Week 3 of the Respect Hoops Game of the week series gave us arguably the most competitive matchup yet. The CT Nightmare traveled down from New London on Wednesday night to face the CT Wildcats on their home court in Woodbridge. In this 13u matchup, we saw two teams with very different styles of play, but the outcome came right down to the wire.
The CT Nightmare ultimately came out victorious by a score of 43-37, led by Player of the Game Julian Manson, along with Troy McKelvin, Troy Johnson, and Darrin Robinson. It was the defensive pressure and rebounding effort which helped them secure the victory after a strong second half push by the Wildcats. The frontcourt duo of Troy McKelvin and Troy Johnson were beasts on the offensive glass, constantly keeping possessions alive and creating second chance opportunities for their team. Julian Manson was the catalyst on offense for the Nightmare though, getting to the rim at will and finishing in a variety of different ways.
Early in the second half the game looked like it was almost out of reach for the Wildcats, but Rocco Peritto was able to catch fire from 3 point range, almost single handedly keeping his team in the game. Thomas Mccolloug was able to contribute to the 3 point barrage as well, knocking down a pair of 3’s in the second half to fuel the comeback. After bringing the lead to within 4 points in the closing minutes, the Nightmare were ultimately able to hold on with a couple of huge defensive stops and some clutch free throw shooting.
Overall, it was another successful night from the Connecticut Sports Center in Woodbridge. Great basketball was on display and each player was able to meet the RespeCT Hoops staff as well as learn what RespeCT Hoops has to offer. Stay tuned for next week’s matchups as well as more coverage throughout the week. Here were some of the games top performers:
CT Nightmare 13u:
Julian Manson (G/F) - Manson is an athletic lefty slasher who can get to the rim at will and play multiple positions. He was often able to rebound his own misses and finish over smaller defenders. His length and versatility make him an intriguing prospect moving forward.
Troy McKelvin (F) - McKelvin was able to control the paint the entire night, tracking down what seemed like almost every rebound on the offensive and defensive end. He also displayed some nice touch around the rim. He has a quick second jump, great length and intangibles. If he can continue to develop his skills he will be an intriguing prospect at the next level.
Troy Johnson (F) - The second half of the “Troy” frontcourt for the Nightmare, Johnson was almost just as effective on the glass as McKelvin was. He energy on the defensive end was contagious and has the ability to guard multiple positions. He is the type of glue guy that every successful team needs.
Darrin Robinson (G) - Robinson is a classic 2 guard with a great skill set. He has a quick trigger from 3 point range and is fundamentally sound in triple threat situations which is rare for players his age. He also has quick hands and good instincts on the defensive end, which helped him come up with steals and easy baskets in transition.
CT Wildcats 13u:
Rocco Perritto (G) - Perritto is a knockdown 3 point shooter who can get hot quickly. At one point in the second half he hit 3 straight 3 pointers to keep the Wildcats in the game, and finished the game with 6 total. He is also effective in isolation situations where he has an array of dribble moves and uses his long strides to get by defenders and draw contact.
Thomas McCullough (G) - Another effective 3 point shooter who has a quick trigger and great form. He doesn’t need a ton of space to get his shot off and if he has time to set his feet it’s almost an automatic 3 points.
Eli Ssenyanga (F) - Ssenyanga set the tone for the Wildcats on the defensive end. He is a physical, big bodied forward who can alter shots in the paint and finish through contact. He had one of the standout plays of the night when he had a LeBron-esque chase down block to save a basket in the second half.
Christian Cournoo (G) - A versatile wing, Cournoo can do a little bit of everything on the offensive end. He can slash to the rim and is reliable from 3 point land. If he continues to develop and add some muscle he will be an effective player at the next level.