We return back to the main bracket of the City of Palms Classic as Westminster’s reward for beating local team Mariner is a date with Long Island Lutheran out of the EYBL Scholastic. “Lu Hi” was rated #4 in the pre-season by Ball is Life. They are led by the dynamic V.J. Edgecomb, a 6’5 senior that did not sign early but has offers from the “blue blood” programs and more. This should be a real challenge for the Lions of Westminster.
LuHi struck first with a transition basket by Nigel James. Alex Constanza countered with a two after a cut to the basket for Westminster. Tajai Jones scored inside for LuHi but then Westminster reeled off five successive points, four by Dwayne Wimbley, to lead 7-4. A three from LuHi’s Kayden Mingo tied the game and then Lutheran took the lead with a driving bucket by Jones. A three from Alex Lloyd of Westminster and a bucket inside by Constanza gave the Lions a 12-9 lead with 3:15 left in the opening period. LuHi countered with a two to get to within a point but five straight points by Westminster pushed their lead to 16-11 at the two-minute mark. An Edgecombe put back for LuHi stopped the bleeding but a mid-range jumper from Lloyd and a mid-range jumper from Constanza gave Westminster a 21-13 lead with forty-five seconds left in the period. Edgecomb closed out the quarter for LuHi with a personal 4-0 run. After one period of play, Westminster led 21-17.
A 7-2 run early in the second extended Westminster’s lead to nine at 28-19. LuHi responded with an 11-2 run, highlighted by a slam from Ben Michaels and a three from Alier Maluk to tie the game at 30-30 with 3:33 to play. The teams traded baskets and leads for a bit and with seventeen seconds left, Constanza tied the game at 34-34 with two free throws. LuHi got a break as Westminster was called for a foul with a half-second left on the clock. Kiyan Anthony hit one of two free throws to give LuHi a 35-34 lead at the break.
LuHi opened the third period with a bucket inside from Jones and a dunk in transition by Edgecombe to take a 39-34 lead less than a minute in. Lloyd of Westminster hit a three to draw the Lions to within two, but a 7-0 run, highlighted by a three from Edgecomb put LuHi up nine, 46-37, with 5:34 left in the third. Wimbley hit a three for Westminster and after a LuHi bucket in transition, Constanza hit two free throws to make the score 48-42 in favor of LuHi with just over four minutes to play. That’s when LuHi asserted its dominance, finishing the third quarter with a 15-2 run, highlighted by a three and later a dunk rom Anthony, to go up 63-42.
There wasn’t much Westminster could do to get the margin below twenty in the final period. LuHi eventually pulled even further away, winning by the score of 83-59.
LuHi was led by Edgecomb with 20 points. Mingo tossed in 17 points, Anthony had 12 points and Jones finished with 10 points.
For Westminster, Constanza led all scorers with 23 points. Wimbley added 17 points and Lloyd finished with 16 points.