Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 Sam Carey All-Star Classic - Event Recap

BST Basketball and the Rock On Foundation teamed up for the third annual Sam Carey All-Star Classic on Friday night at Central High School in Manchester to honor the late Sam Carey. Carey was a standout forward at Central and then at SNHU and was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. This event serves to honor Carey's memory and raise money for the Rock On Foundation which is run by Matt and Luke Bonner to renovate local basketball courts.

It was a first-class event that run to a tee. You had a standing room only crowd. Two great games with a ton of talent on display, touching speeches by Luke Bonner and David Cooper, a halftime performance by Boston Celtics mascot Lucky and music provided by JAM'N 94.5. It was a great night for NH basketball.

There was an alumni game played, which featured a collection of players who either played with or against Carey in high school and / or college, or were personal friends of his. This year a second all-star game was added to the event, consisting of local players from NH who are either headed off to play college ball or at a prep school next season. Both games were played at a high level.

High School Game
First up was the High School game. Many of NH's top local players from the Classes of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 were represented. Wenyin Gabriel dropped a game-high 30 points, building on the huge AAU season he had with the Rivals Basketball Club. Gabriel now holds offers from both New Hampshire and Providence. The 6-foot-8 forward was hitting threes, dominating the boards, finishing inside at will and dunking the ball in traffic.

Patrick Welch also had a big game with 19 points, including an array of step-back threes and killer crossover dribbles which led to either jumpers or explosive drives and finishes at the rim. He hit a 3, then a layup off a slash to the rim, followed by a 3 off the catch by Gabriel. Then Welch again blew by his man, this time notching an and-1 finish.

Jourdain Bell answered back by putting the balls through his legs for a step-back 3-pointer. Tshiefu Ngalakulondi slammed down a dunk on the break and then hit a step-back 3 of his own. Ngalakulondi finished with 18 points on the game.

6-foot-7 big man Luke Rosinski showed his versatility by drilling a 3 of his own from the corner off the catch, and then Ngalakulondi answered with yet another step-back 3. Yordy Tavarez took it strong to the hole all game, constantly pushing the ball and keeping pressure on the defense. He hit a pull-up 3, and then Ian Sistare answered back for Team Dark with some strong drives to the rim and a couple of nice passes to Gabriel for dunks.

Welch made another nice slash to the rim, strong take off a crossover and lefty finish in traffic. Then teammate Tavarez made a good steal and took it to the rim for 2. Eric Gendron drew a charge on Sistare (always nice to see that in an all-star game), and Brett Hanson made a determined baseline drive, getting to the rim and finishing strong at the buzzer to give the Green Team a 55-52 halftime lead.

Gabriel continued to impress in the 2nd half, taking his man off the dribble and hitting a leaner in the lane. Jourdain Bell then drove and made a great dish to Gabriel for a 1 handed slam. Caleb Green kept the momentum going for the Green Team, with a hard drive, slashing across the lane for a a tough finger roll, and-1. Then Joseph Bell made a nice crossover dribble, got the rim for a layup. Green capped the run for Team Dark with a crossover into a step-back jumper from just inside the 3-point line. Now they were up by over 20 points.

Welch ended the run for Team Light, hitting another great shot. He crossed over, hitting a step-back fadeaway 3-pointer which was nothing but net. Sistare answered with another strong take and finish on the break, but then Welch buried yet another step-back fadeaway jumper.

Jourdain Bell was a blur with the basketball in transition racing up the floor, getting to the rim for a reverse layup. Then Green made a another great move, this time with a tough spin move into the lane before hitting a turnaround jumper. Gabriel had a pair of high level blocked shots, and Ngalakulondi had a block of his own then sprinted up the floor, caught the ball in stride for a thunderous dunk attempt before drawing a foul at the rim. The Green Team wins 104-83.

Green Team
Ian Sistare - Northfield Mount Hermon
Jourdain Bell - Lee Academy
Wenyin Gabriel - Wilbraham & Monson
Brett Hanson - Tilton School
Luke Rosinski - Kimball Union Academy
Joseph Bell - Lee Academy
Caleb Green - Proctor Academy
Zach Bergeon - New Hampton School

White Team
Patrick Welch - Notre Dame Prep
Robert O'Brien - Cushing Academy
Eric Gendron - Trinity College
Eli Hodgson - Salve Regina
Yordy Tavarez - NHTI
Drew Coveney - UNE
Shayne Bourque - Colby Sawyer
Tshiefu Ngalakulondi - Proctor Academy
Keegan Kirby - Brooks School

Alumni Game
Now it was time for the main event - the Alumni game. Again, this game featured a collection of talented players who either played with or against Sam Carey in high school or college or were personal friends of his. Many of them are former star players in NH high school basketball. It is nice to see so many former star players coming back home to play, honor Sam and support a great cause.

The Green Team was up for most of the 1st half, but then the Gold Team made a comeback. Corey Hassan was shooting the lights out, and he hit a 3-pointer to sit it up 40-40. The Green team answered with a run to take a 48-41 lead into halftime.

This game had a great pace to it. Up and down action, fast break basketball the entire time and some great perimeter shooting by both squads. Here are the rosters:

Green Team
Miguel Gonzalez (SNHU, Holy Cross HS, NYC,)
Scott Hazelton (University of Rhode Island)
Joe Fremeau (Bentley University, Central HS)
Matt Lemieux (Colby-Sawyer, Central HS)
PJ Young (SNHU, Central HS)
Greg Lacasse (Bentley University, Spaulding HS)
Austin Denton (NHTI, Merrimack HS)
Troy Bowen (SNHU, Nashua HS)
Steve Deluca (Brandeis University, Merrimack HS)
Chris Tardiff (Bentley University, Timberlane HS)

Gold Team
JJ Harvey (SNHU)
Chris Brickley (University of Louisville, Trinity HS)
Dave Cooper (James Madison, Central HS)
Luke Bonner (UMass Amherst, Trinity HS)
Chris Burns (Bryant College, Merrimack HS)
Corey Hassan (Sacred Heart University, Merrimack HS)
Mark Campbell (Nashua HS)
Stephen 'Stix' Wood (SNHU, McClancy HS, NYC)
Keith Friel (University of Virginia, Oyster River HS)
Tyler Roche (Boston College, Central HS)

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