FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. The Connecticut Premier Hoops All Star U-13 basketball team rolled into the Westchester Elite's Spring Hardwood Classic this past weekend and defeated four New York teams to take the tourney title.
The team includes players from Darien, Fairfield, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport and Weston.
Premier Hoops hit the century mark in a 100-20 crunching of Playmakers Gold in its first game. Westport's Ben Casparius scored in every way possible, putting up 36 points. In the first half, Casparius was a prolific finisher in the Premier running offense. In the second half, Casparius stepped back and nailed five three-pointers in the slowed down, half-court sets. Fairfield's JJ Conway threw in 18 points. Weston's Chris Swanson had 11, and Mack Muller, also of Westport, also hit double figures, with 10.
In the second game, in a 70-24 shut down of the New York Hoops Express, Premier took pride in holding the opponent to only eight baskets. Darien's Carter Scott and Westport's Justin Seideman hounded the opponent's ball handlers with withering ball pressure, knowing they had active teammate rotations and support behind them. The New Canaan duo of Tyler Sweeney and James Crovato combined for 28 points. Caparius earned the game-high total again, with 18 points.
On Sunday, against the Long Island Lightning, Premier dropped back into zone defenses to preserve their legs for the afternoon final. That reduced the scoring totals, but still resulted in an impressive 65-30 victory. Jackson Ryan of Darien and Seideman ran the offenses, which generated multiple baskets from every Premier player.
In the championship game against the Puma Basketball Academy, Premier did not start well, trailing 17-4 early and 30-27 at halftime. In the second half though, the double-fisted attack of withering defense and a running offense launched them into a victorious surge and a 71-47 final score.
Casparius thrived on the offensive end. He weaved his way to open areas and the excellent Premier ball movement found him for 31 points, including six three-pointers. Ryan and Seideman solved and then dismantled the Pumas ball pressure. Crovatto and Muller were the inside muscle and scoring threats. Conway went to double digits again with 10.
The tournament was Premier's third tournament win of the spring. Additionally, Premier's Scott, Seideman and Alex Preston went for a 8-0 sweep of the Wins-for-Life Three on Three Championship in Canton, Conn. in April. Connecticut Premier Hoops is now 20-3 against U-13 competition in this spring season.
Video footage of the Premiers Spring Hardwood Classic games can be seen online .
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