By Keith McShea
McKinley's very memorable season came to an end with a 69-54 loss to New York City's John Adams Friday afternoon at the Times Union Center.
The Macks, who had a memorable run to win the state public school title last weekend in Glens Falls, ran into a team which was a bit bigger, a bit better at slowing the pace and better shooting the ball. The New York State Public Schools Athletic Association champion Macks finish 22-4.
The victory makes John Adams (25-5) the first PSAL Class A team to reach Federation final since Benjamin Banneker in 2001. Adams will play independent representative Albany Academy in Saturday night's 5 p.m. final. Albany Academy (16-4) hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 43-40 victory over state Catholic champion Nazareth (which defeated Canisius in the Catholic final).
Senior Marcus Morris had 18 points (on 7-of-17 shooting, including 3 of 8 from three-point range) to lead McKinley. Morris was hampered by foul trouble which included a questionable technical foul with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
Senior Reyjzon Jordan had 15 points for the Macks, including four three-pointers, many of which were launched late and kept the Macks hovering about 10 points behind John Adams.
Jordan had five steals and played good defense early on John Adams big senior guard Markell French. The 6-4 French often handled the Macks' pressure, while his Spartans teammates consistently put together lengthy possessions. That helped take McKinley out of its game, especially when many possessions ended with hit jumpers.
French had 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting for Adams, the Class A champion of New York City's Public Schools Athletic League. Paul Johnson had 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including three jumpers late in the second quarter to help John Adams to a 29-21 halftime lead.
While the Macks have made their mark in the third quarter of their three state tournament victories (over Aquinas, Bishop Ludden and Burke Catholic), Adams won the third, 18-13, and fended off what would be McKinley's best attempt at getting back in the game.
Adams had a 32-24 lead early in the third when Morris drew a foul and was headed to the line. However, after the call, Morris no-look tossed the ball toward an Adams player and was whistled for a technical. That was his third foul and he picked up a fourth soon after. On his trip to the line, he missed both shots, while Johnson hit two for Adams to push the lead to 10. Adams made it 12 on a Hall jumper on the possession after the technical, and a French pull-up following a McKinley turnover made it a 14-point game (38-24).
Adams' lead hit 16 before Jordan hit two threes to cut it to 10, but Adams pushed forward again to lead, 47-34, entering the fourth.
French was 9 of 9 at the line while Johnson was 6 of 8; the Spartans were 26 of 33 collectively as the Macks picked up several fouls early and then were forced to foul late. The Macks were whistled 24 times while John Adams committed 13.
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Review our live blog from earlier:
Hello from the last stop of the winter season: basketball's Federation Tournament of Champions at Albany's Times Union Center.
The Federation is a BIG deal -- it's the overall basketball championships for the entire state: public, private, independent, New York City. It accounts for all schools. Here's an info capsule on the Class A boys Federation and a story on McKinley.
I'll provide play-by-play updates in the live blog below and I'll have periodic #preptalkscores updates via Twitter which will also appear in the blog.
Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- they will appear in the live blog as well.Check our scoreboard page for a box score from this game as soon as it is available.
Keep checking back here on the blog as well as our video page for PrepTalkTV videos of high school action. The video page has an archive of many recent videos, including several from the last several weeks and our live Wednesday PrepTalkTV Weekly show.
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