DORCHESTER, Mass. -– Tilton’s Kevin Crescenzi his a three pointer with fifteen seconds remaining to take the lead for the first time since the five minute mark, ultimately pulling off a 90-86 win over Notre Dame Prep in the first game of the 2012 BABC Prep Classic, at the Kroc Center.
“I really don’t know what to say, not sure I was thinking much at all,” said Crescenzi.
“He’s a pretty good shooter,” said Tilton coach Marcus O’Neil. “I think it was a thing where he decided he was going to take the shot. He came off a screen and knocked down the shot.”
With 1:15 left in the game, Tilton’s Wayne Selden (28 points) hit two free throws, bringing the game to within one at 84-83. Notre Dame’s Steven Adams came down and scored with a minute left then Selden scored again with 39 seconds left, leaving the game at 86-85, Notre Dame.
Tilton forced a five-second violation on the ensuing inbounds play, giving the Rams the ball back with the chance to go ahead. Crescenzi (11 points) came from around a screen, took the pass from Domonique Bull at the top of the key and drained a trey with 15 seconds left in the game.
Wayne Selden stole the ball after the ensuing timeout, and Bull was fouled but missed both of his free throws. Prep’s Adonis Filer took the rebound coast-to-coast and made it all the way to the basket, but missed the layup. Tilton’s Georges Niang (27 points, eight rebounds, five assists) got the board, was fouled and hit both of his shots.
A last-second heave by the Crusaders was no good, so the boys from Tilton pulled off the victory.
Noel shines: Top-ranked center Nerlens Noel ended the day with 12 points, six steals, five blocks, four assists and four rebounds. He did not make it to the free throw line, but was able to stop opposing shots from being made or put into the basket and drew a lot of attention in the post, freeing up some space for his teammates.
“It’s like having a cheat code,” Selden said. “Every time you let your man go by, sometimes I did too on lazy defense, he’d just block the shot.”
“He’s a one-man wrecking crew out there,” added O’Neil. “He can make it very difficult to score around the basket for the other team… No doubt about it he’s a nuclear weapon out there.”
Adams makes good first impression: Making his American debut donning number 24, New Zealand native and Pitt signee Steven Adams had 23 points, 10 rebounds and two assists on the afternoon for the Crusaders. Not bad numbers, but Adams was not satisfied with his personal numbers.
“If I played well, we would’ve been the one with a win,” said Adams. “Our first game back, kind of rusty,” is what Adams attributed the last minute of the game to. He added that he and his teammates would be training harder from here on in and that as the season goes on things will get better for them.