|Ohio Select versus Deron Williams Elite|
In terms of the competition, the first session of the NYBL was a smashing success! As envisioned, the best 6th grade teams in the country converged on southern Maryland intent on competing against the best the class has to offer. Of the 4 divisions that make up the NYBL, the South dominated the North, with two teams finishing 5-0, and no team finishing worse than 4-1. Carolina Preps and Carolina Chaos both went undefeated, while the South Carolina Hornets, Southern Stampede and Metrolina Havoc only sustained 1 loss. Of the 6 teams in the North Division (i.e., Team Izod/Sports U, Metro Flyers, Team Rio Elite, New Heights, MJ Mavericks and New York Gauchos), only the Mid-Jersey Mavericks won more than 1 game. In total, the South teams won 22 games while the North teams won only 4 games.
The other side of the session pitted East versus West. On that side, the final results were more even, with a win total of 18-12 in favor of the East. The East teams included: Ohio Select, 6th Man Warriors, ETU Select, Each 1 Teach 1, Murphy AC and the West Virginia Xplosion. The West teams included: Arizona Monsoon, Deron Williams Elite, Arkansas Soldierz, Future Phenoms, Enplay Elite & St. Louis Wildcats (DNP). The only undefeated team in the East was Ohio Select (5-0), followed by 3 teams with 4-1 records (6th Man Warriors, Arizona Monsoon & Deron Williams Elite).
Of the 3 undefeated teams, by most accounts, DeMarko Bradley’s Ohio Select team was the most talented. Despite early challenges from Arizona Monsoon and Deron Williams Elite, Ohio Select coasted to easy victories most of the weekend. Speaking of those 2 games, Ohio Select new they were in a battle with both squads! I caught only some of the game between them and Monsoon, but it was clear early on that Monsoon had enough talent and was coached well enough to hang with Ohio.
|Gerard Reynolds Was a Beast on Sunday|
One of the best games I saw on Sunday was Ohio Select versus Deron Williams Elite (DW). In that game, in front of a packed crowd, DW opened the game on a 4-0 run, and was up 9-8 by the end of the quarter. As is the case when Ohio plays teams, DW used full court pressure to get easy buckets. Both teams took turns sharing the lead in the second quarter and by halftime, Ohio was on top 19-17. Halftime leading scorers were Ohio’s Gerard Reynolds (10pts) and DW’s Tyrese Maxey (8pts). Ohio scored first to start the third quarter with a Jordan Mitchell jumper, but DW would retake the lead at the 3:38 mark (24-23). The lead would see saw midway through the third quarter, but Ohio would remain up 33-26 to start the 4th quarter. With about 3 minutes left in the game, Ohio’s size in the post would start to take a toll on DW. Ohio’s size coupled with DW foul trouble contributed to a 48-38 win for Ohio. Although Ohio won by double digits, the game was much closer than that. Big props go out to Ohio’s Gerard Reynolds who was simply a monster in the post the entire game. Reynolds finished with a game-high 23 points, followed by Chris Payne with 9 points and Jerome Francis with 8 markers. Deron William’s Tyrese Maxey finished with a team-high 15 points, followed by Chris Harris with 8 points. Great game!
|Jason Harris-Arizona Monsoon|
Possibly the most exciting game of the day involved an overtime thriller between ETU Select and Arizona Monsoon. Although ETU Select raced out to an early lead, Monsoon fought back and tied the game at 14 with 6.1 seconds left in the first quarter, and was ahead 18-14 to start the second quarter. Monsoon was awake by the start of the 2nd quarter, and actually extended the lead until ETU Select made a run to cut the lead 27-28 to end the first half. ETU scored on the first couple of possessions to start the 3rd quarter, but Monsoon retook the lead (42-41) to close the third period. The lead would change hands several times in the final period before regulation ended in a 59-59 tie. Monsoon had a chance to win the game at the free throw line but failed to convert the front end of a 1 and 1. In over time, Monsoon dominated as ETU would not score in overtime as Monsoon claimed the 67-59 victory. Arizona’s Jason Harris led all scorers with 14 points followed by 10 points from Lucas Hobbs and 6 points from Nico Mannion. ETU’s Josh Watts and Che Evans paced their team with 14 points apiece, followed by Jahmir Young with 12 points.
Another very competitive game I saw included a matchup between the Hornets and Team Izod that went into overtime. The Hornets would go onto to get the win. Also, the Mid-Jersey Magic gave Carolina Preps all they could handle early in the contest. Carolina would eventually take control and get the win.
Session #2 will tip of in North Augusta, SC in early May and will feature match ups between the top 2 divisions in the league, as the East will battle the South for regional bragging rights. In addition, the updated league rankings will be updated to reflect the results of session #1. Finally, we will soon be publishing our lists of the standout performers for session #1. The list was compiled based on feedback from the opposing coaches.