NEW YORK, NY - The Mayors Cup All-Star Game at Baruch College on Friday night offered something different.
It pitted some of the PSAL's best seniors against some of the best from the CHSAA in a battle for bragging rights. The game had some of the biggest names in the senior class competing making it a must see. It was like most all-star games with little defense and lots of dunks, but as the game got tight late, the players truly wanted to prove who was best. The CHSAA tied it up late to send it to OT, but the PSAL controlled the extra session to take the win, 148-136.
You could see early on that defense was not going to be the order of the day, but the athleticism and dynamic play was fully on display. JFK's Bashir Ahmed showed freakish athleticism early on getting to the rim and throwing down two thunderous dunks while Christ the King's Jon Severe served notice on the Catholic side easily finding his way inside for a throw down of his own. Curtis' Hassan Martin was able to control the glass and do a lot of good in the paint, while Stepinac's Josh James nailed a couple long shots late to help give the CHSAA the early lead.
Jaequan Brown of Wings Academy took his game to a higher level in the 2nd showing great range and a solid ability to look good off the dribble. His play along with the skills at the point of Bayside's Austin Williams to make everyone else on the floor better with his vision helped lead the PSAL to a slight lead going into the half at 57-53.
The CHSAA did something unique to start the 3rd. They didn't bring their starters in, they played the bench against the PSAL's main 5 and the Public League squad started to pull away. Jefferson's Rachard Moody was able to break defenders with his speed and get to the rim, while Lincoln's Elijah Davis thrived in his role as a matchup nightmare scoring inside and out as the PSAL took a lead of as big as 18 before the CHSAA chipped away and got it to with 7 after 3.
The 4th saw the Catholic League's starters return, but there was a scary sight early on when Severe went up for a dunk and he came down awkwardly. He stayed on the ground and had to be helped off the floor. He was treated by trainers outside the gymnasium and his status was unknown as he did not return.
Without Severe things were going to be tough, but Christ the King's Jordan Fuchs gave them toughness inside, and the CHSAA stared to really step up its defensive intensity, applying a full court trap which helped create turnovers. Molloy's Chaz Watler hit 8 straight points late in the 3rd, and his Stanners teammate Marko Kozul also stepped up with clutch plays late. Both teams had chance to get the win late, but each missed shots and the game would go to overtime tied at 125.
In the OT it clearly seemed that the CHSAA ran out of stream as the PSAL was able to dominate the paint with Martin scoring 8 in the OT, while Ahmed continued to throw down monster dunk after monster dunk. James hit a 3 late to bring the game a bit closer, but the PSAL outscored the CHSAA 23-11 in the OT to win the trophy and the bragging rights.
For the PSAL, Martin scored a game high 24 points en route to being named Game MVP, while Ahmed poured in 20 of his own. Davis had 19 and Moody added 15 for the winners.
The CHSAA was paced by the 17 points of Severe, with the Molloy duo of Watler and Kozul chipping in with 16 a piece.
CHSAA Senior Girls 100- PSAL Senior Girls 66
It was a blowout from the get go with the CHSAA girls proving to be supreme early on and grabbing a lead as big as 43 in the 4th quarter before comfortably easing to the 34 point win.
Bishop Loughlin's Imani Tate, who didn't even show up until late in the 1st quarter proved to be a huge star as she led all scorers with 22 points for the CHSAA in the win. Molloy's Amani Tatum added 21 points, and Bishop Ford's Aaliyah Lewis was named Game MVP with 18 points and countless assists.
For the PSAL, in defeat they were led by the 15 points of Bergtraum's Jasmine Nwajei, with Norman Thomas' Elizabeth Young proving to be an underrated talent contributing 11.