Powered by Gary Ervin's 31 points and a slew of
points collected off forced turnovers, host Paul
Robeson held off Benjamin Banneker Academy 92-84
The match-up pitted two of the more underrated
talents in New York York City against each other, as
the 6'0'' packet of dynamite Ervin battled 6'5''
junior sniper Gary Forbes, who scored 21 points in
defeat. The explosive point man Ervin canned deep
jumpers, capped off fast-breaks with emphatic stuffs,
and shredded Banneker's defenders for slashing
buckets. Forbes connected on a handful of triples when
Robeson denied him the deep ball, yet helped keep
Banneker afloat with a combination of runners,
floaters, and put-backs.
A helter-skelter first half saw the lead change
hands a number of times, Banneker holding a 25-22 edge
at the 5:30 mark. Ervin chipped away at the deficit
with a transition lay-in, pair of free throws, and
straight away three, handing Larry Major's club a
two-point edge, 29-27, with 3:20 left until the half.
A Forbes three kept the advantage from ballooning any
further, but a pair of free throws by 6'2'' junior
wing Terrence Jackson gave Robeson a 37-35 edge
heading into the intermission.
A Forbes put-back and two successful trips to the
foul line put Banneker back on top, but Ervin and crew
would surge ahead and never look back. Ervin canned a
three, senior wing Keith Willis stuck back a
teammate's miss and added a triple of his own, and
lunch-pail battler Aaron Harvey dropped in a miss as
Robeson's lead ballooned to ten. They would lead by as
many as nineteen before Banneker sliced the edge to
five with 1:20 to go, buoyed by an untimely technical
foul by their opponent. Ervin was able to connect on a
pair of free throws with under a minute to play,
however, and ultimately run the clock out.
Robeson mounted a furious second half comeback on
the strength of their full-court pressure, parlaying
scores of turnovers into transition buckets. Ervin, a
blur in transition, showed why some of the top
programs in the country are hot under the collar over
him, juking and jabbing his way past opponents,
changing direction at the drop of a dime. Ervin manned
the wing in the first half, but handled the point in
the decisive third and forth quarters, symiying
Banneker's guards with his explosiveness off the
dribble and shooting touch.
Blue-collar banger Aaron Harvey was also
instrumental in the win. The 6'5'' 195 lb junior power
forward scrapped and battled underneath, collecting 9
points and corraling his share of caroms. Lanky wing
Terrence Jackson, a versatile performer who at times
handled the point while at others grappling
underneath, chipped in 15 points, while the senior
wing Keith Willis collected 18 points on a mix of
slashing buckets, threes, and stick-backs.
Forbes led Banneker with 21 points.