Week 1 Wrap-Up
The first week of the live period has come and gone and New England has collectively shined. Here's a look at some of the top achievements from around the region.
- We-R1 is technically located in the Philadelphia/Delaware area but there is an especially strong New England prep presence on the roster. On Saturday, they won the Under Armour Association championship for the second year in a row and third time in four years. Putnam Science Academy guard Eric Ayala was once again one of the team's leaders while Malik Curry stepped up and asserted himself last week in Atlanta as well. Also at the UAA Finals, the Connecticut Basketball Club came out on top of the open division while the Boston Bobcats made their sneaker debut in the 9th grade division.
- Three hours northeast in Spartanburg, South Carolina the New England Playaz made an inspired run to the semi-finals of the Adidas Gauntlet Finale before falling to the eventual champions, Team YIIS Future. A Saturday win over Iowa Barnstormers secured the team a third place overall finish in the field. Ethan Wright and Nate Laszewski both had strong weeks, scoring in double figures in four of the team's five games, while Chris Doherty averaged close to a double-double inside. The Mass Rivals dropped their opener on Thursday against the Atlanta Celtics but quickly rattled off three straight wins on Friday when Akok Akok returned to the line-up. They finished the week with a 3-2 record.
- Two miles south at the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam, both Expressions Elite and BABC finished pool play with a record of 2-3 to finish the EYBL season with above .500 records. At the E16 though, Expressions Elite finished with a 2-1 record with wins over E1T1 and MEBO Express to earn a spot in the quarterfinals before falling at the hands of AOT Running Rebels on Saturday morning as Dyondre Dominguez, Daman Tate, and Joe Pridgen shined.
- Also in Augusta, Nike sponsored programs who failed to qualify for the EYBL Finals competed with other top teams from around the country in Nike's Peach Invitational Tournament. Wright Way Skills came south to join the field as well and turned in an inspired performance. They won their pool by finishing undefeated against BWSL Dip, Team Final, and the New York Lightning. They picked up their fourth straight win in the opening round of pool play by knocking off All-Ohio Red before falling to Mac Irvin Fire in the quarterfinals. Charles Coleman, Noah Kamba, and Jordan Mason all played to rave reviews at varoius points in the weekend.
- Back home in New England, BasketBull held their Summer Championships and the D.C. Blue Devils came away as the champions in the 11th grade division as Ronnie Silva exploded for 35 points in the final. The Middlesex Magic added to their trophy case in the 10th grade division, winning all three bracket play games by 20 points and finishing the weekend with a perfect record of 6-0.