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June 11, 2006

Rumble ends with a bang

BRONX, N.Y. -- Seketoure Henry ended the Rumble in the Bronx with a bang. Actually, it was a swish.

Henry drilled a 24-foot 3-point shot at the buzzer and he finished with 23 points as H-Squad defeated the Playaz, 86-83, Sunday in the 17-under final of the Rumble at Fordham University.

Henry, who is now considering New Mexico State after a year of prep school, nailed seven 3-pointers in the game and 6-foot-8 power forward Troy Gillenwater, who will transfer to Simi Valley (Calif.) Stoneridge Prep next season from Los Angeles (Calif.) Fremont, added 18 points. Las Vegas (Nev.) Mojave point guard Darian Norris chipped in with 14 points.

"I looked at the clock with four seconds and I had to make a move and shoot the ball," Henry said. "If he (the defender) came hard at me, I would have stopped and popped. But he gave me some room so I just stepped up and fired it."

Either way, Henry canned the winning shot in a competitive, back-and-forth game which saw the Playaz leading by two, 42-40, at halftime. Rashad Bishop was fantastic for the Playaz as he finished with 24 points and was unstoppable streaking to the basket.

Philadelphia (Pa.) Neumann-Goretti teammates Antonio Jardine (15 points) and Rick Jackson (12 points), two Syracuse commits, both played well. Jardine showed precision passing and did not force the ball in transition. Jackson is a 6-foot-8 power forward who is not afraid to get physical in the paint.

Corey Raji, who lists Boston College, UConn, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Seton Hall, St. John's, Virginia, Virginia Tech and others had 15 points for the Playaz, who beat the New York Panthers in the semifinals and the Juice All-Stars in the quarterfinal round.

Playaz guard Chris Smith had another outstanding day. He finished with 11 points in the final and hit a number of 3-pointers in the earlier rounds. Jardine scored in the final seconds to beat Juice in the morning session and then the Playaz won soundly to advance to the championship.

Miami (Fla.) commit Edwin Rios finished with 22 points for the Miami Tropics Gold as they defeated Play Hard Play Smart in the 17-under silver division championship. The Tropics won without forward Orane Chin, who was hampered with a groin injury.

The 16-under title game came down to the final seconds as well and this one ended in controversy as a 3-pointer by Josh Watkins of the New York Panthers that would have forced overtime was ruled to be after the buzzer and the Gauchos hung on, 66-63.

The official initially ruled the basket good, sending a celebratory bunch of Watkins' teammates on to the court, but after consulting with the scorer's table, the shot was ruled late and the Gauchos won the title.

Chris Fouch and Kemba Walker led the Gauchos with 16 points apiece and Melquan Bolding had 17 for the Panthers.

The Gauchos were also victorious in a highly-charged 15-under game as Bronx (N.Y.) St. Raymond's prospect Kevin Parrom led the team with 16 points and Stamford (Conn.) Trinity Catholic's Tevin Baskin added 12 points. Playaz guard Tamir Jackson rebounded after a sloppy first half and finished with a game-high 30 points in the loss.

News & Notes

The 16-under Westchester Hawks disposed of Team Next in the quarterfinal round in large part to the play of Mount Vernon (N.Y.) prospect Kevin Jones, Peekskill (N.Y.) forward Mookie Jones and Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony guard Tyshawn Taylor, who had one of the better performances seen all weekend.

Taylor was under control and was impressive on both ends of the court. He finished with 21 points. Kevin Jones (25 points) and Mookie Jones combined for 39 points.

Lance Stephenson, one of the best players nationally in the 2009 class, finished with 15 points for Team Next, Ashton Gibbs had 19 points. Point guard Erving Walker, from Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King was phenomenal from deep and he had a team-high 23 points.



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