Monday, June 12, 2017

Lima Gators
Three teams ranked in Buckeye Prep’s Power Rankings (2022) participated in were in the Hoopin N The Summit tournament this past weekend in Ft. Wayne Indiana. The third ranked Lima Gators, 4th ranked Dayton Wolves, and number 7th ranked SMAC Premier all attended the event. A highly competitive tournament had upsets and revenge in the making. SMAC Premier won their pool, which included a win over the Lima Gators (57-52). This game had many lead changes and went down to the wire. 

The Lima Gators went on to beat FBC out of Michigan in an overtime thriller on a 3-pointer from the Lima Gators’ Evan Unruh to cap off a 14 -point comeback by the Lima Gators in the last 5 minutes of the game. This game sent the Gators into the championship bracket on Sunday.

A showdown between SMAC Premier and Dayton Wolves seemed imminent, but the Wisconsin Shooters had other plans, as they upset the Wolves in the first round of championship play (45-41). SMAC went on to eliminate the Wisconsin Shooters in the semi finals (51-42). Meanwhile, the Lima Gators went on to beat Always 100 in a tough game (57-49), and then defeated Artic Rush (56-40) in the semi-finals game to set up a rematch with SMAC Premier in the championship game.

The championship game was very intense rematch and both teams competed at a high level. The Gators struck first with a 12-2 spurt before SMAC went on a signature run with their signature hot shooting. The Gators led for the entirety of the game, but SMAC would not make it easy by keeping the game within 6 points for the most part of the 2nd half. The Gators went on to win (51-45) due to the play making of Cecil Benton Jr., the inside presence of Cyrus Burden, hot shooting from Devin Taborn, who led all scorers with 23 points, and a much needed quick 7 points off the bench by Quintel Wilson Jr. in a 2-minute span late in the 2nd half. The Lima Gators are now 31-5 on the season with 4 tournament titles. You can catch the Gators and the Dayton Wolves this coming weekend at the Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown.


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