Gerald’s Barbershop has a reputation for traveling from one Gus Macker Tournament to the next in search of championships. They can officially cross Buffalo off the list.
Maceo Wofford, Jaysean Paige, Dusty Carlson and Steve Breth, who constitute the Barbershop quartet, captured the Macker men’s open title over Nowak, 17-15, on Sunday.
Wofford, the former Jamestown and Iona guard, called Nowak’s Troy Nowak, Gerald Beverly, Kadeem Johnson and Kyle Perla the scrappiest competitors he played against over the two-day tournament. Barbershop was a perfect 5-0.
“Buffalo has so many competitors,” said Wofford, who played for Jeff Ruland at Iona. “That being said, there’s so many guys who play basketball up in Buffalo. When a team from out of town comes in, it makes it tougher because who wants someone new coming from out of area and beating them.”
The women’s open crown was won by Saja’s Alyssa Fenyn, Abby Redick, Jenee Vanderstyne and Shakista Woolfolk. Redick, who plays at Drexel, is the sister of former Duke All-American and NBA guard J.J. Redick while Fenyn played at Virginia Tech. Vanderstyne is a golfer for Eckerd College and Woolfolk played at Finger Lakes Community College.
The Newark, N.Y.-based Saja defeated the Rock Starz group of Shaniece Brown, Deyara Burrell, Emma “Machine Gun” Cannon and Victoria Thomas.
Barbershop plans to play in three more Mackers – its first was in Warren, Pa., in May – but doesn’t anticipate the competition elsewhere being any more fierce than in Buffalo.
“There’s such a collection of talent here and it’s just amazing to come up here,” said Breth, 45. “You have a player like Jason Rowe playing and he’s eliminated. Body Blocks got knocked out. It’s amazing the amount of talent and any given team can win it with the right collection of working together. Playing with Maceo Wofford doesn’t hurt at all and of course you have Jaysean. It’s a blessing to play with those two guys.”
Barbershop won the tournament with dynamic guard play from Wofford and Paige while Carlson and Breth worked the inside. Wofford, Carlson and Breth have been the foundation of the team for years.
“I’ve played with Maceo for about 13 years now,” Carlson said. “We used to play with Justin Miller, who played at Siena, but he’s moved on now and now we play with Steve and we get a couple of guys in the mix but it’s always us three and then we fill in with a guy like Jaysean who’s a helluva player.”
That may be an understatement. Paige was The News Player of the Year in boys basketball in 2011 after a season in which he led Jamestown to the Class AA state championship game. He later transferred to Perry County Central in Hazard, Ky.
Paige was a first-team all-state selection for Perry County Central and will leave soon for Moberly Area Community College in Missouri. He played at the College of Southern Idaho last season and led the team in scoring (13.4). Still, he has to take back seat to Wofford.
Of all the players in the storied history of Jamestown basketball, Wofford may be the finest. No one has more points, assists and steals. He scored 2,259 career points from 1995 to ’99 and next on the list is Justin Johnson with 1,670.
Wofford can still take over a Macker game but Barbershop won off its balance.
“I don’t think anyone really cares about themselves,” said Breth, who played at Roberts Wesleyan. “I think we work together and our goal is to win, and if I don’t score it’s whoever needs to do it. I think Maceo took over one game and we worked the ball to get it to him. They had a tough time guarding him when he went to the basket. The goal is to win, it’s not about me.”
Next up for Barbershop is Hornell (July 27-28), Syracuse (Aug. 10-11) and Olean (Aug. 17-18).