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May 19, 2009 New England Hoop News Staff
CT Hoopstars Run Into Syracuse Select in QF
In the quarterfinals of the Gold bracket, two talented, hard working teams squared off as the CT Hoopstars battled the Syracuse Select. Select got out to an early start thanks to the play of 6’8 Dajuan Coleman, ranked as the #1 player in the Class of 2012 by ESPN.com (he’s playing up a level). Coleman used his size and tremendous strength to bully his way to 6 points giving his team the early advantage.
However, the outstanding offensive performance from the Hoopstars’ John Papale keep his team close as they slowly chipped into the lead. Papale created for his own shot off the dribble hitting pull-ups after pull-ups on his way to 18 first half points. Eight of those points came within a 12-3 run the Hoopstars put together to end the half up 34-32.
After an inspired halftime speech from the Select’s coach, they picked up their defensive intensity. Davoon Gavin took the assignment of trying to contain Papale and his teammates following to the tune of a 15-2 run to take the lead right back. Like any smart offensive player would do, Papale started to take the smaller Aaron into the paint to use his height advantage.
Papale and company were able to cut the lead to one possession with 3 minutes left but then Coleman showed how dominant he can be. Controlling the boards the whole game, Coleman contributed to all 8 unanswered points (4 points, 2 assists) that quickly pushed the game back into double figures. Select came away with the victory but could never really stop Papale as he ended with a game high 28, while Coleman had 13 for Syracuse.
Select and Hawks to Meet in Finals
The semifinals of the 16u bracket were held at AIC in Springfield, MA and two New York teams took down two Connecticut squads. The Riverside Hawks from New York City were able to take control early of the CT Kings and advanced pretty easily, despite the close score of 70-60. While on the other side, Syracuse Select defeated CT Select behind a strong offensive performance from wing DeMiechite Mitchell (17 points). The two teams will meet in the finals at the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Syracuse Select Take 16u Crown
Two of the best programs in the state of New York faced off against each other in the 16u finals at the Hall of Fame in the Syracuse Select and the Riverside Hawks. Despite playing without their 6’8 Class of 2012 center Dajuan Coleman, the Select showed they are a complete team. Led by outstanding play from DeMechite Mitchell (23 points) the Select were able to build up a big enough lead to withstand a furious run from the Hawks.
After a sluggish start to the finals, point guard Tynell Fortune helped cut the Hawks deficit to as little as 3 in the closing moments. But the backcourt of Syracuse (Mitchell, Devoon Gavin and Alex Baron) was too much as they hit their free throws late and got enough stops to hold off the Hawks. Select was able to hold on to a 69-65 victory to take the 16u championship.
Andre Drummond scored a weekend high of 36 points for CBC on Sunday against Vermont Basketball Group showing why he is a potential high-major Division 1 player. At 6’9 and the ability to do everything on the floor, Drummond pushed CBC to the 95-70 victory.
Drummond and Jakarri McCallop would lead CBC to the Silver championship later in the day as they both paced their team with 16 points. McCallop was impressive all weekend overpowering his defenders on the way to the basket.
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