ARDSLEY, NY: Day two of the Northeast Regional in Ardsley, New York brought dramatic finishes, triumphant victories, and a select few teams that are now just a couple games away from winning a trip to Orlando for the Jr. NBA World Championship.
We would be remised if day two’s recap didn’t start off with the fantastic finish that took place in the boys championship bracket between New York Ballers and Long Island Lightning. After three dominating quarters from the Lightning, the fourth quarter wrote a script different from the first three. The Ballers came out bringing energy, defensive tenacity, and slowly climbed back into the game. With under a minute to go, a tie ball game, the Lightning had possession looking to score the go-ahead bucket. Instead, they turned the ball over, and out on the break went the Ballers. Jack Bleier of the Ballers threw a missile pass cross-court to find teammate Myles Blackwood for the layup to go up two with just seconds remaining. A lofty, full-court heave pass by the Lightning was intercepted, putting the final stamp on the dramatic New York Ballers victory, 56-54.
Elsewhere in the boys championship bracket, 6th Boro Hoops grinded out a hard-fought victory over an impressive New Jersey Bulldogs team, who late into the game got in their own way with unfortunate foul trouble. Rounding out the Boys Championship bracket, were wins by the Riverside Hawks and the Seaford Heat.
On the girls side of the championship bracket, there wasn’t the closing-moments drama that came on the boys side, but impressive play all day long. New Heights NYC solid all game long, and upended the Bay State Jags 59-51. The Lady Rivals Futures team took care of business against Mass Attack, while the Boston Showstoppers finished off Evolution Elite. Finally, it was the Empire State Basketball Club sealing the deal against the Millbank Lady Flyers.
The Northeast Regional is headed to Championship Sunday, with a very impressive crop of teams on both the boys and girls sides of the bracket. Four boys teams and four girls teams all are waking up tomorrow with one goal on their mind: win a trip to Orlando to compete at the Jr. NBA World Championship.