Doc Hurley Classic – Event Recap

NewEnglandBasketballServices.com | Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

On Thursday night the 32nd annual Doc Hurley Scholarship Classic came to the Hartford Civic Center for four entertaining games. The most exciting of which took place when East Hartford battled Northwest Catholic. East Hartford was able to carry a double digit lead into the break, despite 18 first half points from Chris Prescott, thanks to their full court pressure and transition offense. In the second half 6’4 junior power forward Jerome Stewart stepped up to provide NWC with the second scoring option that they lacked in the first half. Behind the dynamic scoring duo Northwest was able to make a run that tied the game with under a minute to play in regulation.

With 10 second left and the score tied at 62 Northwest had the ball. Coach Mirabello put the ball in his best player’s hands and relied on him to make a play. Prescott did not disappoint, as he penetrated hard from the right wing drawing multiple defenders and firing a brilliant no look pass to Matt Battaglia who laid it in to give Northwest a 64-62 lead. Now it was East Hartford Coach Anthony Menard’s tern to draw up a last minute play and this time it was senior guard Pierre Simpson who got the call. Simpson received the ball just outside the three-point line before putting it on the floor two times and pulling up for a mid-range jumper that swished through the net as time expired to send the game into overtime.

The overtime period was just as exciting as the first 32 minutes as both teams battled back and forth for the entire period. Appropriately, the game came down to the last possession. Trailing by one point East Hartford again had the ball in the game’s closing second. With five second remaining East Hartford had a clean look at the basket from about 15 feet that rattled in and out. Senior Dustin Trail was able to secure the offensive rebound and get off one last shot attempt before the final horn rang, but the ball hit too hard off the glass and rolled off the front of the rim.

Overall, the game was extremely exciting and also included some very impressive individual performances. Prescott finished with 33 points and was awarded the team MVP while Stewart converted three-point plays on the interior, knocked down twenty footers, and willed his team through their second half comeback. Seniors Robert Bentil and Trail led the way for East Hartford with 16 and 17 points respectively.

In the night’s next game last year’s Division I runner-up East Catholic took on a talented New London team. The East Catholic defense was smothering all night long as they held New London to only 39 total points in the game including just 8 from junior star Alan Chaney. Senior point guard Mike Rhodes set the pace for Coach Luke Reilly’s squad by scoring 17 points including 3 three-pointers. Junior center Nick Greenbacker chipped in with 10 points while senior guard Michael Auriemma handed out multiple assists despite the fact that his normally lethal outside shot wasn’t falling on this night. New London was led by DeJohn Joseph who was able to attack the rim and knock down two long range jumpers for 19 points. East Catholic was ultimately victorious by a score of 45-39.

Windsor High School looked like a team to be reckoned with in their 83-61 victory, as their full court defense forced Bristol Central into 24 turnovers that led to a variety of easy baskets. Four players scored in double figures for a balanced Windsor offense including Douglas Soutar with 11, Mike Cuttino with 10, Justin Wilson with 11, and James Hunter with 13.

In the night’s final game Central Connecticut bound forward Chris Baskerville recorded his second double-double in as many nights leading Bulkeley High School to a 69-47 victory over New Britain High School. Walden St. Juste added 14 for Bulkeley while Eugene Robinson led New Britain with 10.

The Doc Hurley Scholarship Classic will continue on Friday and Saturday when games return to Weaver High School.