BAYSIDE, NY - The Beacon 158 back-to-School Classic featured games that highlighted the potential of some of the teams in the Catholic and Public School League.
NYCHoops.net was on hand to take in Monday's action at Marie Curie Middle School 158.
Holy Cross preps against St. Francis, 53-41
With Holy Cross Knight's assistant coach Lloyd Desvigne at the helm, almost all 16 of his available players got some run throughout the contest. The St. Francis Prep Terriers, albeit young, showed good signs of things to come as they hung tough with Holy Cross for the majority of the game.
Baskets by Gemaal Davis (11 points) and Terrell Williams (10 points) kept the Knights out in front early but nice baskets off curls by Chris Freitag (8 points) and Jeriah Shembly (9 points) would soon put SFP ahead midway through the first half.
The lead changed hands down the stretch as both squad were trying to adapt to their respective systems but a jumper by Joshua Wallace (6 points) would send the Knights into the second half up, 21-19.
In the second half, Holy Cross increased their lead to 5 points as spark plug Jermaine Bishop (9 points) came in and nailed two jumpers quick, fast and in a hurry. The Terriers still hung tough as pick and roll and continuous curls to the hoop, freed up Shembly and Connor Bacci (11 points) for easy buckets.
The Knights began to come together as a team as point guard Cheyenne Nettleton (4 points) orchestrated a good second half of table setting. A basket by Williams would ignite a 15-5 run and with 4:04 left in the game, Holy Cross was comfortably ahead 47-31.
The Terriers would cut that lead to eight before time expired.
St. Mary's dispatches Van Buren, 52-44
With sophomore sensation Jessie Govan as one of the veteran players on the team, it's no wonder that the young Gaels have had its shares of ebbs and flows during the tournament. Against the VeeBees of Van Buren, fortunately it was a flow as St. Mary's let their defense equal offense.
Even as the Gaels settled in to the "all in" style of coach Bill Harkins, they managed to pull ahead 15-4 with 12:04 left in the first half. Patrick Jackson (25 points) scorched Van Buren from the perimeter with four treys against blown defensive assignments. Van Buren played inconsistently but did manage to get points on the board, mostly by drawing fouls and found themselves down, 22-11 at the intermission.
In the second, half St. Mary's began to lock down the fort as Devonte Green (17 points) picked off Van Buren's point guard at half court for easy buckets. Govan (12 points) also began to settle in scoring off bunnies inside as well as showing off his midrange capability
Off yet another pick pocket by Green (younger brother of former St. Mary's alumni Danny Green), the Gaels increased their lead to 21 points with 4 minutes left.
A desperate "Go get 'em defense" enacted by Van Buren's coach Melvin Clarida led to baskets by Darron Williams (9 points), Brian Agard (10 points) and Miles Banks (8 points). The result would be an impressive 16-4 run that would make the final score more respectable.
In other action:
After trailing by one point to start the second half, Springfield HS would mount a concerted effort, taking down Queens High School of Teaching, 57-47. Springfield was led by Darrell Womack and Dupree McBrayer who notched 16 points apiece.