Hoop Group Tip Off & St. Benedicts Recap
On December 17, New Jersey basketball was on full display as numerous games took place around the state. At Elizabeth High School HoopGroup held an event called the NJ Tip Off Showcase that featured some of the best high school teams in the state. The showcase also featured top players in the state such as Dylan Harper, Jadin Collins, and Darius Adams. Exciting games also were also played at St. Benedict’s and Camden. The day overall held some games that were full of excitement and went down to the wire. To pay homage to the effort that each team put in, here were the top games of the tournament.
Manasquan vs. Linden
The Linden vs Manasquan game was a great example of a game that went down to the final minutes. The two teams possessed opposite characteristics that resulted in a match of who can outplay the other. Manasquan’s team had size, sharp plays, and discipline, while the Tigers had heart, toughness, and overwhelming defensive pressure. Despite both teams playing well, the Tigers defeated Manasquan 49-41, which was led by guard Nasir Robinson. Robinson scored 14 points in the outing, scoring 11 in the second half to push his team to victory. Linden will use tis momentum going into their next game against Union.
Rutgers Prep vs. Paul VI (this portion written by NJ Athletics)
Prior to the game, a lot were curious to see how Paul VI would compete with Non-Publics from North Jersey. As they took the trip up to Elizabeth, Rutgers Prep looked to make a statement and remind everyone that they are very tough programs despite losing a few players from last season. The game started out firing with offense from both teams but Rutgers Prep pulled away with the lead as the first quarter wrapped up. From there, the Argonauts continued to fire shots and eventually dominate the game from an offensive standpoint. Cameron Piggee finished with 25, and Jadin Collins added 16 points. Jordan Atkins played a utility role on both ends of the ball as he finished with 6 assists, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals. Rutgers Prep will go on to face Hunterdon Central on 12/19.
Don Bosco vs. St. Peters
This game exemplified why Dylan Harper is ranked nationally in the top 20, according to ESPN. With an array of tough finishes and pull-ups off the dribble, Harper dropped 25 points en route to a 52-47 victory. With Harper improving each game on his skills, Don Bosco will be a scary team going forward in the season.
St. Benedicts vs. Wasatch Academy
When you have a game that features two nationally ranked teams, there is a guarantee there will be excitement. In a tight narrow game, The Gray Bees went toe to toe with Wasatch Academy throughout the entirety of the game, with the lead barely ever expanding past double digits. The Gray Bees held the lead for the majority of the game as well, but it was the last five minutes where Wasatch would take control and eventually win the game 73-66. The Gray Bees were led by Iowa commit Ladji Dembele and Wasatch was led by Collins Murray-Boyles, who scored on consecutive possessions down low to help propel his team to victory.