Baltimore County squad takes EBA summer basketball crown
2019 ELITE BASKETBALL ACADEMY SUMMER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
by Derek Toney
The odds weren’t favorable for the Pointers boys’ basketball team going into the final day of the Elite Basketball Academy Summer League Wednesday. But for a team that’s experienced a lot over the years, it was the perfect scenario.
The Pointers defeated EBA, 63-62, to claim the title at Parkville High. Rising senior forward Timmy Adedire finished with 18 points for the Pointers with rising junior Ramon Villanueva adding 17.
The Pointers, who consist of players from Calvert Hall College, Perry Hall and Sparrows Point, rallied in the second half in the semifinal and final rounds to become the last standing in the 10-team field.
The third-seeded Pointers defeated second-seed Spartans, 63-56, in the semifinals.
“I could sit here and say good things about each one of my players who contributed in some way. It was a good team effort,” said Pointers coach Jeremy Conn. “When I needed it, guys stepped up and hit big shots.”
Adedire, who plays for Perry Hall, converted two free throws and a basket late in the second half to break a 53-53 deadlock. There was nine lead changes and five ties in the second half.
Adedire said chemistry, built with his teammates since the 5th grade in the Perry Hall rec leagues, was the difference.
‘We’ve been playing with each other for so long, we know where each other is going to be on the court,” said Adedire, a 6-foot-3 slasher. “Off the court, we hang out with each other and that helps with chemistry.”
“We stay calm no matter what,” said Peyton Conn, a rising senior guard from Sparrows Point. “Down 25 or up 10, we keep our cool.”
Trailing by as many as seven points in the opening half, the Pointers ran off the first 11 to start the second half against Spartans, who consisted of players from Harford and Cecil counties.
Adedire finished with 15 points with Villanueva (Sparrows Point) and Calvert Hall rising senior guard Shein Allen (11 in second half) each adding 13. Havre de Grace rising junior Marlon Lewis led the Spartans with a game-high 18 points.
After scoring the first five, the Pointers went back-and-forth with top-seeded EBA (Parkville) in the final. EBA scored the final seven points to grab a 30-28 advantage at intermission.
The Pointers gained the largest lead for either squad at 39-33 on Peyton Conn’s 3-pointer. EBA got the lead back, 44-43, on Kevin Lewis’ basket.
EBA, which defeated fifth-seed Wolfpack (Western Tech) in the semifinals, led 53-51, after a basket from Jordan Strickland.
It was the last lead for EBA, which suffered its first loss in league play. Lewis posted a game-high 22 points and Strickland finished with 17.
Crevonte Adams (Perry Hall), a rising senior forward, scored two key buckets down the stretch for the Pointers, who finished 7-2 in the league.
The Pointers’ only losses were to EBA and the Spartans.
Wednesday may have been the last stand for the Pointers, whose players will be back to their respective schools in less than a month.
“It’s crazy to see how we’ve grown together as a team,” said Peyton Conn. “It’s nice to see all of us come together and play again.”
EBA SUMMER LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
No. 1 seed EBA 60, No. 5 Wolfpack 52
Wolfpack – Johnson 8, Carr 10, Bidding 6, Leak 11, Manoto 3, Fitch 2, Glenn 1, Neverdon 10. Totals 18 11-17 52.
EBA – Godinez 19, Gray 6, Strickland 14, Williams 8, Lewis 9, Terry 4. Totals 23 11-16 60.
Wolfpack 19 33 – 52
EBA 27 33 – 60
No. 3 Pointers 63, No. 2 Spartans 56
Pointers – P. Conn 8, Villanueva 13, Adedire 15, Geisinger 5, Adams 11, Allen 13. Totals 22 12-20 63.
Spartans – Lewis 18, Webb 6, Brown 2, Dean 2, Williams 15, Gibson 6, Pearson 5, McKenny-George 2. Totals 22 9-15 56.
Pointers 26 37 – 63
Spartans 29 27 – 56
No. 3 Pointers 63, No. 1 EBA 62
Pointers – Villanueva 17, Adams 13, Adedire 18, P. Conn 6, Tucker 2, Taylor 3, Allen 4. Totals 26 6-9 63.
EBA – Strickland 17, Godinez 8, Lewis 22, Williams 8, Allen 5, Reese 2. Totals 24 8-13 62.
Pointers 28 35 – 63
EBA 30 32 – 62