Sunday, December 11, 2011

Brewster takes Battle of the Titans

NC State-bound TJ Warren had a big-game 32
Brewster holds off Tilton in OT
- In the first Triangle of Fire match-up of the 2011-'12 season, Tilton squared off against Brewster yesterday afternoon in the Brewster Invitational Championship game in front of a packed house in Wolfeboro.  It was all. Brew Crew out of the gates, as the Bobcats started the game on 10-0 run and built a 28-8 lead ten minutes into the game.  It looked like it was going to be snore-job, but the black n' gold religion doesn't allow for that.  From the ten minute mark, the Rams and Bobcats traded punches for the next seven minutes of the game, and with three minutes remaining in the first half, Brewster led by a score of 40-22.  It was at this point, that Nerlens Noel drove the ball down the middle of the floor on the secondary break and threw down one-handed pull-back, and-one dunk over Jakarr Sampson that sent the Tilton fans into a frenzy and completely changed the game.  The Rams went on to close out the half on 10-1 run and the contest went into the break with Brewster leading 41-32..The second half was just an absolute slug-fest as the heavyweights traded blows like Ali and Tyson in Iowa on Kevin Costner's Farm and with three minutes remaining in the game, Brewster led by a score of  67-60.  Again, it was at this three-minute mark, that Tilton turned it on.  First, Georges Niang spun into the middle from the post and hit a lefty floater over Mitch McGary to cut the lead to five, and then, two Kevin Crescenzi free throws made it 67-64, where the score remained until Tilton got the ball back with 40 seconds.  After the Brewster defense shut off several Tilton attempts to run a set, Georges Niang ended up with the ball at the top of the circle as the shot-clock was winding down.  After a hard dribble left, Georges stepped back and launched a fade-away trey that was nothing but nylon to lock up the score at 67 with 11 seconds on the clock.  Brewster took it the other way and got the ball to TJ Warren, who took the ball to the basket and got a good look at the hoop, but the ball popped out out the cylinder, and the game headed to overtime...With Nerlens Noel and Mitch McGary each fouled out, the extra session was a high scoring chariot race which saw Brewster play some its' best ball of the day, and when the teams rumbled through the finish line, the final score had Brewster winning by a score of 84-78 to win the Brewster Invitational.

Game Notes
- With Dominique Bull out for Tilton and Aaron Thomas out for Brewster, both teams played very few guys, with Tilton essentially playing five and Brewster six, although freshman John Witowkski did play some minutes for Tilton and junior John Edwards saw some time for Brewster...TJ Warren was a monster in this one and now has officially put the Durham Stamp down in New England.  Warren finished with 32 for the game and showed as a guy who actually gets better as his competition gets better.  Not too many front-court players put up 30+ points against a Nerlens Noel/Goodluck Okonoboh-led front-line...Jakarr Sampson was his typical self, going after above-the-rim play-making opportunities like a starvin' artist hittin' coffee-house poetry readings.  Yeah, Nerlens got him on that one dunk, but what made the dunk special was the fact that it came as a result of one Olympian challenging another up near the clouds.  Forget the dunk for a second...that moment in time where Jakarr went up and challenged Nerlens 12 feet off the ground was a purely magical, time-freezing moment.  Beauty at it's finest.  Two Titans colliding as hoverin' cherobs innocently watch.  Jakarr finished with 18 for the game and had his share of loud, roof-raising, crowd-pleasin' traffic-jam dunks.  This guy's a charismatic player who brings it....Semaj Christon was absolutely spectacular at times and there is no way that he is not one of the top point guards in the country.  His ability is off the charts.  In OT, Semaj went to the rack off the bounce and went up in traffic for a two-hand dunk that was insane.  He finished with 15 points and 10 assists for the game..In the second half, Joe Bramanti did a very nice job of defending Niang.  Although there is no shutting down Georges, Bramanti made him work for everything and challenged him at every fork in the road...Mitch McGary scored 11 and was solid in the middle goin' up against Noel and Okonoboh.  He chewed up space and competed for each and every rebound and loose ball...In last weekend's showdown with South Kent at the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic at Marianapolis, sophomore Wayne Selden used the grand stage to bust out with a monster 31 point effort.  Well, Selden's next visit to the grand stage looked much the same, as he erupted for a highly-efficient 34 points, hitting numerous treys, scoring through contact off the dribble drive, and once again proving virtually unstoppable in transition.  Selden is playin at a very high level right now.   When he plays to his strengths, big things happen...Nerlens Noel had 14 points and continues to get better and better.  On numerous occasions yesterday, he drove the ball from coast to coast with the dribble, getting from half-court to the rim like the last ten yards of a hawk closing in on its' kill. SMH...Georges Niang went for 20 and scored big buckets and secured big rebounds for Tilton throughout.  As a player, there is no difference between Georges and the plethora of Top 25 players that were out there on the floor with him yesterday...Goodluck Okonoboh continues on the escalator-rise towards his ceiling, holding his own yesterday in a terrific war-horse match-up with Jakarr Sampson.  GO is a tough hombre who is rebounding, defending, and attacking the rim at a very high level right now.  As his offensive development continues, red alert...Ballas TV Highlights coming later today.  Gonna be cold.

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