Adidas Elite 8 - Final Recap
Champions were crowned in the Adidas Select Series at Brandeis University, with an infusion of talent coming to the area from outside New England. Along with some of New England's strongest grassroots programs, teams from New Jersey, Virginia, Charlotte, San Antonio, Montreal & Toronto all shined.
Here is a recap of the championship rounds:
Holding Division 1 offers, QCAA's MJ Armstrong's strong first half propelled his Charlotte-based squad into the finals over Evolution. Armstrong has a very advanced offensive game and can score in a multitude of ways. Although they found themselves down 32-26 at the half, Evolution kept fighting and took the lead early in the second half. Craig Preston continued his solid play, and Melvin Worley kept on his pace of making winning plays at the right time, asserting himself as one of the breakout stars of the weekend. Charlie Deacon rose up and made several jaw-dropping plays with his athleticism in the second half, as well, but QCAA proved to be too much with nine different players scoring throughout the game. The second semifinal proved to be an intense, physical & emotional game with Peoples Basketball going up against Mass Rivals. With Peoples up three at the half, DeMarr Langford came out on fire with several strong finishes for Rivals. Jordan Minor was very active inside, and Jarron Flynn provided consistent perimeter offense. However, Peoples' guards proved to be too much, as Steven Rhahwire and Kevin Otoo scored in transition to put them up double-digits for good.
QCAA jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, but Peoples rallied to take a 35-29 lead at the half. Coming out, the depth of QCAA took over. Armstrong went on a personal 6-0 run to give them a 7-point lead with six minutes to play. Despite a valiant effort by unsigned 6'8 senior wing Kevin Osawe, the QCAA defense locked up and only allowed six points over the last seven minutes. Wing Tyler Nelson lead QCAA in scoring with 12 points in another balanced effort, and his team hung on for a 67-51 victory.
Most Valuable Player: Tyler Nelson (QCAA)
Most Outstanding Player: Kevin Osawe (Peoples Basketball)
Jarron Flynn (Mass Rivals
Jordan Minor (Mass Rivals)
Kevin Otoo (Peoples Basketball)
Melvin Worley (Evolution)
VA Playmakers cruised to the finals, while Peoples Basketball had to fend off a feisty Mass Select team in the semis. Up 2 at the half, Michael Doherty went to work in the second half for Mass Select, scoring 12 of his team-high 14 points after halftime. It would not be enough, however, as Shemar Forbes scored 22 points to lead Peoples to a 71-54 victory.
Featuring a Virginia vs. Toronto matchup in the championship game, scoring was plentiful in the first half. VA Playmakers took a 42-29 lead into the half behind Skyler Carman's ability to get in the lane & either finish or find his open teammates. Malcolm King tried to keep his Peoples team in it, but the Playmakers proved to be too much and lead throughout the second half, emerging victorious with a 69-55 triumph.
Champions: VA Playmakers
MVP: Skyler Carman (VA Playmakers)
MOP: Malcolm King (Peoples Basketball)
Isaiah Adeboboye (Peoples Basketball)
Noah Bullock (VA Playmakers)
Michael Doherty (Mass Select)
Kyle Lubinsky (Mass Select)
Marshall Reed (VA Playmakers)
With a lot of talented teams and players left out of the semifinals, the championship game put two teams against each other who took different paths to get there. Brookwood Elite, armed with a very talented and physical roster, rolled through the competition. In one of the most exciting games of the tournament, South Jersey Titans needed a buzzer-beater in double OT from point guard Connor Kennedy to reach the finals.
South Jersey Titans kept it close in the first half, and were hoping to catch magic in a bottle for a second straight game. But the talent & skill of Brookwood was too much for the Titans to overcome. Runouts by Jahmyl Telfort & Keeshawn Barthelemy put Brookwood up 11 with six minutes to play, and they maintained the lead for a 64-52 win. Georges Lefebvre, a very talented 6'8 2021 prospect, was on fire again to claim the unofficial award as the best prospect at the tournament.
Champions: Brookwood Elite
MVP: Keeshawn Barthelemy (Brookwood Elite)
MOP: Connor Kennedy (South Jersey Titans)