09 Feb 2021

Saturday at the SIAA Cross-Over

We took in the Saturday edition of the final SIAA Cross-Over event at DME in Daytona.  It was a great opportunity to see some high-level competition.  While there were one or two teams we would have liked to have seen, we still saw a great deal of talent.

Game One: Orlando West Oaks vs. Jacksonville Potter’s House

We were looking forward to seeing Potter’s House 6’8 junior Isaiah Hernandez but unbeknownst to us he suffered a knee injury early in the season.  Still, Potter’s House has other talent we were more than happy to get a look at while West Oaks is always loaded.  On paper, West Oaks should have little issue but the game isn’t played on paper.

SIAA games are played with 18-minute halves and a 30-second shot clock.  Potter’s played West Oaks evenly for the first eight minutes and trailed by just two at 23-21.  At that point, West Oaks got on a roll as they outscored Potter’s House 15-5 to build a double-digit advantage, 38-26, with six minutes left in the first half.  Potter’s House didn’t fold and by half-time was back within reach at 46-38.

Potter’s House took control early in the second half.  They tied the game with a 14-6 run that lasted the first five minutes of the half.  Potter’s House was able to stay on top for much of the remaining game time.  Potter’s House led 63-62 with six minutes left, so there was still plenty of time for West Oaks to make a move.  That’s what they did and with 1:30 left, West Oaks had a 69-66 lead.  That was still plenty of time for Potter’s House.  However, 6’9 sophomore Matthew Bewley sneaked his way inside to slam home an offensive rebound to make it a two possession game with one minute to play.  Potter’s House responded quickly with bucket inside but Bewley dropped in a three-pointer with forty seconds remaining to make it a six-point lead.  Potter’s House was unable to reply and West Oaks headed back home to Orlando with a 74-68 win.

West Oaks was led by Wesley Cardet with 16 points while Justin Neely tallied 13 points, Jahsean Corbett tossed in 12 points and Bewley finished with 11 points.

For Potter’s House, Terron Toney led all scorers with 24 points while Christopher Richardson had 20 points and Taye Donald finished with 17 points.

Game Two: Miami Schoolhouse Prep vs. Orlando Downey Christian

Schoolhouse Prep moved into the SIAA this year while Downey has been a member for the last several seasons.  Both teams have been solid to this point, located in the middle of the pack of the SIAA standings.

This game didn’t have the fire- or star-power of the previous contest.  Consequently, it got off to a slow start and the score was just 5-5 after the first four minutes of play.  Downey found its groove first and built a 24-17 lead with five minutes left in the period.  Schoolhouse responded and tied the score at 24-24 with three minutes remaining until the break.  Downey was able to squelch the Schoolhouse run and finished the half with a 12-5 run of their own to make the score 36-29.

In the second half, Downey was able to maintain control throughout.  Schoolhouse would get within two possessions several time throughout the course of the final nine minutes but each time Downey had an answer.  Eventually, Downey would win by nine, 61-50.

Andres Milan led Downey with 11 points as did Jonathan Suarez.  For Schoolhouse, Gayce Smith led all scorers with 16 points while Julien Lorca added 12 points.

Game Three: Miami Calusa Prep vs. Kissimmee Central Pointe Christian

This was arguably the “feature” game of the day.  Calusa Prep has some exciting players, none more so that 5’11 senior Arturo Dean, a transfer from South Miami.  Central Pointe is at the top of the SIAA leader board and should be getting more consideration than it is for national ranking recognition.  The White Tigers are led by 6’6 senior Ramses Melendez, one of the top unsigned seniors in the country.

Central Pointe got on top early and stayed there.  For most of the first half, Calusa was within one to two possessions of tying or taking a lead.  With 5:30 left in the half, Central Pointe got on a roll.  They outscored Calusa 12-5, two of those points coming on a monster one-handed, tomahawk jam from Melendez, to make the score 35-22 at halftime.

Central Pointe continued to hold off Calusa Prep much of the second half.  With 3:30 left to play, Calusa had reduced a double-digit deficit and looked like it might make things interesting as the score was 60-53.  Central Pointe was able to keep Calusa from getting any closer and the final was 67-60 in favor of Central Pointe.

David Hermes of Central Point led his team in scoring with 18 points.  Melendez tossed in 16 points while Nolan Wells tallied 13 points.

Dean led Calusa with 23 points while Tyreke Francois and Aubi Gatereses each scored 10 points.

Game Four: Oldsmar Christian Prep vs. Gainesville The Rock School

If there are programs in the SIAA that can be considered “blue bloods”, these two programs (along with West Oaks) fall into that category.  Founding members of the SIAA, Oldsmar and The Rock have competed fairly evenly over the years.  We expected this game to be no different.

In a bit of a surprise, Oldsmar got out to a 13-3 lead after the first four minutes of play.  The Rock settled down and got to within two, 15-13, in the next four minutes.  Oldsmar responded, jumping back in from by nine, 23-14, at the five-minute mark.  This time, Oldsmar kept The Rock from getting much closer.  At the break, Oldsmar led 35-29.

Oldsmar scored the first six points of the second half, upping their lead to 43-29.  From there, The Rock slowly but methodically whittled down the lead.  A 14-6 run over the next five minutes brought The Rock to within six at 49-43 with 9:30 left in the game.  Fast forward ahead to the tw- minute mark and it was a two-point game in favor of Oldsmar, 62-60.  The Rock scored the next four points to take a 64-62 lead with just forty-three seconds to play.  Bryce Johnson of Oldsmar tied the game on a pair of free throws with twenty-two seconds left.  The Rock was unable to get a good look before regulation and we headed into overtime tied at 64-64.

The overtime period belonged to The Rock.  They outscored Oldsmar 10-2 to roll home with a 74-66 win.

The Rock was led by James Johns with 20 points while Dallas Jones finished with 18 points, Kyle Duke tallied 13 points and Atriel Washington tossed in 10 points.

For Oldsmar, Johnson led all scorers with 22 points while Ronnie Johnson added 11 points.


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