NEHF – Sunday Recap II
April 17th, 2012
by A.J. Stokes
Mass Rivals come out of loaded junior division with championship title.
The Mass Rivals went 6-0 on the weekend to claim the 2012 Northeast Hoops Festival junior division championship in impressive fashion and give themselves a boost of momentum heading into their trip to Las Vegas this weekend.
In the Championship Game, Noah Vonleh was an absolute monster, dominating the game at both ends of the floor as he attacked the glass and pursued shot-blocking opportunities relentlessly and controlled the game from the point-forward spot offensively, drawing double-teams on the perimeter to create consistent mini 4 on 3 opportunities for a talented cast of teammates. Vonleh also knocked down a few treys, scored the ball around the bucket, and had a few dunks which shook the chandeliers at the Trinity Gym.
While Vonleh’s dominance was the story of the junior division final, the sophomore division chip was characterized by pure drama as Team Underrated drilled a buzzer beater at the end of regulation to force overtime, and then trailing by two with ten seconds left in the extra session got the game winning three from Terrance Simpson in the corner.
Underrated was anchored inside by big man Kyle Williams, who was among the top overall prospects in the sophomore division, while six-foot-six Evan Hubbard handled the distributing responsibilities as the team’s point forward.
Other Top Individual Performances
Dimitri Floras - After a very impressive showing a few weeks back at the Rival's Tournament, Floras climbed the next rung on the ladder this weekend, using a spicy recipe which combines efficient ball-handling, effective distribution, and potent scoring ability from the lead guard spot.
Jeremy Miller - Had a great weekend challenging shots, rebounding the ball, knocking down threes on the pop, and finishing on numerous occasions with two hand dunks at the rack. Kid is a great teammate who is going to have a packed mailbox for the next couple years.
Kaleb Joseph - Was very impressive this weekend in showing immense improvement in his ability to combine efficient piloting with his explosive ability. He is learning how to pick his spots and adjust his game according to the defense and floor spacing.
Eric Gendron - With Mike Auger out for the spring with an injury, Gendron got the call-up from the 16u and immediately made an impact. He is a confident 6'3 combo-guard with a strong body, composed floor-game, the ability to facilitate in the half court, and a deadly shooting stroke.
Idris Taqqee - The more I see Him, the more I am intrigued by the niche he brings to a high-level club. He is a terrific defender and a rare back-court windex man who gets all over the glass on both ends, taking advantage of opposing perimeter players who aren't on a red-alert rebounding tip.
Josh Sharma - Still in the beginning stages of his development and a rookie in terms of elite level competition, Sharma showed flashes this weekend of why he has exciting long-term potential with his length and ability to play well above the rim.
Kamali Bey - After suffering a serious leg injury more than a year ago, it's been a long road back; but this weekend, Bey looked as if he has regained his full-effect form, slicing to the basket off the bounce, using his powerful frame to infiltrate the tightest of creases before finishing at the basket.
Jaylen Brantley - In the quarters, after trailing by a point to NJ Elite at halftime, J-Brant absolutely went off in the second half to lead BABC to a run-away victory. He hit six straight treys in the second half and threw down a dunk on the break to finish with 27 for the game. Top 2013 point guard in the field.
Andrew Chrabascz - Warrior all weekend, he'll rebound and score the ball no matter who is out there. Listen closely, here's all you need to know...Chrabascz perpetually plays the game of basketball with his foot pressing the gas pedal down to the floor.
Rene Castro - He's always had a sweet game and an innate feel for the game, but the transformation of Castro's body in the past year has taken his game to a whole new level. And here's the exciting part; not only does Castro's new physical package make him a better player, it also raises his ceiling significantly.
Aaron Falzon - Speaking of physical transformations, Falzon is in the middle of his as he was dunking the ball with two hands this weekend and filling up threes off the kick from the guards. Still just 15 years old, he’s on a nice track right now and was a big spark behind the Playaz’ run to the sophomore final.
Aaron Calixte & Cane Broome – Their individual performances were both noted in our previous recap from Sunday, but it was their collective contributions that were key to the Playaz run to the finals of the junior divisions as both exceeded expectations.
Jarred Reuter & Kerem Kanter – The young bruising tandem surely would have pushed the title to the Playaz in the sophomore division but instead, more than held their own with the juniors. Reuter ’15 is a master of using his hulking frame to his advantage while Kanter ‘14 is a southpaw with great feel and touch on the interior. Throw in Falzon and that’s a nice front-court for the Red and Gold moving forward.
Jeff Spellman - Did a nice job of spacing the floor with his range and getting out on the break for transition buckets. Also was impressive getting into the lane and distributing out to relocating shooters on the arc.
Ian Sistare - Scored consistently from all over the floor. First, he stretches the defense with his long range stroke; then, once the defense starts closing out hard, Sistare attack the close-out to get into the mid-range and pull-up or take it all the way to the cup and finish. He also showed the ability to attack the basket with the dribble-drive from the wing.
DJ Foreman - Strong athletic wing who gets out on the break and finishes with noise at the cup. Invites contact on the attack to get to the line consistently and accumulate three-point play opportunities. Nice defensive skill set with the ability to guard multiple positions. Gets all over the offensive glass, using his strength to battle opponents for a rebounding position in the lane.