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July 20, 2013
WEST HEMPSTEAD, NY - The NY Lightning would take on the NY Rens during 17U pool play on Saturday at the NYC Slam n' Jam Tournament at the Island Garden.
Led by Angel Delgado, the Lightning would hold off a hard charging Rens team for the 60-52 win.
With St. John's assistant coach Tony Chiles and Fordham's head coach Tom Pecora and assistant coach Tom Parrotta looking on intently, the Lightning jumped out to an early 13-2 lead. Lightning's point guard duo Desure Buie and C.J. Davis provided nice passes inside for Delgado to post up and score. In addition Luis Montero also found himself open to slash at the rim or knock it down from the arc.
The game seemed to be en route to a potential blow-out but with 11 minutes left in the half, rising sophomore sensation Rawle Alkins came in the game and provided instant offense for Rens head Coach Artie Cox. With 6:34 remaining in the first half, an 11-5 run pulled the Rens with 5.
Fordham commit Eric Paschall finally began to counter from the perimeter to help stretch the Lightning's lead back out but an emphatic crowd pleasing dunk by Alkins on 6'8" Luis Santos' head left no doubt that the Rens, paced by PG Kevin Little, were not going to go away quietly.
Down 31-19 to begin the second half, the Rens tried to make a run to close the gap but an and-1 inside by 6'9" Jessie Govan along with a follow-up bucket by Delgado cushioned the Lightning by 16 points with 7:53 left to play.
Alkins began to once again take over the game, seemingly able to score at will and soon teammate Adonis Dela Rosa pitched in down low to help slice their deficit down to 10 points with 5:46 remaining. Alkins sprung two treys from deep plus another basket by Dela Rosa and the Lightning were suddenly only ahead 53-52 with 2:27 on the clock.
In the end, the Lightning's big men would come to the rescue throughout the game but especially in the final minute for head coach Shandue McNeil as Govan and Delgado hit clutch buckets to extend their lead to 5 points.
In the final seconds, the Rens were forced to foul and hope for Lightning not to strike free-throws but in this case, hope would not spring eternal.
Delgado was high man for the NY Lightning with 15 points with Govan and Montero dropping 13 and 12 points respectively. Alkins scored a game high 21 points for the NY Rens with Dela Rosa contributing 12 points.
NYC Slam n' Jam Standings as of Saturday :
(Each team to play three pool play games before playoffs begin)
Pool play games resume on Sunday. Playoffs begin and end on Sunday.