ZG Tournament of Champions Recap
Zero Gravity hosted their Tournament of Champions event this weekend at the University Sports Complex in Hanover and the Mansfield Sports Complex, hosting some of New England’s premier programs on their Path to the Belt fall circuit – which concludes next weekend at the ZGReport Battle for the Belt.
It was a tremendous weekend for BABC, as the program’s 9th, 10th, and 11th grade teams stayed undefeated in the fall circuit and swept the competition by taking home championships in each age group’s American division field. While they won the 10th and 11th grade titles in extremely convincing fashion, the 9th grade group slipped past rival Expressions Elite in a 60-58 thriller that boasted many of New England’s top prospects all on one floor. In the National division tournament, Bay State Magic took home the varsity crown while Expressions-Worrell won the tenth grade title and Central Mass Swarm-Byrnes came away as the ninth grade champion.
Here is a look at the individuals who impressed:
Quest Harris (BABC) – Harris played his best game of the weekend in the title game against Expressions, finishing nearly every shot he took at the rim off the dribble. A quick defensive stopper, he was one of the premier on-ball defenders at the event all weekend long.
Terrell Brown (BABC) – When he wasn’t posterizing helpless defenders with his high-flying dunks, Brown was rebounding at a high rate, blocking shots, and helping move the ball seamlessly in BABC’s acclaimed offense. In terms of college recruitment, he has as much upside as any player who was in the gym this weekend.
Rivaldo Soares (Expressions Elite) – A freshman who got plenty of playing time on O’Bryant High’s varsity team as an eighth-grader, Soares played like a seasoned vet in the ninth grade title game against BABC. An outstanding scorer with plenty of length, he’s one of the most talented young players on a loaded Expressions ninth grade team.
Matt Cross (BABC) – The 6-foot-5 forward didn’t miss much from behind the three-point arc this weekend, showing a nice wrinkle in his offensive game that continues to develop. He played through foul trouble and helped lead BABC to yet another ninth grade ZG title.
Cairo McCrory (Expressions Elite) – McCrory is an elite scorer who was able to beat just about every defender in the gym off the dribble this weekend. An integral part of X’s defense as well, he forced several turnovers in the championship game against BABC.
Cole Swider (BABC) – Swider sure doesn’t move like a guy who’s 6-foot-6, each week his perimeter skills seem to progress which is certainly a big reason for the rising spike in his recruitment.
Robert Baum (BABC) – Baum hit shots from all over the floor this weekend, playing perhaps his best game against Worcester Team United to will his team to the championship game. A sly ballhandler with a strong outside shot, he’s quite a tough cover for opposing defenders.
Daejon Pendelton (New England Playaz) – Pendelton has a strong body and plays wise beyond his years, running the Playaz offense and facilitating for others. A gifted scorer too, there were few who could get in his way on Sunday when he was going to the rim off the dribble.
Shandon Brown (BABC) – The strong, athletic point guard was one of the focal points of a BABC defense that was an absolute machine this weekend, as they ran to a 10th grade title by doing it with defense. A gifted ballhandler and passer, he manipulated the attention he drew from other teams by setting up great shots for others.
Aireus Raspberry (Expressions Elite) – Raspberry is a tough cover for pretty much anyone because of his quick first step and upper body strength. He attracts plenty of attention because of his ability to get into the paint, but he really did a great job of creating for his teammates in the championship game against BABC.
Chris Camille (Expressions Elite) – While Raspberry, McCrory, and Soares did a lot of the scoring for Expressions on championship Sunday, Camille put in a ton of work on the glass and on defense – having a consistent presence on the glass all day and swatting several shots.
Noah Fernandes (New England Playaz) – Fernandes is as creative and crafty as they come – he can finish around the rim equally well with either hand. With an improving outside jumper, he’ll certainly be a player to watch closely at Tabor after taking the MIAA by storm last year.
Ryan Layman (BABC) – Layman was excellent in transition for BABC’s 11th grade team, finishing several times above the rim and showing off consistent jumphshot from basically every spot on the floor.
Dyondre Dominguez (New England Playaz) – The high-scoring lefty got quite a bit of playing time in both the ninth and tenth grade divisions this weekend, showing off his automatic three-point jumper and above the rim finishing ability.
Maurice Works (BABC) – Much like his teammate Brown, Works is an elite on-ball defender who is perfect for BABC’s brand of hard-nosed trap defense. A gifted scorer with an improving jumpshot, he made excellent decisions in the open floor all weekend long.
Joe Nuttall (BV Chaos) – The Wachusett product gave Chaos a nice boost in a Sunday morning battle with the Playaz, a game they narrowly lost after hanging around most of the way. He gets to the rim nearly at will and possesses a smooth jumpshot from well beyond the three-point line.
Kyle Murphy (BABC) – When several of BABC’s big men got into foul trouble in the ninth grade title game against Expressions, it was Murphy who picked up the slack on offense and on the defensive glass. A long wing player with a versatile offensive game, he’s comfortable scoring from pretty much anywhere on the floor.