Weekend wrap — Stephenson, Padgett will play for title
Stephenson and Padgett led Lincoln High to a 76-64 win over Brooklyn Boys & Girls in the semifinals of the New York City Public Schools Athletic League tournament.
[Stephenson] scored 11 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, including nine in the final 4:00 when the Coney Island dynamo out-scored The High, 17-5.
“That’s what superstars do,” Lincoln coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton said of Stephenson, who also had 13 rebounds. “You can’t coach that.”
Morton emphasized the role players, too, if not more so. There was Padgett continuing to impress, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Stephenson could announce his college choice after Saturday's game, according to SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria. Maryland, Kansas and St. John's are believed to be the front-runners in Stephenson's recruitment.
"In the beginning of the season, we knew we could do it," said Will Barton, a transfer from National Christian Academy. "I came into Coach Tree's office in the beginning of the year when he first found out I was coming. ... I told him we were going to be a special team, we were going to win states. I just wanted to go undefeated because I knew we had a special group. ... We just had to come to practice and work hard, stay on our books and just play hard to see where we end up at the end of the season. You see where we're at - state champions, undefeated, 28-0, and we just made history."
• Maryland women’s center signee Essence Townsend scored four points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked eight shots in Paterson Catholic’s 55-42 win over Bishop Eustace in the New Jersey Non-Public B state championship game. NJ.com’s Gregg Lerner credited Townsend with Paterson Catholic’s defensive success.
And, I highly doubt there is another post player in the state that has such a game-altering impact in the paint like 6-6 Essence Townsend. Forget her eight blocked shots and 14 rebounds in the 55-42 triumph over Bishop Eustace in the Non-Public B final. It only took one block early to make Eustace players think twice about venturing into the paint. When they did, you could see their concern for Townsend's whereabouts, leading to short shots and tentative releases that played into Paterson Catholic's hands.
• UM women’s combo guard commitment Natasha Cloud helped Cardinal O’Hara to a 44-33 win over Lower Merion in the quarterfinals of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AAAA tournament.
For the Lions, who went 16 for 31 from the field and 10 for 11 from the line, Natasha Cloud chipped in six assists, three steals and two rebounds.