BRONX, NEW YORK -- It was a clinic put on by 7-3 center Shagari Alleyne,whose 25 points enabled Rice High School to slip past a talented All Hallows team, 62-57, in the New York City CHSAA final.
Alleyne hit several short-range jumpers inside the paint and Jason Wingate delivered two clutch free throws to help Rice move on to the New York State playoffs.
Alleyne is being highly recruited by schools across the country, including Kentucky, Louisville, Seton Hall, St. John's, Rutgers, North Carolina, etc (see more on school list by clicking on his name in bold).
All Hallows though came up with a smart strategy to try and take Alleyne away from the basket. All Hallows posted its center, Kiril Wachsmann, who is signed with Iona, at the top of the key. Wachsmann then acted like a point guard, trying to break down the defense and distribute the ball. It worked especially during the early portion of the first quarter.
Despite this strategy, Rice still commanded a 16-9 first quarter lead. Keydren Clark's three-pointer made it 31-24 but the half ended 31-26 after Wachsmann hit a jumper.
Kenney Eusey's driving layup with 5:01 left in the third gave Rice a 39-28 lead. But Alleyne went to the bench to rest and All Hallows narrowed the lead to 39-38 after Ricky Soliver fed Bobby Santiago with a nifty pass with 1:35 left.
A Soliver three-pointer early in the fourth made it 44-43 Rice. But Alleyne started to hit the short jumpers in the lane. On three consecutive possessions, Alleyne established position in the paint and turned around to drop in the jumpers. It was 53-49 with 3:45 left.
After Soliver hit two free throws with 1:08 left, Rice still led 59-57. Then the big play happened. Eusey missed the front end of a one-and-one with 23.8 seconds left. But Wingate outbattled All Hallows for the ball and was fouled. He promptly hit two free throws to ice the game.
Soliver led his team with 23 points while Wachsmann had 12 points. Clark had nine points for the winners. Alleyne also picked up nine rebounds and five blocks.