United Sons and Daughters win at Hardwood hoop

The United Sons and Daughters (USAD), defending Connecticut state champion AAU boys basketball team, look primed to defend its title next weekend in Hartford.
This past weekend, the high school freshman team double-entered the Battle of the Hardwood Tournament in both the freshman 15U and sophomore 16U divisions.Over a 30-hour period, USAD played seven games against both Connecticut and New York competition, went 7-0, and captured both divisions’ championships.
USAD opened with a Saturday afternoon 15U game against the New York Knights. They started slowly, but eventually got out to a double-digit lead and finished with a 54-46 win.
Justin Seideman ran the offense. Peter Kotulsky and Mack Muller were also big  factors in the win. Kotulsky led all scorers with 18. Tyler Sweeney followed with 12.
Three hours later, they came back with all pistons firing and defeated a Hartford-Waterbury based Connecticut Rough Riders 15U team 59-27.
The USAD defense, which was backed by Hayes Kelchner and Alex Preston and fronted by Jorden Means, Evan Roteman and Jacob Manton was suffocating.
They were relentless in forcing Rough Rider turnovers and low percentage shots. Zak Swetye led a very balanced USAD score sheet with 12 points.
In the Saturday nightcap, USAD moved up in weight class and took on the sophomore team from the New York Knights.
USAD and defensive basketball both prevailed in the 45-36 contest. Kelchner and  CJ Seaforth were the top scorers at 14 and 10 points, respectively. Kelchner and Preston both pulled down double digits rebounds.
The Sunday morning game, played at the University of New Haven, had a lot of juice. It could have been billed as a Fairfield County 15U  All Star game, but it was played with an intensity that was more reflective of a civil war.
It matched USAD against a Greater Bridgeport-based, Connecticut Elite team, and USAD came from behind to snatch a 86-82 win.
Kelchner (20 points) and James Crovatto were huge for USAD, muscling control of the paint on both ends of the floor, and scoring in a very physically manner.
One of the game’s subplots, and reason for the high game scores, was that there was a long-range sniper duel going on.
USAD’s Carter Scott, Seaforth (24 points)  and Swetye were matching long bombs with CT Elite’s JJ Conway and Jackson Longley, as the sharp-shooters put in a combined 19 three-pointers, and amazingly only missed on seven attempts combined.
Midday Sunday, USAD wrapped up the sophomore division title with wins over the Western Connecticut Warriors, 44-35, and the West Hartford Magic, 64-22.
Jack Williams was the minutes-played workhorse leader of the weekend, and used his winter varsity experience to help him excel against the 16U opponents.
The duo of Preston and Scott led in points made, tossing in a combined 53 points for the two games.
The U15 championship game was the weekend’s finale. USAD went up against the host program, Elite Sports team, and pushed through the fatigue factor for a convincing 74-51 win.
USAD’s height advantage of 6-7 Preston, 6-6 Kelchner and 6-6 Kotulsky was overwhelming. It allowed Roteman, Manton, Swetye, Williams, Muller and Seaforth to aggressively attack and harass the ball and the passing lanes.
Preston and Scott each scored 19. Brunswick’s Sean Morris was impressive both as a disruptive force on defense  and a slashing scorer (16 points) and assist man on offense.
USAD’s only loss in the seven-game, thirty-hour marathon was their coach Doug Scott’s voice. By the end, he was down to hand signals  and hoarse whispers.
Scott is the varsity coach at Greens Farms Academy and is the reigning New England Prep School Coach of the Year.
Next weekend, USAD will  play in various Hartford gyms in its attempt to repeat as the Connecticut, Division 1 State AAU champions.

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