This report was provided by www.hoopsreport.com
By: Nathan McCauley
Nashville, TN-Athletes First, led by Xavier Henry and Kyle Hardrick, squeezed out a one point victory over the New York Gauchos to win the 2008 Bobby Hussey- Nike Memorial Day Classic.
17U Championship Game Recap
Kyle Hardrick scored 22 points and Xavier Henry added 17 as Athletes First beat the New York Gauchos, 71-70, to take home the championship trophy in 17U division.
Athletes First jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game behind a pair of 3-pointers from Xavier Henry and Daniel Orton and a dunk by Terrence Boyd, but in what would become the story of the game, the New York Gauchos fought back with a 13-4 run to take a one point lead late in the opening quarter.
The teams continued to trade baskets before Athletes First forward Kyle Hardrick, an Oklahoma recruit, took the game over. He scored eight straight points during one span and 16 total in the second quarter and just like that Athletes First had an 18 point lead at 37-19.
Luckily for the New York Gauchos, they had a secret weapon of their own in (rising) senior guard Sean Johnson, who got hot and scored the final 10 points of the half for his team to cut the Athletes First lead to 12 (41-29) at halftime.
Johnson stayed hot and scored a quick seven points to start the second half and by the start of the fourth quarter the he had helped the Gauchos cut the lead to single digits.
The Gauchos continued to fight back and with just a couple of minutes left in the game, Durand Scott made two straight baskets to make it a one possession game at 67-64.
But Terrence Boyd and Kyle Hardrick scored on back-to-back possessions to put Athletes First back up by seven with less than a minute to go.
That’s when things got real interesting.
With 50 seconds left, Gauchos guard Russell Smith banked in a 3-pointer to get his team to within four points at 71-67.
After Athletes First came up empty on their possession, Durand Scott rebounded a teammate’s missed shot and got fouled as he finished an acrobatic shot in the lane with 17 seconds on the clock. He sunk his free-throw to make it a one point game (71-70).
On the ensuing inbounds play, Terrence Boyd got called with an offensive foul which gave the ball back to the Gauchos with 15 seconds left on the clock and a chance to win the game.
But the Gauchos had trouble finding the look they wanted. With one second left on the clock, the ball finally made it into the hands of Doron Lamb who calmly sank a 15 foot jumper, but the refs ruled that the ball released his hands after the buzzer had sounded and waived off the shot.
The final score was Athletes First 71, New York Gauchos 70.
Kyle Hardrick led the winners with 22 points, while Xavier Henry finished with 17 and Terrence Boyd and Daniel Orton combined for 27.
Sean Johnson led all scorers with 24 points while Durand Scott added 17 for the Gauchos. More