NJ takes Sharette Dixon girls game
Aliyah Huland El doesn’t come to New York City often, but when she does next, the junior wing from Randolph can bring some bragging rights along with her E-ZPass.
That’s because she helped guide New Jersey to a 77-73 victory over New York City in the fourth annual Sharette Dixon Memorial Classic at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn Sunday afternoon.
“I like playing in all-star games when we go against different states,” Huland El said. “Basically what you have now is bragging rights. So I know when I go to the Rose Classic, I can say that New Jersey just beat you guys.”
The versatile 6-foot-2 wing, who has more than two dozen college offers, including St. John's, Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia, Penn State, Villanova and Seton Hall, was also named the game’s MVP, scoring 13 points. Also scoring 13 for New Jersey was Myisha Hines-Allen, a junior wing from Montclair. They helped New Jersey establish the lead from the opening tip as the Garden State led 20-11 after one quarter, 38-24 at the half and 57-48 after three quarters.
New Jersey led by as many as 18, but Bianca Cuevas (nine points) from Nazareth, Long Island Lutheran standout Boogie Brozowski (game-high 14 points) and Bishop Ford’s Aalyiah Lewis forced turnover and pulled New York to within two late in the fourth quarter.
“Toward the end we all started playing defense, getting stops and scoring the basketball,” said Lewis, who said she’ll likely decide next week between St. John’s, Seton Hall and Virginia Tech. “That’s how we came back into the game.”
New York City had three opportunities to tie or take the lead late, but Cuevas, Brozowski and Lewis each couldn’t finish. Huland-El had a big block and a pair of free throws late and Teana Muldrow from East Orange had a huge layup to seal the road win.
“We knew they were going to press us and pressure us because that’s just how New Yorkers play,” Huland El said. “We had to keep our composure and play as a team to take the ‘W.’”
While Huland El was excited about the bragging rights, Lewis took the loss in stride.
“This is actually my first time playing in it and I don’t care about winning or losing, it’s about just playing and showing my game,” Lewis said. “It’s a Memorial Classic so it’s about showing respect.”
And the game served as an unofficial start to the high school basketball season, a season Huland-El can’t wait to get going.
“I’m really ready for the season,” Huland El said. “I can’t wait to see what my team does and what I can do.”
Lewis was also excited for one last chance to call opponents teammates.
“Everybody that was playing today, we’re all going to be playing against each other soon,” Lewis said. “It was good to come out and have everybody play together and have some fun.”
Proceeds from the event will support a family education and childcare fund in Sharette Dixon’s memory for her three children.