EYBL Session III Recap
BABC came one step closer to qualifying for the Nike EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam this weekend with a 4-0 record at session III in Houston.
They opened with a 72-62 win over Oakland Soldiers on Friday night, picked up wins over Athletes First (84-73) and Playground Elite (61-53) on Saturday, followed by a win over Mac Irvin Fire (63-56) to close out the session on Sunday.
Bruce Brown had some big games, going for 27 against Athletes First and 20 against Mac Irvin Fire, but was efficient throughout the weekend with his shooting percentages. Kevin Marfo continued to be solid and consistent up front as well. He opened with 18 points and 8 rebounds against the Soldiers and had 13 and 8 against Playground Elite and then 12 and 7 against Mac Irvin Fire.
The real key to BABC’s success this weekend appeared to be their balance though as various other players stepped up. Pat Fisher continued to hold down the point guard responsibilities admirably with Ikenna Ndugba still out of the line-up with injury while Tommy Mobley was 14-28 from behind the arc on the weekend.
Brett Hanson was a spark off the bench, first dropping 10 points against the Soldiers and then 14 critical points against Playground Elite on Saturday night. B.J. Martin was equally important up front. He had 15 points against Athletes First but nearly had a double-double against the Soldiers (8 points & 9 rebounds).
Arkel Ager-Lamar played big minutes with his first weekend with the club as well and was especially impactful against Athletes First with 16 points in 17 minutes.
BABC’s perfect weekend was all the more import because these were games played within division, where the top five teams earn an automatic berth to the finals. BABC now sits in a three-way tie for second place with their 8-4 record. Mac Irvin Fire, Athletes First and Oakland Soldiers are all just a game behind at 7-5 overall, but now BABC holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over all three, meaning they are definitely in a position of strength heading into the final session in Minnesota.
Expressions also came into the weekend with a 4-4 record but went just 1-3 in Houston with only seven healthy players in the line-up. Their overall record of 5-7 has them sitting two games behind Team Penny for the fifth and final automatic berth in Division D.
Unfortunately, Team Penny also holds the tie-breaker after taking a 68-65 win in their head-to-head game on Saturday morning. After falling to Spiece Indy Heat 74-63 in Friday night’s opener, Expressions came back to knock off South Beach All-Stars 78-71 on Saturday night before losing another heartbreaker on Sunday morning, 71-69 to All-Ohio Red.
Jermaine Samuels and Kimani Lawrence both had their best weekends on the circuit. Samuels had 20 against Spiece, 18 against South Beach and 15 again All-Ohio while Lawrence exploded for 30 points against All-Ohio, while also adding 7 rebounds, and had 13 more against both Spiece and All-Ohio.
Nick Richards, who stars for St. Patrick’s High School in New Jersey during the regular season, had a pair of double-doubles this weekend, including 17 and 10 against South Beach and their five-star center Zach Brown. Jordan Nwora, an upstate New York product, also made consistent contributions in his first weekend with Expressions including 19 points and 7 rebounds against All-Ohio Red.