PORT CHESTER — Isaiah Whitehead, Jordan Washington (pictured above) and Josh Doughty all entered Tuesday night’s CYP Tournament championship with different motivations but the same ultimate goal. Whitehead hoped to accomplish something his famed high school’s biggest stars never did. Washington simply wanted to play again and Doughty to prove he belonged. All three knew only winning would allow that.
The trio achieved what it set out to in the New York Panthers’ dominant 76-59 victory over Connecticut Select. Whitehead, a junior at Lincoln High School in Coney Island, earned the MVP; Washington scored a team-high 24 points to salvage a frustrating winter; and Doughty joined both on the all-star team at the 67th annual CYP.
Whitehead, a 6-foot-4 junior, scored 22 points to capture the most coveted individual hardware, a prize that Lincoln predecessors like Stephon Marbury never won.
“A lot of greats have come through here, so I just wanted to try and be like one of them,” said Whitehead, who also set up Washington on a pair of behind-the-head passes in one crowd-pleasing sequence. “I came out here and showed my skills.”
Whitehead and Washington helped build a double-digit lead for the Panthers in the first quarter and Connecticut Select trailed throughout. The burly, 6-7 Washington came off the bench early and poured in 14 of his points in the first half.
He proved to be a force all tournament long, playing with extra fire after sitting out the high school season. He first left Pathways Prep, a small Queens PSAL school, for prep school before returning. Washington wasn’t able to play and sat out all season.
“I was hungry to play,” said Washington, who, like Whitehead, played for the Panthers last year when they were bounced from the tournament early. “I was hungry to come back and play with my team and get another championship.”
The big man said he worked out all winter to stay in shape. He proved it during the CYP.
“It was brutal, but I was running, getting in the gym, sprinting, shooting, everything,” said Washington, who expects to play next season at a junior college but hasn’t decided where.
Doughty, a Mount Vernon senior, remains undecided as well, but he continued to improve his stock. He scored seven points and showed strong point guard skills on the heels of a 17-point performance against Team Frenji in Monday’s semifinals.
Doughty drew some positive words after the game from respected area basketball scout Tom Konchalski, who attended the tournament all week and said he was impressed with Doughty’s play.
“This is a big tournament. The best of the best play in this tournament,” said Doughty, whose former high school teammate, Notre Dame Prep’s Jarrel Marshall, added six points for the Panthers. “I’m really happy with the win today.”