HOF NE Championship Event Recap
This past weekend Basketbull held their annual event at Wesleyan University that saw top teams from around the northeast region come to Middletown, Connecticut to compete in front of a large numbers of college coaches. By the end of Sunday, due to NCAA Live Period rules not permitting teams to play more than three games in a day, the 17u bracket saw two champions be crowned, House of Sports and Middlesex Magic.
House of Sports used a strong frontline of Jonathan Nwankwo and Kai Mitchell combined with elite guard play from Salim Green, Rickey McGill, and Ryan Bernstein to capture a championship. However, while those may have been the standouts, House of Sports’ most impressive quality was their tremendous team play from everyone on their roster. No matter who it was that came in for Andy Borman’s team, it seemed that the player knew their role and executed it well. It is the second New England Championship that House of Sports has captured in the last three weekends after winning the loaded field of the Northeast Hoops Festival on April 13th.
The Middlesex Magic (Giordano) were able to make a run to the championship behind a great weekend from combo-guard Jourdain Bell as well as very good interior play from the long-armed tandem of Hugh O’Neil and Ryan Noel. However, similar to House of Sports, the Magic’s real key to success was their ability to share the ball on offense and play very sound team defense. Brendan OShea and Adam Kleckner were a couple of guys who played very well, and should be fun to watch going forward.
Here are some of the other individuals that impressed as well:
Allen “Salim” Green (House of Sports) – One of the weekend’s biggest stock risers, Green was great on both ends of the floor. He was on fire from the perimeter for the majority of the weekend, but also showed his ability to make plays in the lane and around the rim. Also very impressive was Green’s on-ball defensive capabilities. He was often assigned the opposing team’s best perimeter player, and more than held his own.
Jonathan Nwankwo (House of Sports) -- The 6’9” forward was as productive as we’ve seen him, converting a number of tough finishes around the rim. He has very good length and did a good job of controlling the paint on defense by altering a ton of shots. All in all, it is easy to see why some high majors were following him this weekend and why many are excited by his potential.
Jourdain Bell (Middlesex Magic) – Fresh off his decision to attend Lee Academy next year, Bell played great this weekend. The lightning quick guard constantly pushes the tempo, and made a living in the paint by breaking his defenders down off the dribble time and time again. The relatively unknown New Hampshire product made a name for himself with a number of college coaches, and was one of the breakout performers of the tournament.
Kyle Bouchard (Maine MAC) – Bouchard is one of those players who you appreciate more with each game that you watch him play. He certainly scored a lot for his team this weekend, but it was his constant toughness and physical presence that made him vital to Maine MAC’s success throughout the weekend.
Zach Gilpin (MBNation) – The skilled 6’5” wing was MBNation’s most consistent offensive weapon. He was a shot maker who displayed consistency from the three point arch as well as a very good pull-up game. Gilpin is a smart and tough kid who could make a lot of college coaches happy. Gilpin will be doing a Post-Graduate year at Bridgton Academy next year.
Carnel Harley (Team F.O.E.) – One of the elite athletes in this weekend’s field, it is not hard to see why Harley is a big football prospect as well. He consistently played above the rim this weekend, and has undeniable potential in whatever sport he chooses to play in college due to his uncanny physical gifts and athletic ability.
Nick Mayo (Maine MAC) – Continued the momentum and buzz that he created for himself at the Northeast Hoops Festival. Another prospect whose best basketball is certainly ahead of him, Mayo did a great job of controlling the glass and making a number of plays around the basket, but also showed the capability to step out and make plays on the perimeter.
Conor McGuinness (NY Falcons) – What McGuinness may lack in physical stature he more than makes ups for in skill and heart. The 5’8” true point guard has a great basketball IQ and wide skillset that was on full display this weekend in the Falcons impressive run.
Tommy Capuano (CWB) – Capuano is a dynamic scorer who is very good at creating his own shot off the bounce, but also is a capable catch and shoot guy with range. He has a very tight handle to go along with a big, strong body at the guard position.
Tyler Dion (BV Chaos) – In an age where truly elite shooters are somewhat of a dying breed, Dion set himself apart as a guy who can really hit shots from behind the arc at a high percentage. Along with his smooth stroke, Dion has great composure and is a steady presence for the BV Chaos. Dion seems to have some growing left to do, and has the skillset and shot making ability that certainly will make him an intriguing prospect down the road.
James Foye (Metro Boston) – He is a long-armed lefty who did a lit bit of everything for his Metro Boston squad. Foye is streaky shooter who hit shots in bunches, but is better fit, as of now, making plays around the hoop for himself and others. He will be an intriguing prospect to watch going forward as he still only a rising junior.
Troy McLaughlin (NY Falcons) – McLaughlin hit a number of catch and shoot jumpers, while also proving his ability to create his own shot off the bounce. He hit some difficult pull-up jumpers and found his way to foul line often throughout the weekend.
Kealen Ives (Metro Boston) – Ives is a well known player around New England due to his very smooth game and ability to create off the bounce at will. He is extremely quick with the ball in his hands and seems to effortlessly make his way into the heart of the defense on a regular basis. Ives will be attending Putnam Science Academy as a Post-Graduate.
Kevin Durkin (BV Chaos) – He continues to improve every time we see him play. Durkin did a great job of finishing with either hand around the hoop, and moves well for a guy his size. While he is not a finished product, it is a very good sign to see the rate at which he is improving on both sides of the ball.
Nick Cambio (NE Storm) – He impressed with his ability to both finish around the hoop with power and touch. Cambio is a skilled four man who had a good following of NE-10 schools due to his production level and consistency. He will be attending Cushing Academy as a Post-Graduate next year.
Brendan Miller (NE Storm) – While Cambio is heading to Cushing next year, Miller already has a year of experience of playing for Barry Connors and the Penguins. Miller was a key role player on Cushing’s run to their second consecutive NEPSAC AA Championship, and he continued to produce this weekend by knocking down shots and finishing well in transition.
Tarchee Brown (CT Attack) – A particularly impressive athlete, Brown was CT Attack’s leader and most productive player. He had a few very nice finishes above the rim, and proved to be a streaky shooter from behind the arc. An unsigned senior, Brown is likely to do a Post-Grad year somewhere.
Hugh O’Neil & Ryan Noel (Middlesex Magic) – The two long Magic big men were interchangeable on the weekend. Both played extremely hard, and their activity around the rim was a huge reason why the Magic were able to capture one of the championships.
Jayvon Pitts-Young (MBNation) – He was once again impressive with his ability to play hard-nosed defense, get to the rim off of the dribble, create for others, and hit the occasional open jump shot. So much of MBNation’s success from the dribble drive offense this weekend was predicated by Pitts-Young’s ability to beat defenders off the bounce, and that was not overlooked by college coaches.
Tim Galloway-Burke (NE Storm) – The Methuen High (MA) product may have a little bit of an unorthodox game, but was nonetheless extremely productive for the Storm this weekend. He owns a soft touch around the rim and showed the ability to step out and hit jumpers as well.
Michael Coffey (BC Eagles) – Coffey has ‘in the gym’ range and does not hesitate if given even the slightest bit of room. A lefty who also has a good in-between game, Coffey willed his BC Eagles’ team to a win Sunday morning in very impressive fashion.
Daron Hughey (CT Attack) – Fresh off a Connecticut state championship with East Catholic High, Hughey showed a very tight handle and ability to make plays around the rim. With added strength, he could be an intriguing prospect down the road.
Hilah Dahleh (Metro Boston) – He is a creative finisher around rim, and has a somewhat surprisingly quick first step. The Belmont Hill product was one of Metro’s more consistent scorers on the weekend.