|Excel-Spiece Run & Slam Champions|
This past weekend, May 24-26th, several Ohio teams played in Ft. Wayne in the Spiece Memorial Day Run and Slam Tournament. The was a 8th Grade Division was stacked with some of the top teams from all over Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. The final four included The Family (Detroit) vs. King James with King James pulling out a squeaker winning by 2 points on a missed three pointer at the buzzer. Excel played nationally ranked Chicago Select in their semi-final and came from behind in the second half led by Isaiah Speelman, Dane Goodwin and Braden Norris to win 48-45. The championship was an All-Ohio mach up between NE Ohio King James and Central Ohio Excel.
The game was back in fourth but Excel came from behind again in the last couple minutes to tie the game and eventually win in overtime 54-48. The bulk of the scoring was again Speelman, Goodwin and Norris, but as with the Chicago Select game, there were huge contributions by the whole team defensively and on the boards. This was Excel's fourth consecutive tournament win at the Run and Slam, which they were told may not have been done previously. It also is expected to be Excel's last year of existence so they will likely not be able to defend their title next year.
This brings Excel's record to 22-1 for the season including winning the Nike Grassroots, Cincinnati Super Regional, Spiece Run and Slam among others. Excel also has had two wins over nationally ranked teams (Chicago Select and George Hill) as well as two wins over a top 5 state ranked ninth grade team with their only defeat against an 8th grade team coming vs. 5th ranked DC Premier by 3.