Northeast Hoops Festival – Friday Night Recap
April 4th, 2009
The Northeast Hoops Festival kicked off Friday night at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. The Granite State Jayhawks were the story in the u17 division as New Hampshire’s finest made quite an impression in opening round action.
One of New Hampshire’s top AAU programs made quite a statement on Friday night with a 20 point win over a talented Connecticut Gold squad. Execution was the key for the Jayhawks as they ran a disciplined half-court offense with lots of good screening action along with a tough match-up zone on the defensive end. But they also got plenty of individual contributions as well, especially in the backcourt with Will Bayliss and Alex LaRosa. The duo combined for nine three-pointers in the game (4 for Bayliss and 5 for LaRosa) and finished with 16 and 18 points respectively. But Bayliss’ value went beyond the number of points he put on the board as he orchestrated his team’s offensive attack and created shots for his teammates. Role player extraordinaire Eric Dean impacted the game by doing all the little things like setting good screens, rebounding, and passing while Alex Stoyle and Jake Nelson also made notable contributions. Uzoma Orchingwa led the Gold with 18 before rolling his ankle midway through the second half.
The Connecticut Basketball Club also scored a dominating win in the u17 division. Relentless pressure was the key to this game as CBC forced Gold South into countless turnovers with their full court pressure defense and consequent transition offense. It was hard to pinpoint one headline player as there were numerous contributors. Luke Matarazzo had several steals and easily handed out ten plus assists including a handful of pinpoint finds in transition and a mid-air touch pass coming off an offensive rebound. Julian Harris and Isaiah Salafia both thrived in transition as Harris threw down a number of powerful slams and Salafia showed his combination of speed and athleticism. Ryan Dulaire made a variety of plays around the rim while B.J. Cardarelli showed some flashes as well. Jevon Harris and Spencer Smith also played well for CBC. Gold was led by Law’s Kyle Wiggins and North Haven’s Brian Salzillo.
There were a variety of good games in the u16 division on Friday night as well. The Central Connecticut Hoopstars scored a good win over Team MVBGC. The Hoopstars are another team that collectively showed a well balanced floor game as they played good team basketball on both ends. John Papale showed his lethal mid-range scoring touch while Darryl Best Jr. was productive in the paint and Gerald McClease utilized his athleticism to his advantage.
One of the best games of the night featured CBC against the Mass Bearcats. Anthony Barry put on a show for the Bearcats scoring the ball in a variety of ways. And he had plenty of space to operate in the lane thanks to shooters like Wellesley’s Duncan Johnson and Boston College’s Nick Bovi. CBC was led by Jerome Harris who was a playmaker at both ends, coming up with a number of steals defensively and finishing plays in transition above the rim. Andre Makris anchored the team on the interior finishing around the rim and rebounding while Maurice Eastwood impacted the game in a variety of ways.
CBC’s other u16 team made their 2009 debut after advancing to the final four of last summer’s u15 AAU Nationals. Andre Drummond showed some flashes of his potential inside while Jakarri McCallop was also productive. Xavier Ratham-Myers showed his impressive skill set and glimpses of his potential while Tavon Allen was arguably the team’s best player, making open looks from behind the three-point line and continuing to be a major presence on the defensive end.
Stay tuned to the New England Recruiting Report tomorrow as we will continue to bring you updated throughout the course of the entire weekend.