The Crafty Basketball 3x3 New England championships brought the top players from Crafty leagues across New England over the past year. The invite only event was expected to be highly competitive, and it did not disappoint, as the boys 7th-8th grade division decided when the final shot in the final game was off target.
The Crafty 3x3 Championship format randomly places players into teams to start the day, and rotates players after nearly each game. Players from winning teams are allowed to continue together for one additional game. Each time a player participates on a winning 3x3 team, each player on that team earns 3 points for the win. Players on losing teams receive 0 points, while players competing for a tie receive 1 point each. Each game is 6 minutes in duration and scored using the Crafty bonus point system, awarding 3 points for any basket scored on back-door cuts, curls off screens, slip screens, and back-screens. 2 points are awarded for any other assisted basket, and 1 point is awarded for baskets scored on a 1 on 1 move.
In the Championship game finale of the two hour event, two teams of 3 faced off with the two top seeds on opposite teams. Attleboro’s Robert Pombriant (MPC Spring League Champion) and Sharon’s Zach Needle (MPC Fall League Champion) both entered the game with perfect 6-0 records and 18 points apiece (3 awarded for each win). Four other top players earned their right to compete in the final including Daniel Ridick (MPC Spring League All Star), Bridgewater’s Peyton Fernandez (Taunton Fall League Champion), Bridgewater’s Noah Perry (Taunton Fall League All Star) and Newton’s Lucas Wardly. None entered with more than one loss on the day.
The game was tight throughout, but with only 2 minutes to go Pomriant’s team took a 7-3 lead and appeared in control, but an assisted jumper and a nice drive for a one point score cut the lead to 7-6 with less than 30 seconds to play. A late steal gave Needle’s team one final chance, but an assisted jumper that would have won the game fell off the rim as the buzzer sounded, giving Pombriant a perfect 7-0 record on the day and the Championship trophy. Needle finished second at 6-1. Needle played on teams that scored a total of 69 points on the day. Daniel Ridick, who played on the final game winning team, also finished at 6-1, but was just shy of Needle with 64 points on the day. Perry, Fernandez, and Wardly finished out the top 6 as first team all-stars.
2nd Team All Stars included Norfolk’s Derek Flanagan, Attleboro’s Dylan Martinelli, Bridgewater’s Dylan Hayward and Matt Rein, Sharon’s Zander Lai.
Many of these players contributed their points towards the town title, which counts the top 5 point earners from each town for boys 5th-8th grade. The town earning the most points wins the title. Bridgewater squeaked out a close 79-76 victory over Attleboro at the end of both sessions, with Mansfield finishing a 3rd with50 points and Newton 38 in a field of 13 towns. Fullresults of all players and town results can be found at http://www.craftybasketball.com/nechampionships.