2015 Touranment of Champions: Full Recap

                                                                                                                                 

The 2015 Hoop Group Skills Tournament of Champions was an incredible weekend of basketball. We had teams travel from all across the East Coast to begin their AAU season with Hoop Group Skills Camp. There were teams representing New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York City, the Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, Baltimore, and Washington DC! We had several programs bring multiple teams, including the NJ Shoreshots (9), Pure BBall (8), ESYC Elite (4), Team Final Red(4), NY Blaze (3), Brooklyn Rens (2), Baltimore Elite (3), Dragon Army (3), Class Acts (2), Ocean (3), Jersey Force (3), JSL Hoops (3), Pack 13 Jayhawks (2), Bayshore Bulldogs (2), DC Heat (2). Being the first tournament of the Spring AAU season for the majority of the teams, all the gyms were filled with anticipation and excitement.  Throughout the weekend, I had the enjoyable problem of figuring out what games I should check out next. Listed below are the champions of each division for the weekend, along with some players who stood out on the courts.

U10 DIVISION:

The U10 division of the Tournament of Champions was very competitive all weekend. The Shoreshots were able to come out on top of very close games down the stretch in route to their first U10 championship. The Shoreshots defeated Dragon Army 26-23 on Saturday afternoon before topping ESYC Elite 39-35 to clinch the championship. Gioacchino Panzini had a great weekend for the Shoreshots, making several tough plays when they needed them the most.

U10 Champs – Shoreshots (3-0)

U11 DIVISION:
The U11 division of the Tournament of Champions featured two well-deserving champions. In our U11 Orange bracket, New Heights showed their dominance, going undefeated at the TOC. Darryl Wright, Ronald Green Jr., Chris Reilly Jr., and Jaide Williams are a tough group to match up with and complement each other well on the court. New Heights is a team to keep an eye on this spring. In our U11 Blue bracket, Pure BBall showed their poise and toughness this weekend, holding on to beat Ocean by 9 before defeating Shoreshots Mitchell by 3 to clinch their championship.

New Heights- 11U Orange

U11 Orange Champs – New Heights

IMG_4006
U11 Blue Champs – Pure BBall

U12 DIVISION: Our U12 Orange division was one of the most complete and competitive divisions this weekend. Baltimore Elite was able to come out on top of the Orange Bracket, defeating other well-known AAU program, including BBA, Riverside Hawks, and Jersey Force in pool play before facing the Shoreshots Elite in the Championship. Shoreshots Elite did not have an easy route either, having to defeat a very talented Class Acts team, along with Team Final Red and Baltimore Elite Black. The U12 Orange bracket did not disappoint and lived up to the pre-tournament hype. The Franklin Heat came out on top of our U12 Blue division, in a thrilling championship game against Bayshore. Bayshore held the lead early, before a late run by Franklin Heat that put them on top. Max Croke had a great weekend at the TOC for Bayshore, helping his team reach the championship game. He was able to score in many ways and show his complete skill set.

U12 Orange Champs – Baltimore Elite

U12 Blue Champs – Franklin Heat

U13 DIVISION: The U13 division had some of our top players in the TOC, which resulted in great games throughout the weekend. Sunday morning, we had Shoreshots Finch take on Team Final Red in a prize fight. Team Final jumped out to an early lead, led by hot shooting, before Charlie Gordineer battled his Shorreshots back in the game. Team Final held a 4 point halftime lead, but the game would back and forth in the second half. Julian Thomas used his size to control the paint for Team Final Red. He was active on the glass and scored when his team needed him most. Team Final would come out on top, 55-49, setting up a championship game against Jersey Force. Jersey Force was one of our top scoring teams on the weekend in their wins against Ocean, Class Acts, and Hilltopper Heat. Our U13 Blue Bracket had a memorable championship game. In our last game on Sunday afternoon, ESYC Elite from Allentown, PA was able to defeat the New York Blaze, 64-63. NY Blaze scored to take the lead with less than 30 seconds on the game clock, before ESYC Elite came down and got a tough basket. A desperation buzzer-beater attempt by NY Blaze didn’t fall, and ESYC were crowned TOC Champions.

Team Final Red-13U Orange

U13 Orange Champs- Team Final Red

ESYC-13U Blue
U13 Blue Champs – ESYC Elite

U14 DIVISION: The U14 Orange Bracket had another great championship matchup, as the Brooklyn Rens took on Shoreshots Kessler. The Rens, who went 3-0 during pool play, met the Shorehots, who defeated Team Final Red (by 1) and NJ Wolfpack before reaching the championship game. Dwaine Jones made a 3 to tie the game at the end of regulation against Team Final Red. Dylan Kaufman impressed this weekend as well. He was a force inside and showed the promise that his future holds as he met every challenge thrown at him this weekend. Ocean Elite won the U14 Blue Bracket, topping a talented Beyond the Lines team, 68-47. Ocean Elite featured one of the more balanced attacks we saw at the TOC, while using a tough defense to get them to the championship. After their close call with JS Lightning in their first contest, Ocean didn’t let an opponent score over 47 points for the tournament.

Brooklyn Rens 14U

U14 Blue Champs – Brooklyn Rens

Ocean Elite- U14 Blue
U14 Orange Champs – Ocean Elite

U15 DIVISION: The U15 division of the Tournament of Champions included one of our most exciting games on the weekend, when LBA Attack edged out the Brooklyn Rens for the Championship on Sunday night. LBA was able to use a team effort throughout the game and score with less than 10 seconds on the clock. They managed one final stop against the highly touted Rens to secure the TOC. If this game is any indication for the spring AAU season, both teams will have very successful campaigns.

LB Attack-15U

U15 Champs – LBA Attack

U16 DIVISION: In our U16 division, we had two undefeated teams competing for the championship on Sunday afternoon. CM3 ran through their pool handedly, setting up a match-up against Primetime, who won several tough contests throughout the weekend. In a back and forth championship game, CM3 finished on top with a ten point win. CM3 was led by their inside duo of 6’8 Damarri Moore and  6’4 Jamal Kearney. These two were relentless on the glass and had their way in the paint throughout the Tournament.

CM3-16U

U16 Champs- CM3

U17 DIVISION: The U17 CM3 won their program their second championship of the weekend on Sunday. Led by a dynamic backcourt of Kelvin Riley (6’5) and DeShaun Mitchell (6’3), CM3 defeated the NJ Pirates and NJ Lightning in tight contests on Saturday. Riley was able to get in the paint and score, while Mitchell showed her offensive versatility throughout the weekend’s action. CM3 looks poised to have another great spring on the AAU circuit.

CM3- 17U
U17 Champs – CM3 (3-0)

We would like to thank everyone who helped make this tournament a success. I truly appreciate all the efforts made by the coaching staffs, parents, and especially the players for making this an excellent weekend of hoops.

If we can do anything to help your program throughout the year, please let us know. Players build their game in the off-season. If you are looking to take your game to the next level and become a better, more complete player, the nation’s #1 instructional camp is the place to be. Hoop Group Skills Camp offers Youth Basketball Clinics and Coaching Clinics throughout the fall, winter, and spring. For those of you interested in our camps, we offer a variety of different camps throughout the summer. Some of our camps include Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley and the 2x National High School Coach of Year Kevin Boyle.  We also offer our Skills Camps, Ball-Handling and Shooting Camps, Jr. Elite Weekend, and Shooting Camp.

We hope to see you this summer at camp!

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