New England Shines on 2nd Weekend of Live Period
New England's four shoe sponsored programs went a combined a combined 11-5 this weekend in the top divisions at the Nike EYBL and Adidas Gauntlet Series.
The Mass Rivals and New England Playaz both finished the weekend 3-1 in Indianapolis. Makai Ashton-Langford and Wenyen Gabriel led the Rivals to a 70-62 win over Team Fast Elite on Friday night as Langford had 19 points on 7-12 shooting from the floor and Gabriel 16 points and 9 rebounds. Both players were again in double figures the next morning, while Wabissa Bede also added 12 points and 4 assists, but the Rivals fell to MBA Hoops 55-54, in their only loss on the Gauntlet Series so far this year. They rebounded with a commanding 78-52 win over New Orleans Elite later Saturday night as Saul Phiri and Tyonne Malone both came alive with 17 and 12 points respectively, while Langford added 11 points in 16 minutes on 5-7 shooting. Sunday brought another blowout win as they handled Florida Elite 57-37 as Ashton Langford went for 20 points in this one.
The Playaz had a very similar path as they opened with a dominant 85-41 win over the EG10 Stars early Saturday morning before falling in a close Sweet 16 match-up to Team Loaded VA, 66-60, before closing the weekend with consecutive blow-outs over Colorado Hawks and Urban DFW. Five players scored in double figures in the opener but it was Tremont Waters that had his fingers on the strings with 13 points, 9 assists and 6 assists. The NMH foursome of A.J. Brodeur, Jerome Desrosiers, Tomas Murphy and Ian Sistare were all beneficiaries. Desrosiers had 15 points, Brodeur 12 and Sistare 10 but Murphy had his best showing of the Gauntlet Series this far with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Waters had 15 points, but was just 5-18 from the floor against Team Loaded, while Desrosiers had 16 more and Kellan Grady 13 points and 3 assists. They stuffed all columns of the stat sheet against Colorado as Grady put up 15/4/4 while Waters had 13/7/5 and Desrosiers 15/7/5. Waters had 14 more, finishing in double digits for his fourth consecutive game, on Sunday while Murphy added 10 and 5.
In Kentucky, Expressions finished 3-1 on the weekend to improve their record to 4-4 on the season. They opened with a pair of Saturday wins over NW Express (61-53) and Seattle Rotary (62-61). The frontcourt was the difference in the opener as Jermaine Samuels led the way with 16 points while also adding 6 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals. Nick Richards had 12 points and 9 boards while Tyrique Jones had 9 and 12. While Samuels added 10 more on Saturday night, the guards were the story as Gerald Williams had 17 points and Donovan Love and Jordan Scurry 11 a piece. They fell to Team Final 71-60 despite 18 points on 7-13 shooting in 16 minutes from Kamani Lawrence while Williams and Samuels added 10 and 11 respectively. Expressions rebounded with a 64-57 win over the Jackson Tigers to close out the weekend. They again did it in the paint in this one as Richards had 13 points and 12 rebounds while Jones added 9 and 9 of his own. Lawrence and Scurry were both in double figures with 12 and 11 respectively.
BABC opened with wins over Seattle Rotary (79-74) and NY Lightning (75-60) on Saturday but suffered a big loss to Cal Supreme on Sunday morning and then ran into an E1T1 team that was entirely different than in week one of the EYBL season after adding top 30 national prospect Maverick Rowan. Bruce Brown and Kevin Marfo were both huge in the opener over Seattle as Brown went off for 29 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals while Marfo added 17 points, 12 boards and 4 blocks. Robert Martin Jr. added 11 points and 7 rebounds. Brown and Marfo were back at it again against the Lightning while Tommy Mobley stepped up to knock down 5-7 from behind the three-point line, but defense was the real key in this one as BABC held the Lightning to 22-59 shooting from the floor. They struggled to get it going on the offensive end early Sunday morning, but Mobley continued to shoot the lights out against E1T1, scoring a team high 17 points on 5-8 shooting from three. Brown scored 11, but was just 3-17 from the floor, while Pat Fisher added 10 points.