Hall of Fame NIT - 16u Recap
In a field made of up of several of the top AAU programs in the Northeast, as well as other areas of the US and Canada, it was Team Scan out of New York City that took home the 16u championship at the Hall of Fame National Invitational in Springfield. New England, however, was well represented in the playoffs on Sunday with the Connecticut Basketball Club winning three games before losing in the Semifinals and the New England Playaz winning four before losing in the championship. CBC, one of the more athletic teams in the 16u field, was led by strong inside play from Tyrique Jones and excellent guard play from Elijah Pemberton, Keandre Fair, EJ Crawford, and Derrick Boyd. The Playaz were led by consistent outside shooting and strong perimeter play from Tyree Weston, Jordan Scurry, and Ben Judson. Both losses, respectively, came against a dominant Scan team that did not have an opponent come within single digits of them all weekend.
Players who stood out:
Elijah Pemberton (CBC): Athletic lead guard was impressive all weekend running point for CBC. Extremely quick off the bounce, Pemberton is a playmaker on offense and difficult to keep out of the lane. He is a good passer and showed nice floor vision playing in transition. He also rebounds well for a guard and effectively uses his height and long arms to impact the game on the defensive end.
Tyrique Jones (CBC): Jones was a presence on both ends of the floor Saturday afternoon, scoring 18 points in lopsided victory over the Bay State Magic. His scoring primarily comes close to the basket, where he has good hands and is a strong finisher. Although he wasn’t a major factor on offense, he also did a nice job staying active inside and blocked a few shots against an elite Scan frontline on Sunday.
EJ Crawford (CBC): Strong bodied combo guard had nice tournament scoring the ball, highlighted by his 14 points versus Team Scan. Crawford has a solid handle, range on his jumpshot, and effectively uses his body to create seperation off the dribble.
Jordan Scurry (New England Playaz): Guard/Forward was impressive on the wing for the Playaz on Sunday. Scurry has range on his jumpshot and is extremely smooth shooting off the dribble. Strong athlete is also a good finisher around the basket.
Joe Schneider (New England Playaz): Still growing into his body, Schneider continued to show nice potential on Sunday. He had a few nice plays where he finished through contact on the offensive end.
Thomas Bryant, Kassoum Yakwe, and Dondre Rhoden (Team Scan): The Team Scan frontline looked like men amongst boys playing on the 16u level all weekend. Bryant is every bit of 6-9 and plays even bigger using a combination of length and athleticism. He showed the ability to dominate at both end of the floor. Yakwe looks shorter than his listed height but is equally dominant. An elite leaper, he scored 17 points and blocked 5 shots against a very athletic CBC team in the Semis. Offensively, he has a high release on a very nice fifteen foot jumpshot. Rhoden, a powerful athlete, came off the bench and was impressive rebounding the ball and finishing around the basket.
Devonte Green (Team Scan): Scoring guard led Team Scan with 16 points in the championship. Green is very well rounded on the offensive end and is also a very good defender.
Joey Wallace (RAP Elite): Wallace is a multi-dimensional player for a RAP Elite team that made an impressive run to the semis. He played a point-forward type role where he did most of the ball handeling on the offensive end. He scored 22 points in a variety of ways in a second round victory over the Playaz. He also impacts the game on the defensive end, where he can guard a number of positions.
Steve Enoch (Team Up): Big man was dominant in an opening round win Saturday morning, scoring 22 points and controlling the glass on both ends of the floor. Enoch showed nice touch on his jump shot and a soft hook shot in the post. He followed this with a respectable performance in a Saturday afternoon loss to Team Scan in which he stayed aggressive rebounding the basketball.
John Sica (Albany City Rocks): Stretch, face-up power forward was impressive for the City Rocks on Saturday. Sica, a good spot-up shooter, is very skilled on the offensive end and is a deceptively good athlete.