Hoop Group Summer Classic Recap I
Several of New England’s top grassroots teams are in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to start the second week of the July live period.
The 32 team invite-only-field includes Connecticut Basketball Club, Connecticut Basketball Club – Donnelly, East Coast Elite Massachusetts, Mass Rivals, Prodigy Basketball Club & Rhode Island Hawks.
Following two rounds of action on Wednesday night, ECE Mass and the Rivals were both alive and headed to Thursday’s Elite Eight.
ECE Mass opened with a hard fought win over East Coast Fusion in the opening round as Jarred Reuter broke a 59-59 tie with only 3 seconds left on the clock to give his team the dramatic victory. The second round brought another tough test as ECE Mass survived the New York Panthers. Reuter again led the way with 14 points but balance was the real key in this one as Robert Champion had 11 and Isaiah Lewis 10.
The Rivals advanced in similarly dramatic fashion, going to overtime to defeat Sportsfest Bluechips. While Noah Vonleh dominated the glass and facilitated from the low post with his passing ability, it was Mike Leblanc who provided the spark in overtime by stepping up to deliver five crucial points. Idris Taqqee and Dimitri Floras were equally impressive down the stretch. A round earlier the Rivals knocked off Sam Rines behind 17 points from Vonleh and an offensive outburst from Jalen Adams
Connecticut Basketball Club was seconds away from giving New England a third team in the Elite Eight, holding a slim lead until New Heights (NY) drilled a three-pointer with under ten seconds left in the game. Jared Wilson-Frame exploded for 27 points, including a barrage of lay-ups and threes, while Kamali Bey chipped in with 12.
While our eyes were focused on the seventeen-and-under division playing at the Competitive Edge Sports Complex, the New England region was making waves in the sixteen-and-under bracket with three different programs advancing to Wednesday’s Elite 8. The Rhode Island Hawks knocked off JB Hoops in the opening round before scoring a second win over Team Underrated in the nightcap. The Hawks take on Team Phoenix tomorrow morning.
On the other side of the bracket ECE Mass knocked off South Central Select after receiving an opening round bye. Their win sets up a meeting with Team Philly in the morning followed by a potential match-up with Expressions Elite, who face the Jersey Shore Warriors to start the day. Expressions scored an overtime victory over Team Final Blue on Wednesday night after receiving an opening round bye.
Stay tuned to the New England Recruiting Report on Thursday for a complete recap of the action at the Hoop Group Summer Classic.