Super 16 Showcase Sunday Recap
Championship row couldn’t have been much more entertaining on Sunday at Connecticut College as there were dramatic games played in every age group.
New Heights and the New England Playaz came away as the big winners in the high school division. New Heights took both the varsity and 9th grade championships while splitting the 10th grade title with the New England Playaz, who survived an incredible four overtime contest with the Middlesex Magic to advance.
A deep and talented New Heights u17 team spoiled a Cinderella like run for Metro Boston, but couldn’t do anything to take away from the weekend that Kealen Ives put together. Playing only a short distance away from his home in Rhode Island, Ives put on the Metro Boston uniform and did his best Shabazz Napier impression, putting the team on his back and carrying them all the way to the finals with ball-handling, playmaking, and ability to create offense for himself and his teammates.
There wasn’t much that could get in New Heights’ way come Sunday afternoon though, as the New York City based program took their second championship of the spring. Dupree McBrayer continued to show why he is one of the hottest names on the east coast right now as the southpaw scoring guard continued to do his thing all weekend long. AK Ojo, the big man in the middle, was equally impressive patrolling the paint and imposing his will around the rim.
New Heights’ got their best test from Middlesex Magic, who had knocked off the CT Playmakers and Riverside Hawks to advance to the semifinals. Balance was key for the Magic this weekend as A.J. Brodeur and Jackson Donahue lived up to the high level of play they’ve established thus far in the AAU season while Collin McManus and Jeff Spellman stepped up to match that production in a number of different games.
The NYC Jayhawks knocked off a loaded Team Philly squad in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis before meeting Metro Boston. Mamadou Diarra was a presence inside all weekend long while Everson Davis stood out on the wing and Tyler Ancrum led the way in the backcourt.
The 10th grade division was the most competitive of the entire Super 16 field. New Heights got all they could handle from a talented CBC program in contest that was characterized by two intriguing individual match-ups. Nakye Sanders used his strength and mobility inside but Sam Ibiezugbe countered with the type of size and sheer power that couldn’t be duplicated. On the perimeter, Ty Jerome and KeAndre Fair are equally dangerous perimeter snipers but showed they could also handle the ball and make plays off the bounce.
On the other side of the bracket, the New England Playaz and Middlesex Magic engaged in a game that will be remembered for the ages and wouldn’t ultimately be decided until a fourth overtime. With Tomas Murphy on the bench after having fouled out, the Playaz thought they had the game won on two different occasions. The first was taken away when Matt DeWolf powered his way to a tough rim finish to beat the buzzer and force an extra period. The second was in even more dramatic fashion as Nick Seretta drilled a 25 footer to force a third overtime. Ultimately though, Kellan Grady made what turned out to be the game winning play in the fourth overtime, coming off a ball-screen and splitting two defenders by going behind his back with the ball before tossing in the short runner. Tyree Weston would ice the game at the free-throw line, bringing an end to what many people are calling the best AAU basketball game of the year thus far.
Beyond the excitement of Sunday’s championships, the other major theme to come out of this year’s Super 16 Showcase was the large amount of newly discovered prospects. Stay tuned to the New England Recruiting Report this week as we’ll be announcing all-tournament teams in the varsity, 10th grade, and 9th grade divisions while also creating a variety of new profiles for various individuals who played their way into the NERR prospect directory by virtue of this weekend’s performance.