SOUTH ORANGE, NEW JERSEY -- If there is a better defensive team in the New York Metro area than Rice High School, we haven’t seen them.
Yesterday at the Hoop Group’s Top 100 clinic at Seton Hall University Rice put on a veritable defensive clinic of their own during the semifinals of the camp’s 16-team tournament, snuffing out Patterson
Catholic 73-33 in a game that pitted two of the top big men in the junior class, Shagari Alleyne and Darryl Watkins, against each other.
Rice hopped out to a 12-4 lead by the 9:30 mark in the first half, and then tightened the screws defensively, holding Patterson scoreless for five and half minutes as their lead ballooned to 26-4 with four minutes left.
The two teams exchanged baskets, with
Patterson finally started to get untracked
offensively, but a three-point play by Christian Brown and a Jason Wingate three stretched the Raiders advantage to 26, 37-11 as the half wound down.
Patterson’s precocious sophomore guard Marquis Webb connected on a long three as time expired to cut the deficit to 22 heading into the intermission, 38-16.
Rice was keyed during their first half run by bullish guard Kenny Eusey’s 10 points, while Brown chipped in nine and Wingate seven. The second provided more of the same, as a lay-up by crafty guard Steve Burtt, Jr., put the Raiders advantage at 24. Patterson would draw no closer than twenty through the first five minutes of the second
Alleyne stretched the lead to three with dunks in transition on three consecutive possessions, while Wingate and his backcourt mate Keydren Clark forced countless turnovers with their relentless defensive
The Raiders collected hordes of points in transition, as Maurice Hicks’ team was able to parlay scores of Patterson turnovers into fast-break buckets. Consecutive lay-ups in transition by Burtt, sophomore
Arturo Dubois, and senior guard Joe Mighty put Rice up by 38, 67-29, with 5:18 left to play.
Patterson would come no closer than 62-29 at the 4:30 mark, Rice streaking to a 73-33 victory. Alleyne led Rice with 17 points including eight dunks, while Brown and Wingate each tallied 12 points a piece. Eusey chipped in ten points, all in the first
half, and Burtt contributed eight.
Webb led Patterson with 14 points.