Landesberg Shines In Front Of Coaches

Reporter Brian Towey has a story on Sylven Landesberg's big game at Iona College ...

New Rochelle, N.Y. -- Sylven Landesberg scored 36 points and Justin Newton made some key defensive plays down the stretch to lead the New York City scholastic boys basketball team to a 78-67 win over Long Island at the Empire State Games at Iona College on Saturday. The win secured a spot in the gold medal game against Hudson Valley on Sunday.

Newton, of Brooklyn's Poly Prep, broke open the game late in the second half. The 5-foot-11 rising senior guard put back Ryan Woods' miss and turned a steal near halfcourt into a transition basket on consecutive plays, giving the City a 63-57 lead with 3:27 that it would not relinquish. Newton scored eight of his 10 points in the final four minutes and showed a great nose for the ball.

Landesberg passed on Las Vegas for the Empires experience, and has carried the offensive load for a relatively unheralded group of players in the tournament, averaging over 30 points in three wins. He scored it in a variety of ways against Long Island with Norm Roberts of St. John's and Dave Leitao of Virginia on hand.

The City played strong team defense, backed by the Mount St. Michael duo of Justin Daniels and William Williams. The 6-7 backstop Daniels was an effective deterrent inside altering shots, and Williams (class of 2009), along with Newton, did a credible defensive job on the perimeter. Williams also ran the team with poise and played within himself.

Woods, a 6-4 forward and rising senior from St. Peter's on Staten Island, showed a good-looking perimeter stroke en route to 14 points.

Mike Russell (2008) of East Hampton, a 5-8 scoring point with a quick trigger, led Long Island with 18 points. 6-3 WG Josh Malone (2009) added 11 points. Malone, who plays with the Metro Hawks in AAU, is a lanky, smooth guard prospect with a stroke and solid vision.

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