Nike Super 6 Showdown Recap
by Franklyn Calle
The 2009 Nike Super Six Showdown featured some of the top high school ballers from around the country with three great games and some of the top teams in New York City as well as around the nation participating. The event was moved from Madison Square Garden where it used to held every January to this year’s venue, the Rose Hill Gymnasium in the Bronx campus of Fordham University. In the first game, the Rice Raiders out of Harlem went up against the Paterson Catholic Cougars of New Jersey. With over four minutes remaining in the game it seemed as if Rice was going to come away with a comfortable win. They were up by 14 at 55-41. But then PC went on a 22-8 run to tie the game at 63 a piece on a put-back by junior guard Fuquan Edwin with 31 seconds remaining. The Raiders’ go-to man Miami-bound Durand Scott got locked down on defense so he was forced to give the ball up which eventually was shot by Scott Arias. Arias’ three-point shot attempt ended up being an air-ball. But luckily for Rice, junior center Kadeem Jack was right under the hoop to grab the rebound and get a put-back lay-up with 3.2 seconds to go. With 1.3 seconds left, Jack would sink two free throws to make it a two possession game and give his Rice team a 67-63 win.
For Rice, Scott finished with a team high 17 points. Jack had a big game with 15 points and 12 rebounds while sophomore guard Jermaine Sanders finished with 12 points and junior forward Shane Southwell added 10 points to go with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks.
For Paterson Catholic, Edwin finished with a game-high 23 points along with 9 rebounds and 5 steals, on an 11 for 18 shooting night. Guard Myles Mack scored 13 points while Fordham-bound Lance Brown finished with 10.
The second game was the main event and was televised live on ESPN2. Lance Stephenson vs. Dexter Strickland. Stephenson is considered one of the top seniors in nation, #1 according to Slam, while Strickland is not too far behind as the North Carolina-bound guard is also a top national prospect. Strickland’s St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth, New Jersey against Stephenson’s Lincoln High School out of Brooklyn was a much anticipated match.
St. Pats had a six point lead after one quarter of play, 19-13. But in the second, the Celtics were able to expand their lead when a 10-1 run gave them a double-digit lead at 31-18. Lincoln’s Darwin Ellis would score the final five points of the half to cut the deficit to eight points at 31-23 heading to the locker room. Lincoln already had committed 14 turnovers in only the first two quarters of play while Strickland had 14 points and shooting a perfect 6 for 6 from the field for St. Patrick’s.
Just when Lincoln seemed to be getting in the game, a 12-2 run by the Celtics to end the third quarter put St. Patrick’s in comfortable 16 point lead at 50-36. Lincoln went on a late spark with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to five at 56-51 with 1:40 remaining. Back to back baskets by Kyrie Erving extended the lead to 60-51 for St. Pat’s. A 3-pointer by Ellis and another basket by Stephenson would cut the Celtic’s lead to four at 60-56 with 18.7 seconds remaining. That would be as close as Lincoln would get, as both Erving and George Mason-commit Paris Bennett hit crucial free throws to help St. Patrick’s come away with a 63-58 victory.
Strickland and Erving both finished with 16 points for St Patrick’s. Strickland had prefect night from the floor shooting 6 for 6. Bennett and top-ranked sophomore Michael Gilchrist both added 10 points.
For Lincoln, Stephenson finished with a game high 21 points although he had an off shooting night as he went 9 for 23 from the field. Lincoln’s center James Padgett, a Maryland-commit, finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 boards.
Much of the crowd started to file out after the game, but there was still more basketball to be played.
The third and final game was all Hopkins from start to finish. Thomas Jefferson never led and was without their leading scorer. Hopkins out of Minnesota came in and led throughout the game to a 79-65 victory. Honestly there is no need to break down the game, it wasn’t much interesting.