New Heights Overcomes MAC in u15 Final
The Super 16 fifteen-and-under championship came down to two strong programs in Maine Athletic Club and New Heights.
New Heights used its superior athleticism to dictate the tempo of the game from the opening tip. They went on an 11-2 run early, stretched it to 19-6 and cruised from there to a 61-44 win.
New Heights was led by point guard Barron Goodridge, one of the top guards in the New York City area, who scored when he needed throughout the weekend. Nakye Sanders followed up a strong semifinal outing with another great game in the final, controlling the paint on the defensive end and starting New Heights’ transition offense with his defensive rebounding. Kevin Saylor was also a major factor defensively with his ability to infiltrate passing lanes and grab steals.
Anthony Muncin might be New Heights’ most valuable scorer. He played multiple positions, which allowed the team to experiment with different line-ups, and was another playmaker on the defensive end with his ability to force steals and generate scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Maine Athletic Club was led by Andrew Fleming and Jake Black. Fleming helped MAC in the second half by holding his own on the boards while Black showed leadership skills, giving his team confidence and keeping their heads in the game.
Despite the loss, MAC was still pleased with their performance, having met their goal of advancing to the finals with a hard-fought win over Evolution in the semis.
Nicholas Gilpin carried the load offensively, consistently creating open shots for his teammates and ultimately making his team three or four baskets better in the opinion of his coach. Gilpin was also very good on the defensive end of the floor, preventing any open shots, and sparking a late game run that allowed MAC to pull away for a 61-44 win.
Brandon Scott and Julian Nyland were the two top players for the Evolution. Nyland dominated the boards, had some very nice cuts to the basket, and was also able to score in the paint even when defenders were draped all over him. Scott was a facilitator on the floor, and was able to block shots and grab boards for the team as well.
In the other U15 semi-final New Heights held off a young and talented Team Up. New Heights took an early lead and never looked back, dictating the tempo with relentless defensive pressure that was again led by Sanders, who was invaluable on the backline of the press and a beast on the glass. Goodridge again led the way offensively as the team’s floor general, getting his teammates into proper spots on both ends of the floor.
The Norwalk big man was a major factor with both his rebounding and shot-blocking, while also showing a great handle for a young big man of his size. Jake Heaton was another Team Up player who showed great character and a high motor, continuing to play hard throughout all 32 minutes and being equally relentless on the defensive end as he was attacking off the dribble.