|West Coast All-Stars-6th Grade champions|
It took 3 days, but we finally got some very competitive games on the final day of the Gym Rats President’s Day Tournament in Portland. First up on Monday morning, the much anticipated showdown between the Oakland Soldiers and the San Diego Rebels; 2 of the best teams on the west coast. Both teams arrived in Portland with quality guard play and elite frontcourts. From the tip, the Soldiers drew first blood on a Fred Burton layup, but the Rebels responded with an old fashioned three point play by Jack Pugh to take a 3-2 lead. A 4-2 mini run put the Rebels up 7-4 at the 8:43 mark. Midway through the first half the game was tight, as both teams traded buckets. By the 6:15 mark, the Rebels had built a 15-10 lead. The Soldiers responded with a 4-0 run to trim the lead to 1 point (15-14) with 3:40 left in the half. Poor rebounding by the Soldiers allowed second chance opportunities for the Rebels, which they used to take a 22-18 lead into the half. Pugh led the Rebels with 7 halftime points while Shemar Morrow paced Oakland with 6 points.
|Jack Pugh & Shemar Morrow|
|Willis McClendon & Paris Dawson Paced the All-Stars|
Parris Dawson drove to the basket again to start the second half and to extend the lead to 24-17. The Soldiers mounted a run that would cut the deficit to 3 points (23-26) at the 7:58 mark. With Dawson in attack mode, and McClendon still hot from the perimeter, West Coast found themselves comfortably ahead 34-26 with 5:48 remaining in the game. However, multiple turnovers and empty possessions by West Coast led to a 7-0 Oakland run that got them back in the game and trimmed the lead to only 2 points (34-32) with only 2:10 left in the contest. Despite their offensive woes late, West Coast was able to hold on and claim the championship by a score of 35-32. Will McClendon was the man for the all-Stars, finishing with a team-high 12 points, followed by Paris Dawson who added 9 points. Harris was sluggish early and finished with only 6 points. Shemar Morrow led Oakland with 12 points, followed by Hightower with 10 points. In terms of the matchup, the edge clearly goes to Morrow who was more productive offensively and successfully blocked many of Harris’ shot attempts. Harris was more of a defensive factor late, but Morrow owned the boards and protected the rim.
|Celtic Family In Championship Game|
For the record, in the 8th grade championship game, the I10 Celtics Black defeated the Celtics Green team 62-50. Kiiwon Bradford (6’4 SG Sacramento) led the Black squad with 13 points. Although his team fell to the 7th grade Hoop Salem in the semi-finals, big Adam Campos (6'3 C Hercules, CA) was the leading scorer for the Hayward Tar Heels, finishing with a game-high 17 points.
|5th Grade I10 Celtics Take Gold|
|ARC 4th Grade Champions|
Final Day Photo Gallery