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April 4, 2008The iS8/Nike Spring High School Classic kicked off on Thursday in Jamaica Queens with NYC Finest of Queens, NY going up against New Heights of the Bronx.
After a rocky start New Heights would get it together and accomplish a 64 - 52 come from behind victory over a very ambitious NYC Finest squad
In the warm up quarter, both teams started off cold. So cold that half way through the first quarter it was only 4 - 3 until Devon Collier of All Hallows would score to push New Heights to a three points. Thomas Edison star Allan Thomas, however, would tie the score for NYC Finest. The score would then flip flop as Stephen Hodges of Edison would hit Springer's for Finest which were countered by threes by New Heights Devon "Fatty" McMillian of Abraham Lincoln. Campus Magnet's Mennon Chavis would slash to the hole as the quarter ended putting NYC up by 3.
Hodges would open the half nailing a jumper to increase NYC Finest lead to 5. To compound matters, Chris Hampton, who transferred from Cardozo to Our Savior New American, would enter the game for New Heights but would foul Thomas while shooting a three pointer.
New Heights seemed unorganized as they chased NYC Finest but Jayvaughn Pinkston would weave in for buckets, keeping hope alive and keeping New Heights within striking range. It was clear that the New Height players were new to each other.
Sheldon Jones would put up two floater to increase NYC Finest lead to 11 followed by another from Osamuede Egnarevda to up the lead to 13 points
While New Heights would rebound slightly they would half down 35-28.
It was obvious that Coach Kimani Young gave his New Height team a stern motivational speech as to start the third Ashton Pankey, who recently transferred from Archbishop Molloy to St. Anthony's in New Jersey would score off a feed from Pinkston and then again off a put back to pull his team to within three points. Allan Thomas would swish a tre' to push NYC's lead back up. New Heights, nonetheless, seemed to have shaken out the cob webs as they were less lethargic in the second half even though they still down four half way through the third.
Fatty McMillian would get his own offensive rebound to score followed by Pankey scoring an inside hoop on the next possession to tie the game at 38. Pinkston would get fouled on the next possession and hit a free throw to take a one point lead as NYC Finest began to fall apart. McMillian would steal an inbound pass and suddenly New Heights was up by 5 points. To add insult to injury, Harold McBride would steal the ball with seconds left and bank a half court shot to put New Heights up 50-42 and the end of three quarters of play.
NYC Finest was having problems as shots were not dropping as Chris Hampton would stop and pop to increase the lead to 13.
Coach Rob Diaz tried different player combinations but could only knock a point off the New Heights lead half way through the 4th.
A big problem for NYC was on the offensive and defensive glass as their only true big was Presano Bell while New Heights had Pinkston, Collier and Pankey. New Heights would go on to ultimately win 64-52.
Ashton Pankey would be the high scorer for New Heights with 17 points while Allan Thomas was high man for NYC Finest with 16 points.
Next up for both teams are the Brooklyn Rams.
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