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October 23, 2011BROOKLYN, NY - All-Star games usually are lacking in suspense, strategy, and most of all, defense.
The Sharette Dixon Memorial Classic displayed all of those traits as the New York team got in front of the New Jersey squad early in the third quarter and romped their way to a thirty point victory.
The game was close in the first half, with New York holding a slim 24-23 lead after the first 10 minutes. The game was played in 5 minute sections, where one set of players would play, and after 5 minutes a whole new set replaced them. This is standard in all-star games because it helps equalize the minutes played of all the kids on the roster. New York built up a 10 point lead at halftime, but really broke it open in the third with interior defense and rebounding. Before you knew it, a minor deficit for New Jersey turned into an insurmountable one. The fourth quarter was basically a fast break drill as New York eventually won 131-101.
One thing that was showcased in the game was skill. The talent in the gym was bursting at the seams as most of the best players in the area showed their stuff on the court. Connecticut signee Omar Calhoun started the game with a dunk off the tip, and followed that with a three from the left wing.
Calhoun didn't really slow down when he was on the court, taking advantage of the "defense" and scoring at will. It was pretty easy for Calhoun because that's what he's known for, instant offense, both inside and outside the arch. He was named the game's MVP and finished with a game high 23 points.
This was a game were a lot of kids put points on the boards, so it's hard to say who played the best. Actually, the truth is everybody played well, but some players had more shine than others. Brian Bernardi was one of those who shined, scoring 20 points for New York and showing off his sweet shot from three point range. Bernardi, who is going to SMU, knocked down 4 from deep during the game.
Jermaine Lawrence scored a lot of his points in the second half, mostly off of put-back dunks and follow-ups. During one of his five minute stints, he was all over the boards, grabbing missed shots and going up strong for easy buckets. Lawrence is still relatively raw but will be one of the best juniors in the city. He just has a knack for being around the ball. Lawrence finished with 16 points.
New Jersey did have one bright spot, and that was Kyle Anderson. He showed off why he is considered one of the best players in the country when during one span in the third, he effortlessly knocked down two threes and had a terrific cross over move that finished with a circus lay-up. Anderson finished with a team high 21 points for New Jersey.