Session II of the NYBL was full of exciting match-ups. First up, Carolina Preps. I’ve heard so much about the Preps that I made them my first stop Saturday morning. Right out of the gate they met 6th Man Warriors. The game was close early in the first quarter, but a Prep 16-0 run ran the lead to 19-4, and took much of the excitement out of this one. Carolina would eventually take care of business and get the 59-46 win. I was very impressed with Prep’s overall skill level as a team. Individually, Kobe Langley is NICE at the point. He’s a great passer and can score the ball as well. I also like big Isaiah Wilkins, who handles the rock very well for his position and runs the floor on the break with a mission. Langley led Prep with a game-high 16 points.
|Kobe Langley-Carolina Preps|
Next up was ETU Select versus Carolina Chaos. If you will recall, Chaos surprised some folks in DC, finishing 5-0 on the weekend. I just caught segments of the game, but it was tight early. However, Chaos started pulling away and about the 3rd quarter, they were up 34-43 over ETU. At the end of the third the score was 46-34 Chaos. Evan Johnson was hot from the 3 point line early, and he already had 12 points at the break. Johnson can really shoot it, but he is also good at getting in the paint, drawing contact and getting himself some freebies at the charity strip. ETU would mount a late game run to cut the lead to 60-52, but it was not enough, as Chaos collected another 65-54 win. Johnson finished with 20 points, while Jamal King had 13 and Isaiah Walton went for 10 markers.
Texas’ Deron Williams Elite had their hands full with Team Izod in the morning, but a 4-0 start gave them early momentum. This game was nip and tuck all the way, but D-Will would take it 50-58. Da'Vion Harmen was the top guy with 17 points. Next, I did not catch much of the game, but the Arkansas versus Mid Jersey Mavericks game was definitely a nail bitter. In fact, the game came down to the last possession. The Mavericks would hold on to secure the 44-42 win. Joe Baldachino (5’5 PG Millstone, NJ) and Shamar Florence (6’0 C Williamston, NJ) both paced their team with 16 points apiece.
|Myles Pierre-Metrolina havoc|
Ohio-based Murphy AC ran up against the Metrolina Havoc Saturday afternoon and actually had a lot of success. The game was as close as 32-37 with 4:48 left in the contest. As a matter of fact, Murphy was rolling until one of its players drew 2 techs, was ejected, and that was pretty much all she wrote. The Havoc won 59-42. Myles Pierre led all scorers with 14 points, followed closely by Tristan Miller who finished with 13 points. Later in the afternoon, Havoc converted a huge trey at the buzzer to get by ETU Select. From what I hear, the game was drama filled
The South Carolina Hornets hooked up with the 6th Man Warriors and this one got out of hand early, as the 1st quarter score was 16-5. Although the 3rd quarter score was a respectable 24-34, the Hornets was simply too much, and would get the victory. Naseem Kahlid (5’1 PG Sumpter, SC) led with 15 points, and Juwan Gary was right behind him at 14 points.
|Jordan McCoy-Team Izod/Sports U|
Later in the day I caught a good game between Arizona Monsoon and team Izod. Monsoon got on the board first, but Izod answered right back. From there, Monsoon would spurt and take 11-4 lead at the 3:20 mark. After back-to-back turnovers by Arizona, Izod cut the lead to 10-13 with 1:39 left in the quarter. Izod retook the lead at 16-15, but Monsoon banged a trey to go up 18-16 as time expired in the quarter. Both teams took turns holding and loosing the lead through the 2nd period, but Izod went up 33-28 to close the half. Jordan McCoy had 10 points at half for Izod, and Nico Mannion had 11 for the Monsoon. The game was back and forth in the third until a team Izod run put them up 49-46 to end the third quarter. Jordan McCoy looked really good with his length, mid-range jumper and effective floater game.
Ohio Select is not making many new friends down here. Why you ask, because they are running through the South like General Grant and the Union Army! Three up; 3 down so far for Ohio. The second victim came early on Saturday when Select met up with the Metrolina Havoc. Like most games, anticipation, excitement and a shot adrenaline gives teams and early boost and a dose of confidence. However, like most Ohio Select games, those advantages evaporate fairly quickly and the realization that is Ohio select pressure becomes a reality. To their credit, Metrolina stood toe to toe with Ohio for a while, and was actually up after a 6-1 lead early in the first quarter. Ohio would eventually cut in the lead on the strength of the play from Chris’Seon Stringer. They call him “Grown Man” for a reason, because he was a straight monster in the paint when Ohio Select needed a boost. By the end of the first quarter, Ohio had caught and passed Havoc 11-10. Both teams played hard and took turns throwing punches. Myles Pierre looked good early as he bullied his way to the bucket. Unlike most teams, the Havoc had the size in the post to compete with Ohio. Pierre and Tristan Miller hold down the lane. By the second half, reality really started setting in on the Havoc, as DeMarco Bradley kept sending in waves of players, all intent on delivering “40 minutes of hell.” Ohio’s Greg Tribble knocked down a trey to start the second half (34-20). A 4-0 run by Ohio Select was the beginning of the end for the Havoc, as Select was up 43-26 to close the third, and then finished the game off by 22 points (58-36) to close out the game. You know what Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit.” Well, that’s kind of what’s happening down here in South Carolina, in terms of the teams slated to take on Ohio Select. Stringer finished with a game high 13 points, followed by DeMarco Bradley Jr. who had 11 and Chris Payne who added 7 points. Harrison Barns was the high man for Metrolina with 10 points, followed closely by Myles Pierre who had 9 markers.
|Wendell Moore Had a BIG Weekend|
Ohio Select’s next challenge jumped off later in the afternoon as they matched up with an undefeated Carolina Chaos and any hopes of an upset vanished quickly, as Ohio sped to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter. Although the Chaos was scrappy, there was little doubt that they would unseat Ohio Select this day. The story of the game was the breakout performance of Gahanna’s Jordan Mitchell, who looked like a man among boys for most of the game. Chaos simply had no answer for his length, skill and ability to score. Before the half, Mitchell already had hit Chaos for 18 points. Ohio Select would later go on to get the 58-33 victory. The Hornets are now “on the clock,” as their opportunity to pull the upset comes early Sunday morning. After that, it’s the showdown between Ohio Select and Carolina Preps. The game will be the South’s last chance to get a W. What’s funny, I overheard an opposing coach tell his players several times in the post game huddle that Ohio wasn’t “that good; is over rated, and was not “as good as everybody says they are.” If I had to guess, that’s probably a tough sale after a 20 point beat down. Just guessing!
|Scotty Lewis-Garden City All-Stars|
I have to give a shout out to the Garden City All-Stars. I thought they would just be a fill in for the St. Louis Wildcats, but they came into the league and took down a couple of teams. I saw them spank New Heights late on Saturday 78-39. They may be a local team, but Garden City has enough pieces to compete nationally. Their top guy, Scotty Lewis (6’0 WF/PF Rex, GA), is the real deal. He’s long, athletic, blocks shots and can score the rock. In the paint with him is Jaylen Matthews who also gets the job down. I also like their guard play, especially Keith Littles. In this game, Lewis dropped a game-high 18 points. In a previous game against the Mid Jersey Mavericks, Lewis went for 22 points in a 59-32 win. In the game before that against Team Rio, Lewis finished with another 20 points in a 50-46 win. Based on their performance, you just might see the Garden city All-Stars in Columbus for the NYBL finals at the end of the month.
In the last game of the day, Texas’ Future Phenom held off a late charging Team Izod to get the 49-46 win. Although Future Phenom was up 33-13 at half time, and 37-25 as late as the 3rd quarter, Team Izod kept fighting and was as close as 44-44 with 1:50 left in the contest. Texas was able to hold on to get the victory.