BABC Sweeps Mass. AAU Championships
The BABC claimed gold medals in both the Massachusetts 15-and-under state AAU tournament and the 17-and-under state AAU tournament this weekend. After having claimed both the u14 and u16 titles in weeks past, BABC becomes the first organization in the history of Massachusetts AAU basketball to sweep all four divisions in a single year.
BABC earned the gold medal in the 17-and-under tournament by knocking off a talented Metro Boston team in Sunday’s final. The win was the culmination of a well balanced weekend from the squad as they got good performances from Gerard Coleman, Ron Giplaye, Jeremy Driscoll, Greg Kelley, Ryan Woumn, Marco Banegas, and Bryan Hurley.
Giplaye and Driscoll got the day going on the right note as they both shined against Mass Premier. Giplaye was too strong and too athletic inside, displaying good touch scoring around the hoop and controlling the paint on defensive end as well with his ability to block/change shots anytime MP drove to the bucket. Driscoll stretched the defense with his long range shooting ability and also made a couple of plays to showcase his athleticism.
Coleman did his thing as usual this weekend continuing to be the pure scorer that he is, especially in transition. Kelley and Woumn provided steady contributions all weekend long with solid overall floor games while Banegas and Hurley shared the ball-handling responsibilities. It was a super gutsy effort from Banegas just to suit up as he was originally thought to be out with injury for several more months. Nonetheless, he was severely limited and so Hurley’s dependability running the team proved to be an important factor.
Metro Boston had a big first round win over MYCW. Shabazz Napier, Mario Monroe, and Allen Harris led the way, overwhelming MYCW with their quickness and defensive pressure. They shook off a sluggish start to pull away late in the first half with hoops in transition.
Two other match-ups that yielded impressive performances early in the day were CMAC Hawks defeating Fidelity House and a dramatic win for the SECC All-Stars over the Boston Warriors North.
John Henault led the way for CMAC in their win, knocking down outside shots and showing off a very good mid-range game. Pat Connaughton of Fidelity House helped keep them within striking distance by making some tough shots. He knocked down a couple of 3’s and also hit some tough pull-ups off the bounce, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to prevent CMAC from coming up with the win.
The most exciting game of the morning was the SECC All-Stars versus the Warriors. The game was an offensive showcase that wasn’t decided until SECC’s Ellis Cooper hit a shot out of a timeout as time expired for an 87-86 win. Cooper was great all game breaking down the defense to score in the paint. He used his size and strength to score over defenders and finish in traffic at the rim. Robbie Burke showed that he can shoot the 3 and was very effective pulling up off a shot fake on the perimeter. Dan Martin chipped in with a solid game and SECC really shot it well from 3. The Warriors were led by Derek Retos, who showed an ability to finish off the bounce consistently throughout the game. He was able to knock down the pull-up and get to the rim as well. Jasper Grassa was impressive scoring off the bounce, and Andrew Gosselin continued to knock it down from 3. It was a great up and down game that featured great perimeter play by both sides.
While the u17 tournament was winding down in Kingston, Massachusetts, the u15 tournament was taking place in Amherst. BABC got a good test in the final from an All for One team, featuring fabulous freshman Rene Castro. But ultimately BABC’s frontline of Nerlens Noel, Domonique Bull, and Goodluck Okonboh proved to be too much for anyone to overcome. While Noel continued to dominate defensively and Bull with his strong dribble drive game, the weekend was a coming out party for Okonboh.
New England Recruiting Report readers may remember first learning of the 6’7” eighth grader after our recent Junior Elite 75 Showcase, well he made a huge statement this weekend as his play was crucial to BABC’s fourth, and record breaking, state championship.