A lesson learned. Better late then never doesn't apply at the iS8. It was the NJ Juice's first appearance at or in the iS8/Nike on Saturday afternoon and usually arriving late will cost you penalty points.
Pete Edwards, the commissioner of the 40 year old tournament, mercifully gave the virgin team a Mulligan on their first go round. Unfortunately, for the NJ team, that would not be enough as the NJ Juice would get beaten badly by the NY Panthers Juniors, 78 - 44
The NYC Panthers Juniors of Queens, NY immediately tested the NJ Juice All-stars as Armand Thomas pounded inside for the first two of the game followed by an easy lay-up by Winston Graham.
Buckets did not come easy for the as Panther defense swarmed down on the NJ team.
Salmon Yuseff managed to scramble for a tough bucket but Juice was still down 10-3. A score that would swell to 15-3 as big man Brian Wilson of L.I. Lutheran and Mike Poole, a sophomore at St. Anthony in Jersey would score.
Brandon Harris finally ended the scoring plague that infected the NJ Juice but the first quarter ended with a lay-up by Graham at the buzzer putting the Juice down by 16 points.
To start the second dunks by Graham and buckets by Kevin Parrom and Ryshawn Stores and Thomas overwhelmed the Jersey team.
Caron McKenzie of American Christian was a negligible asset for the Juice early on as the Panthers offensive and defensive onslaught continued.
A give-and-go from point guard Isiah Morton to Yuseff for a lay-up followed by a Morton jumper finally go the Juice into double digits but the Panthers still led 41-13.
To make matters worse, the NJ Juice were getting into foul trouble which was compounded by an out of control three point heave by Graham ended the half with the score 48-19. Winston Graham's 17 half time points would almost single-handedly out score the entire Juice squad.
Brandon Pascucci kicked the second half off with a three ball from the left of the key as NJ Juice's intensity increased.
McKenzie seemed to get his touch as he slashed into the hole for another Juice bucket.
Early foul trouble, however, haunted the Juice forcing them to go to their bench prematurely which hurt their blossoming momentum. As a result, the Panthers lead soon increased to 35 points by the end of the third.
Pascucci, Yuseff and McKenzie would provide some token offense for Juice in the final quarter but Omari Lawrence, Parrom and Poole would hold it down for the Panthers to go for the win, 78-44
High scorer was Graham with 17 points followed by Lawrence with 13 points. The NJ Juice was led by Caron McKenzie with 13 points with Salmon Yuseff contributing 10 points.
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