10/21/17 - Long Island Falls Short
Team Long Island came out flat in their NIKE/IS8 Semifinal, missing open look after open look and only the
incredible play of returning First Team All-New York State guard Savion Lewis kept them in it through halftime.
In the second half, the top seeded Northeast Basketball Club pulled away, ending Long Island’s memorable run
in the Final Four. Despite the loss, Lewis was named the 2017 NIKE/IS8 PlLAYER OF THE YEAR, finishing with
35 points in the semifinal and recording games of 24, 30, 26, 27, 18, and 27 points in preceding rounds against
the elite level competition. He also stuffed the stat sheet with assists and steals and a surprising number of
rebounds. Sophomore sensation Zed Key was named Third Team All-Tournament despite missing the semifinal with an ankle sprain, racking up big scoring and rebounding numbers in every previous game and defending his position with great skill against an imposing procession of towering big men. We have every reason to be proud of all of our kids, who once again showed that they can play with anybody and have paved the way for what will be the next Golden Age of Long Island Basketball. A very special thank you to Long Island coaching legend Rich Wrase, who
came out of retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers organization to lead this memorable effort and to whom
we will be forever indebted.
10/14/17 - Team Long Island Advances To Final Four
Team Long Island advanced to the Final Four of the Nike/IS8 Tip-Off Classic, defeating the Fearless Tigers
in their opening round game and then the Eagles, fresh off a big upset of the D1 Stars, in the quarterfinals.
Team Long Island was led once again by Savion Lewis from Hills East, who had 14 third-quarter points and finished with 30 in game one and then added 24 points in game two including big foul shots down the stretch, and by Tyler Small from Holy Trinity, who was back in the lineup after missing two games with an injury and had 16 points
in the first game and a big 25 points in game two. Other important contributors were Brentwood’s Zed Key, who helped get us off to great starts in both games, especially in game two when he had 10 first-quarter points and
who rebounded and defended well throughout, Tyrone Lyons from St. Anthony's, who challenged the defense with strong moves to the hoop and who rebounded and defended with zeal, Brandon Weiss from Jericho, who came off
the bench and knocked down three big second-half three-pointers in game two, and Noah Stevenson from
Patchogue-Medford, who was a force on the boards, blocked shots, played tough D and showed a nice shooting touch in both games. Next up is our Semifinal match up with the top-seeded Northeast Basketball Club. Game time is Saturday, 11:15 am at the world famous IS8 gym in Jamaica, Queens.
10/8/17 - Team Long Island Drops Final Pool Game In OT
Positve Direction's exceptional size and strength proved too much for us, sending us to our first loss in IS8 pool play after opening the competition with three straight victories. We were dominated on the boards throughout yet still managed to hold the lead most of the way, but our shooters went cold at the wrong time, allowing them to catch us
in regulation and pull away in the extra session. Zed Key was a warrior, absorbing some vicious blows in the heat of battle and coming back strong every time, but facing a lineup with 4 players 6'6 or taller, three of them big bodies
and all of them athletic, we just couldn't match up on either end and our outside shooting wasn't consistent enough
to overcome it. Savion Lewis battled valiantly the whole way and Julien Crittendon was a spark, but we needed another consistent scorer and rebounder down the stretch to finish them off and their very physical defense wouldn't allow it. Playoffs begin next weekend. We'll post schedules as soon as we are notified.
10/1/17 - Team Long Island Improves To 3-0
We had this date circled on our calendars as our toughest IS8 pool game and the kids really rose to the occasion, leading wire to wire and rolling over the Rens to take sole possession of first place. Savion Lewis had another big game, running the offense with his usual skill and slicing through the defense for big baskets whenever there was
any sign of a run by our opponents. Zed Key and Tyrone Lyons were big too, dominating inside on both sides of the ball and attacking the basket with a succession of rim rattling dunks while Julien Crittendon led the perimeter game with his usual sharp shooting. Our defense and rebounding also got rave reviews, completely smothering their inside game and limiting their second looks. Four of our players recorded blocked shots by my count! I have removed point totals from the story because the IS8 book was way off so no accurate or complete official count was made, but suffice to say that Lewis, Key, and Lyons all posted big numbers and had very impressive games and Crittendon
made big shots at key moments. I'd also like to take the opportunity to mention our bench of Bryce Harris from Brentwood, Kenny Mathurin from Hills East, Jordan Mosely from East Islip, spot starter Emmanuel Rancy from Longwood, Jarnel Rancy from Longwood, Noah Stevenson from Patchogue-Medford, and Brandon Weiss from Jericho. You can't play at this high level and go 3-0 without an outstanding bench, and all of these guys have made key plays at key moments and would be posting much bigger numbers with additional playing time. One other thing to note. This is truly a Long Island All-Star Team, but due to circumstances, many of the Nassau players invited could not commit to our practice and game schedule.
9/23/17 - Team Long Island 2-0 At Nike/IS8
We expected a tough game from defending New York State Public School Champion Mount Vernon and they
jumped in front early on, but we quickly settled in and utilized a balanced attack and changing defenses to
pull even as the first quarter wound down and then Tyler Small from Holy Trinity and Savion Lewis from
Hills East spearheaded a second quarter rally that carried us to a nice halftime lead. Brentwood’s Zed Key,
Tyrone Lyons from St. Anthony’s, Julien Crittendon from Hills East and Lewis were all big factors in the
third quarter as we built a 20 point lead and we maintained it until almost the 5 minute mark of the 4th quarter, when the Ben Gordon All-Stars, as they call their club team, made their run, roaring back to cut the lead to 4. Uncharacteristic turnovers and bad clock management were our undoing, but our defense dug in and
Key, Lewis, and Crittendon all hit big shots down the stretch to take the decision. The win puts us at 2-0
in IS8 pool play and we’ve learned a familiar lesson: Good teams don’t roll over - they almost
always make a run. The beautiful thing about this team is that we have the talent and heart
to get the big basket or big defensive stop we need to retake the momentum and win the game.
Savion Lewis and Zed Key both finished with 18 points, Julien Crittendon 16, and Tyler Small 14.
It's beginning to look like a special group.
9/17/17 - Team Long Island Wins IS8 Opener
Long Island's All-Star Team jumped on top right from the start, building a nice halftime lead and
then withstood a late three point barrage from a talented LBVR team from Pennsylvania to hold on
for the important opening day win. Hills East's Savion Lewis was big time once again, finishing with 27 points
and sparking the run that put the game away in the decisive moments of the fourth quarter. Hills East Teammate Julien Crittendon was a force in the first half and finished with 12 points and sophomore big man Zed Key
from Brentwood was also impressive, getting the best of a match-up with LVBR's imposing big man to the tune
of 16 points and 11 rebounds.
9/15/2017 - Nike/IS8 Pool Set
We take on LVBR of Pennsylvania in game 1 on Sunday, then The Ben Gordon All-Stars next
Saturday and the Rens and Positive Direction in the following weeks. Playoffs follow. Check the schedule
tab above for dates, times and locations.
8/13/2017 - First Invitations Go Out
Invitations for the opportunity to represent Long Island at high level basketball events, beginning
with Nike/IS8 this fall, were sent out to a select group of players today.
8/4/2017 - Rich Wrase Named Head Coach
Just retired from the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, Coach Wrase compiled a 195-43 record coaching
Suffolk Community College, which included a 55-game winning streak and back-to-back national championships,
and prior to that, he went a combined 263-98 at both Eastport and Westhampton High Schools, winning 10 league championships and 4 county championships and recording a 28-0 season that culminated in New York State
Public School and Federation titles!