After Nike beat Mr. L's, 119-106, in the first Kenner League semifinal game yesterday, the crowd at Georgetown's McDonough Arena grew quiet, its attention fixed on the court as Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams and Michael Graham--the front court of the 1789 team--began warming up.
The fans had come to see 1789 play the Rockets, a chance to see Ewing perform and a chance to get a preseason look at Williams, Georgetown's top recruit, and Graham, who signed a letter of intent with the Hoyas but may be ineligible to receive a scholarship because he does not meet NCAA academic requirements.
Ewing's presence proved to be too much for the smaller Rockets as 1789 advanced to today's 2 p.m. championship game with a 105-94 victory. Ewing had 30 points, seven rebounds and eight blocks. Graham had 21 points.
Despite three blocked shots and two dunks by Ewing in the first five minutes, the Rockets led, 21-14, mainly on some long-range shooting. But 1789 rallied with a fast break led by Williams, Graham and American's Phil Morgan.
After taking a 50-47 halftime lead, 1789 appeared on the verge of breaking open the game early in the second half, going up, 79-67. But, with Ewing on the bench, the Rockets used their own Hoya, Dave Wingate, to rally for an 84-83 lead with 4:31 to play. Finally, 1789 used its speed and muscle to take control, scoring 14 straight points. After a turnover by Wingate, Graham made a layup and Ernest Datcher hit two free throws to give 1789 a 91-86 lead. Morgan then scored six straight points, Graham made two foul shots and Ewing dunked to make it 101-86 with a minute left.
Another Hoya, Bill Martin, had 30 points and nine rebounds for Nike; teammate David Ridley (American) had 24 points and nine rebounds.
Adrian Branch, who plays for the University of Maryland, scored 70 points to lead the Pro Products past the Wax Museum, 149-123, in an Urban Coalition senior division game yesterday.