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October 25, 2010The iS8/Nike Tip-Off Fall Classic field of seventy has been weeded out and down to four. After a grueling two day marathon, the Shooting Stars had bested the Ben Gordon All-Stars and Team Hersh eliminated Our Savior New American earlier on Sunday.
There were only two quarterfinal games left. The CT Basketball Club vs. NY Panthers and Boys & Girls vs. Playaz Club, Srs.(NJ).
CT Basketball Club Dethrone Panthers
The Panthers had been here before and seemed to be simply going through the motions. Like a light switch, every time they needed a surge, they created one. But the Connecticut Basketball Club have showed that they are experts at creeping up behind their opponent and winning, late. After all, that's how they advanced in the previous round, defeating the Juice All-Stars with a flea flicker at the buzzer. This time, it was clutch scoring by Brandon Sherrod (11 points) and a last second shot by Phil Gaetano that would nail the coffin shut, 76-74, on the Panthers hopes of a repeat.
Blasting out the box with an 18-3 run, it looked to be smooth sailing for the Panthers but Andre Drummond (15 points) began to put up points in the paint for his CT compatriots. The Panthers still had a 25-14 lead going into the second quarter and baskets by Maryland-bound Sterling Gibbs (21 points) and big man Djurisic Nemanja (16 points) kept Gary Charles' team comfortably ahead by 14 points. A late charge by the CBC only managed to shave off two points when all was said and done at the half, so why worry?
Tevon Allen (24 points) is why. A 6'5" ambidextrous shooter is a rarity, especially when he can shoot from the perimeter. With shots coming from the right and the left, a 14 point lead was soon down to eight and a Drummond thunder dunk sliced off another two points. The Panthers cut the light switch on. Devon "Fatty" McMillan (7 points) used his athleticism to actually bench-press baskets into the rim but Allen would eventually tie the game at 50 with 3:29 left in regulation.
The Panthers would assert themselves, cutting on their high beams, regaining the lead by six points as Ge'Lawn Guyn (9 points) and Jeffrey Short (15 points) attacked from the air. Both teams fought tooth and nail but with 1:45 left, Drummond took back the lead for CBC by a single point.
With 52 seconds, Gibbs countered but with 42 seconds, a return volley and-1 by Sherrod still gave the CBC the advantage by two. Always up for a challenge, Short would say, "This ain't Connecticut" after he scored a jumper for the tie. It looked as if the Panthers had a chance to win it, at least, in overtime as only two ticks remained in the game. But it would be two ticks too many and lights out for the Panthers as Gaetano would expeditiously score in transition, sealing a two-point Connecticut Basketball Club win and the end of an era.
Boys & Girls Ousted By Playaz Club, Srs.
The always well-oiled Playaz Club, Srs. from New Jersey garnered an early lead. Even though the players from Boys & Girls high school in Brooklyn, NY put up a good fight, they simply had no answer for the duo of Myles Mack (27 points) and Kyle Anderson (24 points). That along with some mental lapses were their ultimate nemisis.
"I am a problem," Anderson boasted as he took on all comers. The announcer yelled "Slooowww Mooo-tttion" after every drive the highly recruited 6'8" senior point guard/forward would make to the rim, scoring either the basket or an assist for the Playaz Club as the NJ squad laced-up "The High", 78-66.
Anthony Hemmingway (11 points) initially kept Boys & Girls in the hunt and Leroy "Truck" Fludd (13 points) tied the game at 16 in the first quarter. To start the second quarter, fearless sophomore shooting guard, Teyvon Meyers (8 points) even gave Boys & Girls the lead. A lead that extended to 28-23 before Mack began to get hot and cut into that lead.
Up 35-31, Malik Nichols (6 points) overemphasized a dunk in an effort to jumpstart his team. The senior instead picked up a critical technical foul for hanging on the rim. A foul that would come back to haunt Boys & Girls.
Later in the quarter, Nichols got into a schermish with Anderson. The resulting double-techs would be the 6'6" forward's second, ejecting him from the game while leaving the Playaz Club team intact.
Smelling blood due to the Brooklyn squad's lack of depth, the Rutgers-bound Mack immediately went on the offensive against Boys & Girls, including his future college teammate, Mike Taylor (16 points), quickly cutting Boys & Girls lead to a bucket.
Seemingly out of the blue, Playaz Club head coach Kyle Anderson, Sr., upset with the officiating, picked up a double tech and an ejection as he stormed onto the court and confronted one of the referees. Momentarily coach-less, the cold-blooded Mack still managed to hit a step-back jumper and tie the game at 37 at the half.
In the third quarter, Boys & Girls once again maintained a momentary lead but replacement coach and team director, Jimmy Salmon, soon got his Playaz Club team refocused. Baskets by Dallas Anglin (8 points) and Isaiah Williams (15 points) gave the New Jersey team the lead by 6 points.
With a 51-47 lead going into the fourth quarter, the Playaz found another gear as Mack and Anderson went on a scoring spree. Without the services of Nichols, with 5'7" PG Antoine Slaughter (10 points) guarding his counterpart, the much taller Anderson and Fludd soon getting into deep foul trouble, Boys & Girls were basically sitting ducks.
The iS8/Nike semifinals will be on Saturday October 30th. CT Basketball Club will play the Shooting Stars at 11am followed by Team Hersh against the Playaz, Srs. at 12:30pm. THe championship will be on Sunday at 11am and will be webcasted and available FREE on-demand by going to The High School Basketball Network http://www.iS8Nike.TV