Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
McDonald’s All-American Lance Stephenson broke the New York State scoring record Sunday night as Lincoln won the Brooklyn Borough championship with an 81-61 victory over Thomas Jefferson at Long Island University.
When the 6-foot-5 Stephenson scored a layup off the opening tap, it gave him 2,786 points for his career, breaking the old record set by former Lincoln star Sebastian Telfair, now with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Stephenson tallied 24 points and 11 rebounds and now has 2,808 career points. He averaged 40 points in the three Borough games, including a 50-point outburst against FDR.
“That means a lot,” Stephenson told FiveBoroSports.com. “I wasn’t trying to break the record. I just played hard. I felt I earned it.”
Maryland-bound senior power forward James Padgett had 18 and 16 and St. Francis-bound point guard Darwin “Buddha” Ellis tallied 18 points. Shaquille Stokes added 14 points and eight assists.
Jefferson played without injured senior guard Keith Spellman, who could be out for the season with a back ailment. Lincoln has now beaten Jefferson three times this season.
Lincoln (17-10) was playing its fifth game in six days and was coming off back-to-back losses to St. Patrick (N.J.) in the Nike Super 6 at Fordham and Westchester (Ca.) in the Primetime Shootout in Trenton.
The Railsplitters will now get a break before the start of the PSAL playoffs Feb. 24, although they will return to practice this week. Lincoln, which has a bye in the first round, is the three-time defending PSAL champ and is seeking an unprecedented fourth straight crown. Lincoln has also won back-to-back New York State Federation Class AA crowns.
During the break, Stephenson, ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2009 by Hoop Scoop and No. 9 by Rivals, will visit Kansas officially on Feb. 21 for the Nebraska game.
Stephenson is also considering St. John’s, Maryland, USC, and potentially UCLA.
Stephenson recently took an official visit to Maryland and his father, Lance Stephenson Sr., told The Washington Post that he could envision his son leaving New York for college.
“Coming from New York, the fans just want to see a show every night; there’s no real support,” Lance Sr. said. “He wants to go to a place where the fans are behind him.”
Several recruiting experts say don’t think Stephenson would be a good fit with Maryland coach Gary Williams, a task-master who won the 2002 national championship but is facing serious heat for his recruiting failures in recent years.
“Lance is not in a position to pick his school,” Jerry Meyer, the national recruiting analyst for Rivals, told The Washington Post. “There are schools that didn’t want to mess with him. That’s the irony of Gary Williams recruiting him. It sounds like a match made in hell to me.
“Gary Williams, as we all know, is being maligned for his lack of recruiting. Maybe he sees this as a chance to get the monkey off his back. He has a chance to land a consensus top 10 prospect. It’s like he’s going for broke.”
(Photo courtesy Richard Orr)
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.