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August 1, 2009

New Heights RISE to the Occasion

Opposites attract as Friday's battle between the established New Heights team played the renegade new kids on the block in RISE ensued at the inaugural Summer In the City Tournament at St. John's University.

On this day establishment ruled as New Height sweep 2 of the 3 chip available defeating RISE, 58-52, to win the 17U north chip.

The game remained close at the onset with each team looking to impose their style of play on the other. New Heights played off good ball movement, hitting the open man. RISE looked to attack the basket, primarily with Isiah Stokley (21 points) driving hard to the rim while Stephen Nwakononi (4 points and 12 rebounds) and other bigs crashed the boards.

New Heights zone defense slowed RISE's progress but progress they did regardless. With 4:31 Josh Gray (10 points) got a steal and gave RISE their first lead. Keeping the game physical, RISE won the half 25-23.

New Heights came out blazing in the second half led by Brandon Frazier (10 points) with two quick three balls from the right corner. David Coley (11 points) also added firepower to the New Heights machine. RISE fought back and late in the game the teams were tied at 32 apiece

Good defense by PG Corey Edwards on Stokely slowed RISE's momentum resulting in New Heights getting their first lead as Devon Collier (10 points) scored downlow with 10:42 remaining in the game.

Stokely briefly reversed the lead with a 3-pointer but Jayvaughn Pinkston (13 points) and Frazier combined to put New Heights back up by 4 points with 6:55 left to play.

Both teams dug deep and 3 minutes left to play New Heights began to milk the clock, up by one. When RISE pressed up, Pinkston drove in for two. Edwards did a job at playing keep away but committed an offensive foul using his arm to ward off a defender. With 51 seconds left in regulation New Heights was only up by one but managed to hold on to take home the chip.

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