Friday, February 8, 2008

Live Blog- St. Patrick's vs. St. Benedict's

St. Patrick's and St. Benedict's are currently playing in a showdown of two of the best teams in the nation, and it is a battle power in New Jersey. I'll fill you in on what's been going on.

9:46pm- St. Patrick's has taken a 14-13 lead into the break after the first quarter.

9:47pm- St. Pat's junior Dexter Strickland just ran down a pass and put home a fast break layup. Samardo Samuels followed that up with a pretty slam dunk.

9:49pm- Gorgeous play by the Gray Bees of St. Benedict's. Tamir Jackson lobbed the ball over the arm of an outstretched St. Pat's defender into the hands of Tristan Thompson, who jammed it home. It was a spectacular alley-oop that brought on applause from teh crowd. Thompson is a sophomore forward, and Jackson is a junior guard.

9:51pm- After a three-pointer from junior Dexter Strickland, the celtics from St. Patrick's have cut the lead down to one, 20-19.

9:52pm- Gray Bees freshman Myck Kabongo just went 2/2 from the line in a one-and-one. This kid is someone to keep an eye on. It's 22-19 with 4:24 to go in the first half.

9:53pm- The Celtics just picked up their tenth team foul, while St. Benedict's has just two. Junior center Greg Echenique hit both free throws to stretch the lead to five.

9:54pm- Beautiful pull-up jumper from about 16-feet by Strickland. It's 24-21 with 3:30 to go.

9:55pm- Senior star Samardo Samuels of St. Benedict's just shown off some great range for a big man, knocking down a 14-foot turnaround jumper on the baseline. The score is 26-21 with 2:44 left in the first half.

10:00pm- Echenique just showed off a pretty low post move. He got the defenders in the air, turned, and dunked it through. That put the Gray Bees up 28-23.

10:02pm- Samardo Samuels is an absolute beast on the glass. He grabbed an offensive board, put it up, missed, and grabbed his own rebound. As he was going out of bounds, he threw it back out to teh top of the key to a teammate to restart the play for the Gray Bees. Samuels should be a monster at Louisville next year.

10:04pm- St. Pat's senior guard Jermel Jenkins just had the ball knocked away as he dribbled downcourt. The ball went out of bounds as the horn sounded to end the half. With 16 minutes of basketball still to go, its 28-26 in favor of St. Benedict's. This game has been absolutely awesome so far.

10:16pm- Here isa few of my first half observations for you. Kevin Boyle, Jr. of St. Pat's has a great handle and is solid passing the rock. Clearly he isn't a starter becasue he is teh coach's son. Boyle can play ball. Quintrell Thomas has been pretty quiet for the Celtics. Dexter Strickland has put his great stroke on display in this prime-time matchup. Meanwhile, for the Gray Bees, Greg Echenique has been outstanding. The junior is grabbing rebounds, scoring, and showing some wonderful moves. As well, the big man can hit his free throws, which is a terrific attribute. Samardo Samuels is also having a solid game. He is scoring despite being double-teamed at times. Tristan Thompson has shown off his athleticism and overall ability. Tamir Jackson has played steady all-around for the Gray Bees. The second half is about to get underway. Again, it's 28-26 in favor of St. Benedict's.

10:19pm- Dexter Strickland just tried dunking over-top of Tristan Thompson and he drew a foul. The junior hit teh first of two free throws, cutting the lead to one.

10:20pm- Echenique tried to get fancy with the ball at the top of the key, but lost his handle. The junior picked it back up, and passed it down low to Thompson who got fouled by Boyle. Thompson drained the second of his two free throws.

10:21pm- Quintrell Thomas went up real high for a jumper that clanged off the rim. The junior followed his shot and grabbed the loose ball after it got past the low-post rebounders. That set up a bucket for Strickland.

10:22pm- The Celtics just turned the ball over, which resulted in a fast-break layup for the Gray Bees, who stretched the lead back to four, 33-29.

10:24pm- Samuels just took two free throws, hitting the first, after being fouled by Paris Bennett. The Gray Bees got the offensive rebound after the second, and Echenique turned it into two more points with a two-handed jam. It's 36-29 with 4:37 left in the third quarter.

10:31pm- Just as it seemed the Gray Bees were starting to run away with teh game, up 40-29, the Celtics began a comeback. Freshman phenom Michael Ghilchrist had a bucket and converted on teh and-one. That was followed up by a St. Benedict's bucket, after which Jermel Jenkins scored, cutting the lead back to eight. Then Kabongo got fouled and agin hit his two free throws. Thus, the score stands at 44-34 St. Benedict's with 1:46 left in the third quarter. This game is far from over.

10:35pm- Strickland almost lost the ball as he drove the lane, but he was able to kick it out. After a missed shot by the Celtics and an offensive board, and Gilchrist got fouled. He hit both shots from the charity stripe, cutting the lead back down to eight.

10:38pm- Senior Mike Machado just fouled Dexter Strickland, who missed the fornt end of a one-and-one.

10:39pm- Samuels just converted on an and-one, pushing the lead to 11. Jermel Jenkins then hit a runner just before the end of the quarter, making it 47-38 heading into the final quarter of play. This is what it's all about . . . game on the line in a big-time rivalry on a big-time stage. It's a chance for the big-time players to step their game and bring home a big-time W. Hey . . . this is big-time high school hoops!!

10:43pm- Samuels just knocked down the first of two free throws. The lead for the Gray Bees is now 10. St. Pat's just turned the ball over off the in-bounds play.

10:45pm-Iin case I didn't make it clear before, this is a big-time stage, and Dexter Strickland just came through with a huge block, which he followed up with a three-pointer, that cut the lead down to seven.

10:46pm- Gilchrist just hit two more free throws, which knocked the lead down to five. This kid is an amzing talent, and he is only a freshman. I cannot wait to see how fantastic he is as an upperclassmen.

10:47pm- The Celtics got the ball off a jump ball, but they were unable to convert on offense. The Gray Bees took advantage of the opportunity, and grabebd a few offensive boards, and drew a foul. Tamir Jackson missed the front end of a one-and-one though.

10:49pm- Myck Kabongo has just added another two made free throws to his already impressive stat sheet. Strickland proceeded to then score a bucket of his own, putting the back down to five again. Samardo Samuels then converted on yet another and-one, which has given the Gray Bees a 53-45 lead.

10:51pm- Strickland is at the line for two shots after being fouled. He hit both shots, which has made it a six point game with just over five minutes to go. The Celtics then forced a Gray Bees turnover after the in-bounds pass.

10:53pm- Paris Bennett turned the ball over, as he was unable to hang onto a pass, and it went out-of-bounds. St. Benedict's could not score, though, and the Celtics got the ball back, and have called a timeout with 4:31 to play in the game, trailing 53-47.

10:56pm- The Celtics just called another timeout, as Gilchrist was trapped on the baseline.

10:59pm- St. Pat's called yet another timeout, and followed it up with a missed three pointer. Despite getting the offensive rebound, they couldn't come up with points. Echenique dunked it home for two points the other way. It's 55-47.

11:00pm- Quintrell Thomas just hit two free throws. With 3:26 to go, it is 55-49. Both teams are in the double bonus.

11:01pm- Jermel Jenkins just hit a big shot for the Celtics, which has cut the Gray Bees' lead down to four.

11:02pm- Kabongo hit two more free throws. On the other end, Gilchrist grabbed an offensive rebound, and put it back up and in. After a big bucket from Samuels, the lead is 59-53. He will be stepping to the line for an and-one after the timeout.

11:04pm- Samuels hit the free throw, and the lead is seven for St. Benedict's.

11:05pm- Paris Bennett lost the handle on teh ball down low, but was able to kick it out. Boyle, Jr. missed a three, but Strickland plucked the offensive rebound out of the air, and was fouled on his shot attempt. Dexter then hit the first of two free throws, narrowing the St. Benedict's lead to six.

11:06pm- Echenique is at the line with 1:39 left, after being fouled. He hit the second of two. The Gray Bees lead 61-54.

11:08pm- Boyle, Jr. missed a shot. At the other end of the court, Samuels was fouled with 1:18 left. He hit both shots, and the lead is nine. Gilchrist fouled out on the play.

11:10pm- Strickland missed a shot, but Echenique was called for an offensive foul after the Gray Bees got the board. That was his fifth foul, so he is done. Dexter Strickland then hit a shot from about 13 feet.

11:12pm- Tristan Thompson hit the first of two at the free throw line. Then, Dexter Strickland hit a three-pointer, which cut the lead to five, 64-59. Tamir Jackson missed both free throws.

11:13pm- Strickland hit a layup and then made the and-one shot. The Gray Bees seemed to have put teh gaem in the bag, up nine with 1:18 left, but the lead is two with 34.4 to go.

11:14pm- Mike Machado hit both free throws for the Gray Bees. St. PAt's was then called for an offensive foul, but stole the ball off the in-bounds pass.

11:15pm- Junior guard Dean Kowalski will be stepping to the line with 24.0 remaining, after a St. Benedict's timeout prior to his shots.

11:16pm- Kowalski is short on his first shot. The score remains 66-62. His second shot is also short. St. Pat's then forced a jump ball with about 17 seconds left, but the Gray Bees had the posession arrow. Kowalski then fouled Kabongo with the clock showing 16.5. That is Kowalski's fifth.

11:18pm- Kabongo hit both. He is automatic at the line. Jermel Jenkins was then short on two three-pointers.

11:19pm- The final score is 68-62 in favor of the Gray Bees.

12:34am- Dexter Strickland was the MVP for the St. Patrick's Celtics, with 29 points, which was tops in the game. For the Gray Bees of St. Benedict's, Samardo Samuels was the MVP, as he had 27 points.

12:37am- I talked to Greg Echenique after the team's big win. I will have that up in as soon as I can.

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