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July 27, 2009

Albany City Rocks Win AAU Showcase

On Monday, in the AAU Showcase in Orlando, Team Final (PA) faced off against the Albany City Rocks (NY) on national television. The hype of the event would be the match-up between two high major forwards.

Team Finals, Mike Gilchrist against City Rocks, Tobias Harris. While Gilchrist has been advertised as the best player regardless of class, Harris would silence the naysayers by dropping 20 points along with 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, leading the City Rocks to a 68-64 win

While Team Final would strike iron first, the City Rocks would immediately counter with a 7-0 run led by Harris as City Rocks coach Jim Hart started the game giving the Philly team a dose of their own medicine by utilizing a zone defense. Team Final would not lay down quietly and with 4:18 left in the first quarter, rising senior guard from Neumann-Goretti(PA), Tyreak Duran (7 points), would knot the game at 7 points apiece with a three pointer.

The City Rocks would go up by 9 points in the second half as block party would ensue led by Brice Kofane and accompanied by good perimeter shooting from Nolan Hart (6 points). Team Final had opportunities to close the gap but two uncharacteristic missed layups by Dion Waiters (13 points) along with good low post defense curtailed the Philly team quest. The City Rocks would hold steady, going into the locker room up 36-28 as Taran Buie scored a layup in transition off yet another Team Final turnover.

The top of third quarter would be the 'Harris Show' as the 6-foot-8 forward began to reign threes and score a variety of shots. Buie also began to add offense as the Albany lead extended to 13 points late in the third.

Going into the final quarter, Buie would continue provide an offensive buffer and the City Rocks team was still ahead by ten. With 2:53 left, costly turnovers allowed Team Final to pull to with 6 points as Duran scored from the perimeter. Sharpshooter Trevor Cooney (19 points) weighed in nailing a 3-ball to cut the City Rocks lead in half with 1:36 left in regulation. Harris would however score his 20th point going 2-2 from the line to extend the lead but Cooney would counter with another three to pull Team Final to within 2 points. Gilchrist (9 points) would get a steal and a dunk down the lane to knot the game at 64.

But with a chance to take the lead, Gilchrist, who struggled throughout the game, would get blocked by Harris as he drove down the lane and Buie would subsequently go on to score his 15th and 17th points off easy lay-ups down the stretch, closing out the game and Team Final.




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