IS8 Basketball -- is located at 108 167th St. Jamaica, Queens just off Merrick Blvd. on 167 St. and 108th Ave
Mon 5-9-05 Juice (B) vs. Above & Beyond @ 6:30 and Bingos All Stars vs Playaz Sophs @ 8:00. Tues. 5-10-05 N.Y. Elite vs. Metro Hawks @ 6:00 and Suffolk County vs. LPAC or LI Lightning @ 8:00. Wed. 5-11-05 Student Athlete Broncos vs. Elmcor at 6:30 PM and Real Scout vs Lamar Odom at 8:00 PM. Thurs 5-12-05 Aneesas Sports vs Shooting Stars at 6:00 and Panthers B vs. Holy Cross @ 8:00.
Second round -- Friday Gauchos play Juice B, Above & Beyond winner at 6:00 and Panthers A play Bingo, Playaz Sophs. winner at 8:00. Saturday Team Odom plays LPAC, Suffolk County winner at 9:30, Playaz Seniors play NY Elite, Metro Hawks winner at 11:00, Playaz Juniors play Broncos, Elmcor winner at 12:30, Starrett City plays Lamar Odom, Real Scout winner @ 2:00, Mount Vernon plays the Aneesa Sports, Shooting Stars winner at 3:30 and the Phili Ballers play the Panthers, Holy Cross winner at 5:00.
Quarterfinals --The Sunday 5/15, game times are 11:00 for the Gauchos, Panthers’ bracket, 12:30 for the Playaz Seniors, Team Odom bracket, 2:00 for the Playaz Juniors, Starrett City grouping and 3:30 for the Mount Vernon, Phili Ballers bracket.
The semis are at 12:00 and 1:30 on Saturday the 21st with the championship the next day, Sunday at noon.
- Credit the schedule to BallersAllStars
IS8 Fall Championship Weekend October, 2004, by Patrick Stevens
The IS8 hoops Fall season belonged to UTEP’s star freshman next season in Stefon Jackson, but the chip ultimately ended up in the hands of Derrick Mercer and the elder of the two Playaz Clubs (N.J.).
QUEENS, N.Y. – If there’s a star right now in the NBA or the college ranks and he’s from the New York area, the chances are that he played at IS8.
“We’ve had so many great players play here…Lamar Odom, Stephon Marbury, Elton Brand and Ron Artest come to mind,” says Pete Edwards, IS8 coordinator of 20 years.
And now, even if a young player isn’t from New York, Edwards says that if they are good enough, then you’ll likely see them here too.
“Anyone that can get here will get here,” Edwards said.
This was certainly the case in the fall season championship as Edwards made mention on the microphone from courtside that the Playaz Club-Philly USA Ballers game was the first final in some time without a New York team’s presence.
With the bleachers full, the foldable chairs brought from home out on the baselines, and standing room limited, the hardware was given out to the Paterson, N.J. based Playaz Club, who took home the life-sized trophies for winning the IS8 Fall Championship.
Championship Game MVP Derrick Mercer, headed to American University next year, maintained the Playaz lead down the stretch as he did in the previous rounds, this time overcoming Philly, 88-73.
The Playaz “Black” club had a balanced attack that saw five players in double figures. Mercer finished with 18 points as did future North Carolina State forward Brandon Costner, Marquise Johnson scored 15 points, Notre Dame recruit Ryan Ayers had 14 points and Barney Anderson added 12 points.
They also withstood UTEP recruit Stefon Jackson’s put-it-on-my-shoulders performance of 34 points on 15-29 from the field and only 2-3 from the free throw line. Jackson got hot early as he shot 11-18 in the first half and had his mid-range game on full display as Philly went into the half up 47-42.
The Playaz then came out the break with Mercer scoring two lay-ups in transition and Ayers converting a three-point play, taking the lead, 51-49.
The fourth quarter began with the Playaz ahead 62-57, and they kept it going as Costner stepped out to knock down a triple, extending the lead to 73-61.
Jackson and Philly big man Maurice Thomas would soon foul out and the Playaz kept rolling en route to the championship.
The day before at semi-final Saturday, though, it looked as if there could have been an all-Playaz finals.
The younger Playaz squad, Playaz “Gold,” was led by junior teammates at Episcopal Academy (PA) Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson. They were in position to possibly make that happen, but Jackson, Thomas and Philly edged them out.
Jackson and Ellington went at with the younger shooting-threat scoring 28 to Jackson’s 26. However, the game ended in Jackson and his team’s favor behind big performances from Thomas and Jackson’s cousin, junior swingman Dionte Christmas. Thomas had all of his 19 points in the second half and Christmas finished with 20 of his own.
The tide seemed to swing toward the Playaz after Henderson threw down one of his serious dunks that he is becoming known for, giving the Playaz its first lead of the game before the end of the third quarter. But with the Playaz up 81-80 in the fourth quarter, Philly regained momentum when they grabbed four offensive rebounds on one possession and took the lead as Jackson was fouled on the last board, then going to the line to hit both free throws.
This game between the Playaz and Philly had what many considered IS8 Player of the Year implications in it, and the deciding factor seemed to be whether Jackson or Ellington’s team advanced, with the winning team’s top gun likely to earn the award.
As it came to be, Jackson advanced, but the Playaz Club held it down and didn’t let the eventual Player of the Year leave with the individual award, a big game in the final, and the championship.
The trophy-winning Playaz advanced to the finals by defeating the Gauchos in the semis. Mercer’s free throws down the stretch were ever important in this one as the late parts of his 16-point game made the difference between the Gauchos nearly overcoming what once was a 20-point deficit or the Playaz moving on to the title game.
2004 IS8 Championship Game MVP: G Derrick Mercer (Playaz – St. Anthony’s [NJ] – American)
IS8 Sportsmanship Award and Fall Season MVP: G Stefon Jackson (Philly USA Ballers – Lutheran Christian Academy [PA] – UTEP)
IS8 First Team Fall
F Antonio Pena (Gauchos – St. Thomas More [CT] - Junior)
G Vic Morris (JYO – Cardozo [NY] - Senior - Hofstra)
G Danny Green (St. Mary’s [NY] – Senior - North Carolina)
G Wayne Ellington (Playaz – Episcopal Academy [PA] - Junior)
F/C Andray Blatche (Shooting Stars – South Kent [CT] – Prep/5th year - Intends to go pro)
IS8 Second Team Fall
G/F Ryan Ayers (Playaz – Germantown Academy [PA] – Senior - Notre Dame)
F Gerald Henderson (Playaz – Episcopal Academy [PA] - Junior)
F Jonathan Mitchell (Mount Vernon [NY] - Junior)
G Eugene Harvey (Rocksteady – St. Benedict’s [NJ] - Junior)
G Levance Fields (Starrett City – Xaverian [NY] – Senior - Pittsburgh)
IS8 Third Team Fall
G Doug Wiggins (Fairfield – East Hartford [CT] - Junior)
F Chris Bethel (Ravens – St. Raymond [NY] – Senior - Fordham)
G/F Dionte Christmas (Philly USA Ballers – Lutheran Christian Academy [PA] - Junior)
F Marvin Roberts (Holy Cross – Lutheran Christian Academy [PA] - Sophomore)
F Derrick Caracter (Panthers – St. Patrick’s [NJ] - Junior)
-Dionte Christmas, Philly: did the dirty-work inside and drew respect from deep. An emotional, confident player.
-Edgar Sosa, Gauchos: attack-mode, lean point guard from Rice H.S., class of ’06.
QUEENS, N.Y. - I.S.8 isn’t just a middle school in South Jamaica, it’s part of the essence. No matter how far the game has come with all the TV, invitational camps, All-American games and online rankings, the fact is when you pack a tight gym, baseline to baseline, bleacher-to-bleacher, with the best of New York City and the surrounding areas’ high school players, the pride comes out regardless.
Nobody is trying to get worked out by their opponent in the playoffs of the IS8 Tip-Off Classic. If someone does somebody up, you’re going to hear about it; maybe not as much as you would at ABCD or Nike Camp or in the high school state playoffs, but word will travel where it matters most – the heart of the city.
“Bring Your Game and Not Your Name” is the league’s motto, and this past weekend during IS8 AAU basketball Quarterfinal Playoff action, players like the Philly USA Ballers’ Stefan Jackson and Wayne Ellington of the Playaz brought both their growing names and their games.
The semi-finals are set for this Saturday at 12 and 1:30 p.m. as Playaz Black takes on the Gauchos and Ellington and Playaz Red will meet Jackson and Philly. The fall season championship is scheduled for Sunday at noon.
Playaz send Panthers home in day’s most anticipated
Playaz Red – 89
Panthers – 74
Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson and Corey Stokes all did serious work on the perimeter as the Playaz hit six of its first eight three-pointers to open an exciting first half and eventually lead them past the Panthers.
Henderson took to the cup hard off the opening tip with a two-handed dunk, immediately adding to the high energy that this match-up already had.
The Panthers’ Derrick Caracter was active early as he would knock down two consecutive jump hooks from each of the low blocks, catch a dunk after spinning off his man in the post, and find Kaheem Seawright out of a double team for a lay-up, all of which kept the Panthers close out the gate.
That was until Ellington, who finished with 20 points, got the gym to its loudest by hitting his first three shots, two from behind the arc, and blocking a Seawright shot inside. Henderson, Stokes, and Luis Guzman all raised up from deep for triples here, and Ellington came back hard to the hoop for two and buried yet another trey, giving the Playaz a 31-16 edge at the end of the first period.
Things looked to get better for the Playaz at the start of the second quarter when Caracter picked up his third foul around the seven-minute mark. But the Panthers would chip away as James Bryant and Seawright helped cut the lead in half, with Bryant pulling up for three in transition and Seawright getting out in the open-court.
The Playaz were still up 46-35 at the half though, and Ellington came out the break the same way he opened up, killing his fourth three-pointer of the game and pulling up on the wing in transition for a jumper.
Caracter wouldn’t foul out, but Henderson and Stokes answered any attempts at another Panthers run as they paced the Playaz through the rest of the half onto the semi-finals with the 89-74 win.
Henderson scored 23 for the Playaz. Seawright had a game-high 24 points for the Panthers and Caracter finished with 13.
Juice’s hot second half not enough to overcome Philly, Jackson
Philly USA Ballers – 84
Juice All-Stars – 75
That’s what IS8 Coordinator Pete Edwards said on the microphone all game as Jackson took it off the dribble for dunks and jumpers en route to his game-high 24 points.
Philly went into the half up 39-20 after Juice struggled to knock down its open looks, but as they looked to rebound in the second half, Jackson kept up his attack that he started in the first half and forced Juice to have to answer him.
Juice worked on getting back in the game by coming out of the half in a full court press and wound up going on a 10-0 run.
Jackson then created two baseline jumpers for himself as Juice’s Corey Fisher had back-to-back baskets of his own. Jamel Jackson hit a three from the corner to make it 45-37, but Stefan Jackson answered again with two drives to the hoop that upped the lead back to 12 for Philly.
Juice wouldn’t give up, however, as Derrick Echols had several second effort attempts inside and Kevin White penetrated aggressively for scores. Fisher then scored on a one-on-two fast break and brought Juice within two, 77-75, but Philly’s Mike Scott sealed the deal as he hit three of four free throws in the final minute.
Philly was five of six from the line in the final minute and Kilid Hartwell had a key block on Echols to seal it.
Maurice Thomas had 20 points for Philly and Juice was led by Fisher’s 19, all in the second half, and got 14 from Jackson, 13 from Echols and 11 from White.
Gauchos break through in fourth
Gauchos - 84
Mount Vernon – 72
The IS8 spring champion Mount Vernon was without its top big man Jonathan Mitchell, who was out with an ankle injury.
Mount Vernon is also a different team from the spring. Keith Benjamin and Dexter Gray are now at Pittsburgh and St. John’s.
But with the core unit back, they managed to play a tough Gauchos team to a mere standstill until the ‘Choz broke ground in the fourth quarter.
Mount Vernon was up 14-13 after the first, 34-33 at the half, and 53-51 before the fourth.
The Gauchos came alive, though, behind Antonio Pena’s 27 points and ability to play through foul trouble. Pena picked up his fourth foul before halftime, but still played a majority of the second half.
George Barrows played well in the early going for Mount Vernon, particularly when he hit the boards after two missed jumper’s by Chris Lowe. Lowe then found Barrows the next time down the floor and Barrows got himself to the line and also drew a foul on Pena at the same time.
Terrell McKenzie had 17 points and Edgar Sosa had 15 points in the win for the Gauchos.
Lowe finished with 15, Mike Coburn had 14 points and Barrows went for 12 in the Mount Vernon loss.
Playaz maintain lead, hold off Rocksteady, Harvey
Playaz Black – 99
Rocksteady – 91
After being up and around 10 points for most of the second half, the Playaz held off Rocksteady’s inching away in the closing minutes to eventually move on to the semi-finals next weekend.
Eugene Harvey, who finished with a game-high 30 points, hit two free throws with 40 seconds remaining to bring Rocksteady within six, the closest they had been since halftime.
However, Playaz point guard Derrick Mercer eventually knocked down two of his own from the line, making it a three-possession game and leading the Playaz to the eight point victory. Mercer finished with 15 points.
What was a 35-33 game soon became a 47-35 halftime edge following a combination of Ryan Ayers’ and Brandon Costner’s inside-out production. Their work was instrumental in developing the 10-point margin that the Playaz seemingly kept for the remainder of the game.
Ayers finished with a team-high 21 points and Costner dropped 15 in the win.
Malcolm Grant had 24 points behind Harvey’s 30 for Rocksteady.
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