Super 16 - Best Games of the Night
CBC 84 vs. NY Panthers 81
In the most hotly contested game of the day, two teams full of future Division 1 players met in the hot, sticky confines of Quinnipiac’s Burt Khan Court. CBC controlled the game for the first 24 minutes, taking a commanding 20 point lead in the second half. Brandon Sherrod continued his dominant play, proving that at only 6’5”, he is almost unstoppable on the low post. Highly touted 6’9” Kadeem Jack simply had no answer for Sherrod’s toughness and skill on the block. Freddie Wilson also played an efficient floor game for CBC, finishing with 12 points on limited shot attempts, and making a ton of plays within the offense. But the Panthers, coached by NBA player Rafer Alston, would not be deterred. They stormed back with eight minutes to go, thanks to a terrific performance by Fordham commit Jeff Short. Short plays at his own pace and was able to get it going from behind the arc despite a funky release. The big momentum swinger occurred when Short was fouled on a three pointer, followed by a CBC technical foul. Short made all five free throws and cut the lead to single digits. Eventually, the game became tied up near the 2 minute mark, but CBC kept breaking the Panther press and getting easy baskets. Greg Langston and Tavon Allen were the beneficiaries of several 2 on 1 fast breaks, in which they finished at the rim with contact. In the end, Phil Gaetano hit two big free throws to ice the game, and CBC had scored a huge victory over a very talented Panthers team.
Boston Warriors 68 vs. Bay State Magic 63
In this back and forth battle, the x-factor was Ousmane Drame, who looks better and better every time we see him. In a big-time match-up against BC commit Dennis Clifford, Drame more than held his own. He was patient in the post, making good decisions when he was doubled, and scoring over his right shoulder when he wasn’t. On the other end, he slowed Clifford down and made him work for everything. Clifford still got his points, but Drame didn’t give him anything easy. Also playing very well for the Warriors was the tough Lawrence Academy swingman Dan Giovachinni. He scored ten first-half points, on a couple difficult perimeter shots and finishes in transition. On the other side, Myles Brilhante was fantastic shooting the ball. He possesses excellent range, and he pulled-up and connected from deep on a number of occasions. In crunch time, Dan Brooks made a couple nice drives to the basket to help the Warriors pull away in the match up of two solid Massachusetts teams.
Middlesex Magic 57 New Heights 51 (overtime)
The contest went back and forth throughout the first half as no team ever held a lead above four points. Pat Connaughton led the way for the Magic with 18 points in the first 16 minutes on a combination of strong, athletic drives to the basket and a pair of three-point shots. Big East target Jermaine Sanders was the standout for New Heights, scoring in high volume while stroking threes and using his strong body to create his own shot off the dribble. The second half was more of the same as neither team was able to hold a consistent advantage until New Heights opened up a nine point lead with four minutes to go. The Magic responded with four straight stops and parlayed that into three consecutive three-pointers, two of which came from Max Masucci including one with only 17 seconds left to tie the game and eventually force overtime after the Magic got their final stop. Anthony Barry led the way defensively, locking up on the perimeter while also chipping in with 12 points on a series of strong slashes. Masucci would make clutch plays again in overtime as he came up with a steal and drove the length of the floor to start the two-minute extra period. Connaughton took over for the rest of the way as he attacked the rim and made six straight free-throws. Connaughton was absolutely magnificient throughout the game, going blow for blow with Sanders, and finishing with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Masucci (15 points) and Barry were also crucial to the win.
Granite State Jayhawks 56 NY Panthers 55
The Granite State Jayhawks came into Tuesday’s Super 16 Showcase riding a wave of success after claiming the American Division title at the Hall of Fame National Invitational over the weekend. Despite being physically drained from the long weekend, the Jayhawks turned in another big performance, as the Panthers became the latest giant to fall at the hands of the slayers from New Hampshire. The Jayhawks drained ten three-pointers in the first 25 minutes of the game, spacing the floor with shooters and stretching the Panthers defense beyond reach. James Ek and Steve Spirou led the way with 16 points and four three-pointers each while Sean McClung knocked down two of his own. But balance was the true key for the Jayhawks as Mike OLaughlin and John Wickey also scored in double figures. In addition to his shot making, Spirou continued to be a jack of all trades for the Jayhawks, pulling down 10 rebounds while Mike Mitchell ran the show from the front and Alex Levine held his own against Kadeem Jack, holding the high-major prospect to only four points. The Panthers were led by Sterling Gibbs as the Maryland bound point guard finished with 16 points.
CT Elite 16U 71 vs. NE Playaz 16U 63
Foul trouble was the story of this game for the Playaz. Undersized and undermanned, the Playaz’ only big was Evan Cummins. Taking advantage of this, CT Elite did a great job of attacking Cummins’ body and getting the talented shot blocker in foul trouble. Tom Bajda led the charge for CT Elite, showing an impressive all-around offensive repertoire. His stroke is pure from deep, and he loves to put the ball on the floor and attack closeouts. When he gets to the hoop, he is never afraid of contact, and earned ten attempts from the free-throw line on the game. Timajh Parker-Rivera was also solid for CT Elite, using his sculpted frame to bully people around the basket and using his physicality to get Cummins into foul trouble. Even with their star on the bench, the Playaz were able to hang around behind Cornelius Tyson, who shot the ball well against Elite’s zone defense, and Jaymie Spears who turned in a solid performance, pushing the ball in transition and making pull-ups from 15-18 feet. With about two minutes to go and the Playaz down by 7, Cummins picked up his sixth and final foul, pretty much sealing the victory for CT Elite. Bajda was definitely the star of the game, finishing with 24 points.
Mass Rivals 68 CBC 65
With both teams exhausted and undermanned the Rivals and CBC locked up in a battle of two heavyweights. With 20 college coaches staying almost into the wee hours of the morning, two of New England’s top programs dug deep to produce a classic battle. Playing without Zach Auguste for the fourth consecutive day the Rivals opened a big lead early, only to see CBC fight back despite missing both Andre Drummond and Brandon Sherrod. Phil Gaetano drilled a pull-up three-pointer to complete the comeback and tie the game with just a minute to play. Jordan Laguerre would be the only player to score after that point as he attacked the rim and earned two trips to the free-throw line where he made three of four to secure the victory for the Rivals. Laguerre finished with 22 points while Ryan Canty was an absolute monster inside with 26 points including several thunderous dunks. Tavon Allen and Deshawn Murphy led the way for CBC with 15 and 14 respectively.