BABC Prep Classic - Saturday Recap
The opening day for the 3-day BABC Prep Classic at Chelsea High School was a very exciting showcase of some of New England’s elite basketball talent. The first game was a very evenly matched one with Notre Dame Prep taking on Bridgton Academy. Bridgton hung around within single-digits all game despite being without Seton Hall bound guard Dashun Wiggins. Point guard Alexander Harris for Bridgton led his team with 21 points with 15 of them coming from beyond the arc. Harris also got a couple of transition layups going coast to coast using his great speed. Harris’s efforts were able to close the gap and tie the game midway through the 2nd half after a 33-29 deficit at halftime. Shooting guards Chance Jones and Paul Dick added 13 and 8 point contributions respectively through jump shots. Both teams used high pick and roll offenses and dribble penetration to pass the ball outside to their shooters.
With Notre Dame’s big names contained, senior point guard Jordair Jett led his team with 15 points through some nifty dribble penetration and layups. Until the final 10 minutes of regulation, Bridgton’s defense successfully contained Notre Dame’s power forwards Ron Giplaye and Cleveland Melvin, headed to Providence College and UConn respectively. Bridgton successfully double teamed and maintained a solid low post defense against both players. After both players were held to under 5 points apiece in the 1st half, they woke up in the 2nd half and sealed the win for Notre Dame Prep. Giplaye finished the contest with 12 points and Melvin finished with 13. Memphis University bound guard Antonio Barton added 11 points. Notre Dame Prep ended the game with a 72-64 victory.
Game 2 in the tripleheader featured the Brimmer and May School facing the Tilton School. Brimmer and May was clearly the underdog in this matchup with their Bryant University bound senior PF Troy Robinson inactive due to injury. Tilton was featuring their Providence College bound star guard Gerard Coleman who is #2 ranked in New England in the Class of 2010. The 1st half belong to Brimmer and May as they led 26-22 and held Coleman to only 6 points. Despite Brimmer’s height disadvantage, their small lineup was able to produce steals on the perimeter and down low on the boards. They also used a 2-3 zone package defense which kept Tilton’s offense on the perimeter and with their jump shots not falling the Rams struggled. Towards the end of the 1st half, Brimmer and May senior point guard Derek Retos caught fire from long range hitting 5 3-pointers for 15 points.
Once the 2nd half started, Tilton’s offense pushed the tempo. Tilton ended the game defeating Brimmer and May 76-58 and outscored them 54-32 in the 2nd half solely because of the utilization of the transition game. Tilton pushed the ball to open some space for Gerard Coleman to use his pure driving ability to go straight to the hoop. Coleman scored 17 points in the 2nd half for a total of 23 points and gave the audience an entertaining 2nd half showing his high major skills. Sophomore forward Georges Niang came through for Tilton as additional scoring threat as he led all players with 31 points hitting shots in the paint and beyond the arc. Brimmer and May forward Chris Sherwood scored 11 points all driving to the hoop and guard Eric Alleyne also scored 11.
The 3rd game between Cushing Academy and powerhouse Brewster Academy did not end well for the overmatched Penguins with the final buzzer sounding at 55-37 in favor of Brewster. Brewster’s overall play was a poised and cohesive team effort totally holding control of the game’s tempo, using their size advantage, and moving the ball exceptionally well. Brewster’s 6’10 center Maurice Walker produced a double-double with 14 points and more than 10 rebounds. Future Memphis University player Will Barton and future Syracuse player C.J. Fair gave their team 10 points apiece driving to the hoop. Barton is ranked the 5th best player in the nation according to ESPN. Fair is ranked at 59th overall according to ESPN. Rutgers University bound pure shooter Austin Carroll hit a couple of 3s to show his presence. Junior point guard Naadir Tharpe only hit one basket during the game but showed his ability as a pure point guard running the offense and distributing the ball. The 3-2 zone defense that Brewster utilized held Cushing’s shooters in check and kept most passing lanes on lockdown. Cushing forward Egi Gjikondi led his team in scoring with 11. Brewster simply outplayed Cushing on both ends of the floor showing their talent offensively, and showing their ability to be defensive stoppers.