Friar Basketball

Live from Newton, MA: Adams, Joseph Lead Mass Rivals Past BABC, 75-73


BABC needed a miracle in the final seconds of the 11th Annual Fitzy All Star game on Sunday afternoon at Mount Ida College in Newton – and they almost got it.

In a back and forth game that saw Mass Rivals pull ahead in the second half, BABC trailed 75-73 with four seconds remaining as Mass Rivals looked to inbound the ball.  The Rivals threw it to half court only to see BABC’s Tyler Nelson (2014, Central Catholic) come up with the steal.  Nelson launched a 45 footer that hit the square on the backboard, then the front rim, the back rim and eventually fell off.

The last gasp effort marked the end of a terrific game in which BABC’s Bonzie Colson dominated the first half before the Mass Rivals’ backcourt of Kaleb Joseph and Jalen Adams (both with PC offers) turned it on in the second to win a game that they trailed by nine at halftime in.

Rivals start fast, Colson takes over first half

Providence fans have become familiar with Joseph and Adams, the duo that led Cushing Academy to the NEPSAC Class AA title earlier this month.  The Rivals also feature sharp-shooting big man Matt Cimino (2014, Worcester Academy), skilled seven footer Josh Sharma (2015, Northfield Mount Hermon), New Hampton power forward Jeremy Miller and perhaps the nation’s top shot blocker in Goodluck Okonoboh.

The Rivals were without Okonoboh and Sharma on this afternoon as they faced off against a young BABC team that featured a variety of 2015 prospects (sophomore class) playing in the junior game after winning the sophomore game just prior to the early afternoon tipoff.

The Rivals ran out to an early 8-0 lead behind a pair of layups by Adams and a nice look from Cimino before BABC power forward Bonzie Colson went to work.

This was one played at Mass Rivals’ pace early – up and down – but BABC began pounding away inside with Colson and 2015 forward Marcel Pettway (a North Providence native).

How effective was BABC scoring inside?  They converted six shots in which they were fouled on in the first half alone.

How effective was Colson?  I had him down for 21 points in the first half.  Neither Cimino or Miller could contain the 2014 forward out of St. Andrew’s (RI) who scored in the paint at will and used one dribble to set up looks from 12-15 feet.

By the time Colson finished on a difficult tip to make it 41-27 late in the first half, the early Rivals’ lead was a distant memory as it appeared as though BABC had control of this one.

Adams had eight points at the half, while Joseph, a top 60 player in the class of 2014, was quiet with just two.  He wouldn’t stay quiet for long though.

Joseph takes over early in the 2nd half

A Pettway basket gave BABC a 45-32 lead early in the second half, but a tremendous block from Adams seemed to ignite the Rivals.  That’s when Joseph took over.

He scored on three straight possessions (a pair of three throws, a dunk off of a steal and a pretty spin and lay-in) to pull the Rivals within 45-40.  After Adams made a jump shot to make it 47-42, Joseph’s next flurry followed.

Joseph scored the game’s next seven points, highlighted by a fadeaway in which he was fouled and a crossover that I’d labeled “ridiculous” in my notes to give Mass Rivals their first lead since early in the first half with 12:30 to play.

He scored 13 points in under five minutes.  During that span a 12 point deficit became a one point edge, 49-48.

It remained a one possession game until Adams scored in transition (where he excels) to give the Rivals a 65-60 lead with under five minutes remaining.

The Rivals led 69-62 with 3:30 to play, but BABC began chipping away.  The impressive Bruce Brown (2015, Wakefield, MA) scored and was fouled with just over two minutes to play and on the next possession Brown came up with a steal, and suddenly it was a 71-67 game.

Adams hit a monster jump shot from 18 feet with 48 seconds left to push the Rivals lead to 73-69 before Pettway finished off of an offensive rebound to make it a two point game with 30 ticks on the clock.

The teams traded free throws over the game’s final 30 seconds before Nelson’s heave just missed.


  • Bruce Brown is one to keep an eye on.  He has the makings of a terrific defender and was difficult to contain off of the dribble.  He gave Joseph a lot of trouble on one possession in particular, nearly causing a ten second violation – not an easy task against the speedy Joseph.  There were instances in which the ball got away from him off of the bounce, but he seemed to relish going toe to toe with Adams and Joseph on the defensive end.
  • BABC’s Terrance Mann continues to impress.  The son of a coach, the lengthy Mann finished twice after being fouled and shows a well-developed skill set.
  • The more you watch Adams, the more it becomes apparent how high his ceiling is.  He’s a blur in the open court, finishes well in transition while moving at an almost unfair speed, and is a good shooter.  Still young, Adams is an underrated passer as well.  Providence has offered the 2015 guard.
  • BABC ran through the Rivals in the sophomore game played in the morning.
  • Cimino has work to do defensively, and heard about it at times from his coaching staff, but he’s as good a three pointer shooter as you’ll find at 6’10.  He passed the ball well from the top of the key early, finding two teammates for layups.
  • Highlights (created by Friarbasketball) of Joseph and Adams playing against fellow PC star recruit Abdul-Malik Abu from early this month can be found here.





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