Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Nubians Punch Ticket to Final Four
In front if a raucous crowd at Africentric High School last night, the 8th grade Nubians matched up with the Monroe Eagles in the first round of the City League middle school playoffs. Africentric, the West Division champions, controlled the opening tip and drew first blood with a layup by big man Tony Anderson, but the Eagles struck right back and knotted the game at 2-2. Although Anderson was hot early, his early success would be short-lived, as he was relegated to the bench when he picked up his second foul at the 2:37 mark. After Anderson’s exit, Monroe turned up the heat and went on a run. For the remainder of the quarter, both teams took turns holding the lead, but at the end of the first period, Africentric was ahead 12-11.
The see saw affair continued into the second quarter, until Jordan Cornely buried a trey to give the Eagles their first lead (25-23) of the game with 2:15 left in the half. Kahlil Wade followed with a 3-pointer of his own, increasing the Eagle lead to 28-25. Although Monroe committed a foul as time ran out, and sent the Nubians to the charity strip to shoot 3 free throws, Africentric failed to convert the freebies, and finished the half down 28-25.
Monroe scored first coming out of half time on a Kahlil Wade layup. Soon after returning from first half foul trouble, Tony Anderson went to work. Anderson tied the game at 30-30 with a baby hook shot, then converted a free throw to take a 31-30 lead with 3:16 left in the third quarter. From there, Monore went on a 7-0 run as Jaysean Johnson took over the game with his determined drives to the cup. A Tony Anderson layup stopped the run, but Monroe still held a 33-37 lead. With 8 seconds left in the period, Anderson hit another bucket to tie the game at 37-37.
The fourth quarter started with a little drama, as both coaches disputed who got the opening possession. Monroe got the decision as well as the opening score on a Jaysean Johnson-initiated drive, dish and foul. After converting the old fashion three point play, the Eagles led 39-37. For the rest of the period, Tony Anderson began to exert his dominance in the paint as he lifted the Nubians to a 1 point lead (43-42) with 1:46 left in the contest. Although Jordan Cornley cut the lead to 3 with a steal and a layup, by the time the horn sounded, the Nubians had earned a trip to the final four with a 45-44 victory. Although he did not put up big numbers, Xavier Holston-Sims played an excellent floor game, as he consistently distributed the rock to open teammates.
Tony Anderson finished with a game-high 17 points for Africentric, while Shawon Wilson added 10. The Eagles were led in scoring by Kahlil Wade and Jordan Cornley, who both finished with 10 points. Jaysean Johnson added 8 points. Although Monre enjoyed superior guard play, the difference in this game was the outstanding play of Tony Anderson. Anderson is clearly getting better, and his skill level continues to increase. I know he tended to play away from the basket and shoot treys in the first half, but when the game was on the line he got busy in the post and he made several real advanced post moves to lead his team to the win. The final four is scheduled for Thursday at Africentric High School. On another note, congratulations to the Lady Nubians as they defeated Ames Middle School 36-32 to advance to the next round of the tournament. Also, to see the pictures I took at the game, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.