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.
Salnave and Cardozo Win SNY Invitational in Stunning Fashion; Govan Impresses
By JEREMY FUCHS
Photo Credit: Marc Levine
NEW YORK —After a furious comeback in the last few minutes, Cardozo High School stunned Wings Academy 50-47 to win the SNY Invitational.
Ray Salnave, quiet for most of the game, exploded for six points in the final minutes, scoring nine on the night and added nine rebounds. Aaron Walker scored 17 and Elijah McNeely scored 12.
“We just started to believe as a team,” Salnave said.
Cardozo, the reigning PSAL champion, showed that they have the moxie to get back there again.
Since the SNY Invitational started in 2008, the six Most Valuable Players have gone on to great collegiate careers. Some, like Lance Stephenson, are starring in the pros.
The next player to join that list is Salnave , who won the MVP award at the SNY Invitational championship. Salnave, who has received attention from Indiana, Georgia Tech and West Virginia of late, was the catalyst for the team’s comeback. Desure Buie, headed to Hofstra next season, scored 19 points for Wings. Georgetown-bound big man Jessie Govan scored 11 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had three blocks, a day after he scored 29 and added 13 rebounds in a victory over Cardinal Hayes.
Salnave joins Khadeen Carrington, now at Seton Hall; Hallice Cooke, now at Iowa State; Kyle Anderson, the UCLA star who was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs; Kadeem Jack; starring at Rutgers, Sherrod Wright; and Stephenson as MVPs of the tournament.
“Those are all great players,” Salnave said. “Every last one of them went far in their career. One day I would love to see myself on the big stage like them.”
Govan, the star player for Wings, did struggle a bit in the first half, where he scored just six points. Cardozo, last year’s PSAL champion, did a good job of surrounding the big man, especially given that their tallest player is 6-foot-6 senior Armando Dunn. Still, the center found a way to contribute, grabbing nine rebounds and two blocks in the half.
“Nothing really changed, I was just in foul trouble,” Govan said.
Buie, who also grabbed six rebounds, helped the Wings take the lead in the third and fourth with his poise and smart play. The senior guard is a confident, if not electric, ball-handler and is a solid shooter from distance. Buie helped recruit Govan, who previously played at St. Mary’s in Manhasset, to the Bronx. Now, the two have teamed up to form quite a formidable pair.
At Georgetown, Govan will follow a long line of productive and talented big men, like Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Roy Hibbert. For Govan, joining that list is the goal.
“I’m excited to be at the end of that list,” Govan said, adding that he hopes to follow their footsteps into the NBA.
In the consolation game, Cardinal Hayes beat Long Island Lutheran 54-52. Jeffery Hayden of Cardinal Hayes led all scorers with 21, while teammate Clive Allen chipped in 16. For Long Island Lutheran, Marvin Prochet scored 11, while Devonte Green, Danny Green’s brother, scored five.
Hayden told SNY.tv after the game that Dominican College and New York Institute of Technology are interested in the small forward.
After struggling against Wings Academy Friday night, Cardinal Hayes played a solid game against a tough opponent.
“I thought we bounced back,” coach Joe Lods said after the game. “A lot of guys contributed. That was the most talented team we’ve seen this year.”
For Cardozo, with their experience and talent, their moxie and attitude, a return trip to the PSAL could be in order.
“We just gotta keep playing Cardozo basketball and see how far it takes us,” Salnave said.
Added Tareq Coburn: “We should be ranked number one.”
SNY INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONS / MVPS
2015: Cardozo High/Ray Salnave
2014: Bishop Loughlin / Khadeen Carrington (Seton Hall)
2013: St. Anthony’s / Hallice Cooke (Iowa State)
2011: St. Anthony’s / Kyle Anderson (UCLA, Austin Spurs)
2010: Rice / Kadeem Jack (Rutgers)
2009: Mount Vernon / Sherrod Wright
2008: Lincoln / Lance Stephenson (Hornets)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.