ZG Beast of the East - Event Recap
Zero Gravity played host to many of New England’s most elite programs this weekend at the University Sports Complex in Hanover and the Mansfield Sportsplex for the Hooprootz Beast of the East, making for perhaps the most exciting weekend of fall hoops yet. While Mig’s Team and South Shore Wolfpack came away with title in the varsity divisions, Team Saints and New England Playaz won the National and American titles respectively in the tenth grade divisions. A talented Expressions Elite group put together a strong team performance on championship Sunday to seal an American division title in the ninth grade, with Central Mass. winning the National division and Framingham Express taking the International division.
Here’s a look at who the top players were this weekend on ZG’s #PathToTheBelt:
Chris Doherty, New England Playaz (Marlborough) – The strong big man was the best player on the floor in the tenth grade American final, a game the Playaz won 61-49. Doherty dominated opposing post players inside with relative ease while giving the Playaz a consistent presence defensively in the paint.
Preston Santos, Expressions Elite (Bishop Hendricken) – Santos may have been the best pure scorer in the gym on championship Sunday, powering Expressions Elite past a scrappy Middletown’s Finest squad early in the day and giving them a much-needed boost later on against the Playaz.
Chuck Hannah, New England Playaz (Northfield Mt. Hermon) – A true post man who muscles people inside, Hannah finished around the rim with precision and proved to be a dominant rebounder all afternoon long.
Dana Tate, Expressions Elite (St. Sebastian’s) – When Tate brings it he’s as good as any player in his class in New England. He can shoot from outside, handle the ball, guard multiple positions, and rebound on a regular basis.
Thomas Shaughnessy, Middlesex Magic (Needham) – Shaughnessy registered what had to be the most impressive individual performance of the day in the tenth grade semifinal against Expressions Elite, pouring in 33 points on seven three-pointers and while also tallying 6 assists in the 55-48 loss.
Dyondre Dominguez, New England Playaz – Dominguez was lighting the nets on fire with his play against Expressions Elite in the ninth grade final, hitting four three-pointers in the first half. The 6-foot-5 lefty is long and talented – certainly a player to watch closely over the next couple of years.
Chris Camille, Expressions Elite (Brookline) – There isn’t anything on the floor that Camille doesn’t do exceptionally well. Though it was evident he was playing hurt, his performance in the second half of the ninth grade championship against the Playaz was one of the best individual games of the weekend.
Cairo McCrory, Expressions Elite (Northwest Catholic) – McCrory had his best game of the weekend in the ninth grade final against the Playaz, showing off his impressive athleticism and natural scoring ability while further proving to be one of the best players in his class in New England.
Calvin Whipple, New England Playaz (Northfield Mt. Hermon) – Whipple was lights-out from behind the three-point arc all day long on championship Sunday, allowing the Playaz to spread the floor around Doherty and Hannah to give his team a nice boost of offense.
Others who impressed:
Griffin Perry, Boston Bobcats (Bridgewawter-Raynham) – Perry’s versatility is unmatched by many of the post players he plays against: he can bang with the forwards in the paint but also step out and hit the three-pointer with a feathery touch.
Philmon Gabrewhit, Expressions Elite (Holderness) – Gabrewhit’s spot-up shooting was the strongest part of his game this weekend, spreading the floor in a high-octane Expressions offense.
Terrell Williams, Boston Bobcats (Bridgewater-Raynham) – Williams continues to show out during a breakout fall where he has consistently been one of the best players at each event. A pure scorer, there are few who can stop the lefty when he’s going to the rim to score.
Jay Christopher, South Shore Wolfpack (Plymouth North) – An athletic freak who is strong around the rim, Christopher is a constant threat in the paint whenever he is on the floor.
Tommy ONeil, Expressions Elite (St. John’s Prep) – For all that is made about his passing and ability to see the floor, this weekend O’Neil showed a wrinkle in his game that has improved nicely: his three-point jumper.
James Lapaglia, South Shore Nets (Marshfield) – Lapaglia was one of the best pure shooters in the gym at MPlex on Sunday, hitting shots from literally all over the floor in an impressive Sunday performance.
Anthony Grzembski, Central Mass Swarm (Bartlett) – Though one of the smallest players on his team, Grzembski is the one who makes his team’s offense run efficiently with his sharpshooting and pinpoint passing.
Dyreke Johnson, South Shore Nets (Quincy) – Johnson proved to be an excellent playmaker in transition for the Nets, finishing around the rim and knocking down a couple deep jumpshots.
Rayshon Ward, South Shore Wolfpack (Plymouth North) – Ward was an integral part of the Wolfpack offense, running the floor in transition and finishing in the paint with relative ease.
Matt Merrill, Team Saints (Pinkerton Academy) – Merrill was one of the best playmakers in the gym on Sunday, creating shots for others and getting to the rim on a regular basis.
Ugo Kamalu, South Shore Nets (Quincy) – One of the better athletes in the varsity field, Kamalu was a dominant force inside all weekend long for the Nets.