Hawks Elite Team Camp Event Recap
The University of Hartford held their second annual Elite Team Camp this weekend, welcoming 17 teams from a total of three states to the Reich Family Pavilion.
Each team played several games throughout the weekend while participating in an offensive skill breakdown with newly appointed Hawks’ head coach John Gallagher.
The field was divided into two divisions with Choate defeating Milton Academy in the finals of the red division and Manchester High School knocking off Farmington in the finals of the white division.
The Choate squad received balanced contributions throughout the weekend as the six man roster of Brandon Sherrod, Dennis Levene, Deshawn Murphy, John Papale, Casey Woodring, and Phil Gaetano all shared the ball, scored their fair share of points and shined individually at various times.
Milton was led by big man Dennis Clifford, who was especially good on Sunday, scoring the game winning bucket in sudden death overtime to defeat Northwest Catholic in the semifinals. Also impressive was Eric Davis, a rising junior guard who handled pressure well in the backcourt while showing a dependable shooting stroke.
Semifinalists Northwest Catholic and Windsor are annually among the top teams in the CIAC and appear poised to follow the same path again next season. Northwest Catholic has an obviously dynamic talent in Kuran Iverson but is far from a one man show with the likes of swingmen J.C. Carr and Zach Lewis and playmaking guard Tyler Huffman.
Egerton Anderson and Garey Allen form an imposing one-two punch for the Warriors. Anderson is a versatile offensive player who can knock down the three or bounce up for pull-ups while Allen is a super quick lead guard who harasses the ball defensively and gets into the lane at will on the offensive end. But the real story for Windsor is how bright the future is with young players like Jared Wilson-Frame coming up through the ranks.
Wilbur Cross was another team that shined in the red bracket. They played Choate tough in pool play before failing in a nail biter to Windsor in Sunday’s quarterfinal. Cross’ strength lies up front with a frontline that features Alex Conaway, Gerald McClease, and newly arrived transfer Kevin Rivers.
Thornton Academy made the trip down from Maine at less than full strength after Andrew Shaw fell ill, but James Ek and little brother Adam Ek managed to stand out. The brothers form a pretty effective duo in the backcourt as James strokes it in bunches with deep range while Adam is more of a pure point guard.
Manchester stole the show in the white division as they plowed through the field, seamlessly winning every game by a double digit margin. Six-foot-twon guard Enrique Lugo established himself as a solid prospect this weekend showing the ability to slash to the basket and make his fair share of shots from the perimeter. Kavohn Townsend headlines the supporting cast while underclassmen Kweku Aidoo, Andrew Isaacs, and Marquis Little are already contributors.
University High School looked like a program on the rise as they advanced to the semi-finals. Luciano Martinez led the team in the scoring column with a strong dribble drive game and the craftiness to bank in mid-range jumpers off the glass. Tyrell Henderson is another rising junior slasher who caught our eye while the 2013 class of Kadian Hall, Jason Turner, and Michael Griggs form a very talented rising sophomore trio. Hall is a lights out three-point shooter who averaged 17 points per game as a freshman while Turner is another guard who saw varsity time in his freshman season with his high motor and Griggs is a long and athletic wingman.
University was knocked out by a fundamentally sound and disciplined Fairfield club. Rising junior big man Ben Pollack looked like a solid prospect for the next level showing a big body, good hands and feet inside the lane, and a willingness to play through contact.
East Hartford loses quite a bit including head coach Anthony Menard but should remain very dangerous with a one-two punch of Anthony Jernigan and Cane Broome in the backcourt. Jernigan has a chance to be the best guard in the CIAC next year while Broome showed some silky smooth playmaking abilities this weekend.
New Britain is another club who faces a rebuilding project with the graduation of two scholarship level players while much of their success will depend on how quickly rising sophomore Daquan Clark can grow into a starring role.