NE Douglass beats Eastridge to win Al Masino Tournament

NE Douglass used a 21-6 run at the end of the first half to take a lead they did not surrender in beating Eastridge, 71-63 in the finals of the Al Masino Tournament.

By JOHN LIKANJE

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- Less than 24 hours after an emotional win, the NE Douglass Panthers (2-0) were back on the court looking for their second victory in as many days. Early on, they showed the possibility of a letdown after Friday’s win over the Webster Thomas Titans.

The Panthers dug themselves an early hole with turnovers on their first four possessions of the game. They turned the tables on the Eastridge Lancers (1-1) with a decisive run to carry them to the Al Masino Memorial Tournament championship with a 71-63 win, Saturday night.

“Eastridge, they’re an athletic team,” Panthers head coach Kyle Crandall said. ” If you make mistakes, they’re going to capitalize on them. Once we settled in a bit, it made all the difference.”

Tournament MVP Adonis Flagler scored seven of his 12 points during the first half. The junior forward converted two free throws with 5:40 remaining in the second quarter to give the Panthers a lead they did not surrender.

 

 

“We had to wake up,” said Flagler, who had 33 points and 14 rebounds in a 79-74 win over Webster Thomas, Friday night. “Sometimes we just get ahead of ourselves and we just have to slow the tempo down and play our game.”

Trevion Miller netted six of his 10 first-half points over the last 5:40 of the second quarter as the Panthers outscored the Lancers 12-3 to take a 30-19 halftime lead. The senior guard was the recipient of an adjustment the Panthers made to counter the Lancers’ 3/4 court press.

“Coach changed up the lineup,” Miller explained. “He made someone go middle and we just kept passing to break the press. It made me open because they were so worried about the people in the front and they don’t worry about the people in the back and it’s just an open lane for me and I just do what I gotta do.”

The Panthers cut their turnovers from six in the first quarter to two in the second.

“We saw last night that the cross-court skip was open,” Crandall said. “They (Eastridge) have some length, which is going to be true no matter who we play. It was a little harder for us to get that cross-court skip open like we had envisioned and talked about before the game. I figured that we at least got to get that ball into the middle.”

Another key to victory for the Panthers tonight was their resilience to maintain the lead each time the Lancers made a run. After senior guard Casey Diometre made a layup in the beginning of the third quarter to extend the Panthers’ lead to 14, their largest of the game, The Lancers outscored them 18-9 over the next six minutes to cut the deficit to 44-39. Talib Kinlock, Jalen Rose-Hannah, and Terrence Reid combined for 15 of those 18 points. However, Panthers’ forward Lamar Lovelace scored five quick points on a mid-range jumper and a shot from beyond the arc to end the run.

The next run the Lancers made was in the middle of the fourth quarter when they scored seven consecutive points to cut the Panthers’ lead to 53-50. The Panthers responded with a 9-0 run of their own capped by a layup from Diometre for a 62-50 lead with 2:08 remaining. Diometre’s layup would be their last made field goal as they took 18 free throws down the stretch and converted nine of them to ice the game.

 

Senior guard Jiahmere Mitchell bounced back from a cramps injury suffered in the previous game to score 17 points for NE Douglass, including five layups and five free throws made. He also grabbed five rebounds and dished out six assists Lovelace finished the game with 15 points, all in the second half, along with five rebounds as well.

 

 

Miller (14, eight rebounds, six steals, and three assists), Flagler (12, six rebounds), Diometre (10, seven rebounds), Maurice Glenn (2), and Nicolas Jeanty (1) rounded out the scoring for the Panthers.

For Eastridge, junior guard Tony Arnold scored 20 points, including a highlight-reel dunk in the first quarter to send the crowd into a frenzy. Reid netted nine of his 11 eleven points in the second half.

Rose-Hannah (8), Kinlock (5), Jalan Young (6), Jaden Keech (5), Jordan Capers (3), Adrian Rodgers (3), and Jahmel Demery (2) rounded out the scoring for the Lancers.

Reid, Arnold, and Mitchell were named to the all-tournament team. Arnold netted 36 points in two games. Mitchell scored 32 points in two games. Reid had 22 points of his own.

NE Douglass will play at home against School Of The Arts on Wednesday at 6:00pm. Eastridge will play at home against Greece Odyssey on Friday at 7:15pm.

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