Massachusetts crowned its 2013 AAU State Champions this past weekend at Mass Premier Courts. There was a decisive Hoops Elite Academy feel to the event, as Elite Week alumni were present in the final four of the 8th, 9th, and 10th grade age groups.
10th Grade Recap:
BABC advanced to the championship game after defeating Boston Spartans soundly in the semifinals, while Metro Boston punched its ticket to the title game with a win over the NE Storm. In what was a closely contested first half, BABC was able to pull away in the second half of the title game behind steady backcourt play from Elite Week alumni Terance Mann and Bruce Brown, for a 62, 44 victory. Both guards effectively shouldered primary ball handling responsibilities throughout the weekend. Mann was able to slice his way to the hoop in the half court set, while Brown made his impact felt offensively in the open floor. Elite Week alumnus Jayden Depina suited up for Metro Boston’s 10th grade squad as an 8th grader. Although his playing time was limited, Depina has shown tremendous improvements in his game since last summer.
9th Grade Recap:
After losing at the buzzer in the semifinals to eventual 9th grade champions Boston Warriors 62-61, Elite Week alumnus Keyshaad Dixon and his Metro Heat squad regrouped to earn a hard fought 80-77 victory over the Shooting Stars to place 3rd in the state. Dixon’s play was impressive throughout the afternoon, as he hit deep threes, drove to the hoop for leaners and floaters, and facilited the offensive from the point guard spot with drive and kicks to open teammates. The 6’1″ combo guard is a tough matchup for most point guards in the MIAA.
8th Grade Recap:
The two 8th grade Expressions teams faced off in what was the most anticipated semifinals matchup going into the weekend. This game did not disappoint, as the highly competitive matchup featured a number of high level plays, and an intense effort on both ends of the floor. Expressions Elite was able to pull away down the stretch for 65-55 victory behind the leadership of Elite Week alumnus Kimani Lawrence. Playing well for Expressions Elite was Azar Swain, who made a number of impressive plays offensively, and Jermaine Samuels, who continues to make the case for one of the top young players in region. Samuels finished with a number of punishing dunks that set the tone for his team. Elite Week alumni Charles Mitchell and Charlie Mitchell displayed there patented defensive pressure, and both made a number of impressive plays offensively finishing at the rim with floaters and knocking down deep jumpers.
For the Expressions Elite North squad, Elite Week alumnus Marcus Zegarowski handled a daunting trapping defense tremendously well, and made timely buckets in the second half to keep his team in striking distance. Perhaps the most impressive performance in this game was Elite Week alumnus Michael Odiana, the young guard from Expressions Elite North. Odiana paced the North in scoring, using a tight handle to slash to the rim, finishing over a long Expressions Elite front line with both hands, handled the ball efficiently in the face of a relentless trapping defense, and knocked down jumpers when left open. Odiana is playing with tremendous confidence going into the summer. Elite Week alumni Max Zegarwoski and Isaiah Holmes sat out of this contest due to injury.
Facing a double-digit halftime deficit, BABC pulled off an impressive 56-52 comeback win over the Boston Warriors in the semifinals to advance to the championship game. Elite Week alumni Jordan Galloway knocked down a number of deep threes, while Martin Mann proved a valuable presence in the block with his ability to finish through contact off of drop off passes. Geo Baker played effectively throughout the day as well, knocking down timely jumpers and facilitating the offense. The championship game was all Expressions Elite, who controlled the action throughout with a relentless defensive effort to take home the 8th grade title with a 70-58 victory.