Two solid games tonight at the 64th CYP. The Falcons beat the defending champion New York Panthers 79-69.
They were led by a pair of seniors from St. Anthony’s in Jersey City. Guard Dytrel Bracy, who is uncommitted, scored 22 points. Richmond-bound big man Derek Williams added 19. Two players from Tappan Zee played for the Falcons as well: Tahj Vines and Brian McLaughlin. The rest of the roster was predominantly kids from Bergen County and was coached by former Sleepy Hollow coach Pat Buckley, TZ coach George Gaine and Ridgewood (NJ) coach Mike Troy.
In the nightcap, Frenji’s held off a sprited Rodney Abrams team 100-96. The game was tied 93-93, but Villanova-bound forward Jayvaughn Pinkston, Louisville-bound guard Russell Smith and Jabarie Hinds hit some clutch free throws late.
After a slow first half, Pinkston, the senior from Bishop Loughlin, led all scorers with 21. Smith, from South Kent in Conn. by way of Archbishop Molloy, added 19, mostly from the line. And Oregon State-bound Devon Collier, a 6-foot-8 forward from St. Anthony’s, added 18.
In typical CYP fashion, those three were all surprise additions to the Frenji roster. One of the players we expected to see was Hinds, and the Mount Venron junior didn’t disappoint. He was often the best player on the floor in the first half, scoring 12 of his 17 on the strength of a couple 3’s and a couple pullup jumpers.
But Frenji’s faced a legit challenge from Rodney Abrams, which is coached by Raul Lopez. they were led by junior guard Saiquan Richards from Satellite Academy in Manhattan, who scored 19 and gave Pinkston all he could handle one-on-one. But the other four scorers in double figures were all guys who played their high school ball in Westchester this year: Davonne Henry of Woodlands (15), David Samuels of Blessed Sacrament (13), Dustin Hogue of Lincoln (12), and Malik Atkins of Woodlands (11).
All four were impressive in their own way. Henry was among the best athletes on the court. Samuels showed he could compete both in the paint and on the perimeter. Hogue had the size and leaping ability to succeed in the paint against a lineup that often featured Collier and Rice’s Kadeem Jack, who is also 6-foot-8. But the player who impressed me the most, relatively speaking, was Atkins. He showed great quickness and played a very unselfish game all night, which is not the easiest thing to accomplish in a gym so small, especially for the littlest guy on the court.
A few other local guys played sparingly but had some nice moments. For Frenji, Iona Prep’s Brian Voelkel was very physical and proved he was about as strong as anyone on the court. Stepinac’s Conroy Baltimore had a nice block early on. As I said on Twitter, Peekskill’s Kenny Bradshaw came off the bench cold and threw down a nice tomahawk dunk on a breakaway. For Rodney Abrams, Kadeem Francis had a nice stretch in the second quarter that helped his team take a lead at halftime that included a couple assists and a three-point play.
The game was actually tied at the half. People in the stands joked that this would’ve been Northern Iowa over Kansas. Indeed, this “Northern Iowa” almost won, too.
I’ll have more tomorrow in the paper about Bradshaw and Iona Prep’s Jordon Bronner, two seniors on Frenji’s who remain uncommitted. I’m covering the senior all-star games tomorrow night and will be away from the CYP before returning on Friday and Saturday.
Here’s what the schedule looks like for the rest of the week now:
Thursday, March 25 —
Connecticut Select vs. Gauchos (New York City), 7:15 p.m.
Metro (New York City/Westchester) vs. NJ Roadrunners, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, March 26 —
Frenji’s vs. New York Falcons, 7:15 p.m.
Thursday winners, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 27 —
Championship game, 7:30 p.m.