BABC Wins Boo Williams Tournament
By Phil Kasiecki | Sunday, April 8th, 2007

BABC Wins Boo Williams Tournament

HAMPTON, Va. - BABC is used to winning games.  That's not just a historical note, although that is the case over its entire existence.  But this current group has done plenty of winning in the last year, and that continued this weekend at the Boo Williams Invitational in Virginia.

Although they were short-handed and essentially played five players (and pressed for a good deal of the game), BABC held off the New Jersey-based Playaz Basketball Club in the 16-under final for a 64-58 win on Sunday.  It capped a weekend that didn't seem to have the makings of a championship at the beginning.

BABC needed a tie-breaker to emerge from pool play after going 2-1, losing 70-69 in their opener to Florida-based Team Daniels Showtime.  They bounced back with a 90-41 romp over Petersburg Elite and a 71-66 win over Philadelphia-based Team Final to close out pool play.  In the quarterfinals, they blew out Detroit-based The Family, then scored a 79-68 win over Baltimore-based Team Melo in the semifinals on Sunday morning, a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicates.

The last win was important, as it gave them a chance to rest the main players later in the game for the final once they had it in the bag.  Coach Leo Papile was concerned about fatigue, and it did show up as they never really put the Playaz away in the final but made the plays they needed in order to win.  The team brought just eight players and lost Malik Smith (Madison Park HS) to a badly sprained ankle in an earlier playoff game.  That also robbed them of another scorer, which meant there was more urgency for freshman floor leader Phil Pressey (Cushing Academy) to continue to be more of a scorer.

Pressey went for 24 points in the win over Team Final, including four three-pointers, but overall is still streaky shooting the ball.  He had 12 points in the championship game and still showed his ability to distribute, including 11 assists against The Family.

Jamal Coombs had 16 points in the title game, but more importantly came up big in the final minutes.  He had a key put-back, then intercepted a long pass and had a three-point play to help preserve the lead.  It helped make up for a sub-par showing with his jumper, as did his steady rebounding.  His teammate and fellow Connecticut commit, Alex Oriakhi, had his moments, showing a good mid-range touch and getting some rebounds.  He has all the fundamental tools and just needs to play like he wants to dominate to start to really tap into his potential.

Ron Giplaye (Cushing Academy) also had 16 points in the final and continued to show some sound fundamentals.  He has a great knack for knowing when to finish with his left (off) hand and looks so natural doing it that you might not even suspect he's right-handed immediately.  If he grows a little more from his current 6'5", he could become a terrific post scorer and will only be a better rebounder (he reached double figures in rebounding twice), though he is developing a little game away from the basket.

Darryl Cato-Bishop (Lawrence Academy) had an excellent showing in doing several things to help the team.  He got plenty of rebounds (ten in two games and nine in another) and played bigger than his size, and also served as another ball-handler and passer.  While not a great scorer or shooter, he's strong and tough, and the type of player a team can win a lot of games with.

Papile was excited to get the win because not many people know about this group.  Although the program has done plenty of winning over the years, this young team hasn't played up in 17-under in many tournaments often and has thus flown under the radar.  In the past year, this team has won several major tournaments and lost just four games.  The team isn't loaded with big-time prospects, but is well-coached and has a solid basketball I.Q. as a group, which is a big reason they have had the success they have to this point.

Phil Kasiecki is the managing editor for  To read more of Phil’s stories about both high school and college basketball in the New England area please visit