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April 24, 2008On Wednesday it would be the battle of the undefeated in the East division of the iS8/Nike but someone's "0" would have to go.
Although the Brooklyn Ballers (1-0), still hyped after getting their first win against a stacked Playaz Club, would come out like gang busters they would fade down the stretch against the NYCHoops #9 ranked Unique All-Stars (2-0), a team from Dix Hill, NY. The end result would be a loss by eight for the Ballers
The Brooklyn Ballers came out quickly, catching the Unique All-stars flat footed and soon gaining an early eight point advantage.
Lamount Samuell was effective on offensive for the Ballers while Tobias Harris, a sophomore at Half Hollow Hills and Marion Smith, of Christ the King, kept the game in range with limited buckets early.
A Byron Freeman three ball from the corner pulled the All-Stars to within 3 as the team from Brooklyn began to lose steam late in the quarter.
With a minute left, Smith would get a steal followed by a Harris bucket and a half court launch by the sophomore phenom at the buzzer to put a stunned Ballers team down by 7 to end the first quarter.
Dion Waiters would start the second with a bucket for the Brooklyn Ballers but other than that, the Unique All-Stars continued where they left off going up by 9 early.
With four minutes left the Ballers seemed to get a second wind as Isaiah Wilkerson and Samuell would provoke turnovers followed by buckets. Gavin Scott would punctuate things with a strong move to the hole to bring the Ballers to within 4 points.
Good intensity by Smith and Mike Buffalo and a steady 22 point halftime offensive storm by the 6'7" sophomore, Tobias Harris would give the Unique All-Stars a 51-43 lead at half.
A late arriving Sammi Obetoh would get things started for the Brooklyn Ballers to start the second quarter with a slam dunk.
Waiters would weigh in on offense to cut the lead down to 5.
Double teams on Harris would slow temporarily down All-Stars points and an Obetoh dunk would bring the Ballers to within two.
The momentum seemed to have shifted until a floater by Nate Vaughn and another jumper by Tobias Harris held off the Ballers run for the moment.
With 3:01 left the Brooklyn Ballers had managed to carve into more than 50% of Unique All-Stars half time lead.
A Wilkerson bucket with under a minute would bring the Ballers to within 2 but a Marion Smith shake and bake followed by floater would give the All-Stars a 5 point cushion going into the fourth.
Mike Buffalo would extend the All-Stars lead punctuated by a Harris put back.
A ticky tack foul by Obetoh sending Harris to the line sparked a Unique All-Star run which would extend their lead to 11 points.
Internal strife would set in, ironically, with the All-Stars as players became upset with lack of touches. The Ballers, however, could not capitalize as turnovers and lack of communication would extend Unique's lead to 14 points.
An exacerbated Coach Sheares called a timeout. Coming out of that timeout the Brooklyn team would cut the lead to off a Wilkerson lay up and a Waiters slam dunk.
A steal off Harris would result in an acrobatic lay-up by Samuells to cut the Unique All-Star lead to one. Two missed free throws by Smith didn't help as with 3 minutes left the game was tight.
An early Hack-a-Shaq foul on a Mike Buffalo paid off as he would miss both free throws but Waiters would foul out soon after putting Harris on the line to knock down two in a double bonus situation.
Down by 3 points with 2:05 remaining in regulation, Wilkerson would knock down a key bucket to cut it down to one but Tobias Harris would counter on the inside followed by another midrange bucket from the right side.
Down by 5 points, with 44 seconds the Brooklyn Ballers needed buckets but couldn't convert as the Unique All-Star would go on to win 98-90 to remain undefeated as the Ballers would become a .500 team.
Tobias led all scores with 40 points with Mike Buffalo adding 23 points. Isaiah Wilkerson led the Brooklyn Ballers with 25 points. The Unique All-Stars will be heading to the King James Tournament this weekend. Next up in the iS8/Nike for the Long Island team is the Playaz Club.
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