Hoopville Spring Finale – Event Recap

Lucas Shapiro | Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Hoopville Spring Finale – Event Recap

Sunday’s Hoopville Spring Finale unofficially marks the start of summer grassroots basketball.  With many of the New England area's top teams and players on hand, Sunday was an exciting days with championship games in all divisions. 

Game of the Day - Expressions 52 Second 2 None 47

Despite a significant size difference (in favor of Expressions), this game was close for the entire first half. Akosa Maduegbunam caught fire from beyond the arc, knocking down 4 three-pointers, but Second 2 None’s defense and intensity kept them in it. At the half Second 2 None led 28-26. Shanier Cottman and Kareem Robinson found a way to get to the rim every time, even though both are under six-feet tall. After getting behind by 10 points, Expressions fought back with good play by Maduegbunam and Torin Childs-Harris. Cottman took a charge with 4:20 left in the game, which was crucial for their momentum as it was a three-point game at 47-44. Expressions, however, executed well in the last two minutes and came out with the win.

One thing that really stood out in this game was the intensity coach Naim Little (Second 2 None) brought. It really kept his team in the game and made things extremely difficult for Expressions.

Top Performers

Nerlens Noel (BABC U-16) – Fresh off of his trip to the Amar’e Stoudemire Skills Academy, Noel started off the game against Expressions with a bang. He threw down two ferocious dunks to swing the momentum in BABC’s favor and open up the lead. As usual, Noel had numerous blocks and even displayed improvement in his ball handling skills. He finished with 17 points. 

Jaylen Brantley (BABC U-16) – Brantley had 24 points, but what was more impressive was how he scored them. Normally, Brantley makes a living from the free throw line or behind the three-point line, but in this game he was driving to the hoop and finishing inside among the trees. 

Abdul-Malik Abu (Expressions U-16) – Abu has a big body with deceptive athleticism. He’s still raw from a skill standpoint but has definite potential.  He went right at the BABC big men, showing no fear and impressing with his aggressive nature. 

Charles Correa (RI Hawks U-16) – Correa dropped 20 points on BABC and almost kept his Hawks in for the entire game. He’s a scoring lead guard who finds ways to score and utilizes his chiseled frame to drive to the hoop and finish with contact. 

Curtis Cobb (BABC U-15) – Only 14 years old, Cobb put his vast potential on display. He is a 6’2” guard/forward with a smooth game. His outside shot is his best asset right now, but he showed some hidden athleticism on one acrobatic dunk attempt. Cobb had 26 points against the Greater Boston Lions.

Juwan Gooding (Expressions U-14) – The long guard with advanced ball handling skills finished the game with an efficient 21 points. Even though he needs to put on some muscle, he seemed to have little trouble finishing through contact.

Chris Baldwin (Expressions U-14) – Baldwin is a young back-to-the-basket big man with a soft touch. He scores primarily off of offensive put backs and hook shots for now, but has the potential to develop a face-up game because of his great coordination.