The early game between the Wings and BABC in the AAU Division 1 10th Grade National Semi-Finals featured Malik Monk, Skal Labissierre, Kevaughn Allen, Marlon Hunter, and Terrance Mann from BABC. It was all Wings to start the game opening a 17-7 lead behind the swarming perimeter defense, shot blocker Skal Labissiere in the middle, and the scoring of Kevaughn Allen (7 points) and Malik Monk (5 points). The BABC shooting was cold, but big man Jeremy Miller at 6’9 showed outside touch and range with a three. Top ranked Terrance Mann was held scoreless by the tough Wings defense.
In the second quarter, BABC started to knock down the open shots. Skal showed his inside-outside game with a crafty soft touch around the basket and hitting jumpers with a soft touch 15-18 feet out. Just before the half, 6’9 Jeremy Miller showed his range and shooting touch with a 3 at the buzzer, but the Wings have firm control of the lead at the half.
BABC start the 3rd with focused intent to cut the lead. They cut the deficit behind the play of Bruce Brown (4 points), Terrance Mann (3 points), & Bobby Martin (4 points), 36-28. For the Wings. the third quarter was a reminder of the Nolan Richardson days of ’40 Minutes of Heck’! Offensively it was the Monk & Labissiere show with 7 and 6 points, respectively.
In the fourth quarter, both teams traded buckets, with BABC’s Thomas Mobley sinking a three to get BABC within seven, 42-49. That was as close as BABC would come. The play of Skal inside and out was too much. Labissiere showed his use of the left hand from 8 feet with nice lefty turn-around jump hook. Bruce Brown was the player for BABC offensively, leading the way with 6 points. The point guard was impressive in the second half, getting by the quick Wings defenders into the lane and converting tough layups. Bobby Martin was also key to BABC’s run in the fourth quarter by playing much bigger than listed at 6’4, showing his strength and quickness inside. The Arkansas Wings grabbed the 57-46 win, which lets them advance to Sunday’s Championship Game on ESPN3 at 12pm EST.
Semi-Final #2 Nike Team Florida vs King James Shooting Stars
It was a cold shooting start for both teams, but effort and intensity were not lacking. With a spot in the National Championship on the line, each team was at maximum effort. The shots were just not falling until midway through the first quarter. It was Kyle Williams leading the way with four points for the Stars and two points each for Team Florida's Hayes and Jean McSpadden. Finally at the buzzer, Luke Kennard hits a long 3 pointer off the double-staggered screen for an 11-8 lead. Action and the shooting started to heat up in the second quarter behind the floor leadership and assists of Jonathan Jean, who had a great drop off pass between the helping defender Wyatt Walker, who would lead all scorers in the first half with 8 points. Balanced scoring from the rest of Team Florida all scoring 2 points. For King James, Derek Pardon led the Stars offensively with 6 points all inside. Luke Kennard mixed two buckets, but the Team Florida defense held him in check most of the game. At the half, Nike Team Florida 24, King James Shooting Stars 23.
At the start of the third,
ranked 2016 recruit Vincent King goes to work and gets on the board. Tough physical defense by both teams resulted in a low scoring third quarter. Team Florida's Chance McSpadden gets hot from beyond the arc with back to back threes, giving his team a 3 point lead with 3 minutes left in the 3rd. Next possession Team Florida's Rodney Hunter drills a 3 and the Stars need time to regroup before the 4th quarter.
Team Florida leads 39-29 with 6 minutes to go in the game. Teams trade a couple of baskets until the 4 minute mark. The Stars are still down by 8, 41-33. Vincent, Ahrens and Kennard score baskets cutting the deficit to 36-43 with 1:45 left. Stars PG, Amos Harris hits a huge three to bring the Stars within striking distance, 39-43 with just over 1 minute left. Amos Harris brings the score within two for the Stars with a driving layup. Stars score again tying the score at 43.
Team Florida cannot get a shot off in time so the game is now going into over time!
One free throw early for Jean and Team Florida gives them a 44-43 lead. After a couple of fouls the score is still close with Team Florida leading, 48-47. Stars are down by one with 22 ticks left to go. A big block by Team Florida's Kevarious Hayes and they are able to dribble the clock out for the win, 48-47. Great comeback by King James Shooting Stars from being down 10 with 4 minutes left, but they fall just short. Nike Team Florida will play in the D1 National Championship Game vs Arkansas Wings, 12pm EST on ESPN3
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