|Ohio Hoopsters Future-2nd Place D-II AAU Nationals|
Three Ohio teams made the trip to Hampton, VA. for the 6th grade D-II AAU Nationals, and all three teams fought their way all the way to the final four. Although none of the Ohio teams brought home the gold medal, the Ohio Hoopsters Future, All-Ohio Purple and Dayton Metro placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively. Prior to their 48-36 defeat by ECE Elite in the championship game, Lamonte Tillman’s Ohio Hoopsters’ squad was undefeated, with wins over the NY Dragons (51-21), Fairfax Stars (57-15), Illinois TWolves (42-12), South River Shooters (37-39), and Dayton Metro (44-29).
According to Tillman, his team really shot the ball well the entire tournament. “It’s the best we have shot the ball from the perimeter all year long,” stated Tillman. “We played our best ball and peaked at the right time,” Tillman added. In the championship game, each team took turns holding a lead; however, according to Tillman, “They (ECE Ice) were bigger and more aggressive, and as the game wore on, their size wore us down.” Apparently, Ty Wiley shoot the ball well from the 3 point line all week and averaged about 15 points a game throughout the tournament. Juan Elmore played well down the stretch, averaging 12 points a game, and Dave Fitzgerald and David Madison both made solid contributions, with 11 and 8 points averages, respectively.
|All-Ohio Purple-3rd Place D-II AAU Nationals|
All-Ohio Purple’s trek to the medal rounds was a difficult one, and included wins over Team Swag (42-35), Chicago Elite (62-36), PR Stars (58-51) and Rameybasketball.con Griffin (35-34). After dropping a semi-final game to ECE Elite, All-Ohio Purple rebounded in the 3rd/4th place game, with a 44-38 win over Dayton Metro to claim 3rd place. According to Coach Scott Kelly and Ray Payton, their team enjoyed “balanced scoring, played team ball and was very unselfish.” Although the usual players did what was expected of them (Jordan Coovert, Terrry Durham, Jackson See, Kane Cooper and Isaiah Payton), defensively, guys like Christian Kelly and newly reacquired Dashawn Lawrence made a big difference. As was pointed out by Coach Tillman, ECE Elite, playing with a huge front line, was just too big and too athletic for Purple. Even with their size disadvantage, All-Ohio had a chance to win it on a trey by Payton, but the shot fell short.
|Dayton Metro-4th Place D-II AAU Nationals|
Dayton Metro finished pool play 2-1, with wins over EC Elite (50-33), Hustle Elite (45-37), and a loss to Carolina Hawks BB Association (56-49). In championship bracket play, Dayton Metro started strong with a win over Iron Men Elite (55-46), California Tri-City Youth (66-63) and Eastside Hoops (55-36), before taking a loss to home state rival Ohio Hoopsters Future (44-29) in the final four. Metro would close the tournament 0-2 with a 44-38 loss to All-Ohio Purple. According to Coach Chuck Painter, his squad was “very hungry” the entire week. Although several of his kids had their moments throughout the week, TK Robinson and John Alessandro were the most consistent player over the course of the tournament. Congratulations to all three teams for representing the Buckeye State big time.
On another note, Ohio will have 4 representatives at the D-I 6th Grade AAU Nationals which is set to tip off in Hampton, VA on Tuesday of next week. Pickerington Wildcats Select, King James Shooting Stars, SMAC U and Murphy AC Elite all made the trip to Hampton for the nationals. Finally, Ohio has eight 8th grade teams participating in the U-14 AAU Nationals in Orlando, FL. The following are the day #2 results: Team Lima Panthers (2-0), All-Ohio Elite (2-0), Cincinnati Lakers (1-1), All-Ohio Red (1-1), Dayton Heat (1-1), Ohio Warriors (0-2), Nova Village (0-2) and Cincinnati Bulldogs (0-2).
I have to give a shout out to the 5th grade All-Ohio Purple (AOP) for their 9th place finish at the D-I AAU Nationals in Coco Beach, Fl. After defeating their nemesis, All-Ohio Red 36-35 in the second game of the round 2 consolation bracket, Purple defeated Indiana’s George Hill 50-48 to claim 9th place. AOP's 9th place finish represents another great showing for the Buckeye State! Finally, Brian Bishop's U-16 Team Work squad (formally CBIZ) captured 5th place in the AAU Nationals. If that was not enough, Ohio Varsity White and the Queen City Prophets finished 7th and 8th, respectively at the same tournament. Congratulations to all of the Ohio-based teams for proving to the country that Ohio is more than a football state; we can hoop to!