With the NBA Playoffs and Draft in the rearview, New York City’s streetball scene is now in full effect. For the crowd of hoop-heads inside Baruch College gymnasium earlier this week, the two games at Nike Pro City did not disappoint. In the tournament’s fourth week, TNP came from behind to defeat Queensbridge in double overtime, 109-104, while Dyckman defeated Primetime, 109-99.
TNP 109, Queensbridge 104 (2OT)
by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam
Showcasing a number of former Division I guards, the heated battle between TNP and Queensbridge was highlighted by nifty crossovers, no-look passes, deep 3-pointers and a plethora of blocks, dunks and transition baskets.
In many ways, the game was a microcosm of what makes summer ball in NYC such a thrill—a raucous crowd, clap-in-your-face defense, and palpable competitiveness between two hungry teams.
“This was a classic summer game,” said TNP’s Kenny Satterfield. “Both teams gave it their all, and all of our guys are sweating right now. This was a no-nonsense game, and it feels especially good to come out with the win.”
One of the best guards on the summer circuit and a seasoned streetball veteran, Satterfield—aka Sirius Satellite aka Grown Man Stuff—was the main cog in TNP’s dramatic comeback victory, finishing with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in just over 40 minutes of play.
Queensbridge came out of the gates firing, scoring 30 first quarter points led by former Seton Hall and Missouri guard Keon Lawrence—who posted a smooth 8/6/2 line in the opening period—to go up 30-14. Lawrence and former St. John’s point guard Malik Boothe seemingly controlled the game for three quarters, setting up teammates and countering any TNP run with timely mid-range jumpers and layups.
But mid-way through the third, down 45-36, TNP laid the groundwork for a comeback. Big man AJ McLean scored 6 points and grabbed 3 rebounds, and former Seton Hall standout Jeremy Hazell, aka The Cab Driver, got into a groove and scored two quick 3’s in the quarter. QB’s lead shrunk, and with three seconds remaining in the third, Paris Horne sunk a step-back jumper to put TNP up 66-63, its first lead since the opening moments of the game.
“I started off a little slow, but I knew if I kept shooting things would eventually go my way,” said Hazell, who finished with 17 points, including a perfect 7-7 mark from the charity stripe. “In the first half, I think I was like 0-for-7, but once I knocked one down I regained my composure and started to get a feel for the game.”
In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Queensbridge began to pull away late, but then Satterfield, like he’s done so many times before on this stage, rose to the occasion. With the game tied at 87 and a little over a minute remaining, Satterfield sized up Lawrence, dribbled between his legs a few times while inching closer to the three-point line, and fired. Poof. 90-87, TNP.
With TNP on the verge of taking over the game, Queensbridge didn’t quit—ha, no way. After a weird, head-scratching off-the-ball foul gave Queensbridge a free throw and possession of the basketball, JC Mathis tied the game on a put-back. Before you could look up, the game was locked at 92 and headed to overtime.
In the extra session, it was more of the same. Six points by each group, and another overtime.
In double OT, though, that’s when the game finally slipped away from Queensbridge, and by their own doing. Up 100-98 with just over a minute remaining, QB inexplicably let the shot clock expire.
On the ensuing possession, Satterfield rose up for a quick 3-pointer, and—you guessed it—nailed it. 101-100. TNP’s Kirk Williams then hit another three, and after a few free throws, the game was in the bags. Final score: 107-104, TNP.
“I’ve been doing that forever,” says Satterfield. “I mean, that’s part of my game. I’m gonna miss some, I’m gonna make some, but I do know that I’m gonna take those shots. My teammates have confidence in me, and are always telling me to keep shooting. I just try to pick my spots and be effective.”
The difference in the game can easily be attributed to Queensbridge’s mishandling of the basketball. Lawrence and Kyle Hunt combined for 18 turnovers, with the team committing 32 in all, resulting in 39 points off turnovers for the opposition. By comparison, TNP committed only 17 turnovers. The lesson? Even in streetball, taking care of the basketball goes a long way.
With the win, TNP improved to 2-1 on the still-young season. Their next game is Tuesday, July 9 at 8:30 p.m., vs Franchise. With the loss, Queensbridge slides to 1-2, with their next game vs Uptowners on Thursday, July 11, at 8:30 p.m.
Dyckman 109, Primetime 99
by Jay Wallis | @JayWallis11
In a matchup that came after a double-overtime thriller, Prime Time and Dyckman/NYAC gave fans a high-scoring, high-energy battle that ended up being much closer than it should have been.
Dyckman used stifling defense, a barrage of three-pointers and a 14-0 second quarter run to turn a back-and-forth game early on into a 109-99 victory.
“It felt good for the team to get this win because we lost last week, so we wanted to make sure we came out fast and strong,” Dyckman guard Donnie McGrath said.
McGrath was fast and strong right off the bat, making three three-pointers in the first quarter. His ability to stretch the floor really opened up Dyckman’s offense for the entire game.
After the first quarter, the game was still up for grabs as both squads shot 11-for-23 from the field and Primetime held onto a slim 28-27 lead. Then Primetime’s offense came to a grinding halt and Dyckman’s offense exploded.
Throughout the game and especially during the second quarter, Primetime forced the ball to Dwight Burke and Kiwan Smith on the block. They took over half their team’s shots during this quarter. Dyckman picked up on this fairly quickly and began crowding these two in the post, forcing contested shot after contested shot. By the time the second quarter ended, the combination of Primetime’s lack of ball movement (only three assists) and Dyckman’s active defense (eight steals and three blocked shots) led to a 55-41 halftime lead for Dyckman.
The third quarter brought a lot of the same since Dyckman simply had too much energy and too many weapons for Primetime to match. One of these weapons was big man Alejo Rodriguez (pictured right). Nicknamed “Tyler Perry” by the emcee, Rodriguez was the epitome of interior presence in the third quarter, grabbing seven boards and blocking three shots. Dyckman’s sparkplug finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks.
“I was just trying to help my team out,” Rodriguez said. “My focus was on defense and then just to pick my spots on offense. Guys were able to find me. I also was able to time things right and get a lot of blocks. I rebound naturally—it’s what I do, so the blocks were just an added bonus.”
Taking an 84-66 lead into the fourth quarter, Dyckman seemed to be in complete control and on their way to victory. However, once more Primetime players than just Burke and Smith began to get involved and impact the game on the offensive end of the floor, they began to take better shots and get to the free-throw line. Kolo Menash was one of these players, contributing 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
After a 15-2 run that was intensely capped off by consecutive and-one plays from Sylvan Landesburg, Primetime only trailed 102-97 with a few minutes to go. They were losing almost every statistical category up to that point but used a quick spurt of offense to climb back into this game.
McGrath and Rodriguez decided to take matters into their own hands. After McGrath went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line and forced a missed shot on the other end, Rodriguez cut to the hoop, finished through contact with a ferocious slam and extended the lead to double-digits by making his free throw with just under two minutes to go.
Justin Sears (17 points, 7 rebounds) and Nate Brown (10 points, 6 assists) also gave Dyckman consistent and quality play throughout the night. McGrath might have been the most impressive from either team, ending the game with a game-high 22 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep and eight assists. However, he doesn’t want to take all the credit for his solid ball distribution.
“This guy [Rodriguez] is always in the right place, man, so he makes the game so much easier for me,” McGrath said. “We moved the ball pretty well as a team, which helped me find some guys in the right spots.”
Rodriguez did all the dirty work for Dyckman and was rewarded with a huge double-double.
“It felt really good to get that,” Rodriguez said about his double-double. “Whatever the team needs me to do to win, I’ll do it. So I was happy I was able to contribute today in a great team win where everybody stepped up and did their thing.”
Dyckman next plays against X-Men on Thursday, July 11, at 8:30 p.m. Primetime’s next game is Tuesday, July 9, vs Big Apple Basketball at 6:30 p.m.