Big Weekend in Boston
It was a great weekend of basketball in Boston as Hoop Mountain, Hoop Dreams Mag, and BallasTV all held their annual winter events. Best of all for both college coaches and fans alike, was the close proximity of all three venues, allowing for easy viewing of all three great events.
Hoop Mountain hosted the second annual Good Sports TD Garden Invitational, allowing local high school teams the opportunity to compete in the Boston Celtics’ legendary arena. The Garden hosted eight different high school games throughout the course of the day on Saturday, showcasing not just many of the top teams in the MIAA but also one of the RIIL’s best in Bishop Hendricken.
Franklin earned retribution over Mansfield in one of the closest games of the day while Malden Catholic scored a convincing win over Hendricken. Newton North knocked off Newton South in a rivalry game while Catholic Memorial got 22 points from Guilien Smith in a 90-73 win over Andover. St. John’s Prep took the nightcap, knocking off Central Catholic behind 18 points from Harry O’Neil.
Literally less than one mile down the road at Bunker Hill Community College, Hoop Dreams Mag held their second annual Prep Classic. The weekend got off to an early start when Charlestown beat New Mission in a local MIAA game on Friday night while a full slate of prep action followed on Saturday and Sunday.
Master’s opened with a commanding win over Boston Trinity behind 28 points from Elijah Pemberton in just the latest big performance from the junior swingman while Notre Dame Prep got good production from Jerry Johnson to hold off Jean de Breuf from Canada. Christian Wilkins, fresh off his recent commitment to Clemson for football, returned to the hardwood to lead Suffield Academy past Holderness, despite 27 points from junior point guard Thomas Jackson. Worcester Academy knocked off Rivers to win their sixth straight as Patrick Benzan ran a balanced offense with 13 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. Mont Clare defeated Lee Academy in the nightcap as Connecticut native Tyshon Rogers played to rave reviews.
Lee opened the day Sunday with a win over Jean de Breuf while Vermont Academy dominated Winchendon behind 17 points and 9 rebounds from Ronnie Suggs as Indiana head coach Tom Crean watched Bruce Brown and Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker watched Crimson commit Corey Johnson. Suffield came close to knocking off a second straight AA team but MacDuffie held on for the win while Marianapolis and Notre Dame Prep wrapped up the weekend with wins over Tabor and Mont Clare respectively.
Seven miles away from Bunker Hill Community College, the BallasTV invite got off to an exciting start on Saturday night as Hoosac scored a dramatic comeback victory over a MacDuffie squad featuring former Hoosac star Unique McLean. Hoosac came back a day later and scored their second win of the weekend by knocking off Beaver Country Day as Marcel Pettway had a pair of strong performances in his homecoming. Kyle Padamore had 22 points for BCD.
Worcester Academy played in their second event in two days, knocking off a young but talented Commonwealth Academy squad 55-32 behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from Saul Phiri. A consistently improving Brimmer & May squad scored an upset over Wilbraham & Monson on a last second jump hook by Mark Gasperini preceded by a pair of threes from David Watkins. Putnam Science scored a convincing win over Redemption Christian behind a few more huge highlights from Mamadou Diarra. St. Andrew’s wrapped up the event with a dominant win over Hyde behind another big shooting performance Chancellor Ellis and point guard J.R. Lynch.