teflon seemed to cover the Team Frenji basket as buckets would simply not drop.
Sean Kilpatrick would finally score ironically off of a Garcia goaltending and with 1 minute left and down by 14, Frenji would try a full court press which would result in made Hawk free throws.
As time ran out the MetroHawks would win the 62nd annual C.Y.P. Tournament 86 - 76 and served notice to the NY area.
Sylven Landesberg would capture the MVP award for the newly crowned champion MetroHawks scoring a game high 30 points. His teammates Andy Garcia would contribute 17 points with Kyrie Sutton pouring in 15 points. Kevin Jones scored a team high 26 points for the dethroned Team Frenji with Sean Kilpatrick adding 16 points
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