Saturday was a whole different story. While the Tournament of Champions was supposed to take place at Goat Park, it got rained out. Take two, and we’re back at the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx. The gym has a great feel to it, and it was interesting to see some of the playground’s biggest stars tearing it up on the hardwood instead of the asphalt.
Game 1: Tri-State (Dancy Power) vs. Dyckman (Bingo’s All-Stars)
In this game you had a ton of talent. For Tri-State you had Kenny Satterfield, Adris “2 Hard 2 Guard” DeLeon, “T2,” B.J. “The Beast” McFarlane and “Flex,” while Dyckman featured Andre Barrett, Antwan “Antifreeze” Dobie, Gary Erving, Mike Glover and his brother Anthony Glover. Seeing former NBA guys like Satterfield and Barrett battle it out was great, but it was the playground legends like “T2” and Mike Glover that kept you on the edge of your seat. While Tri-State led 43-36 at halftime, “Antifreeze” took over in the second half as he hoped to push Dyckman to victory. Despite hitting a deep bank three to make it 82-79 with 13.5 seconds left, it was too little too late. Final: Tri-State wins, 83-79.
– Tri-State: “Flex” (25 points), “2 Hard 2 Guard” (19 points), Satterfield (17 points) and “T2” (16 points)
– Dyckman: A. Glover (20 points), M. Glover (19 points), “Antifreeze” (19 points), Erving (12 points)
Note: Dyckman was supposed to have Lamont “MoMo” Jones and Kemba “EZ Pass” Walker playing with them, but Jones had to leave for school at Arizona and Walker couldn’t play because it wasn’t an NCAA-sanctioned event.
Game 2: Pro-City (NIKE 1) vs. West 4th (X-Men)
In the second game, you had a ton of talent as well. For Pro-City you had Junie “Mr. Excitement” Sanders, Charles Jones, John “Mookie” Thomas and Kavon Lytch, while West 4th featured Smush Parker, Sean Dantzler, Tommie “Guns” Eddie, Miguel “Miles High” Millien, Chris Wehye and Mike “The Icon” Campbell. As the defending champs of TOC, you could see from the jump that the X-Men didn’t want to lose… and they didn’t. Smush wasn’t in the same shape as when he was starting for the Lakers, but the dude showed everyone in the gym what a difference League skills are. Final: West 4th wins, 89-56.
– Pro-City: Lytch (14 points), “Mookie” (10 points), “Mr. Excitement” (9 points)
– West 4th: “Miles High” (19 points), “Guns” (15 points), Parker (14 points), Wehye (12 points)
Game 3: High School Showcase
After winning MVP honors two nights previously, Doron Lamb was back in the house and looking to pick up where he left off. But perhaps playing on the same team as Sidiki Johnson was just a little too much! Together with Fuquan Edwin, the red team jumped out to a 73-51 halftime lead. But in the second half, Russell “Steal The Show” Smith took over leading the charge back, completing an and-one to put the black team in front 105-104. But putting his team on his back like he did all game, Johnson took the ball into the post, making the game-winning bucket to win by one. Final: Red team wins, 111-109.
– Red team: Johnson (36 points), Edwin (35 points)
– Black team: Smith (35 points)
Game 4: Tri-State (Dancy Power) vs. West 4th (X-Men)
When the finals tipped off, you knew it could go either way. Either we’d be seeing repeat champs in X-Men, or we’d see a new tournament champion for the third time in three years. The game throughout the first quarter was back-and-forth until Tri-State pulled away towards the end to finish the quarter with a 27-18 lead. In the second, Smush decided it was time to do some work. While he was matched up against Satterfield, the two went at each other’s throats. At one point, Sat shook Smush that got the crowd hyped but couldn’t finish. “It’s like ice skating in August,” said AG a.k.a. “The Voice of Harlem.” By halftime Tri-State’s lead was cut down to 41-36.
In the second half, “2 Hard 2 Guard” decided to show why he was awarded Nike’s NYC Player of the Summer before the game with a lay-up in traffic and nice pull-up jumper back-to-back. But after a nice little run by the X-Men, punctuated by a bucket by Parker, Tri-State’s lead was only 64-60 after three. In the fourth, it came down to “T2”. Battling with the bigs of West 4th, T2 was hitting jumpers, post moves and lay-ups at will. After a Smush technical for a no-call and a jumper to seal the deal with 50 seconds left, it was all over. Final: Tri-State wins, 87-74.
– Tri-State: “T2” (27 points), “2 Hard 2 Guard” (18 points), Satterfield (13 points), “Flex” (12 points), “The Beast” (10 points)
– West 4th: Parker (24 points), “The Icon” (13 points), Wehye (10 points)