HG SKILLS TOC- A Tournament to Remember


TOC logo Tournament of Champions

 The 2014 Hoop Group Skills Tournament of Champions was a complete success. Teams traveled from all over: New Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Delaware, Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, Baltimore, DC, Massachusetts, New York City, Long Island, and even Canada! Programs even brought multiple teams such as Shoreshots (9), Pure Bball (8), ESYC Elite 610ers (6), Bmore Elite (4) and Back2Basics (4). Being the first tournament of the Spring AAU season for the majority of the teams, all the gyms were filled with excitement.  All weekend I had the enjoyable problem of figuring out what game I should watch next. Below are the takeaways I had from each division and a list of players who caught my attention this weekend.

U10 DIVISION-Our youngest division featured one of our most talented squads, Team Rio. The NJ Shoreshots battled them in the pool play match up being only down 7 at half but Team Rio pulled away in the 2nd. On Saturday the team that impressed me was NE Sting. They cruised in both their games vs Back2basics and SI Finest with the play of Derrick Simpson and Isaac Hester. When it came down to winning time on Sunday, Team Rio was just too much for NE Sting and the Mid Jersey Mavericks (Championship Game). Their constant ball pressure and aggressiveness on defense created easy buckets in transition. Notable players from the division were Jason Blanks & Wendell Moreland of NJ Triple Threat, Matt Hanley from SI Finest, Tyson Thomas and Kyle Melson for ESYC Elite 610ers, Colin Robinson for Pure Bball, and Brian Tobias & James Mayerhofer  for NJ Shoreshots.


U10 Champs – TEAM RIO

U11 DIVISION-This division featured the best Championship game of the weekend. Fans from each court at the Hoop Group Headquarters had their eye on the Sixers court for this intense Final. It went back and forth all game, with the fans providing a noise level that Seattle would be proud of, eventually ending when Bmore Elite was able to pull out on top, 43-38. This game came down to their full court pressure and the energy from their fans (can’t say this enough, BEST FANS OF THE DAY!) Matthew Cooper and Trey English both had all star weekends. Jalen Warley from Malvern Legends was top on my list of players that I enjoyed watching… It was hard not to like Jalen with his competitiveness and leadership. Everytime they needed a basket he got right in the lane for an easy shot for his teammates or himself. Can’t close out this division without mentioning Griffin Barrouk almost leading WeR1 past Bmore Elite in the final pool B game.


U11 Champs – BMORE ELITE

U12 DIVISION-If you started to watch games in this division on Sunday you missed A LOT! This division had everything, most notably Team Final’s 2OT comeback win vs  ESYC ELITE 610ers that included Jaylen Green’s game tying 3 pointer for the Lehigh Valley squad. With AJ Supulveda’s 17 point game, including a game winning layup vs Back2Basics, all the craziness in Pool B had this as one of the most talked about divisions.  Team Final was lead by the play of Mahif Sharif & Chris Garland. ESYC’s  Nick Filchner was notable as one the best shooters in the division. Class Act’s Chance Westry steam roll into the Championship game vs Team Final.


U12 Champs – TEAM FINAL

U13 DIVISION-Bmore Elite vs Brooklyn Rens, ESYC ELITE 610ers vs Bmore Elite, WeR1 vs NY Lightning, YAACE vs Mid Jersey Mavericks were “can’t miss” games from the weekend. From individual talent and athleticism to coaching and teamwork, these games were awesome! This division had a load of excitement in all 4 pools. Two teams I have to recognize are DC Heat and the NJ Shoreshots-Weber. Both these teams struggled on Saturday and both teams bounced back with wins on Sunday. It is extremely hard at that age to remain positive through adversity. These young men are players that high school coaches can’t wait for them to grow up: TJ & Aiden King (YAACE), Justin Paz,  “Chico” Whyte &  Alin Jones (ESYC Elite 610ers), Carlos Rodriguez (Pure Bball), Seth Lundy (WeR1), and Jalen Willis & Uzziah Bird (Bmore Elite).


U13 Champs- WeR1

U14 DIVISION-The story lines in this division were highlighted by the dominance of Bmore Elite, the terrific play of both NY teams (NY Shooting Stars & NY Lightning) and the fact that Jersey Force isn’t a team that other AAU teams want to face this spring. The improvements of Jared Kimbrough for the Force was on display! Teams like WE ALL IN, Beyond the Lines, and Shoreshots-Frauenheim showed they have the talent to win future tournaments this season. In the Orange Division, Westfield had a strong victory over ESYC ELITE 610ers in pool play then battled Morris Magic early in the Championship game, but the height and skill level of Morris Magic was too much for them to handle!



U14 Blue Champs – BMORE ELITE

8th O

U14 Orange Champs – MORRIS MAGIC

U15 DIVISION-ESPN Analyst Tim Ledger’s SJ Jazz put on quite a show this past weekend from it’s first game at HGHQ vs Lower Bucks to it’s last game (Championship) vs JSL. However the Championship game didn’t come easy at all. After going through one of the toughest schedules (Brooklyn Rens, See No Evil, CM3), JSL showed zero signs of let down or fatigue in the Championship. Legler’s squad won the Championship despite being down two starters, but young Superstar Justin Mutts was a force to be reckoned with, playing great post defense and producing highlight dunks all weekend!



U15 Champs – SJ JAZZ

U16 DIVISION-This was the “best coached” division.  All teams were coached extremely well even with the variety of talent. The first semi final game set Sunday morning at Lakewood kicked off our Championship Sunday with CM3’s 3 point victory over a dynamic NJ Lightning squad. In the Championship, Peyton Wejnert finished his excellent weekend with another spectacular game, scoring 34 points in the finale to give the Shoreshots their 4th double-digit victory. His lowest single game total all weekend was 22 points! However it didn’t come easy with Shaquille White’s play for CM3.



Thanks again for everyone who helped make this tournament a success. I truly appreciate all the efforts made by the coaching staffs, parents, and especially players to make it an excellent weekend of hoops.

 If we can do anything to help your program throughout the year please let us know. We offer 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 that include Hall Of Fame coach Bob Hurley and the National High School Coach of Year Kevin Boyle.  Click on the image blow to view our camps that we offer this summer with two new camps this summer (Elite Skills Training Camp for grades 9-12) and Ball Handling & Shooting Camp.

Hope to see you all at camp!


Boys Skills 2014 cover (1)



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