Northeast Shooters to face CT Elite for 16u Championship

PROVIDENCE, RI- Joe Shehadi scored 19 points and Perry DeLorenzo added 17 as Northeast Shooters (N.Y.) defeated NJ Shoreshots to advance to the championship game of the 16u bracket at the Hoop Group’s Providence Jam Fest.

Shehadi (5-9/Burr and Burton Academy, Vt./2015) and DeLorenzo (6-2/Middlebury Union, Vt./2016) both nailed key 3-pointer which jump-started a Northeast 9-1 run midway through the second half which set the tone for the game’s final minutes.

The first came from DeLorenzo when he snapped a 47-47 tie with eight minutes left in the game. Shehadi’s came one minute later and upped Northeast’s lead to 56-48.

Kevin Bloodgood (Shore Regional, N.J./2015), who finished with 12 points, pulled NJ Shoreshots to within four with a jumper that made the score 56-52, but a quick 5-0 spurt by Northeat quickly extinguished any hopes of a Shoreshots comeback.

“They all played well,” Northeast Shooters coach Joel Wincowski said. “It was a total team effort and we succeeded because we were hitting the open man.”

Jack Laffey (Christian Borthers, N.J./2015) led NJ Shoreshots with 15 points.

In the other 16u semifinal CT Elite topped Wayne PAL (N.J.) 61-50 in a physical battle which swung in CT Elite’s favor thanks to the defensive play in the second half of Derron Dunbar (6-1/Universty HS, Conn./2015) and Tracy Rumley (5-10/Platt, Conn./2015).

The first half was a back-and-forth affair which ended with CT Elite up 34-29. But the turning point of the game was highlighted by Dunbar’s key steal which he quickly transitioned up court, converting a lay-up to effectively swing the tide in CT Elite’s favor midway through the half.

“Our defense really turned the game in our favor in the second half,” CT Elite coach Carl Bethea said. “Along with Dunbar and Rumley, Thomas Nolan stepped it up on defense for us in the second half. To win the championship, everyone is going to have to keep stepping up.”  —@pfebbraro

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