EYBL Session 3 Recap
BABC and Expressions Elite both traveled to Atlanta last weekend for the third session of Nike's EYBL.
The session started with a head-to-head match-up between the two teams that came down to the wire. BABC led throughout most of the game, holding a 41-30 halftime lead, as Expressions struggled to score and finish plays in the first half but X wouldn't go away in the second as they increased the tempo of the game and began to score with much greater ease. Ultimately, the contest wouldn't be decided in 32 minutes and required overtime. The extra 4 belonged to the X though as they won the OT 8-2 to secure a 69-63 win.
Expressions had seven different players score between 7 and 11 points. Tre Mitchell had his fair share of struggles offensively in the first half but finished with 19 rebounds to go with his 10 points. Noah Fernandes came alive in the second half and finished with 10 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds while Joe Pridgen scored a team high 11 points while ading 6 rebounds. Brycen Goodine led BABC with a team high 18 points but was just 5-18 from the floor while Darion Jordan-Thomas and Matt Cross added 12 and 11 respectively.
Expressions would win two more games on the weekend to finish with a record of 3-1, putting them in a tie with New York Lightning for second place in Division B with an 8-4 record so far on the season. Terrence Clarke erupted for 22 points against the New Jersey Playaz as Expressions valiantly faught back from a 51-26 first half deficit but couldn't get all the way over the hump. Next it was Dyondre Dominguez' turn to come alive as he went for 25 points in a 72-69 win over the Las Vegas Prospects. Noah Fernandes added 15 points and 9 assists while Tre Mitchell had 10 points and another huge 19 rebounds. Expressions culminated the weekend with a 7-1 69 win over a very good Bradley Beal Elite team on Sunday morning. Daniel Buie was the offensive spark in this one with 14 points while Fernandes again made plays for himself and others to the tune of 13 points and 8 assists.
BABC's 1-3 record on the weekend was a little misleading as they were up by double figures in each of their first two games. Brycen Goodine had 19 points against the Las Vegas Prospects while Levar Williams went 3-4 from deep to finish with 13 points. Mitch Doherty had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds inside. BABC showed what they were capable of Saturday night with a dominant 87-63 win over the Lightning. Goodine and Williams combined for 48 points in this one as Goodine had 24 points on 8-14 shooting, including 6-10 from three, along with 5 assists. Williams went 6-10 from three as well to score 20 while also adding 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Kyle Murphy also played well with 14 points. Sunday's 60-59 loss to a very good Mokan team was a heartbreaker as Goodine continued to raise the level of his game with 31 points on 10-20 shooting from the floor, 4-7 shooting from three, and 7-7 from the stripe. Despite the loss, BABC was playing their best basketball of the weekend at the end and should be ready to make a run in session 4.
Tyler Bertram was a Friday night hero for the New York Rens in their comeback win over Team Final as he knocked down a pair of threes in the final minute of the game to spark the run. He finished with 13 threes on the weekend, averaged just over 10 points per game. Fellow Vermont Academy guard Symir Torrence and New Hampton School guard Mika Adams-Woods both played pivotal roles for an Albany City Rocks squad that now sits atop Division A with an overall record of 9-3. Akok Akok averaged just under 13 points and 6 rebounds per game to help an injury plagued PSA Cardinals team.
Expressions and BABC both had their u16 teams in Atlanta this weekend as well. Both advanced to bracket play after finishing second in their pool. Expressions opened with a 75-68 loss to Phenom University, arguably the most talented young team in the EYBL, while BABC fell to longtime AAU rival Boo Williams. Both bounced back for a pair Saturday wins as Expressions knocked off E1T1 71-48 and CIA Bounce 67-43 while BABC bounced Georgia Stars 57-48 then AOT Running Rebels 70-60. Expressions added an opening round win OT win over the Rens before falling on Sunday morning. Trey Hall provided late game heroics in that game while the backcourt of Enoch Cheeks and Aidan Carpenter impressed as well. BABC's backcourt of Quest Harris, Shemar Dennis, and Danny Dade paced them while Josh Ogundele shows positive signs of growth inside. Both u16 teams will travel to Virginia in two weeks as they also attempt to qualify for the Peach Jam.