2017 Pitt Jam Fest Live Blog

8:43 AM

Close game here on court 19 between Game 7 and the NOVA Cavaliers 30-28. Multiple Big Ten coaches in attendance watching this matchup.

8:33 AM

Action already underway today here at the #PittJamFest! Court 17 has a fast-paced 17u Platinum game going with the Randallstown Rebels up early on the L&L Running Rebels 28-19 with 7:12 left in the first half.

Saturday | April 29th

Friday | April 28th

9:07 PM

8:46 PM

8:44 PM

8:07 PM

8:03 PM

Over 20 media outlets here and 50+ college coaches out scouting players right now at the #PittJamFest!

8:01 PM

7:20 PM

The Middlesex Magic defeated The Academy 67-58 in the first game on Court 16 apart of the HGSL Showcase. 6’0″ point guard Thomas Shaughnessy led the way for the Magic with 11 points.

7:11 PM

Team MOAM beats MD3D 71-53 on court 10 here at the #PittJamFest. Dante Treacy of Team MOAM led the way with a game-high 15 points.

6:55 PM

Many D1 coaches on hand including those from Yale, UPenn and Boston University watching the Northern Kings playing Interstate Basketball on Court 12 here at the #PittJamFest!

6:43 PM

6:22 PM

6:10 PM

6:03 PM

We are underway here at the 2017 #PittJamFest!!

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


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

Southern Jam Fest Recap: We R1 and Team Loaded NC capture 17U and 16U titles

The Southern Jam Fest — one of the East Coast’s strongest and deepest spring tournaments on a yearly basis was highlighted by strong 17U and 16U divisions, with a mix of the Northeast and Southeast’s strongest programs going head-to-head.

17U Champions: We R1
17U Runner-Up: Team Loaded NC
A month after the April recruiting period, We R1 came to Hampton and made a major statement. Capping off a dominant tournament run, We R1 took home the 17U championship with a 75-65 win over a talented Team Loaded VA squad. Even as star point guard Trevon Duval exited the game with a minor injury early in the first half, Eric Ayala and Tyrese Martin took command in the championship game, leading We R1 to an exclamation point on a memorable weekend. After jumping out to a 48-31 lead at halftime and a 24-point lead early in the second half, Team Loaded VA stormed back and brought the lead down to single digits with seven minutes remaining. The teams traded blows for the rest of the second half, but We R1 was able to finish strong and close out their five-game run — a run in which they defeated their opponents by an average margin of 27 points.

Before falling in the title, Team Loaded VA punched their ticket in the championship in one of the most highly-anticipated games of the weekend, scoring a big semifinal win over in-state rival Boo Williams. Although the game started out with a few intense exchanges, Loaded VA quickly opened up a double-digit lead and never looked back, advancing with a 59-49 win.

We R1 made their way to the title with a hard-earned 73-61 win over DC Premier, in a matchup of two teams who know each other well from their yearly battles on the Under Armour circuit. Duval’s 24 points led all scorers, as We R1 opened a small lead late in the first half, but the two teams found themselves neck-and-neck for much of the game before We R1 pulled away late. Duval electrified the crowd with a big dunk and some highlight-reel passes, to go along with his game-high 24 points.

We R1 17u

16U Champions: Team Loaded NC
16U Runner-Up: DC Premier
Team Loaded NC finished off an impressive run through the 16U bracket with a 72-65 win in the title game, fighting off a feverish DC Premier comeback in the final minutes. After jumping out to a 20-point lead in the first half — and holding an 18-point halftime lead — Loaded NC saw their lead fall to as little as three in the second half, after Premier picked up their defensive intensity and began to assert themselves on the boards. Despite DC Premier’s best efforts, a few timely buckets for Loaded — and strong free-throw shooting in the final minutes — sealed the win. Capping off a solid scoring weekend that saw his stock rise in the eyes of many scouts and media in attendance, guard Trey Wertz led Loaded’s offensive efforts with 20 points.

Team Loaded NC made their way into the championship with a dominant semifinal win over hometown Boo Williams, going up 17 at halftime and coasting to a 78-54 win behind a game-high 22 points from Trey Wertz. In their entire six-game run, the team outscored opponents by an average of 17 points per game, and also went home with wins over Baltimore Elite and Garner Road.

On the opposite side of the bracket, DC Premier faced a strong Final 4 challenge from We R 1, gutting out a 48-36 semifinal win after a back-and-forth affair. One of the rising stars of the weekend, Jermain Harris finished with 17 points and displayed a strong inside-out game in helping send DCP to the title game.

Team Loaded NC 16u

15 & 14u Champions

By James Albano

Often overshadowed by the insane star power in the 16 and 17 year old brackets, the younger teams in the Southern Jam Fest don’t always get the recognition and love they deserve. This year’s Southern Jam Fest featured highly respected programs in our lower age groups, as Team Takeover and Boo Williams took home trophies. For both teams, the championship game theme was comebacks, trailing early, but rallying late to seal a win.

15U Champion: Team Takeover
15U Runner Up: New Heights

The most impressive piece of Team Takeover’s 15u championship run is that they were a 14u team playing up. The Nike club never once appeared a year younger, running through the 15u bracket and knocking off premier team after premier team.

After knocking off a Team Loaded team that showcased enormous size in the front court, Takeover seemed to have met their match in the final versus New York-based New Heights. New Heights attacked early and led by seven at the break; they led by as many as 10 in the first half. The second half was all Takeover, however. The younger club buckled down defensively and ended plus 12 in the second half, topping New Heights by 5 to take the championship!

Team takeover 15U

14U – Champion: Boo Williams
14U Runner Up: We R1

Boo Williams select refused to go down without a fight in their own gym. We R1 jumped out to a hot start, taking a lead of double digits over BWSL. As Boo chipped away in the first half, We R1 continued to match them shot for shot, and maintained a five point lead into the break.
It was not until late in the second half that Boo made a run, and what a run it was. Starting with a Bryce Steele turnaround jumper to make it 60-58, the Virginia based team went on a 21-8 run to close out the 14U championship game. As they say, it’s not how you start, but how you finish. BWSL definitely finished strong.
 Boo Williams 14u

2016 Providence Jam Fest Champions

17U Champions: Mass Rivals

17U Mass Rivals

16U Champions: New England Playaz

16U NE Playaz

15U Champions: New England Playaz

15U NE Playaz

14U Champions: New England Playaz

14U NE PLayaz

13U Champions: New England Playaz
13 U NE Playaz

12U Champions: Gran Scheme
12U Grand Scheme

11U Champions: CT Select

11U CT Select

17U, 16U Championship Game Results


16 U Division: Mass Rivals 62  New England Playaz 65

The Playaz came out of the gate scorching hot, putting up a 9-0 run to start the contest. The rest of the half was a rollercoaster, as both teams would take turns going on scoring runs and droughts. As the clock ran out on the first half, the Rivals hit a nice hit a step-back jumper to cut the New England lead to 10.

Early in the second half, New England reclaimed total control of the game, and gradually extended their lead to 17. The Rivals fought valiantly to get themselves back in the game, by going on small, sporadic runs to cut the lead by 4 or 6 points in a clip. David Mitchell came up big for Mass, as he had a couple of clutch finishes down the stretch that helped bring them back into it. New England responded with back to back threes, momentarily seizing the momentum.

With under 2 minutes to play, the Rivals tied the game up for the first time since the opening tip. Calvin Whipple banged, what eventually would be, a game winning three with 6 seconds left, as the Tanahj Pettway‘s last shot rolled around the rim twice before falling out. The Rivals were able to climb themselves out of a big hole, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion in what proved to be an exciting championship game.




17U Division: Mass Rivals top NY Ionians

The Rivals hopped right on the Ionians in this championship showdown, grabbing a double digit lead within the first five minutes of the game. The Rivals continued to dominate the first half, and carried a 23 point cushion into halftime. They played tremendous defense, holding the Ionians to just 14 points in the half. Azar Swain played terrific in transition. He ran the floor well and found Makhtar Gueye who put home a number of easy finishes. Swain also showed some range, knocking down three threes as well.

The second half was much of the same. The Rivals continued to pad the lead en-route to a routing of the Ionians. Gueye finished with a game high 16 points and Swain posted 13, all of which came in the first half. In the end, The Rivals were far too athletic for the Ionians, who struggled to keep up with the Rivals quick style of play.


16U Morning Action Recap


Lots of Talent on Display In 16U Division

The Sports U 16U squad faced some tough competition, and they have seen a lot of success. Sports U has not only survived and advanced through the 2016 Providence Jam Fest, but they have done so in dominant fashion. They won their first two match-ups by an average of 44 points before edging out South Jersey Hoops in the Elite Eight.

The high-profile, New Jersey based program found themselves in a tight game going into the second half. While Sports U led for almost the entire game, they never really mounted a sizable lead. South Jersey Hoops was able to hang in there, but in the end Sports U just had too much talent to lose this one.

Sports U did not play particularly well on offense in this game, at least by their standards. However they were tremendous on defense, pressuring and trapping ball-handlers all over the court. While the scoring was pedestrian, Sports U ran a smooth offense. Sophomore point guard Atiba Taylor handled and distributed the ball well, often penetrating and dishing for easy lay-ups. Jahvon Quinerly established himself as the scoring guard in this game, putting up a healthy 17 points on the way to a 55-44 victory.

However, Sports U hit a bit of a roadblock in the Final Four. The Mass Rivals came out on top in this heavyweight battle. The Rivals benefited from solid guard play from Tanahj Pettway, who has had an impressive weekend. He was explosive on offense, displaying his nice ball handling and showing a bit of range on his jumper. He also helped neutralize a very talented Sports U backcourt on the defensive end. Also, without star big-man Naz Reid, Sports U was limited down low. Ako Akok took advantage of this, by coming up big for the Rivals on the glass. Overall, the Mass Rivals proved that they are an elite northeastern program, as both the the 16U and 17U squads have reached the championship.

Second Round Action: New England Playaz and Mass Rivals


New England Playaz Notch Dominant Win

The Playaz came out strong against Palisades Elite, showing why they are one of the premier programs in the northeast. Jerome Derosiers got the Playaz rolling, as he scored 10 points in the opening 6 minutes of the game. New England carried a healthy 22 point lead into halftime and they did not look back. The Playaz controlled every sector of the game in this display of dominance. Their offense came out strong, as they were dunking and knocking down shots from the get-go. On defense, The Playaz swarmed the opposition, locking down ball handlers and disrupting passing lanes. Derosiers finished with a game high 22 points and Shy Hicks also put up a respectable 16. Look for this talented Playaz squad to make a run in this year’s Providence Jam Fest.

Mass Rivals Impress in Round of 32

The Rivals hopped right on their opponents, starting the game off with a quick 11-0 run. They immediately set the tone for the game, as they continued to dominate all 32 minutes. The Rivals simply overwhelmed their opponent. They possessed significantly more size and talent than the opposition, which allowed them to secure an easy victory. The Rivals were superior in all facets of the game. They were dominant on the boards and they also shot the ball extremely well. They controlled the game inside and out, and they did so with an air of confidence. Much like the New England Playaz, the Mass Rivals are an elite northeastern program who have the ability to see a lot of success in this tournament.

Game Recaps: NJ Shoreshots, Middlesex Magic and DC Blue Devils


Shoreshots Coast Through First Game

Coach Matt Pooley led his squad to an easy first round victory over their opponent. The Shoreshots played phenomenal defense, holding their opponents to just 18 points. There was no shortage of offense either. Junior Gabe Stefanini led the charge with 16 points, Darien Jenkins and Tyler Jones also helped the cause, scoring 14 and 12 respectively. The Shoreshots have a plethora of talent, athleticism and size, so it should be interesting to see how they will perform going forward.

Middlesex Magic Take down New England Playmakers 

The top-seeded Magic found themselves in a tightly contested ball game after 16 minutes of play. Middlesex carried a 5 point lead into halftime, thanks to a tremendous shooting performance from Matt Donahue. Donahue knocked down four threes in the first 10 minutes before taking a rest, he would finish with 24. As a team, the Magic shot well from beyond they arc. They also dominated the offensive glass, which led to a lot of second chance buckets. The Playmakers were able to hang in with a very talented Magic squad. Billy Arseneault was a tremendous floor general for New England, but in the end the Magic were able to pull away. Middlesex will look to heat up in their second game tonight at 8:20.

DC Blue Devils Win Opener

Much like the Middlesex Magic, the DC Blue Devils (New Hampshire) were locked in a close game in the first half. DC trailed the NY Lightning 37-35 at the half. There was plenty of offense to go around, but the Lightning simply could not keep pace with the Blue Devils. Along with their potent offense, DC’s defense was able to bunker down and force a lot of turnovers in the second half. Like many teams, DC was able to prevail thanks to their advantage in the size department. The Blue Devils were simply bigger, faster and stronger than their opponents which allowed them to recover from their slow start. Jose Lara led the team in scoring with 17, Geo Baker also contributed, scoring 16. DC will look to keep the momentum rolling, as they will be in action in tonight’s Sweet Sixteen.


New York Teams Looking Strong in First Round Play


NY Ionians 51 Connecticut Elite 37

The Ionians notched a nice victory over a talented Connecticut Elite squad. Although they came out a little sluggish early on, the Ionians amped it up late in the first half. Their 2-3 zone was very effective, as they forced Connecticut to settle for a lot of perimeter jumpers. Sophomore big-man Donatas Kupsas was dominant in the paint for the New York. He showed a lot of skill on the offensive end and he anchored the paint for the team on defense. Kupsas finished with 20 points, and his teammate Esam Mostafa also chipped in with 8 ponits. Overall, Connecticut gave a valiant effort, but the Ionians size and skill allowed them to advance.

NYC Jayhawks Cruise Through First Round

This match-up was all Jayhawks, all the way. NYC jumped out on their opponent from the beginning and never looked back. The Jayhawks were dominant in all phases of the game. Their smothering defense led to lots of turnovers, and easy transition buckets on the offensive end. Their offense exploded, as the Jayhawks put up an impressive 99 points. 6’6 swing-man Nate Patenaude had a huge game for NYC. Pautenaude showed off his extreme athleticism by jumping over opponents on the boards. He also threw down a monstrous and-1 dunk that got a nice reaction from the crowd. We will look for more of the same this evening, when the Jayhawks play their second round match-up.