Hoop Group Teams Win State Championships

2017 Pennsylvania AAAAAA State Champions Reading High School

“Dreams Do Come True”

In addition to all the individual camps and AAU events the Hoop Group runs during the course of the year, we also provide opportunities for high school teams to play together as a unit in highly competitive exposure events.

During the off-season the Hoop Group manages the Summer and Fall High School Showcases at the Hoop Group Headquarters in Neptune NJ as well as the Hoop Group Elite Team Camp during the July Live Period at Albright College in Reading Pennsylvania.

The Hoop Groups operates four major high school showcase events during the season, the Reading Tip-Off Showcase (Albright College – Reading PA), NJ Tip-Off Showcase (Caldwell University – Caldwell NJ), Boardwalk Showcase (Brookdale Community College – Lincroft NJ) and Lehigh Valley Showcase (Parkland High School – Allentown PA).

Over the years many teams have used these events as springboards to go on to win state championships.

A look at the 2017 state champions who have played at a Hoop Group Team event this year and used that experience to help them earn a state chip.

Albany Academy NY

Archbishop Wood PA

Baltimore Poly Tech MD

Don Bosco Prep NJ

Frederick Douglas Academy NY

Imhotep Charter PA

Lincoln NY

Linden NJ

Molloy NY

Patrick School NJ

Reading PA

St. Benedict’s NJ

Teaneck NJ

Westtown PA

CONGRATS TO ALL!

The Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase Live Blog

Game 1: Marlboro vs Rumson

Q1: Game 1 at the Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase is underway. A good move from Dylan Kaufman and an early 3 from Ryan LaRocca put Marlboro up 9-2 in the early going! Marlboro zone giving RFH some problems. They lead 14-5 with 2 minutes to play. Both teams starting to find their stroke offensively to close the quarter. After 1 Marlboro leads 15-10

Q2: Ian O’connor wrestles down an offensive rebound to start the second half, and sticks it back. Rumson down 3. Marlboro pushing the pace, and gets a two easy lay ins. They lead 19-15 with 4 to play.  Teddy Sourlis hits his 3rd three of the 1st half, he has 9 At the half Marlboro 25  Rumson 23!

Q3: Quarter number 3 is underway. Tommy Oakes hits a big early 3 and gives RUmson their first lead of the day 31-30! Rumon firing on all cylinders in the 3rd quarter up 39-35 with 1:30 to play. A tough 3 from senior Daniel Weiss cuts the RFH lead to 1, 39-38.

Q4: AND 1 for Justin Marcus puts Marlboro up 44-41 with 4:00 to play.A steal and foul on the other ends leads to two shots for Jack  Higgins. Makes 1 44-42.  A HUGE 3 from Teddy Sourlis! 45-44 with 1 minute to go. Ian O’Connor makes two free throws puts RFH up 3.  Timeout Marlboro. 21 seconds. Down 3. Marlboro ball.

STOLEN by Ian O’Connor, Fouled, makes the first, and makes the second. RFH up 5 with 10 to play

Final: RFH 49 Marlboro 45

Players of the game:

Marlboro: Dylan Kaufman

RFH:  Teddy Sourlis

 

Game 2: CBA vs. Toms River North

Q1: And we are off in game # 2. Jaden Rhoden having his way early on with 8 of TRN 10 points. CBA’s Josh Cohen is making his presences felt. CBA up 13-10 with 3 minutes to play. Liam Kennedy making a big impact early with 7 points, scoring at all three levels. Timeout CBA as the TRN pressure bothers the colts. 16-15 TRN. An offensive battle through one with Toms River North Leading CBA 18-15

Q2: A slow start to the second quarter has CBA up 22-21 4 minutes in to the second quarter. Both teams on a scoring drought. 25-22 TRN with 30 seconds to play.

Q3: 30-29 TRN halfway through the third.  Jade Rhoden doing it all for TRN. He is having a monster day on the glass and getting to the rim at will. An impressive showing thus far. Another close quarter ends with Toms River North up 38-34 adjacent CBA.

Q4: Teams trading buckets int he early going. A tough pull up jumper from Liam Kennedy cuts TRN lead to 1. Another bucket for Jaden Rhoden answered by Josh Cohen on the other end. CBA up 45-44 with 3:18 to play. 46-45 with 2:34 to play in the game .

AND 1 for Travis Holland puts TRN up 4 with 2:19 to play! 50-47 with 54 seconds to play! Foul CBA send Mike Nyisztor to the line makes both. 52-47 with 40 seconds to go. Rhoden makes both 54-47 with seconds to play. Late attempts from CBA fall short. TRN win

Final: 57- 51

Team MVPs : Jaden Rhoden (Toms River North) Liam Kennedy (CBA)

 

 

Game 3: Mater Dei vs. Patrick School

Q1: AFter 1 patrick school leads 11-9. Mater Dei being very patient on the offensive end, while TPS size helped them dominant the rebounding battle.

Q2: The Patrick school is DOMINATING the offensive glass, leading to multiple put back opportunities. 6-0 run to start the quarter leads to 17-9 Pats lead. A big 3 from Jamir Harris stretches the Pats lead and puts him over the 1,000 career points mark! Congrats to Jamir! A jump hook and then a beautiful pass from Nick Richards helps stretch the TPS lead to 15! 32-17

 

 

 

New Jersey Tip Off Day 2 Live Results

Game 1: Hackensack vs. St. Mary’s Elizabeth

1st Quarter: Quarter closes with St. Mary’s Elizabeth clinging to 4 point advantage. Both teams defense lead the way, with neither team being able to find a rhythm offensively.

Score: 13-9

Leading Scorers:

St. Mary’s Elizabeth: Papie Roberts – 6

Hackensack: Atiba Taylor: 4

 

Quarter 2:

Both teams fly out to a quick second half start, trading buckets to an 18-13 score.  Jr. Razeyah Surrell is using great length and athleticism to rebound and get to the rim in transition. Both teams using a variety of pressure defense to keep their opponents off balance.  St. Mary’s Elizabeth is making Hackensack star Atiba Taylor work for everything, they are picking him up full court, and hard hedging every screen, but taylor is doing a good job staying aggressive.

Hackensack has St. Mary’s Elizabeth  with a tricky 1-3-1 zone. Senior Ahmad St. Fluer doing a good job getting this team in gaps and attacking the zone.

A scrappy competitive 2nd quarter as the Hilltoppers of St. Mary’s Elizabeth hits a HUGE 3 at the buzzer

Score: 31-20

Leading Scorers:

St. Mary’s Elizabeth: Jayvon Jackson  – 10 pts

Hackensack: Atiba Taylor – 11pts

 

Quarter 3:

 

2nd Half is underway here at the Hoop Group New Jersey Tip-Off! The Hilltoppers duo of Casmir Ochiaka and Calistus Anyichie  are starting to make their presence felt. With both of them contributing a layup and a rebound in the early going. Hackensack is beginning to shrink the size of their zone to match the Hi-Lo match up of Ochiaka and Anyichie.

Hackensack moving to a 2-2-1 zone press to try and speed up this St. Mary’s Elizabeth team. Jay’Von Jackson steady going guard play has helped the Hilltoppers extend their lead to 15 half way through the 3rd.

Coach Colette going with a line up of all guards to combat Hackensack’s pressure. They take care of the ball and head into the 4th quarter with a 16 point advantage.

Score: 41-25

Leading Scorers:

St. Mary’s Elizabeth: Jay’Von Jackson- 15 points

Hackensack: Atiba Taylor – 11 points

 

4th Quarter:

The 4th quarter begins as the Hilltoppers hold on to a commanding 16 point lead. The strong guard play of Jay’Von Jackson has been a huge factor in the success of St. Mary’s Elizabeth. The 6’3 junior has rebounded the ball, handled pressure, and even taken a big charge this afternoon!

Hackensack is not quitting, two steals converted on the other end cut the lead to 12. But long efficient possessions from the Hilltoppers aren’t leaving much chance for the comets to mount a legitimate comeback. A

The day has started with a competitive game, with two teams battling till the end regardless of score. But a state stuffing game from Jay’Von Jackson plus an impressive display of team defense has lead St. Mary’s Elizabeth to a 21  point win against Hackensack

Final Score: 61-40

Team MVP

St. Mary’s Elizabeth: Jay’von Jackson

Hackensack: BJ Saliba

 

Game 2: St. Anthony’s and St. Joseph’s Montvale

The Howard Commit and do-it-all point guard R.J. Cole gets St. Anthony’s off to a fast with a quick 3 and a tough and-1! Anthony’s up 12-4 in the early going. A lot of full court pressure has Montvale uncomfortable. A low scoring affair thus far.

Score: 12-6

Leading Scorer:

St. Anthony’s: RJ Cole – 8

 

2nd Quarter:

The Friars turn up the pressure in the 2nd quarter, that coupled with a transition and-1 by ’19 Xander Rice force Montvale to take a early time out.  St.Anthony’s up 21-9.

Montvale hanging tough against the Friar’s pressure, with a couple of baskets from Chauncey Hawkins, St. Anthony’s up 14.

WOW!  A stepback 3 at the buzzer from RJ Cole puts St. Anthony’s up 30-15 at the half.

Leading Scorers:

St. Anthony: RJ Cole-11

St. Joe Montvale- Chauncey Hawkins – 7

 

3rd Quarter:

A quarter characterized by tough defense, and offensive runs. Both teams couldn’t find a solid rhythm  on offense, but every time the Friars tried to extend the lead to 20+, Chauncey Hawkins and the Montvale team found a way to hang tough. All we know for sure is we have a competitive fourth quarter ahead of us!

Score- 38-24

 

4th Quarter

Two early 3’s from St. Anthony puts them up 18 early in the fourth. The lead seems to be insurmountable but that hasn’t stopped Montvale from continuing to defend, push the pace, and compete!

Another 3 from Xander Rice forces a timeout from the Knights!

St. Anthony’s with an impressive performance against a St. Joe’s Montvale, who showed a ton of toughness in this tough test.

Final Score: 54-33

Team MVP’s

St. Anthony’s: RJ Cole

St. Joes Montvale: Chauncey Hawkins

 

Game 3: Blair vs Linden

An early battle here at the Hoop group New Jersey Tip-Off between Blair and Linden. Both teams getting good offensive contributions from a number of different players! At the end of the first quarter the score 10-9 with Blair in the lead.

 

2nd quarter:

Blair turns the pressure up! They turnover Linden twice in a row leading to a BIG TIME dunk by Janub Chuol. Blair up 16-12. This game is two New Jersey heavyweights exchanging blows! Deng Gak is protecting the rim on every drive. Janub Chuol playing like a veteran, has the Bucs up 21-15 at the half.

 

3rd Quarter:

A physical 3rd quarter lead to not a lot of points! Both teams grinding out right now. 30-24 Blair Leads.

 

4th Quarter:

A huge 3 from Linden to start the fourth quarter cuts Blair’s lead to 2! 28-30 with 6:14 to play.

ANOTHER 3 for Linden! They take the lead for the first time all game!

Blair goes on a MONSTER Run!:

Tough take by Jayson Oweh!

And a 3 from Matt Turner,

AND 1 Janub Chuol! Blair up 38-31!

 

43-35 Blair leads with 1:36.

A tough take by Tavon Jones, leads to a foul. He goes to the line for two, does 43-36 with 54 seconds to play.

A HUGE 3 cuts the lead to 43-40. Blair ball with 32.6 second left in the game.

 

44-42  Blair with 18.5 seconds left in the game. Blair Ball.

Blair with the WIN 46-42!

Bergen Catholic and St. Benedicts:

We pick up in the third quarter with the Gray Bees up 44-40 in a heavyweight bout between two of Jersey’s best.

At the end of 3 44-40 St. Benedicts. This one will be decided in the fourth!

Benedicts on a 6-0 run to start the quarter. 50-40. Time out Bergen Catholic

An unbelievable run by St. Benedicts! The Gray Bees open up the quarter on a 24-0 run! Put the game out of reach. Two minutes left 68-40.

St. Benedicts wins 68-

Team MVP:

Bergen Catholic: Gabe Stefanini

St. Benedicts: Precious Achiwu

Pooley’s Picks: New Jersey Tip-Off

Pooley’s Picks

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off Preview

Qualifications:  Sticking with the theme of high school events we have NEW JERSEY BASKETBALL BACK!  Nothing like the start of basketball season in NJ and nothing like the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  This week we’ll have a little different approach to Pooley’s Picks.  No specific qualifications this week, just some pointers for people to watch out for during this event and really the rest of the season.

Picks are in no particular order. Please enjoy the fifth installment of Pooley’s Picks.

2016 New Jersey Tip Off

The 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off: Ten great match ups. 5 of the top 7 teams in NJ.

The Event: For years (17 to be exact), the Hoop Group has put on the NJ Tip-Off.  Each year, it features high-profile match ups and top-tier talent. The event itself is well run and the venues are always excellent.  The 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off will be very much the same.  First, Eric Kessler and Dave Fedor have a ton of experience running events, and more importantly a ton of knowledge of the teams.  When you get the best teams together to start the season it is important to have a great setup and planning.  This event will have that and more.

 

HC of Pope John at 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off, Vincent Johnson, while at Lehigh.

Vincent Johnson: Vincent was named the head coach of Pope John after former coach Jason Hasson left for Pennsylvania.  “Chico” as many know him, is a great coach with an unbelievable background in basketball.  More importantly, he is a good friend of mine and an excellent mentor to many young ball players.  The #1 thing I’m excited for at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off is to watch Coach Johnson in his head coaching debut.  Now, he has been matched up with Roselle Catholic, a staple at the top of the NJ rankings.  Don’t be surprised if Coach Johnson and his young, talented squad can keep it close.

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off participant Mike Morreale

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off participant Mike Morreale

Michael Morreale:  The 6’5″ 2017 senior is one of my favorites.  He is an excellent player, known both for his excellent athleticism and long range jumpers.  Entering his senior year, he’ll be a valuable asset for Coach Mergin Sina and the Knights.  Look for Mike to knock down a couple threes and convert on a jam or two.  More than that, look for Mike to make the big play at the end.  Defensively Mike is one of the best around, guarding point guards right on down to centers.  More importantly, he is a great kid and a great teammate.  No question that at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off everyone will enjoy watching Mike.

 

 

Blair v Linden: Earlier in the year, in the first installment of Pooley’s Picks I predicted the most productive players in New Jersey.  This match up features (admittedly) my biggest snub: Tavon Jones.  I can’t wait to watch Tavon in his first opportunity to prove me wrong.  The big guard can do it all and will have a huge test against one of my favorite backcourts on the east coast.  Let’s not forget the match up also features two great coaches: Phil Colicchio and Joe Mantegna.

 

Bergen Catholic v St. Benedict’s:  Mark Taylor’s team is led by impressive Syracuse commit Bourama Sidibe and fab frosh Noah Farrakhan.  Billy Armstrong’s team is led by two senior guards Gabe Stefanini (Columbia) and Taj Benning (Fairfield).  Something has to give here.  This is the most evenly matched game of the weekend, and one I really am excited to see.  Look for the X-factor, 6’8″ freshman Matt Zona, to jump onto the New Jersey seen.

 

Ja’Quaye James:  The small, heady PG will have his work cut out for him against Newark East Side.  First, the Red Raiders are one of the best defenses at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  Second, they are led by senior stopper Elijah Olaniyi and sophomore stud Anas Amos.  However, none of that matters to James, who has been taking on the country’s best for years.   Watch for some highlight reel excitement, some up-tempo basketball, and a lot of buckets from James.

 

Hun vs Union Catholic:  Just a solid match up.  Union Catholic is tough and physical, Hun is tough and physical.  Guard play from both schools will be the difference in the game.  Hun will try to keep Jordan Pierce of the offensive boards and Union Catholic will need to keep Tyler Washington and Desmond Cambridge away from the rim. Freshman guard Niels Lane, who got a lot of minutes at PSA Cardinals Showcase just two weeks ago, is another X-factor.

 

Calistus Anyichie 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off commit

Calistus Anyichie 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off commit

St. Mary’s Elizabeth Bigs: Certainly not a group the casual fan would talk about, but I think that’s about to change.  Both bigs, Calistus Anyichie and Casmir Ochiaka, have big upside and great coaching.  Perhaps a little underrated right now, I’m looking for them to have a breakout 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  As the season continues, look for colleges to start taking notice as well.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim: First of all, it’s not often you get to see a freshman play major minutes in a High School game.  Second of all, it’s less often you get to see a top player nationally impact a game.  Finally, both of those two will come together for the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off, as Abdur-Rahim will do his best to live up to the hype.

 

Samba Diallo:  Will BLOW UP this season.  Been hearing his name a lot lately in some basketball circles.  Samba has started coming into his own. First, look for this kid to have his first big game of the year at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  Then, look for him to finish his sophomore year with all of the offers.  The big lefty can do it all, and legitimately play 4 different positions.

 

Special Guest this week, Event Director Eric Kessler:

New Jersey Tip-Off Game 7 Preview

Game 7

Sunday 3:45 – St. Anthony’s vs St. Joesph’s Montvale

In Sunday’s second game St. Joe’s Montvale looks to take down one the giants of High School Basketball, Coach Bob Hurley and his St. Anthony Friars. Montvale, the defending Bergen County Jamboree champs  lead by seniors Chauncey Hawkins and Joe Radi look to make a splash on a national stage. While St. Anthony’s do-it-all point guard RJ Cole (Howard Commit) looks to lead the Friars to match last year’s perfect season. St. Anthony’s team is full of versatile, talented players including Nigel Marshall, Ithiel Horton, and SUPER SOPH Xander Rice. They are one of the deepest teams in New Jersey and coached by a Hall Of Famer, this is a game you are not going to want to miss!

New Jersey Tip Off Game 6 Preview

Game 6

Sunday 2:15 – Hackensack Vs. St. Mary’s Elizabeth

Sunday picks up where Saturday left off, with two great teams from New Jersey that have a deep pool of talent. Lets start it off by the Hackensack dynamic duo of Atiba Taylor and BJ Saliba. Taylor, who holds multiple D1 offers, is a smooth operator at the guard position! The crafty lefty can go by any defender and set up teammates with relative ease. Hackensack will need to prepare for a gritty St. Mary’s Elizabeth team lead by the Junior big men Casmir Ochiaka and Calistus Anyichie! Casmir uses his college ready body to bully opposing defenders, while Anyichie protects the paint with his tremendous length. Be ready for another awesome matchup at the New Jersey Tip Off.

NJ Tip-Off Game 5 Preview

Game 5 8:30: Columbia Vs. Seton Hall Prep

Another great game to round out the day between two of New Jersey’s finest, Columbia and Seton Hall Prep.  Lead by Junior Stephen Gabriel, Columbia, prepares to take on the young stars of Seton Hall Prep. Seton Hall lead by senior Austin Williams who is joined by junior Alex Imegwu along with freshman phenom Jabri Abur-Rahim, are prepared to take the make a big statement in their first game of the year. With two great coaches, both team will be extremely prepared, so be on the lookout for a very tight game!

NJ Tip-Off Game 4 Preview

Game 4 7:00: Roselle Catholic vs Pope John

A big time Top 20 matchup between #2 (NJ Hoops) team in New Jersey, Roselle Catholic, against #19 ranked Pope John.  Roselle Catholic will feature some of the best players this state has to offer, starting with ESPN #10 2018 Naz Reid. The 6’10 forward is as talented as anyone in the country. If you haven’t seen him play live, you will not want to miss this game. Roselle has more than just Reid, including Temple Commit Nate Pierre-Louis, and do-it-all forwards Alanzo Frink and Khalil Whitney both of whom have a host of major scholarship offers. With all this talk about Roselle Catholic, I should warn you not to sleep on Pope John. Starting with 6’7 forward Samba Diallo, who is as impactful as any player in the state! Aiding him will be ’18 Aaron Clark and ’19 Jack Cavanaugh, both of which are hoping to make a statement in the state. Coach Vincent Johnson will have his team ready to go as they look to make a splash in their first game of the year!

NJ Tip Off Game 3 Preview

Game 3 5:30: Newark East Side vs Teaneck

The action continues in game 3 at the New Jersey Tip-Off with two of the toughest Public School teams in the state, Newark East Side and Teaneck. This game is loaded with HIGH level players, and no one is going to want to miss the guard match up between Teaneck’s Leondre Washington and Newark East Side’s Elijah Olayani. Both guards will be playing D1 basketball next year with Olayani committed to Stony Brook, while Washington is still undecided but holds multiple offers. But they aren’t the only great players playing in this one, Ja’Quaye James is a MUST SEE in the state of New Jersey. The 5’9 rocket guard has defenders all over the state worried about guarding him this year. This is just the beginning of the high level players participating in this game! Come out to the New Jersey Tip-Off to see what both of these NJ powerhouses have to offer.

 

New Jersey Tip-Off Game 2

Game 2 4:00:  Don Bosco Prep Vs. Gil St Bernards

This game showcases two teams that are staples of New Jersey High School basketball, Don Bosco Prep and Gil St. Bernards.  New Jersey legend Mergin Sina leads another GSB team with a well rounded attack featuring ’17 Mike Morreale, ’18’s Brad Bundusch, Alex Schachne, and ’19 Paul Mulcahy all with serious college futures. But don’t sleep on Don Bosco Prep, who will be able to match the Gil depth with a serious lineup of their own featuring ’17’s Manley Dorme, Chris Paul, ’18 Ron Harper, and ’19 Vic Konopko. If you like talent rich basketball, played the right way this is a game for you! Two of the best in New Jersey facing off at Hoop Group New Jersey Tip-Off.