By Tom Robinson
MANHEIM – Corey Perkins got JB Hoops Callahan off to a fast start, but the Scranton-based AAU boys team was not able to sustain it during a 58-44 loss to PTT Elite Blue Sunday morning to conclude its play in the Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County.
Perkins led the team in scoring with 15 points and shared the team lead of 5 rebounds. The rising senior guard from Abington Heights had seven points when JB Hoops jumped to a 9-4 lead 4:13 into the game.
The last JB Hoops lead came when Asad Whitehead’s steal led to Jeremy Callahan hitting one of two free throws when he was fouled on a drive, making it 16-15 with 6:07 left in the half.
PTT scored the next nine points as JB Hoops repeatedly ran into difficulties finishing around the rim against tough defense.
“We weren’t really aggressive today,” coach Bill Callahan said.
Whitehead had the only basket JB Hoops managed the rest of the half and Perkins added another point by making one of two free throws. While JB Hoops struggled offensively, PTT built a 29-19 halftime lead.
The offensive difficulties continued into the second half and PTT opened a 43-24 lead with 10:26 to play.
JB Hoops briefly worked its way back into the game with a 13-point streak. Robert VanBrunt, Perkins and Brennan Higgs hit 3-pointers in a span of 1:15 to make it 43-37 with 6:35 remaining.
PTT answered with three 3-pointers of its own over the next 2 ½ minutes. After Connor Kelley’s 3-pointer kept JB Hoops within 46-40, PTT put the game away by scoring the next 10 points.
“We did get it to six with about six minutes to go,” coach Callahan said. “Then, we had two lazy defensive plays and they got it back to 12 so that was pretty much the end of the game.
“We did have that little burst where we made some shots. I didn’t think we played any better, I just think shots went in. We weren’t locked in defensively enough.”
Kelley finished with nine points and VanBrunt had seven. Kieran Burrier matched Perkins with five rebounds. Higgins led the team in assists and steals with three each.
JB Hoops finished 1-2 in the tournament’s 17U Elite Division.