BOSTON – The Hoopville Spring Finale is in the books. The 2012 edition saw teams from outside of the host state make their mark, especially in the oldest age group. The 17-Under/Open division saw no teams from the host state advance out of pool play, while only one team did so in the 16-Under. The 15-Under was the age group where the host state salvaged the weekend as both finalists came from Massachusetts.
It wasn’t too surprising that the 17-Under had no teams from Massachusetts advance since it had the highest concentration of teams from outside the state. Nine of the 14 teams in that group came from outside of the state, including three from Canada.
The championship Sunday started out with the 14-Under final, which matched up two teams that swept through their pool in the Rhode Island Hawks and the New York Lightning. The Hawks had a good weekend with all three of their teams showing well, and in this division they were the big winners after they scored a 57-45 win in the championship game over the Lightning.
The 15-Under final followed that, with the Shooting Stars riding in on a roll against a Greater Boston Lions team that survived in overtime in the semifinals. The Shooting Stars took home the title, with GBL being runner-up in this age group for the second year in a row.
The 16-Under final was a dandy that came right down to the end. Tied at 61, Expressions Elite missed two shots in close before Rens Mark got a driving layup to take the lead. Just when it looked like Rens Mark got the stop they needed to seal it in the final minute, an Expressions steal gave them a chance, but they settled for a three-pointer they didn’t need. In the final seconds, Rens looked like they had it locked up when they got the ball inbounds with no defender nearby, but a celebratory travel gave Expressions a last opportunity with less than a second to go. Rens held on for a 68-64 win despite big outings by Expressions’ Damion Smith (6’3″ So. SG, West Roxbury (MA) New Mission School) and Malik Abu (6’7″ So. PF, Dorchester (MA) Kimball Union Academy). Smith will attend Redemption Christian Academy next year as it relocates to Northfield, MA.
The 17-Under final was a close game throughout, with Rens and Connecticut Select tied at 35 at the half. Rens often held a slim lead in the second half, and they kept it with some great ball movement often started by guard penetration. They would seal it with big plays late, taking home the title with a 72-68 win. Jason Boswell (6’7″ Jr. SF-PF, Bronx (NY) Trinity Catholic HS) led the winners with 20 points to cap off a big weekend, while Terrance Samuel (6’3″ Jr. PG, Brooklyn (NY) South Shore HS) added 19.
>More notes from the event will come later.