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July 28, 2011
L.I. Lightning Strikes Arizona
The Long Island Lightning-Blue was the only New York team that played in the Desert Dual Summer Prep Memorial tournament in Gilbert, AZ.
While the squad didn't bring home the chip, they made their presence felt, advancing to the Final 4. In the process, they raised their stock as a team and individually.
The Lightning began by playing and defeating Team Loaded 17U (VA) on Wednesday, 77-42, in the first round led by Melvin Johnson's 20 points with PG Kareem Canty adding 12 points and double digit assists.
In their second game of the day, the Lightning advanced as they topped Seattle Rotary Select (WA), 67-63. Johnson led the way again scoring 31 points as the squad coached by Abdu Torrence made it to the Elite 8.
In game against Philly Finest, the L.I. Lightning would make it to the Final Four by taking down the Pennsylvannia team, 66-63. Johnson paced L.I.L. with 22 points.
The Dual would finally end for the Lightning as they lost a hard fought battle against the Mac Irvin Fire (IL). In a team effort, Johsnon would score 23 points with teammate Oscar Assie adding 16 points but it would not be enough. Canty would also add 11 assists but the Lightning be eliminated, 76-71.
The Desert Dual championship, however, will come to the Metro area as the NJ Playaz Club managed to overcome a 26 point halftime deficit to defeat Mac Irvin Fire, 71-62.