This year in particular, the boys and girls basketball talent level in New York City in both the public and Catholic schools was off the charts.
On March 29 at the Nat Holman Gymnasium of City College in Manhattan, all that talent was in the same place at the same time at the annual N.Y.C. Mayor’s Cup games.
Student-athletes from the five boroughs displayed their hoops talents as a way to close out their high school basketball careers. Many of the players will take their talents to the college level, but these games provided one last chance to experience all the excitement involved with basketball in the Big Apple.
“It’s nice to know my hard work has paid off,” said Michael Fields, senior point guard and team captain from St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows. “I play against these guys all the time. It’s going to be fun to play with them to try to beat the public schools.”
“It felt like I was playing A.A.U. (Amateur Athletic Union) all over again because most of the girls that were on that team, I’ve played with them before,” said Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, senior guard Emily Hiltunen.
“It’s a blessing,” said Altine King, St. Edmund Prep, Sheepshead Bay, senior guard and co-captain. “It’s not just for me. It’s for my school, it’s for my family and it’s for my coach.”
With the title of “Best in the City” on the line, it was the CHSAA All-Stars that earned a sweep over the Public School Athletic League (PSAL).
Girls Win Overtime Thriller
In a back-and-forth battle, the game between the girls CHSAA and PSAL All-Stars was tied at 73 at the end of regulation. It took some time for the CHSAA girls to get in sync, but they took off at just the right time, earning an 85-80 victory over the PSAL in overtime.
“In the beginning, we didn’t know who we were playing with,” said Christina Heyer, senior guard from Bishop Kearney, who will play next fall at Brooklyn College, Midwood. “But then we got into the flow of it and worked together, and we came out with the win.”
In the overtime period, the CHSAA girls relied on a few late buckets by Christ the King R.H.S., Middle Village, senior forward Kollyns Scarbrough.
“I was just trying to make sure I got to the basket,” said Scarbrough, the game’s M.V.P. “I kind of just threw it up there, and luck had it that it went in.”
Scarbrough scored 12 of her 17 pts. in the fourth quarter and overtime. She will be playing next fall at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.
Boys Complete Sweep
While the girls game was close the whole way, the CHSAA boys put their game against the PSAL away in the second quarter en route to a 108-86 final.
The CHSAA outscored the PSAL 30-16 in the second frame, relying on a few high-flying dunks by Nazareth R.H.S., East Flatbush, senior forward Samson Usilo, who will be heading to Manhattan College, the Bronx, next fall.
The CHSAA kept its foot on the gas pedal with a 34-pt. outburst in the third quarter.
Adding to an already packed senior-year resume, Bishop Loughlin M.H.S., Fort Greene, senior guard Khadeen Carrington earned M.V.P. honors with a game-high 18 pts. He will play at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J., next fall.
Archbishop Molloy H.S., Briarwood, senior forward Jayson Cethoute tallied 17 pts., while his Stanner teammate C.J. Davis, who will play in college at Columbia University, Manhattan, tallied 13 pts.
Based on the outcome of this year’s Mayor’s Cup games, it’s safe to say that the CHSAA All-Stars are the “Best in the City.”