Mass Select Gold, MCIB 2021, HST, MCIB 2022 advance to T.B.C. NBA Division Final Four
The Four Squads will take the court Sunday for a chance to win the T.B.C. Varsity Championship
Four varsity squads that have shown up week in and week out during the T.B.C. regular season punched their tickets to the league's NBA Division Final Four. Mass Select Gold, MCIB 2021, HST and MCIB 2022 each winning two straight games on Saturday to survive and advance to the league semifinals on Sunday, where two more wins will leave one squad the league's varsity champions.
Nate Rosenay was a one-man highlight reel in MCIB 2022's 84-34 dismantling of BSS Baer. The 6'4" wing from Chapel Hill-Chauncey Hall School looked like he was reentering the atmosphere from outer space every time down the court, catching a lob and slamming it home as he returned to earth each time. MCIB's juniors had a tougher task in their second game, as it took a total team effort to overcome the Lions and point guard Brandon Hulecki's 33 points for an 82-73 win. Rosenay once gain gave MCIB a big presence around the rim, but it was point guard Derrick Thomas Jr. who hit big shot after big shot down the stretch, and shooting guard Marat Belhouchet who finally was able to cool off the white hot Hulecki.
Mass Select Gold continued to play like a well oiled machine, knocking off a hard-fighting Worcester United team 76-63 before blowing the doors off of Elevation 77-43. Mass Select, whose core has played together for coach Mike St. John since middle school, played mistake free ball for four halves, moving the ball around the floor like they had eyes in the back of their heads. As has been the case all season long, big man Todd Brogna once again stood tall, as the 6'6" Northborough native set the tone rattling the rim with a one-handed jam against United and proceeded to own the paint for the rest of the day. Brogna controlled the glass, swatted opponents' attempts, and knocked down shots from all over the floor.
HST had the hardest fought road to the final four, winning a no-holds barred battle against One-Dream New Hampshire 57-50. HST followed that up by digging down even deeper to show some serious character and fortitude to emerge with a 74-70 overtime win over Synergy in a game that saw Synergy seemingly grab the momentum by overcoming a four point deficit with less than a minute left in regulation to force OT.
A week removed from advancing to the championship game of the open bracket at the Hoop Group New England Jam Fest, Mass Commanders Ice Basketball 2021 showed no signs of slowing down. MCIB had the largest combined margin of victory out of the four squads still standing in the T.C.B. NBA division, obliterating the New England Fire 83-31 before blitzing One Dream Mass. 86-51. Southern Maine commit Alex Momo was way too physically strong to be stopped from bullying defenders attacking the hoop all day and once defenses sold out to stop him and sagged off the perimeter, Karim Belhouchet was automatic from behind the arc.
HST and MCIB 2021 will tip off at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday and MCIB 2022 and Mass Select Gold will tip off right after their final horn at 1:25 p.m.