Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nike EYBL Report-Day One

Session 3 of Nike's EYBL tipped off today at the HAX Athletic Facility in LA. California. The action was fierce right from the tip, as the 40 Nike-sponsored teams fought hard to qualify for the Peach Jam, the league’s championship tournament. For one of the few times this season, All-Ohio Red got off to a quick start in their opening EYBL game against the Mac Irvin Fire.  Red took advantage of the late arriving Fire (was 10 minutes late for the game), by going up 8-0 to start the 1st half.  Red was led early but a hot shooting Jake Kretzer who buried 2 treys in the first period.  Despite their fast start, All-Ohio would have let down late in the half, allowing the Fire to knot the game at 28-28 to close the first half.

Although All-Ohio got on the board first to start the second period, the Fire came right back with a little mini run.   Now that Mac Irvin was feeling good about themselves after have grabbed some of the momentum, the game was close for most of the final period.  With about 3 minutes left, the Fire grabbed a 3-4 point lead and held on to it late.  All-Ohio would eventually wrestle away a 1 point lead before the Fire answered back to retake the lead.  The game was knotted again late, and All-Ohio had a couple of late chances to win, but missed free throws (about 6), blown layups (point blank), and poor rebounding were too much for Red to over comes.  However, All-Ohio still had a chance to tie the game, as the coaching staff drew up an out of bounds play for Kretzer with the ball and 6 seconds left , but the shot was rushed and errant, as All-Ohio dropped the game 57-54. The Fire’s 6’7 Jabari Parker was a monster, as he led Mac Irvin with 16 points, with Jahlil Okafor adding 12 markers. I have to give props to Derrick Randolph, Fire's undersized point guard, who stayed in the paint and either scored or dished off for easy scores. Kenny Kaminski led All-Ohio with 11 points, followed by Terry Rozier (10), Leroy Alexander (8), Elijah Macon (6), Jake Kretzer (6), Jordan Potts (4) and Jalon Robinson (2).

Jahlil Okafor

Much like they did in game one, All-Ohio got off to a good start against Tennessee's YOMCA, the second best team in the division.  Shakers Height's Terry Rozier was hot early, draining back-to-back treys and getting to the cup to give All-Oho a 7-2 lead early.  However, 3 consecutive turnovers with about 8 minutes left in the half allowed YOMCA to cut the lead to 14-16.  At about the 7:26 mark, YOMCA tied the game for the first time at 16-16.  Red answered back with a Jordan Potts jumper, then Leroy Alexander knocked down a 3  pointer to give All-Ohio back the lead.  Dayton's Teddy Hawkins came off the bench and hit two quick jumpers to give Red a 36-27 lead heading into half time.  Terry Rozier finished the 10 half time points.

YOMCA scored first to start the second period and would make a 6-2 run to cut the lead to 31-36.  All-Ohio finally got on the board with a Myles Hamilton jumper (38-33). YOMCA took their first lead (41-40) at about the 11:39 mark, followed by a trey to increase the lead to 43-40.  YOMCA's full court pressuer rattled All-Ohio, leading to turnovers and a YOMCA 8-0 run. Jordan Potts's jumper with 10:06 left in the half stopped the bleeding and cut the lead to 5 points (42-47). Dayton's Teddy Hawkins' layup at 6:15 and a big trey with 5:10 left gave Red the  53-52) lead.  The 2 teams would take turns holding the lead for the rest of the contest.  A Myles Hamilton put back gave All-Ohio a 61-60 lead with 1:42 remaining, but YOMCA came right back to reclaim a 1 point lead. With the game tied at 64-64, a YOMCA guard was fouled on his way to the bucket and was sent to the line, where he cashed in on both freebies to lift his team to a 66-64 lead with 25.4 seconds left.  Down 2 with just over 25 seconds left ,All-Ohio drew up a play that left Kenny Kaminski wide open for a short corner jumper, but the shot would miss the mark, leading to a YOMCA rebound, an All-Ohio foul and 2 more free throws for YOMCA.  Although Terry Rozier would hit a desperation 3 pointer with only 3 seconds left and down, All-Ohio would go on to take their second loss of the day (69-67). Terry Rozier led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Myles Hamilton (10), Elijah Macon (8), Kenny Kaminski (8),Teddy Hawkins (7),  Jordan Potts (4), Leroy Alexander (3) and Jalon Robinson (2).

Terry Rozer's 20 pts led All-Ohio

Things did not go much better for King James, the only other Ohio team in the event, as they would give up the lead late in the second half and go on to take a 58-50 "L" at the hands of Louisianan Select.  According to the coach, a closely officiated game resulted in his 2 bigs Sheldon Jetter continued to pace the team, while Devon Carter and Antonio Herns both had solid games.  King James would right the ship in their second game, as they took down the Tennessee Travelers 74-77.  Although King James would trail by as much as 13 points in the first half, a feverish comeback resulted in a tied game by half time. The 2 teams would take turns with the lead for most of the second half, but the Akron-based team would go on to get the badly need 3 poit win.  Lorenzo Cujini had a a big game, as he split defenders who were rushing out at him to take away the trey, allowing him to get to the rack.  Also playing well for King James was Antonio Herns.  Tomorrow should be another competitive day of hoops, as both teams have two more games.

Lorenzo Cugini

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