Thursday at the iS8/Nike Spring HS Classic featured two games with playoff Implications. Both games involved different factions of the Playaz Club, against the B.C. Eagles and then against New Heights Juniors.
The New Jersey squads would win one and lose the other.
Playaz (Sophs) Sail by B.C. Eagles, 73-66
With Team Phili going undefeated in pool play, the game between the Playaz (3-1) and B.C. Eagles (2-1) would determine who would own second place and the NJ team set the tone early.
The Playaz Club extended their lead in the second quarter to 10 points but aggressive play by L.J. Scurlock in transition and midrange put-backs by Jonte Rudy closed the gap to 36-28 at the midway point.
The B.C. Eagles simply did not have the firepower to contend with the Playaz Clubs offensive repertoire and entered the final quarter down by 16 points. The Eagles made a final run in the fourth quarter as Kendrick Ray led the charge. With 4:35 left in the game, the Eagles managed to cut their 18 point deficit down to 6 points but Karon Stewart helped push the Playaz lead back to double digits with a minute left to play. The Eagles comeback attempt would simply be too little too late.
Cameron led the Playaz Club with 20 points with Stewart adding 16 and Young with 12 points. Ray led the B.C. Eagles with a game high 21 points followed by Rudy with 16 points.
Playaz (Jrs.) get played by New Heights (Jrs.), 57-45
In the battle of the undefeated, someone's 'Oh" had to go. New Heights struck first as Marquise Barnett and rising senior Joel Angus put them up 6-2 early. The Playaz Club closed the hole to a point as eighth grader Isaiah Briscoe scored on creative underhanded lay-up in traffic plus the foul shot. Rashad Andrews from St. Anthony would re-extend the lead back to 7 points at the end of the quarter.
New Heights lead grew to 13 points off a 6-0 run until Kyle Anderson stepped up his offensive aggressiveness. The Rivals.com five star player kept his team in the hunt, reducing the New Heights lead to 6 points with 1:15 left in the half but an buzzer beating 3-pointer by Angus plus the Playaz Club down 35-25 at intermission.
With point guard Tyliek Kimbrough navigating the New Heights ship and Angus and Barnett engaged in a brief dunk-a-thon which bump their lead to 16 points.
Down 46-32 at the top of the fourth, the Playaz Club would ultimately relinquish first place to New Heights who took their zero and replaced it with a one.
Angus led the way for New Heights with 14 points with Andrews contributing 13 points. Anderson scored a game high 20 points.