|Ohio Hoopsters-Summer Showdown Champions|
Although small in numbers (15 teams), the inaugural Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown saw no shortage of talent, as the first year event drew most of top 7th grade teams in the state of Ohio. In fact, of Buckeye Prep’s top 20 ranked teams, 12 of them were in action at the USA Sports Academy in Columbus this weekend, including a very good Upstate Warriors team from South Carolina. Some teams say they want to play the best competition they can find, and some teams actually do it! For the teams in this event, they got what they were looking for, and then some.
As expected, there were some significant upsets as well as some surprise performances from teams and individual players. I guess I should start by congratulating Lamonte Tillman and his Ohio Hoopsters squad for being the last team standing on Sunday with their 39-35 win over Team Excel in the championship game. With their win on Sunday, the Hoopsters will ascend to the top of our rankings when we revise them in a couple of days. Although I did not get the opportunity to concentrate on the game, from what I saw, it was a very competitive contest that was up for grabs until the final seconds ran out on the game.
|MVP & All-Tournamnt Team|
Ty Wiley led the Hoopsters with 11 points, followed by Juan Elmore who added 8. Isaiah Speelman finished off a great weekend for Excel with a team-high 11 points. Tournament MVP honors went to Juan Elmore, and the All-Tournament Team included: Cory Baker, David Madison, Dane Goodwin and Isaiah Speelman.
The Queen City Prophets had a tough weekend, finishing 0-3 in pool play with losses to Team Excel, King James and Murphy AC, then getting bounced in the Elite 8 by the Hoopsters (47-36). Obviously, without Kane Cooper, arguably the top PG in the state, QCP is simply not the same team that had a strangle hold on the #1 ranking for most of the season. King James struggled as well with 2 losses in pool play to Team Excel and rival Murphy AC, then a crushing 59-51 loss in the Elite 8 to All-Ohio Red. The Shining Stars went 1-2 in pool play with losses to the Hoopsters and All-Ohio Red, and then were knocked out of the tournament by Team Excel in the Elite 8 (48-37).
I have to give props to Coach Jeff Blackwell and his All-Ohio team who had a very respectable showing this past weekend. They played everybody tough, made it to the Elite 8, and are clearly getting better from week to week. Buckeye Prep and Ohio Unity both finished 2-1 in pool play, but Unity advanced to the Elite 8 with a 55-42 win over Another Level, while Prep lost to the Shining Stars 51-32 in the Sweet 16.
Cleveland’s Another Level opened some eyes this weekend and impressed some folks with their overall talent (finished 2-1 in pool play), and Damon Stringer’s Mr. Basketball Academy got 2 pool play wins before King James got them in the first round of bracket play (60-33). All-in-all, it was a great weekend of basketball. In addition, the fact the event was in the same gym as the NYBL only enhanced the buzz and the big time feel of the event.
Bracket Play Results