New Brunswick’s Jaquan Cook Earns MVP Honors As White Team Outscores Black Team With Threes, 96-76
PERTH AMBOY, NJ–Every year fans come out for the GMCBCA Senior Boys All-Star Game, and are looking to see highlight reel plays. Highflying dunks, fancy fast breaks, and athletic ability at its highest level. Wednesday night’s game still had fans clammoring for the 2006 GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game when the likes of Marqus Blakely, Shamar Graves, and Sean Baptiste among others put on a clinic of basketball showmanship.
Still, the game had a good deal of offense, especially from the perimeter. Both teams knocked down a good number of threes, but the White Team were more prolific from beyond the arc with the likes of Cardinal McCarrick’s Charlie Gorman and Jeremy Cruz as well as South Brunswick’s Kory Sanders and East Brunswick’s Anthony Guisti. They also had all of the dunks courtesy of New Brunswick’s Jaquan Cook and St. Joseph’s Nick Straughn. The result was a 96-76 victory over the Black Team.
The game seesawed back and forth between the Home team (White Shirts) and the Visiting team (Black Shirts). Â Both squads came out firing though, especially from long distance. Â After a free throw put the Home team on top 1-0, Perth Amboy’s Victor Verdecia put the Visiting team ahead with a three pointer that got a kind bounce for a 3-1 lead. Â
JFK’s Daishon Robinson, who was coming off a solid performance for the New Jersey All-Stars in their annual showcase game against the Pennsylvania All-Stars sponsored by PAHoops.org, netted a three pointer from the left wing for a 4-3 lead. Â The score continued to vacillate back and forth with the Home team taking a 6-5 lead before Colonia’s C.J. Gray connected on a three pointer from the top of the key for an 8-6 edge.
Cardinal McCarrick’s Charlie Gorman, known for his NBA range three point shooting ability, drained a long trey from the left wing on the very next home team possession to take a 9-8 lead. Â Both teams then exchanged leads four more times before the Home team had a 13-12 advantage. Â Gorman had two threes in the first 14:29 of the game. Â Anthony Gusiti of East Brunswick also added a trey for the Home teeam.Â
However, the Visiting team took over for a stretch with a 16-12 run including to take a 28-25 lead. Â Sparking the run was a block by Denzel Mensah of South Plainfield. Â Mensah also pounded the offensive boards while Verdecia also hustled and scrapped for Perth Amboy. Â The Home team would fight back though with a 13-4 tear over the final four minutes of the half as Robinson scored six points including two layups in the final minute while South Brunswick’s Kory Sanders blocked a shot to put the Home team in front at the intermission, 38-32.
After getting off to a fast start in the opening half, both squads tailed off shooting wise, but still played hard. Â In the second half though, the Home Team, coached by JFK’s Chris Banos, got off to a good start with a circus shot by South Brunswick’s Kory Sanders, a three by Cardinal McCarrick’s Jeremy Cruz, a jumper by North Brunswick’s Kevin Kania, and a three by Sanders, but the Visiting team was able to counter as Colonia’s Dave Cole made two threes while Mensah got himself to the line for a couple of one of two showings. Â Leading 47-46 with 15:30 to go, the Home team made a move to take control of the game.
Over a span of about 2:08, the Home team went on a 10-3 run including a layup and a emphatic dunk by New Brunswick’s Jaquan Cook at the 13:22 mark prompting a timeout by Visiting team head coach, Edwin Santana of Perth Amboy. Following the timeout, the Home team extended its lead to double digits with a 7-5 run including a nifty move for a layup by St. Joseph’s Nick Straughn for a 64-54 lead with 9:23 left. Â The Home team then scored six of the next 10 points over a span of 1:23 capped by a three pointer by Sanders with exactly 8:00 left for a 70-58 lead.
Thierno Diallo made one of two from the line at the 7:21 mark to extend the Home team’s advantage to 71-58. Â The Visiting team would get no closer the reest of the way. Â The Home team went on a 20-9 run that included three pointers by Cruz and Guisti as well as a layup by Cook for a 91-67 lead. Â The game then turned into a bit of a highlight reel contest with dunk attempts by both teams before Straughn ended the contest with an emphatic two handed jam that he hung on the rim as time expired with the Home team winning by the final score of 96-76. Â Over the last 25 minutes or so of the game, the Home Team outscored the Visiting team by a margin of 71-48. GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game Boys MVP was Jaquan Cook of New Brunswick with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
Video highlights from this game will be posted soon.