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April 14, 2008

Juice All-stars beat the Neighborhood

For the Good of the Neighborhood (FTGOTN) is a team based in Astoria, NY. On Sunday, they played against the Brooklyn-based Juice All-Stars in the first weeks of the iS8/Nike Tournament. In the end, Juice outlasted FTGOTN to prevail by 16 points as the buzzer sounded.

Sloppy is how this game began as both teams struggled early on. Starter Kyle Church would pick up two quick fouls which was significant as FTGOTN was under manned with a seven man roster.

Early on Quinnipiac-bound James Johnson was strong to the hole for the Juice All-stars as was Justin Greene of Lincoln H.S.

Half way through the first, however, the score was tied as Ralph Graham and Noel Ulmer provided offensive sparks for FTGOTN.

Juice Point guard Vincent Council, while effective running the point, struggled on offensive buckets while David Zaitz, who plays for Scarsdale H.S., put down key baskets to knot the score at 13 points at the end of one quarter.

Johnson would continue to lead the offensive effort for Juice in the second quarter and decision making lapses by FTGOTN point guard Curtis White would result in Juice pulling out to an 8 point lead early on.

Devin Portis would cut the Juice lead down to 3 off back-to-back jumpers followed by a hard move to the hole.

Will Fonseca tied the game from the line for FTGOTN but Greene would quickly vaporize that with a put back augmented by a short jumper from Chaz Williams and a lay-up by Dave Cooley of Thomas Jefferson.

Down by only six to start the second half, FTGOTN should have taken advantage of the fact that one of Juices key starters, junior phenom, Lance Stephenson was on plane returning from a game in Cali where he was playing with Renardo Sidney.

Even after two missed dunks by Justin Greene and some unorganized play by other Juice players, Coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton's team actually manage to increase their lead to 16 points as Joel Wright and Johnson stepped up strong.

Fatigue became a factor for FTGOTN, even though the Juice All-stars had only six players, as the lead grew to 20 points by the end of the third quarter.

Kyle Church, a big body for FTGOTN, showed exceptional quickness and explosiveness to the hole. Efforts that were unfortunately negated by his offensive turnovers.

Buckets by Zaitz and Graham would bring FTGOTN to within 12 points but the clock would not be their friend as the Juice All-stars would go on to win 78-62.

Justin Greene was the top scorer with 21 points while David Zaites would be the offensive leader for FTGOTN with 18 points.

Go to the Quick Links section of NYCHoops.net for iS8/Nike Teams, Schedules and Standings.

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