By Tom Robinson
MANHEIM – Dimitri Gnall crashed the boards throughout and Leo O’Boyle bombed away from 3-point range in the second half Saturday afternoon.
As a result, JB Hoops Callahan won its second straight game in the Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest 17U Elite Championship Division by pulling away from the New York Lightning Select, 64-50.
Gnall finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds. He tipped in two of his teammate’s misses in each half and also tipped a missed O’Boyle 3-pointer, allowing O’Boyle to retrieve it and convert the rebound into two free throws.
O’Boyle went 4-for-5 from 3-point range in the second half when he scored 17 of his 22 points. He also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
JB Hoops shot 60 percent (9-for-15) from 3-point range with O’Boyle finishing 5-for-7. Jeremy Callahan was 2-for-3, Nate Kreitzer hit his only attempt and George Tinsley was 1-for-2.
Tinsley’s 3-pointer came at the first-half buzzer, giving him 9 of his 11 points and putting JB Hoops ahead, 30-29, at the break.
Blake Gearhart came off the bench to add seven points. Kreitzer led the team with three assists. Tinsley had two steals and blocked a shot to lead a defense that held the Lightning to 18-for-48 (37.5 percent) shooting.
New York took its biggest lead at 20-15 with 6:19 left in the half.
On the first possession after a timeout, Gnall tipped in a shot. He combined with O’Boyle to lead a 10-0 run to a 25-20 lead.
Both players had five points in the streak, which included two Gnall tip-ins and, the O’Boyle rebound off Gnall’s other tip and an O’Boyle 3-pointer.
“Before the game, coach (Bill) Callahan said, ‘just make sure you crash the boards. They are bigger, but just get a body on them and I can outjump them’,” Gnall said.
O’Boyle set up Gnall to complete some slick interior passing for another five-point lead before the Lightning ran off seven straight.
Tinsley’s 3-pointer in transition at the buzzer gave JB Hoops the lead.
The Lightning scored the first basket of the second half for its final lead.
O’Boyle’s 3-pointer from the right wing started a streak of eight straight points to put JB Hoops ahead to stay. A Gnall tip-in and an O’Boyle dunk, off a Tinsley feed on a back-door cut, completed that streak.
Gnall started one more streak with yet another tip-in. JB Hoops ran off 13 straight for a 54-40 lead. O’Boyle had five points and Gearhart four in the streak.
The win improved JB Hoops to 6-2 since returning from a six-week layoff from games and sent the team into Saturday night’s round of 16 where it lost for the first time on the weekend.
“Since this July period, I think we’ve been playing our best basketball,” guard Mario Rotell said. “We’ve just grown so much.”