CBC Takes Home Fourth Title

By Paul Lazdowski | Monday, May 27th, 2013

CBC Takes Home Fourth Title

NEW LONDON, Conn. – In what is becoming a regular weekly occurrence, the Connecticut Basketball Club (‘CBC’) again made its way onto a college campus and departed less than 48 hours later with a tournament title.

On Sunday, it was at Connecticut College that CBC defeated New Heights (NY), 57-52, in the 17u division National finals to win the New England Recruiting Report's Memorial Day Super 16 Showcase.

Just last weekend CBC captured the Hall of Fame Spring Classic at Amherst College, which followed victories at the Connecticut State AAU Championships and Hall of New England Championships.

At the Super 16, CBC knocked off MBNation in the semis before it defeated New Heights, which dropped United Sons and Daughters (USAD) to advance.

Balanced offensive scoring, sound team defense and strong late second-half execution – when New Heights closed within two-points with just over two minutes remaining – were the key factors in CBC’s victory. CBC also overcame a dominant performance by New Heights’ 6-foot-8, 275-pound big man Jordan Washington, who tallied 28 points and 12 rebounds.

“If you look at our scorebook, there’s a lot of 11, 12, eight point guys,” CBC coach Dan Donnelly said in the immediate aftermath. “This kid earlier today was fantastic, Dave Zielinski. Levy Gillespie Jr. played fantastic defense in the second half of this game . . . you can always rely on Paschal Chukwu. I thought Obi Momah really stood out as far as being physical with these kids. He’s usually the biggest kid – physically – but these kids were physically bigger than him. And I thought Bernard Brantley . . . his point guard-play in the game before and this game was fantastic.”

Donnelly acknowledged that while his players’ unselfishness has helped CBC to four titles and a 22-2 record so far, it has also required self-sacrifice.

”I’m not sure if it hurts the kids as far as exposure goes,” he said, “but you know in this game if you keep winning they’ll come watch. Coaches come up to us and say, ‘You know, we love the team play, we love the team play.’ And sometimes kids go, ‘I only had 12 points or I only had eight points.’ But I tell them, ‘It was a great eight points.’”

The u17 American division champion was crowned later in the afternoon when Team Price (NY) dropped CT Gold, 53-35. Team Price was led by the wing play of 6-foot-2 Darnell Holmes, a dynamic lefty who scored at all three levels, fleet-footed 6-foot point guard Kyle Credle, whose deadly crossover allowed him to get into the lane and finish with pull-ups and floaters, and the down-low presence of 6-foot-8, 300-pound center Jaleel Charles, who exhibited a soft shooting touch.     

Phillip Crampton & Remi Farrell – CT Gold – The pair of 6-foot-7 forwards ran the floor well and finished in transition. When pace slowed, they were equally active on the interior using their bodies to carve out space and create scoring opportunities for themselves and teammates via screens. Their ability to step out, face up and drain contested eight-footers – something with which Crampton was particularly effective – also impressed.

Brendan Wagner & Zach Quattro – LVBR (PA) – Another interior duo that was critical to their team’s success this weekend, Wagner and Quattro possess very complimenting skills.  Wagner has a big, strong body that allows him to create a physical presence inside the paint, while Quattro specialty is stepping out and stretching the defense with his deep shooting range and pinpoint accuracy.  

Darnell Holmes – Team Price (NY) – The Benjamin Cardozo High (Queens, NY) guard was a crucial offensive contributor in each of Prince’s three wins on Sunday. Though most of his moves came while moving left, the lefthander was able to deceive his defenders by employing a series of ball fakes and jab steps in the opposite direction. He effectively used a floater either off glass or directly at the basket to score over bigs, and also displayed a solid mid-range, pull-up jumper.

Isaac Vann – United Sons and Daughters (USAD) – The 6-foot-5 forward electrified the gym Sunday when he threw down a thunderous tomahawk dunk after being fouled. Though he missed the free throw, Vann displayed the high-level athleticism that has become his trademark. A few possessions later, he again turned heads with a tenacious close-out of an opponent – from six-feet away – as he attempted a three-pointer. Vann’s efforts earned an impressive block which led to a USAD fast break.

Jordan Washington – New Heights (NY) – The aforementioned big man was too quick and powerful for anyone in the Conn. College gym. Whether employing a sleek drop step in either direction then sealing his defender for a dunk, a baby hook across the lane or a five-foot jumper, Washington knew how to use his wide frame to set up his finish. Though he struggled at the line in the finals (3-for-10), Washington showed good form and rotation on his shots.

Tifa Wright – CT Select Duke – The 6-foot shooting guard showcased the three-point accuracy for which his coach regularly lauds him. In a quarterfinals match up against the Middlesex Magic Giordano, he nailed six three-pointers en route to a win.

Dave Zielinski – Connecticut Basketball Club (CBC) – The 6-foot-1 guard drew the unenviable task of denying Dustin Rose in CBC’s semis matchup with MBNation. The Fairfield Prep product was all over the court and delivered a huge defensive performance in what turned out to be a decisive victory.

Justin Zukowski – MBNation –The offensive aggression of the 6-foot-1 guard was noticeable in MBN’s semis match up versus CBC. With Cole again facing intense defensive pressure, his backcourt mate took advantage by attacking the rim and hitting his outside shot. Zukowski also showed a knack for drawing fouls in the lane and finished off a couple old-fashioned, three-point plays.  

Amir Bell – Team Jersey Elite – A New Jersey product who is already committed to Princeton, Bell might not make another trip to New England before he returns to play in the Ivy League, but when that happens you can bet that there will be some people who remember him based off his performance this weekend as he operated off the dribble with pinpoint efficiency.  

Paul Lazdowski can be followed on Twitter @PrepBallInsider