#HGBuzzerBeater Classic AM Spotlight, Day 1

Division I schools La Salle University from the A10, Robert Morris from the Northeast Conference, and a multitude of Division II and III schools were in attendance to watch the morning matchup between the Crusader Nation and New York Havoc. With a trip to the winner’s bracket on the line, both teams showed some early game jitters to start.

Team Havoc jumped out to a quick 17-5 lead behind the energy and hustle of their point guard number 12, William Aybar.  Aybar set the pace of the game from the opening tip, extending the defensive pressure 94 feet and advancing the basketball by passing ahead.  Crusader Nation eventually acclimated to the frenetic pace of play, but consistently trailed double digits throughout the game’s first 10 minutes.  The Nation never looked comfortable in their half court sets, struggling to execute against the extended pressure of Havoc.  Skilled 6’8” forward Joe Delollo (#33) provided a perimeter, threat stretching the defense and opening driving lanes for Havoc’s lighting quick Aybar.  Crusader Nation eventually found a way to put up points up through second chance opportunities and fast break chances. They went on a 10-2 run and cut the lead to seven to close out the half.

The Nation continued their aggressive play to start the second half, finishing contested shots around the basket and creating and-1 opportunities.  With momentum on their side and foul situations softening up Havoc’s defensive pressure, the Nation began to convert on open jump shots. Although he showcased a soft touch around the basket and consistent face up game outside the paint, Delollo was unable to guard the perimeter on defense.  Delollo was forced to soft contest on screen and roll switches and gave up easy driving angles to Crusader Nation’s guards. Havoc trailed by two points going into the game’s final four minutes.  

The game came down to the final possession in regulation, tied at 60 with a little over eleven seconds remaining. Crusader Nation was set to take the ball out on a side out of bounds.  The ball was inbounded, and a down screen was set away from the ball in an effort to free up their team’s leading scorer for the game, number 0-Nick Parrish.  He was denied but eventually caught the ball out near half court under duress.

With three seconds remaining he stepped into a 30 foot pull-up jumper that seemed to hang in the air for an eternity before swishing through the net; ending the game and advancing the Nation to the winner’s bracket.  When asked about what was going through his mind in the closing seconds, Parrish responded, “I won’t lie to you, I practice that shot a lot…a hesitation to a pull up three—so, to see it finally come to work, it’s a blessing man. It felt great”.  Parrish continued on to speak about his team’s togetherness, “I’ve played with these guys for four years now–with these guys they go out and give it a hundred percent every game. It’s more like a family than a team.  We all just play together, and play for each other”.  

Crusader Nation will look to build upon this momentum going into their next matchup.  Joe Delollo for Havoc led the team in scoring with 15 points, while Parrish finished with 12 points, 10 in the 4th quarter and the game winner.  

Scouts Say: 14 Players Who Impressed

NEPTUNE, N.J. — Day one of the Hoop Group Buzzer Beater Classic, a full day of 98 games, is in the books. More than 35 coaches from every level of college basketball made the trip to Hoop Group’s headquarters on the Jersey Shore in the final throw’s of the summer’s live period.

With championship games still to come on Sunday, those coaches didn’t go to bed disappointed.

Hoop Group asked 15 coaches to name players who impressed them on Saturday. They gave us 14 different names, sometimes the same player. Coaches agreed to respond under the condition of anonymity in order to discuss recruiting information.

Players are listed with comments from coaches based on how frequently they were named.

Isaac Vann 

USAD (Ct.) | G | 6’5″

“He’s good. He’s smooth. I’m surprised more high-majors aren’t going after him.”

“Playmaker. He really drove the ball hard.”

“He’s great in transition. He just makes things happen.”

Mustapha Traore

Team FOE (Pa.) | F | 6’9″

“He knows how to play. He’s got great footwork. Good skills. Pretty good athlete. I like him a lot.”

“He was really active defending and rebounding.”

Jermaine Ukaegbu

Force 1 (Md.) | G | 6’3″

“He showed a lot of poise on the perimeter against a team that pressured a lot. He made long range shots, he drove the ball and he had a lot of fluidity on offense.”

“He’s one of the better athletes I’ve seen here. He goes to the rim hard.”

Bobby Casey

JB Hoops (Pa.) | G | 6’0″

“I think he’s the best shooter I’ve seen. He can just flat out score.”

Koree Hargraves

Wayne PAL (N.J.) | G | 6’1″

“Stand-up point guard. Always in control. Very hard to take him off the ball. Great court vision. Excellent inside passing.”

Quinton Dixon

NJ Roadrunners (N.J.) | G | 6’4″

“Played well. Did a little bit of everything. Got to the basket.”

Jack Laffey 

Shoreshots (N.J.) | G | 6’5″

“He made shots and played with a lot of toughness.”

Shawn Witherspoon

Team FOE (Pa.) | G | 6’2″

“He attacked. He was really aggressive. He didn’t shy away from anybody.”

Marques Jackson

Team FOE (Pa.) | G/F | 6’6″

“He was aggressive. He had a high motor the whole game. As a coach, that’s really what you want to see, guys going hard the whole game.”

Brandon Anderson

NJ Roadrunners (N.J.) | G | 6’0″

“He’s got a tight handle and he shoots it well.”

Malik Petteway

USAD (Ct.) | F | 6’7″

“A 6-foot-7 four-man who can handle the ball. His midrange game is really good. He attacks all rebounds.”

Justin Lynch

Bay State Jaguars (Mass.) | F | 6’7″

“Very skilled. They ran some Princeton stuff on offense and they had him in the high post and he passed it well. He hit a big jumper late and he looked pretty tough, too.”

Marcus Blackwell

CT Elite (Ct.) | G | Height not listed

“Just a really solid guard. Put together. He’s probably got a college-ready body already.”

Tommy Capuano

CWB (N.Y.) | G | 5’10”

“Probably the only good scorer on this team. He’s a shotmaker with a really tight handle.”

Some quick takeaways:

  • Only three players were mentioned more than once.
  • Only three teams had two or more players named by coaches. Team FOE had three players named to the list. USAD had two players. The NJ Roadrunners had two players named to the list, but they were from different age groups.
  • Only one player named is listed under six feet (Tommy Capuano of CWB is listed at 5’10”).
  • Coaches named eight guards, three forwards and one combination guard/forward (Marques Jackson of Team FOE).
  • Teams from Pennsylvania and New Jersey each landed four players on the list. Connecticut had three players. Maryland New York and Massachusetts each had one.

2012 Buzzer Beater Classic Champions

NY Lightning 17U Champs Hoop Group Buzzer Beater Classic
NY Lightning 68, NYC Jayhawks 60 NY Lightning capped off an impressive weekend by defeating cross-town rival NYC Jayhawks in the Gold Bracket championship. Kuran Iverson  (Fishburne Academy, Va.) had an excellent performance for Lightning, scoring 19 points. Iverson was supported by Jonathan Severe (Christ The King, N.Y.), who chipped in with 14 points of his own. Emile Blackmon (Half Hollow Hills West, N.Y.) had a strong tournament for NYC Jayhawks, and led all scorers with 22 points, albeit in a losing effort.

Philly BallHawks 61, D.C. Warriors 52 In the 16U Gold Bracket, Philly BallHawks came out on top, taking down a tough D.C. Warriors team in the championship game. Jamal Custis (Neumann-Goretti, Pa.) led all scorers with 17 points, while backcourt mate Darnell Foreman (St. Anthony, N.J.) added 11 for the BallHawks. Rising junior guard Johnnie Shuler (Theodore Roosevelt, D.C.) played well for D.C. Warriors in the loss, pacing the team with 13 points and a strong game from the point guard position.

NY Gauchos 62, Team Philly 54 NY Gauchos defended their home turf, winning a competitive Gold Bracket championship over Team Philly. Jared Armstrong  (Chrisopher Dock, Pa.) came up big for the Guachos, pouring in 13 points in the final game. Team Philly was competitive until the final whistle, largely due to efforts of Davaughn Mallory (Poly, Del.), who scored a game-high 14 points.

Hoop Group would like to thank all teams and players who participated in the inaugural Buzzer Beater Classic in New York City, and congratulate the three Gold Bracket champions on their successful weekends.

Live Blog: Buzzer Beater Classic NYC Day One

Buzzer Beater Classic Day One

HoopGroup.com will be providing updates from the Buzzer Beater Classic in this live blog. Continue to check back throughout the day for the latest on top performers, updated schedules, and more.

For more frequent updates, follow @TheHoopGroup on Twitter.


9:11 PM – The 15U Gold Bracket semi-finals are set. On Sunday Team Philly will take on New Jersey Playaz. —@pfebbraro

8:10 PM- Chicago Mustangs will take the floor again at 8:45. They were impressive in their first round win, and now look to advance to the quarterfinals with a win over Mass Evolution. As we reported earlier, the upset of the tournament thus far has been Metro Hawks (NY) taking down Sports U (NJ). Sports U was considered the heavy favorite in the 17U Gold Bracket, but ended up getting bounced in just the second round. Brackets will be updated within the next hour, and then once more at the end of the night. @Edgar_Walker

7:40 PM- Brackets are updated as of 7:15 PM. Refer to the link above for the most recent schedules and results for each age group.

7:15 PM – In the 16U Gold Bracket the Rhode Island Hawks secured the first berth in the quarterfinal round thanks to a 46-44 victory over Sports U (NJ).
In the 15U Gold Bracket the New York Gauchos’ convincing 64-27 win over New Jersey Shore Shots set up a semi-final match-up to be played Sunday against Sports U (NJ). —@pfebbraro

6:12 PM – The first quarterfinal game for Sunday’s 17U Gold Bracket is set, Metro Hawks (NY) will face New Jersey Gym Ratz. In the 15U Gold Bracket Sports U (NJ) defeated Jersey City Boys Club 53-45 to earn the first berth in that brackets semi-finals.
Check back later for updated brackets. —@pfebbraro

5:35 PM – Metro Hawks (NY) 17U defeated Sports U (NJ) 59-53 behind 19 points from Fabian McDonald. —@pfebbraro

5:06 PM – Rising junior Gods Power Ogide (Bishop Kearney, NY/6-10) drew attention earlier in the day based on his size and court presence. Although tallying eight points in Albany City Rock 16U’s 74-61 win over Team Fisher (NY), it is his untapped potential and the possibility of how good he can become when he polishes his game which had several Division I coaches looking on intently. Ogide, who transferred into Bishop Kearney midway through last school year, will play his first high school game this season. —@pfebbraro

2:57 PM – Brooklyn Heat 17U player Olusegun Ajayi (6’5″/2012) is being looked at by several DII schools in the New York City area including Queens College. Ajayi’s Heat teammate Brian Heckstall (6’3″/2012) is also on the New York City area DII radar. —@pfebbraro

2:38 PM- The Chicago Mustangs traveled a further distance than any other team at the inaugural Buzzer Beater Classic. Coming all the way from Illinois, the Mustangs hope to have a strong showing and represent the Midwest. The team is set to tip off their first game in five minutes here at Basketball City. @Edgar_Walker

1:53 PM- Brackets are UPDATED as of 1:35 PM. Please check the link above for the latest.

1:24 PM- Sports U (NJ) has come out strong, with their 16U and 17U teams both winning their first games this morning. After winning the Under Armour Jam Fest in Milwaukee and finishing second this week at Live in AC, the 17U team is looking to keep their momentum and finish off July with a championship at Buzzer Beater NYC. @Edgar_Walker

1:10 PM- We’re tweeting names of a few top performers thus far at Buzzer Beater Classic from @TheHoopGroup:




12:18 PM- Brackets have been UPDATED. Click the link above to see the most recent results and the upcoming schedule of games.

11:59 AM- We’ll continue to update brackets online as more games are played. Expect updates every few hours after game blocks are completed.

11:34 AM – NY Lightning 17U star Kuran Iverson has thrown down two impressive dunks and has helped his team open a 33-21 first half lead over Move Your Feet (NJ). —@pfebbraro

11:15 AM – Sports U Team Izod (NJ) defeated Westside United (NY) 61-48 behind Randall West’s 17 points in the first round of the 16U Gold Bracket.
In the 17U Gold Bracket Metrohawks (NY) topped NJ Celtics 55-47 and NJ Gym Ratz beat Brooklyn Rens White 75-65. —@pfebbraro

11:04 AM-


10:45 AM- At the half of early action in NYC the NJ Celtics 17U team led by Darrian Collins‘ 10 points lead the Metrohawks (NY) 27-22. In other 17U action the Gym Rats (NJ) lead the Brooklyn Rens White 41-33. —@pfebbraro

10:15 AM- Some notable teams in the inaugural Buzzer Beater Classic field: Juice All-Stars, NJ Playaz, Hoop Heaven Elite, Dorian’s Pride, Sports U, Albany City Rocks, New York Gauchos, and many more (Full Team List). The first set of games just started here at Basketball City and the level of play is already high. It looks like we’re in for a treat this weekend. @Edgar_Walker

9:47 AM- We’re live from Basketball City on Pier 36. This facility is impressive, with seven newly-renovated courts. Games will also be played just minutes down the road at Baruch College. Stay tuned. @Edgar_Walker

Follow our digital media team on Twitter for more updates throughout the day: