ROXBURY, Mass. – The 2014 Hoopville Spring Finale was a story of old and new champions. That may seem obvious at first glance, but the event featured several programs who won their first championship in the event as well as a stalwart program continuing its winning ways in the event. The first-timers notably featured a couple of brand new teams.
Sunday featured the championship games, and while a few were blowouts there were a few dandies as well.
The youngest age group was one of those last ones, as the Northshore Ballarz took it home with a blowout win over Expressions Elite. The Northshore Ballarz is still basically a fledgling program, but with a proven coach in Dave Brown among the staff you can be sure they will produce their fair share of prospects. Right behind them, YABC joined the first-time champions in the 11-Under with a win over the BSA Boxers from Brockton.
The first-timers continued in the 12-Under, with Red Rush becoming the first Canadian program to win a championship in the tournament. They did it in impressive fashion by knocking off MYCW 47-25 to finish 3-0 on the weekend.
Next up was the 13-Under, where the Roxbury Titans capped off a great couple of days to start Sunday morning. The last effort was a 55-50 win over Red Rush to finish 3-0 on the weekend and cap a big spring for the young program as their team played up on the weekend.
The most thrilling age group had to be the 14-Under, and that wasn’t just the case in the final although the championship game had plenty of heart-stopping moments. Team DEMI grew its lead on All For One during the second half and still led by seven with about a minute to go. Then everything seemingly went wrong for them, as All For One’s press created several turnovers and easy baskets to eventually tie the game at 45 and give them a chance to take the lead or win. Then DEMI got the ball back and made two free throws with 4.3 seconds left to pull out a 47-45 thriller for the championship.
In the 15-Under, BABC started to put some distance between themselves and the Greater Boston Lions late in the first half, but the Lions didn’t go quietly. They battled back to make it a single-digit game and were never really out of it, but couldn’t get within a couple of possessions as BABC took home the title with a 63-51 victory.
The 16-Under final was a rubber match of sorts between teams that had split two meetings earlier this spring in Boston Elite and BABC South. Both teams were easily the class of their pools to get this far. On this occasion, it was the Boston Elite backcourt of Tyree Weston (6’3″ So. PG-SG, New Bedford (MA) Cheshire Academy), Jamal “Sauce” Allen (So. PG, Lincoln-Sudbury HS) and Brandon Twitty (6’1″ So. SG, Randolph (MA) Catholic Memorial HS) that proved to be too much, led by Allen’s 20 points, as Boston Elite took home the title with a 78-69 win.
The tournament closed with the 17-Under final, a matchup of two local teams. BABC was expected to get there, while the Boston Bulls might not have been many people’s first pick to make it. After eking out a semifinal win, however, the Bulls were over-matched, as BABC ran away from them 63-29. The winners got a balanced attack led by Terance Mann (6’5″ Jr. SF, Lowell (MA) Tilton School) and Tyree Robinson (6’3″ Jr. SF, Fall River (MA) Durfee HS).
Stay tuned for more notes from the event coming up soon.