Providence JamFest Championship Sunday Recap and Top Performers

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Between double overtime and buzzer beaters, Championship Sunday at the Hoop Group Jam Fest in Providence had it all. Seven teams were crowned champions and dozens of players raises some eyebrows throughout the day. Team Sports U IZOD impressed in multiple age groups, winning championships in the 12U, 16U and 17U brackets. Here is a recap of all championship games as well as a few players who really stood out:

RECAP:

Open Division- It was a great weekend in Providence for Stamford Peace. This well-coached squad played together as a unit, constantly running sets in the half court that often resulted in lay ups and open jump shots; it was no surprise they made a run to the championship game. They continued their generosity on offense in the final against the CT Roughriders, winning by a score of 82-65. Congratulations Stamford Peace!

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12U- The first championship played on Sunday was between Sports U IZOD and the NJ Shoreshots. Both teams each had two nice wins on Saturday which gave them momentum heading into the final. In the end, Sports U was victorious and awarded the first trophy of the afternoon.

13U- The 13U final featured CT Select versus Xpressions Elite. CT Select has some big wins that got them into the championship game with a chance to take home the trophy, but it was Xpressions Elite that got the win on Mother’s Day!

13U Xpressions Elite and their moms!

14U- The Riverbank State Running Rebels made a statement this weekend, marching all the way to the championship game and then winning it all. Their run to the final included wins over solid opponents such as the Game 7 Sharks and TMT Basketball. Congratulations to the Running Rebels!

15U- One of the last championship games of the day was one of the most exciting. Albany City Rocks and the NJ Playaz couldn’t find winner in the first 32 minutes of action, so they went to overtime. In the first overtime, the Playaz had a chance to win, but their shot fell short as time expired. The Playaz were then held scoreless in the second overtime and Albany City was able to come away with the win and a trophy.

16U- This game had high expectations coming in and both teams did not disappoint. Mass Rivals jumped out to a double digit lead in the first half thanks to the hot hand of Saul Phiri (Worcester Academy ’16) and the defensive presence in the paint of Greg Kuakumensah (St. Peter Marian ’16). The sophomore guard looked unstoppable early, causing Sports U to face guard him in an attempt to keep him from touching the ball. From there though, it was Breein Tyree (St. Joseph’s HS ’16) who took the game over. The point guard shifted the momentum when he drove to the paint and went up for a dunk, but was fouled on the play. The attempt alone jumpstarted Sports U, who made a run back into the game. Teams traded punches in the second half, but it was and an-one from Tyree that gave Sports U the lead for good. Free throws down the stretch allowed them to seal the game.

17U- There was no better way to end the day than the way Sports U and the NE Playaz did. In a game that featured several top prospect players, it was Sports U that came away with the championship. We saw a great battle in the post between Chris Silva of Sports U and Jarred Reuter (Brewster Academy ’15) of NE Playaz, both of whom were top performers this weekend. Both teams went back and forth the entire contest; just when it looked like one side was about to gain some separation, the other came back with a run to even things back. Under a minute left, things got crazy. Free throws by Sports U gave them a one point lead, but NE Playaz came right back with a lay up from Crew Ainge (Kimball Union Academy ’15). Sports U inbounded the ball quickly and pushed it up the floor. Matt Zignorski (Pope John XXIII HS ’15) let it go from about 35 feet at the buzzer. The shot went in and Zignorski was mobbed by his teammates in what was a miraculous finish! A great game by both sides, but congratulations to Matt and Sports U.

Top Performers:

Chris Silva (Roselle Catholic ’15)- 17U Sports U IZOD- Silva, who already has high major offers, was a force all weekend, but especially in Sports U’s semifinal game Sunday. He altered numerous shots at the rim, dominated the offensive glass and hit the game winning lay up with 40 seconds left. The combination of size, strength and length makes him a problem for teams.

Crew Ainge (Kimball Union Academy ’15)- 17U NE Playaz- Ainge had a very strong weekend for the NE Playaz. As their primary ball handler, he made teammates such as Jarred Reuter and Jerome Desrosiers look better by properly feeding it to them in the post or getting it out in transition. Aside from setting up his teammates, he also showcased a nice three point shot throughout the weekend. Ainge is a very good floor general.

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Collin McManus (Northfield Mount Hermon ’15)- Middlesex Magic- While teammate Jackson Donahue was impressive for the Middlesex Magic on Saturday, McManus was equally as impressive on Sunday. In their quarterfinal game, McManus helped his team maintain their lead by blocking a number of shots in the paint. He contributed offensively as well, diving to the rim when his teammates drove and getting rewarded with lay ups.

Breein Tyree (St. Joseph’s HS ’16)- 16U Sports U IZOD- Arguably the most impressive player on Sunday, Tyree was a huge reason why Sports U was crowned 16U tournament champions. With his team down in the championship game, he seemed to put them on his back and will them to a win. A great ball handler who can facilitate an offense, Tyree was most effective attacking the rim and either finishing with a momentum changing dunk or getting to the free throw line.

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Saul Phiri (Worcester Academy ’16)- 16U Mass Rivals- A very impressive day or this player. In his team’s semi-final game he connected for 22 points, making 4 three pointers. His hot hand continued in the championship where he scored another 20 points. Phiri was the was the primary option for Mass every time down the floor. It seemed like everytime he got the ball, good things happened for him and his team.

Jerome Desrosiers (Northfield Mount Hermon ’17)- 17U NE Playaz Club- Jerome, playing for the 17U Playaz started the day off with a 23 point performance in his quarterfinal game. He was efficient finishing in transition, capping his performance off with a fast break slam. In the half court, he had a smooth jump shot that extended past the three point line.

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Thank you to all the coaches and players for making Providence Jam Fest another a success for the 20th straight year. Great competition and top talent made the weekend great for anyone involved. For pictures and additional coverage of the weekend be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagam. For a full look at the final brackets click here. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our Elite Camps, Skills Camps and Team Tournaments this Summer.

Information on team tournaments this summer:
Buzzer Beater Classic
Summer Jam Fest

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