Adidas Gauntlet Recap
The Mass Rivals finished the opening session of the Adidas Gauntlet with a record of 4-0 while the New England Playaz weren’t far behind at 3-1.
New England’s two squads both delivered losses to Team Loaded programs from North Carolina and Virginia respectively to open play on Friday night. 12 different players saw action for the Rivals, who were led by 23 points from Azar Swain as the Yale pledge went 5-8 from behind the three-point line while unsigned senior Nate Tenaglia added 13 and Makhtar Gueye 9 points and 6 boards. The Playaz got 15 points and 5 rebounds from Jerome Desrosiers while Kellan Grady returned from injury earlier than expected to score 10. Tomas Murphy was also particularly impactful with 7 points and 9 rebounds in the 53-48 win.
In Saturday’s bracket play the Rivals scored a narrow 71-70 win over Texas PRO followed by another hard fought win over Brookwood Elite 62-56. Swain was again the high man in the morning session with 15 points, while Wabissa Bede matched that total and Makai Ashton-Langford also finished in double figures with 11. Ashton-Langford had 12 points and 6 assists in the nightcap while Swain added 11 points and 9 rebounds. The final game of the weekend was a blow-out win over M33M Elite in which neither Ashton-Langford nor Bede played heavy minutes. Swain pumped in 19 more while Aaron Wheeler (10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks) and David Duke (7 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists) had their best games of the weekend as well.
The Playaz opened with a 63-55 loss to the Colorado Hawks on Saturday but rebounded with a 56-48 decision over Gateway Basketball Club later in the day. Grady led a balanced attack against the Hawks with 12 points and 6 boards while Desrosiers had 11 and 6 and Shyheim Hicks 11 and 5. Hicks had 14 more in 15 minutes of action against Gateway while Grady, Murphy and Charles Hannah all finished in double figures as well. The Playaz finished their weekend with a 63-51 win over Stackhouse Elite on Sunday as Hicks continued to take his game to new levels with 19 points, 3 assists and 2 steals while Grady, Desrosiers and Hannah were all again in double figures. Grady and Desrosiers also handed out 5 and 4 assists respectively.
In the u16 division, the Rivals made a run all the way to the finals before falling to Indiana Elite taking wins over Compton Magic, Baltimore Elite and the Atlanta Celtics in the process. The Playaz went 4-1 in the u16 division, dropping a Saturday morning game to Arkansas Hawks but then rattling off four straight over Eric Gordon All-Stars, Texas PRO, Gateway Basketball Club and Karolina Khaos.
In the Silver Division, played nearby at Focus Academy, Metro Boston finished with a record of 2-2 with wins over SR1 Mississippi All-Stars and BMAZE Elite while the u16 squad went 3-1 with wins over Brothers Keeper, SR1 Mississippi All-Stars and I-90 New York. Stamford Peace finished 2-1 in the u16 division with wins over Atlanta Lightning and TX Bluechips.
NERR's Luc Smith was on hand in Dallas tweeting throughout the weekend, here's a look back at his thoughts:
John Thompson III (Georgetown), Duke, Texas, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, NC State, USC, UNC, VCU, & URI all watching @RivalsNation right now!— Luc Smith (@LucWSmith) April 16, 2016
Makai Ashton-Langford puts his typical spin on his layup with 8 sec. left gets a steal & makes 2 FTs to get the win by 1 for @RivalsNation.— Luc Smith (@LucWSmith) April 16, 2016
Wabissa Bede was on today. Making shots in bunches, distributing, & being the great leader he is. pic.twitter.com/zf3gIdfWoN— Luc Smith (@LucWSmith) April 16, 2016
Been impressed by Shyheim Hicks this weekend. Proving he's much more than a "program" kid. Shot making translates to next level. @CATornados— Luc Smith (@LucWSmith) April 17, 2016
Had HM coaches asking me what @AzarShallah's recruitment was like after shooting 46.5% from 3 & 17 ppg this weekend. A great get for Yale!— Luc Smith (@LucWSmith) April 17, 2016