The Basketball Spotlight Tip Off Classic is in the books. We had a lot going on in Neptune, NJ. Here are some of the interesting storylines from that weekend.
What Did We Learn From The Tip Off Classic?
A scheduling conflict with a first year 8th Grade league allowed some new teams to enter the big stage of the Tip Off Classic. Some of the players on these teams used this opportunity to introduce themselves to the world. We got a chance to see talented wing Luis Reyonso from Northeast Finest, point guard Elijah Wenn of the Harlem Jets, Papie Roberts of Newark Pharaohs and Precious Achiman Of New Heights to name a few. Great Job Fellas!
It wasn’t pretty but the “Terror Squad” found a way to win the Tip Off Classic and stretch their unblemished record to 21-0 They had two-point victories over Gauchos (semifinals) and Team IZOD (championship). They are trying to become the first team in Basketball Spotlight history to go through our entire circuit undefeated. Their next stop is the Clash For The Cup on their home turf in Maryland.
Team IZOD rolled out their grammar school programs for the first time this season and I must say they were impressive. The 7th and 6th Grade teams were a combined 3 points away from winning both championships and their 5th Grade squad showed some promise even in defeat. They are packing up the talent from each age group and might be one move away from not only locking down NJ but the region (More On That Later). Reggie Carter has proven to one of the best recruiters ever.
Empire Strikes Back!
A few years ago I read an article stating that New York basketball was dead for good, well at the Tip Off Classic their squads represented to the fullest. They won 4 out of the 7 championships and had two other teams that lost in the finals. Harlem Jets (8th Grade Orange), CTA/Turbo (8th Grade Blue), Metro Mavericks (7th Grade Blue) and Riverside Hawks (4th Grade). I guess we are witnessing the resurrection.
“The Lion” Is Different! Zion “The Lion”
Harmon was remarkable at the Tip Off Classic has he carried two teams to championship game victories. What makes the feat so great is that Harmon is far from a decoy so everyone in the building knows he’s going to shoot the rock and he’s still able to not only put up numbers but also lead his team to victory.
Special Note: Basketball Spotlight would like to send shout out to those 8th Grade players that will miss most of the Spotlight Circuit due to circumstances beyond their control. We did miss you guys and hopefully we will get a chance to meet up again at the AC Showcase in April.