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August 15, 2011

Star Studded Franchise Classic

BRONX, N.Y. - The inaugural Franchise Classic Memorial high school was set for 8:00 last night at Col. Young Park in Harlem, N.Y. However, due to rain, the game ended up tipping off at 10:12 p.m. at the South Bronx Job Corps.

Despite the major delay and change of location, the game was still superb and there was no shortage of intensity and atmosphere. The game, which was in honor of John "Franchise" Strickland, pitted Team New York against Team USA.

Team New York actually had a player from New Jersey and two from Pennsylvania, but the squad was mainly kids from the Big Apple. The team featured Kyle Anderson (NJ), Omar Calhoun, Daniel Dingle, Savon Goodman (PA), Nkereuwem Okoro, Jevon Thomas, and Daiquan Walker (PA) from the class of 2012. Jermaine Lawrence was the lone 2013 prospect on the roster, while Chris McCullough and Isaiah Whitehead represented the class of 2014.

Team USA had just seven players, as some players were unable to make it, including Jarnell Stokes, who had a hip injury. Even without Stokes, the squad was loaded, featuring Archie Goodwin, Shaquille Goodwin and Martavious Newby in the 2012 class as well as Greg McClinton, Malik Price-Martin and Chris Walker in the 2013 class. KeVaughn Allen, the lone 2015 prospect in the game, rounded out the squad.

The first 12-minute quarter was nearly played to a draw, with the NY team up 33-32 behind the play of Anderson, a top five rising senior. Ole-Miss bound Martavious Newby started hot for the USA team and kept it rolling throughout the game, as did Archie Goodwin, a top 15 player.

In the second quarter, Goodwin began to takeover. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Arkansas got in a groove and was simply unstoppable. He teamed with Shaq Goodwin--no relation--to give the USA squad a 73-64 lead at the half.

Archie Goodwin had 24 points at the break, one for each minute. Isaiah Whitehead, one of the game's youngest players, had a strong second quarter and was second on the NY team at the intermission with 13, behind only Anderson with 17.

The second half began with a bucket from Archie Goodwin just 11 seconds in, as he showed he was not yet done. However, UConn-pledge Omar Calhoun rebounded from a quiet first half and simply began to dominate.

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Christ the King displayed an vast array of ways to score the ball. He went from knocking in 3-pointers to attacking and finishing in traffic to transition dunks.

Behind the play of Calhoun, the NY team stormed back from a double-digit deficit to take a 110-107 lead through three quarters.

When the final period got underway, Daniel Dingle came to life. Early in the fourth quarter, Dingle had a number of tough buckets and his play was huge for the NY team. Villanova-bound 6-foot-6 forward Savon Goodman was at his best down the stretch for the NY team as well.

Archie Goodwin would not let his team go without a fight, though. Nicknamed "Mr. Untouchable" by the emcee, Goodwin continued to get to the cup at will and also had a ridiculous one-handed alley-oop dunk off a pass from Greg McClinton.

Shaq Goodwin continued his Dwight Howard impression down low and the USA team led 131-129 with just over four minutes left. A minute later the game was even at 133 and then the hometown squad took over.

Kyle Anderson dominated down the stretch, dishing out dimes like a change dispenser and display incredible court vision. Many of his passes where to Savon Goodman, his AAU teammate with the NJ Playaz.

The NY team went on a 7-0 run after the score was tied to go up 140-133. With two minutes to play, Team USA was still well within striking distance, though. However, the team from Empire State would not fold and extended the lead even more, going up 144-134 with about 30 seconds left.

When the final horn sounded, Team New York had the win by a score of 146-138 in a tough game that was a joy to watch. Archie Goodwin led all scorers in the loss, finishing with 46 points, including 11 free throws and just one 3-pointer.

Omar Calhoun dropped 26 points in the second half alone to finish with 34 total, tops on the NY squad. He hit a game-high three 3-pointers en route to MVP honors.

Shaq Goodwin had 31 points for Team USA, while Chris Walker added 18 and Martavious Newby 17.

Kyle Anderson scored 28 points in the victory and Team New York was also aided by 16 points from Isaiah Whitehead and 14 from Daniel Dingle.








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