On this day, there were plenty of elite prospects in the most premier tournament in New York for high schoolers, IS8. The semifinal games provided plenty of excitement, but only two teams, the Juice All-Stars and 2G’z Entertainment, emerged victorious to move on to the title game.
From the start of the championship game, 2G’z went on the attack mode on both ends of the court, with their defense & offense, which brought them to an 18-12 lead with 2:59 left in the first quarter, ignited by a dunk by Unique McLean, a guard bound for UMass this fall.
Although the Juice had plenty of size with Christ the King’s Othello Smith & the highly-recruited Nick Richards, 2G’z continued to dominate early on, bringing their lead up to fourteen points, 43-29, with more than 5 minutes left in the first half.
The Juice then buckled down & cut the lead down by five points, 47-42, in the later stages of the first half, due to the hot shooting of Lincoln guard Donald Flores. At the half, 2G’z led by two, 60-58.
At the start of the third quarter, the Juice took over the game by scoring a few quick points & leading by six, 72-63, behind the shooting of Flores & Jose Alvarado of Christ the King. However, 2G’z wouldn’t be down for long, as they recaptured the lead with and led 79-75 with 1:44 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, both teams battled it out & the level of intensity in the game was at an all-time high, with both sides playing tough defense & making clutch baskets up until the final seconds, but Juice prevailed 107-103.
Flores, the MVP of the contest, scored 21 points, while Alvarado and Lincoln senior Cahiem Brown scored also scored 21 points for the Juice. For 2G’z, St. John’s-bound Shamorie Ponds scored 28 points, while also receiving the Sportsmanship Award. Auburn commit Mustapha Heron added 22 points and Providence commit Alpha Diallo chipped in with 21 points of his own.
The game was a fitting end to the high school careers of many of the seniors on hand, as many of them will be entering the college ranks in the fall, playing for conferences such as the Big East, SEC, A-10 and the NEC. It was another good championship game in New York City.
Here are the highlights from the game, from Overtime: