ZG Fall Brawl - Event Recap
The Zero Gravity Fall Brawl hosted more than 300 teams over multiple sites across eastern Massachusetts this weekend. With more teams in the field, the depth of talent greatly surpassed last week.
In a highly competitive varsity division, Wrightway Skills came on strong in their first ZG weekend of the season and Synergy continued their strong play from last weekend, but Metro Boston opened their participation in the ZG Fall Circuit with a convincing victory to take home the title in the American Division. B2L captured the National Division title, while SNEBC Shockers rolled through the International Division.
The 10th grade division featured a split-title in the American Division. BABC & BABC Central shared the title, with both teams turning in impressive performances for the second straight weekend. Rise Above Basketball emerged victorious over a feisty Bay State Flash squad in the National Division, while Central Mass Swarm were able to hold off SNEBC Shockers in a tightly contested International Division championship game.
The 9th grade division saw BABC take the title in the American Division for the second straight weekend. Holyoke Elite emerged to take the National Division, while NH Flight cruised to the International Division title.
The following players stood out this weekend:
Mykel Derring (NE Playaz, 2018)- The sharp-shooter from Brighton HS has a high release on his shot, allowing him to get it off over taller players. Derring alway shoots with confidence, regardless if his last shot went in or not. Already one of the more accomplished shooters in the MIAA, Derring deserves attention as one of the best shooters in the 2018 class across New England.
Paul Durkee (BABC, 2019)- Durkee's high IQ play and shooting ability are well-known. But it was his lateral quickness and defense that stood out this weekend. He is moving very well and in the process of expanding his game so he can make an impact on both ends of the court.
Tyrone Weeks (Metro Boston, 2018)- Weeks shot the ball extremely well on Sunday for Metro Boston. With scholarship interest already, Weeks will be one to watch as the fall continues.
Noah Fernandes (NE Playaz, 2019)- Always armed with a high skill level, Fernandes' confidence is visible to anyone who watches him. He is always in control of a talented Playaz team, and his skill level necessitates the attention from opposing defenses.
Dallion Johnson (BABC, 2020)- A long athlete, Johnson is very quick defensively on the perimeter. He is, however, more than just an athlete, as his feel for the game is impressive, as is his ability to make shots from outside. Johnson is very steady for the 9th grade BABC team; he does not make many mistakes but also makes positive plays for himself and his teammates.
Noah Kamba (Wrightway Skills, 2019)- The 5'11 point guard was the engine of the offense for Wrightway this weekend. He creates for the other weapons they have, and the offense suffers a huge drop off when he exits the game.
Nick Timberlake (Metro Boston, 2017)- Long known as a great athlete, Timberlake's hard work on his game was on display this weekend. He was knocking down jump shots, but also taking it to the hoop and finishing with a variety of moves. Coaches need to take a hard look at this Braintree HS senior if they would like to inject some athleticism into their backcourt.
Malachi Hazelton (Mass Rivals, 2020)- The strong wing is smooth with his dribble and has a very quick second jump, allowing him to grab rebounds more effectively than his peers. Playing against older competition this weekend allowed him to face stronger players, but Hazelton was still able to get to the foul line whenever he wanted.
Jamal Norris (Premier Hoops, 2020)- The first thing that jumps out at Norris is his lanky frame. Long and skinny, the potential for growth is evident. But his shooting range is the reason why Norris may be one to watch going forward, as the Stoughton HS product fired away over opposing defenses.
Dylan Lien (BABC Central, 2019)- The 6'1 guard has a sweet stroke and is dangerous from beyond the arc. He was a key for BABC Central in their zone attack this weekend, as he stretches the defense so that lanes are open for his teammates to attack the paint.
Kai Toews (NE Playaz, 2018)- Traditionally known as a pure point guard, Toews was able to knock down several 3-pointers this weekend to go along with his ability to attack the lane and create scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Matt Fonseca (ASA, 2019)- He opened the second half of a game with playoff implications on Saturday night on fire, drilling two 3-pointers from the wing early. Later in the game, Fonseca connected on a step-back 3-pointer to seal the victory. We look forward to watching his game expand over the course of the next few seasons.
Ethan Brunelle (Central Mass Swarm, 2019)- Brunelle scored 24 points in the championship game for the Swarm. He shot the ball very well, but also displayed his ability to rebound on both ends of the court.
Kekoa McCardle (BABC, 2020)- Right now, McCardle is a below-the-rim post, but his post moves are impressive enough that it does not matter in the 9th grade division. He can finish over either shoulder with touch and rebounds the ball at a high rate.
Griffin McAlear (Silver City Sharks, 2019)- A product of Norton HS, McAlear displayed a very effective pull-up jumper over the course of the weekend, a weapon that not many players today have but can still be proven to be dangerous.
Mike Villovas (Bay State Flash, 2019)- Villovas is a skinny guard with good vision on the court. His jumper is improving, and the energy level he plays with can be contagious for his teammates.
Isaiah Teslin (Mass Rivals, 2018)- The New Mission forward does a little bit of everything well. He gets to the hoop while using both hands, and is strong enough to finish through contact in the paint.
Brendan Keavney (Rise Above Basketball, 2019))- The 2019 forward has good size and uses both hands well to finish in the lane. The lefty uses long strides while springing down the court, enabling him to finish quicker than many of his peers on the break.