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




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.

New Jersey Tip-Off Game 1

Game 1 2:30: Immaculate Conception Vs. East Orange

You’re going to want to get to the NJ Tip-Off early cause the day starts off with a great matchup between Immaculate Conception and East Orange. East Orange, under 1st year coach and former Newark Tech coach (and state champion) Joe Jordan, looks to take down one of the best teams in New Jersey. Immaculate Conception features a player who many (Including myself) consider the best scorer in New Jersey, Jalen Carey! The 6’3 combo guard is capable of putting on a show against anyone! This is a matchup you’re not going to want to miss!

Fall High School Showcase Recap

Every year The Hoop Group Fall High School Showcase is considered by many to be the best collection of high school teams and talent on the east coast. This year was no different! With over 50 teams and 25 media outlets the Fall High School Showcase once again did not disappoint.

Best Games of the Weekend:

Bergen Catholic Vs. The Ranney School 

One of the most anticipated matchups of the weekend, Bergen Catholic lead by recent Columbia Commit, Gabe Stefanini, faced off the with a young Ranney team featuring super sophomore and ESPN #16 rated player Scottie Lewis (2019). Lewis needed to be a even more spectacular than normal with ESPN #8 point guard Bryan Antoine out with an injury. Lewis didn’t disappoint, scoring 21 points in the first half, he had his team up 9 at the half. Bergen didn’t back down, the veteran backcourt of Stefanini and recent Fairfield commit Taj Benning, and aided by the sharpshooting of Thomas Binelli (2017) Bergen stormed back and had a 1pt advantage with under a minute to play. But Ranney’s hero saved the day! A huge and-one from Scottie Lewis (See below), who finished with 33 points, and gave The Ranney School the lead and the win 68-66. Highlights:

Trinity Internation (NV) Vs. Westtown (PA)

When Trinity International, lead by high major forward Kenneth Wooten (2017), took on Westtown featuring ESPN #4 Cam Reddish (2018) and ESPN #40 Brandon Randolph (Arizona Commit) the game looked more like a college game then a high school one. Both teams absorbed the other ones best shot in the first half, and the score had Westtown ahead 29-27. Trinity International pulled ahead in the second half behind the sharpshooting of Ismael Cruz-Paris (2019) who connected on 3 3’s in the second half. In the end the Trinity International’s pressure, and shot making ability proved to be too much for Westtown who was missing ESPN #4 Mo Bamba (2017).

Final score: Trinity: 55 Westtown: 49


Brandon Randolph (Arizona Commit)


Cam Reddish (ESPN #4 Class of 2018)

Mater Dei (NJ) Vs. Lincoln (NY)

A battle between two of the best programs from their respective states, Mater Dei featuring star guard Kenny Jones (2018) and Lincoln one of the most storied programs in New York City.  This game was characterized by tough, competitive play, with both teams being physical on both sides of the court. Lincoln took an early lead 21-15 behind the strong play of Mike Reid (2017). Mater Dei’s shots began to fall and ended the half up g (7 3’s) had them up 35-33 at that half.  A strong second half from Princeton Commit, Elijah Barnes (2017), helped Mater Dei pull away late 68-55.

Top Teams (Not Mentioned Above): 

Nick Richards (ESPN #12)

The Patrick School: Record 4-0. Lead by ESPN #12 Nick Richards, The Patrick School turned in a truly dominate weekend.  With an average margin of victory of 31 points, they showed why many believe they are the best team in NJ. What impressed the most about The Patrick School was their depth and defense as well as the productivity of Minnesota Commit Jhamir Harris and unsigned senior Jordan Walker. The Patrick  School is primed for a big year!

Jordan Walker

Jordan Walker

Nick Richards

Nick Richards (ESPN #12)

David Beatty (2017 Imhotep)

Imhotep: A 2-0 record and margin of victory around 23, Imhotep made their case to be the best team at the Fall High School Showcase. Lead by an all-star backcourt of Daron Russell (Rhode Island Commit) and high major prospect David Beatty (2017) the Panthers put together a complete weekend, showcasing a suffocating defense, and a fast paced offense that no team could find an answer for. With a blend of young talent, and veteran leadership Imhotep is going to be tough to beat this upcoming season!

St. Anthony’s: With a 2-1 record against 3 high level opponents, St. Anthony’s showed why they are always a force to be reckoned with in the state of New Jersey and the country. Lead by do-it-all guard and Howard commit RJ Cole, St. Anthony showcased a versatile team capable of excelling against any style. Cole’s backcourt mate 2019 Xander Rice displayed a knack for scoring the ball from anywhere, leading the Friars in scoring 2 of the 3 games.  This weekend solidified what many already know, beware of St. Anthony’s this year!

Gil St. Bernards: A 3-1 record, including a win over the talented Ranney School, left everyone very impressed with Gil St. Bernards this weekend. The Knights beat teams using a balanced attack featuring jack of all trades wing Mike Morreale (2017), talented guard Paul Mulachy (2019), gritty guard Alex Schachne (2018), and skilled post Brad Bundschuh(2018). Their ability to defend, share the ball, and make timely shots made them a tough matchup for even the most talented teams. Keep an eye out for Gil St. Bernards this year.

Newark East Side: With a 2-0 record on the weekend, Newark East Side impressed many people at the Fall High School Showcase. Lead by Stony Brook commit Elijah Olyani, who averaged 16 ppg at the showcase, the Red Raiders used a combination of pressure defense, and attacking offense to make their opponents uncomfortable all weekend. With Olyani surrounded by a strong supporting case Newark East Side will be looking to make a run this year.

Top Players 

Cole Anthony (Archbishop Molloy): The #14 player in ESPN 2019 rankings was in the building this weekend, and he lived up to the hype! Scoring over 20 point in his first game and following that up with a 30 point performance. His elite athleticism was on full display with some high level blocks,  as well as an improved shot from 3. This young guard’s potential is through the roof! 

Lonnie Walker (ESPN #19)

Lonnie Walker (Reading HS): The #19 player in ESPN 2017 class showed why every high major team in the country is fighting to get him! He displayed a smooth offensive game, and overpowering strength when needed.  Walker’s unique blend of size and strength makes him a match up problem for any defender, and lead to numerous trips to the free throw line. Lonnie is final five schools are: Syracuse, Villanova, Arizona, Miami, and Kentucky.

Lonnie Walker (ESPN #19)

Isaiah Washington (St. Raymond’s): New York’s #1 Point Guard was in the building this weekend, living up to his billing as one of the best guards in the country. With a creative handle and exceptional quickness Washington proved to be difficult to contain regardless of matchup, scoring 21 against the stout Patrick School defense. The Minnesota commit, was a fan favorite as well a leader for the talented St. Raymond’s program.

Myles Douglas and Jihar Williams (Friends School): This dynamic duo from the Baltimore based Friends School, were terrific all weekend. Combining for 50 points in one game, both players showed deep range as well as physical college ready bodies that were hard to stop. Douglas (UCF commit) and Williams (William & Mary commit) are going to drive opposing coaches crazy this season, be on the lookout for a big year from these two and the Friends School.


Thanks to all the program, parents, and media that came out to The Hoop Group Fall High School Showcase this weekend! It was an overwhelming success, and we hope to see you all throughout your high school season as well as this spring and summer at our tournaments!