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April 21, 2014

Boo Williams Wins Hoop Group Jam Fest

Protecting their turf was paramount for Boo Williams' Elite 17-and-Under AAU travel team as they welcomed visitors into the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton for the Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest this past weekend.

A number of challengers came their way, but in the end, Boo's bunch prevailed every time with little difficulty, defeating a Team Loaded squad with a highly regarded big man and dynamic perimeter pieces 84-66 for the Championship on Easter Sunday. It capped a perfect 6-0 weekend, one where every victory came by double-figures.

What pleased the AAU Chairman the most was their unselfishness.

"We played as a team. This probably isn't one of our most talented teams, but we play very well as a team, like each other, pass the ball to one another and we've got some guys that are playing really well and at a high level right now. It's a good bunch of guys," stated Boo.

Cape Henry Class of 2015 guard Marcus Evans led the way with 21 points, converting 8-of-11 from the foul line. In the game prior, a 75-46 rout of Team Winston, he scored 15 points with 10 in the first half.

"Marcus is playing great and this is the best he's played maybe in a while. If he plays like this next week, his stock is going to be up for sure," Boo added.

Evans' superb play was complemented by the likes of many, particularly L.C. Bird Class of 2015 shooting guard Kenny Williams, whose hot shooting posed issues for opponents throughout.

Williams hit four long jumpers against Team Winston in the opening seven minutes en route to scoring 15 points, 11 in the first half. He followed that up with nine of the first 17 points for BWSL en route to a 14-point effort against Team Loaded.

"Kenny hitting jump shots out of the gate set the tone," believed Boo. "If they're going to play zone, then they're going to have to deal with Kenny all night."

In the battle between undefeated teams for the first place trophy, BWSL raced out to a 13-point first half lead. They were up 39-29 at the half, and even when Team Loaded tried to inch closer when they cut it to seven early in the second half on a pair of three-pointers from Paul VI Class of 2016 guard Curtis Jones, it wouldn't matter. That's because Boo had an answer in the form of Deshawn Corprew.

Listed as a Class of 2016 prospect from Princess Anne, the 6-foot-6 Corprew scored nine straight points and had 11 of his 12 in the second half. Six different players scored five points or more for BWSL, and that included subs like Corprew and Class of 2015 prospect Marco Haskins, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who was the Group 6A State Player of the Year at Colonial Forge.

"Marco played well. He struggled early, but he finished up strong and did a great job," Boo pointed out. He came off the bench and played well, and so too did Corprew. If you've got guys coming in off the bench giving you good minutes, that's real big."

What provided more spice to an already much anticipated matchup was the fact that Carlisle Class of 2016 center Thon Maker, a 7-footer rated as a five-star prospect and among the best at his position in the nation, left Boo Williams after playing on the circuit for them a year ago for Team Loaded.

Extremely hard to handle for D.C. Premier and Team Philly, whom he burned for 23 points apiece, as well as practically everyone else, Maker didn't completely take control of the game in the second half like he did the previous two games on Sunday.

The strategy versus Maker was to go by-committee with Edrice 'Bam' Adebayo (Class of 2016 out of Northside HS in North Carolina), Oak Hill product Anthony Anderson and Blue Ridge 6-foot-7 big man Mamadi Dakite (Class of 2016) all taking turns on him. In the end, it worked.

"Bam denied him, and the big kid from Oak Hill did a good job as did Mamadi. We gave up 14 fouls, but we were effective," Williams noted.

Maker tallied 13 points. Most of his damage was done at the foul line, going 9-of-11 at the charity stripe while recording only two field goals along with three rebounds and two blocks.

Boo Williams put five in double-figures. Besides Evans, Williams and Corprew, they received 15 points from Maury Class of 2017 point guard Matt Coleman and 11 courtesy of Cape Henry Class of 2015 three-star wing Chris Clarke. Coleman, who notched 19 points in a win earlier in the day, had five rebounds and five assists. Clarke grabbed seven boards. Both were 5-of-6 at the foul line.

In the 16-Under Championship, New Heights defeated Team Loaded by a count of 63-55. The 15-Under Championship was won by D.C. Thunder, which beat New Heights.

Up next for Boo Williams is a trip to Sacramento, California for the first leg of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail hatfieldsports2k4@yahoo.com, and don't forget to listen to him on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.



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