Tewksbury’s Officer James Hood Memorial Basketball tournament took place over the holiday weekend, and by all accounts was a huge success. 64 Travel Teams from throughout the area participated, including 14 from Tewksbury.
The Hood has been a fixture on the local youth basketball scene for many years, always taking place Thanksgiving weekend and serving as a great way to get the Travel season going before the regular season schedule of league games begins.
This year, 4 Tewksbury teams made it to their division Finals one more competed in a ‘play in’ game for a spot in their division Finals, and one, 7 Red, captured the championship in their division. Every Tewksbury team that participated won at least one game.
Special thanks go out to Tournament Director Dean Privatera, Auxiliary Chair Dave Pesantes and the various Site Directors who volunteered a LOT of hours over 3 days to ensure the success of the event.
Here’s how the games unfolded:
Tewksbury 7th Grade Red- Champs
Tewksbury 7 Red capped off a terrific tournament run with a thrilling 45 to 37 win over Belmont – a team they had lost to the day before. . Giovanni Ciampa and Masyn Lorick lead the way in the title game with 16 points apiece. Big key to the win was Tewksbury’s full court pressure defense with took Belmont out of their rhythm and produced several turnovers. 7 Red qualified for the championship game with a Play In game win earlier in the day.
Tewksbury 5 White- Finalist
The Tewksbury 5 White team had a very successful showing in the annual Hood Tournament. First up was a game against North Reading on Friday which Tewksbury won 37-20. Then on Saturday morning Tewksbury squared off against Windham and beat them 30-19. Saturday night, Tewksbury finished off its first round schedule by taking care of Wilmington 43-22. With a record of 3-0, Tewksbury earned a spot in the play-in game against Littleton bright and early Sunday morning. In a hard fought battle, Tewksbury came back from an early deficit and prevailed 29-26 to secure a spot in the Championship game against Pelham 2 hours later. Unfortunately, the boys ran out of gas against a very talented team and fell by a score of 39-19.
Overall, the weekend was a success. Each and every player gave it their all. Everyone scored and the defense was tenacious. Congratulations to Chris Antonelli, Max Cummings, Garrett Kingston, Nolan Timmons, Santino Garofalo, Thomas Barinelli, Nicky Iannacci, Evan Mantel, Tyler Keough, Aidan Doherty and Brodie Tirrell.
Tewksbury 6th Red - Finalist
The Tewksbury Boys Red 6th graders built off their success in the IABBO Tap Off Tournament in Lowell last weekend by advancing to the finals in the Officer James Hood Tewksbury Turkey Shootout. The boys advanced out of their bracket with convincing wins against Chelmsford, Pelham & North Reading. This setup a thrilling matchup with Tyngsboro in the semi finals. A ferocious late game rally to overcome a 6 point deficit led to a 39-38 victory and a spot in the finals against Billerica. Tewksbury ran out of steam despite battling hard the entire game but fell short 44-28 to a tough Billerica squad.
A total team effort all weekend by the players was the key to success in tournament play. Here are the players...Kyle Zervas, Josh Sughrue, Colby Wilson, Jay Connolly, Derek Graffeo, Adam Pacheco, Nick Larsen, Michael Polimeno, Jack Kelly and Zack Weitz.
Tewksbury 8 Red- Finalist
8 Red played some great basketball throughout the tournament, but ran into a buzz saw of a Dracut team in the Final, dropping a 51-36 decision. 8 Red qualified for the final winning all 3 of the earlier games.
Tewksbury 4 White
Tewksbury 4 White had a great showing in what was the first tournament play for most of these players going 2 and 1 in The Hood. The weekend started with a 22-19 win over Billerica that was close all the way to the finish. Cam Paolillo led a balanced scoring attack with 7 points while John Beatrice, Tommy Branchaud, Owen Griffin, Adam Favreau, Kyle McHugh, and Ben Svendsen all contributed baskets. But none was bigger than the foul line jumper by Tommy Branchaud in the final minute to put Tewksbury ahead by 3 and seal the victory.
In the 2nd game Tewksbury lost 26-11 to a strong Belmont team that would go on to reach the Tournament finals. Jack Panilaitis and Cole Duffett helped keep Tewksbury close early each getting multiple defensive rebounds and steals. The offense was led by Ben Svendsen and Cam Paolillo each scoring 4 points with Elias Melki and Michael Cronin also getting into the scoring column. Kyle McHugh seemed to be everywhere on defense finishing with a season high 6 steals to go with his 5 rebounds.
In their final game of the weekend Tewksbury was able to hold off a strong charge in the final minutes to secure a 16-14 victory over Chelmsford. Tommy Branchaud and Adam Favreau paced the offense with 5 points each but the story of the game was the team defense. The Chelmsford ball handlers were repeatedly shut down by the help defense after initially penetrating past the Tewksbury guards. Particularly in the final minutes of play with Tewksbury trying to hang on to a slim 2 point lead. Chelmsford was unable to get a shot in their final 2 possessions while Tewksbury did a nice job taking care of the ball on offense to secure a well deserved win.
Tewksbury 8 White
The Tewksbury 8th grade White travel team used the Hood Tournament to prove that practice and working together as a team pays off. They finished the tourney with two strong wins against tough teams from Burlington and Littleton and had a loss to the eventual tournament champion Dracut.
The Burlington game was powered by even scoring across the team. The offense ran through power forward Rafi Perez and point guard Danny Priest and was fed by key steals from Brandon Alves, Mike Teague and David Pesantes. Newcomers to the team Ameen Kalkhoran and Aaron Whitehouse are already making strong contributions on both sides of the ball. Final Score 36-19.
The Littleton game was a defensive battle led by our "Big Three" Eric Gallant, Eddie Gallagher and Jeff "JC" Carr. Our additional big men Jonathan "JP" Mooney and Zack Smith both played aggressively and controlled the boards and kept us in the game. You can see the team concept is helping our offense as scoring was again spread across the team. Two key three pointers by Pesantes and Priest in the second half stretched the lead at the perfect time and our tenacious defense again led by Alves and Whitehouse held on for the win. Final Score 29-25.
The Dracut game was our first game in the tournament and definitely caught the boys by surprise. The Dracut team pressed us from the first tip and rolled to a 34-9 lead at half time. Ameen Kalkhoran, JP Mooney and Rafi Perez were the only scorers in the first half.
The second half showed what this team is made of as they pulled together and outscored Dracut 22-15 with 8 people getting into the scoring column. Our defense picked up their level of physical play versus a strong and talented Dracut squad. Defensive standouts included Eddie Gallagher, Eric Gallant, Rafi Perez and Brandon Alves. Final score 49-31.