Two of the Top Programs Battle

Ardsley, NY – What better way to end an AAU season than two of the top programs from different areas competing in the Zero Gravity War on the Floor Tri State tournament. Edge Athletics (Dutchess) and Chris Ward Basketball (Westchester) went head to head six times this weekend in three different age divisions. Both clubs feature teams that have players that are currently and actively being recruited to play at the collegiate level. The verdict? A three three tie!

The weekend started out with the two programs’ varsity teams squaring off on Saturday. Chris Ward Basketball (CWB), featuring Our Lady of Lourdes High School standout Jason Schofield, had their hands full battling it out with a seemingly undersized Edge team who was playing without 3 point sharpshooter Jake D’Auria, point guard Willy Hart (who has been out all season due to an injury), and powerhouse big man Andrew Rappleyea. Jake, Willy, Andrew, and Jason were all teammates at Lourdes this past season and all of them have opportunities to play at the collegiate level with Schofield just recently receiving several Division I offers. Other CWB players along with Edge’s Daniel Belmonte (Ketcham), Chris Faughnan (Lourdes), Alex Klybass (Oakwood), and Cameron Crowley (Lourdes) have all attracted collegiate level interest.

Size didn’t matter in the first half as the Edge boys competed hard. With the backcourt of Crowley and Dan Belmonte taking control of the offense and Chris Faughnan (Lourdes) heading up the defense trying to contain Schofield, Edge kept it close and actually had a one point lead midway through. CWB scored as time expired, taking a five point lead into the half.

In the second half, CWB’s size proved a little too much and the offensive power of Schofield and the rest of the CWB team began to get the separation they needed as the game came to a close. But Edge didn’t go down without a fight. Klybass battled as best he could inside against CWB’s 6’11” big man, Charlie Randall, while David Ballantyne (Arlington) and Rob Stefano (John Jay) both did a great job on both ends of the court. But in the end, CWB took the first matchup, defeating the Edge 71-57 and also taking a 1-0 advantage in the six game matchup. They also went on to win the Championship on Sunday.

On Saturday afternoon, CWB and Edge’s 9th grade teams squared off. In a back and forth game that went down to the wire, Edge evened the series 1-1 “edging” out CWB 54-51. Later that evening, the two clubs 8th grade division took the floor. After a long battle and a total team effort, Edge defeated CWB 62-51 and also improved the series to 2-1 after Saturdays action.

The two clubs squared off again on Sunday afternoon. In the 10th grade division, CWB defeated Edge 62-40 and also tied the series at 2-2 in the process. Immediately following that game, the 9th grade teams squared off again in the championship round which was also a rematch. But this time, in a very similar game as the first one, CWB got the win defeating Edge 47-42. CWB improved the series record to 3-2.

But then, in the 8th grade division, Edge playing in its second championship of the season, put on a dominating performance to tie the series at 3-3. Check out this link for full story. Edge 8th Grade Wins Championship

Two great programs, six games, series split 3-3, and each program has a team winning a championship. What a weekend. Congratulations to both programs!

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