The Florida Vipers traveled to Orlando to compete in not one, but two prestigious AAU Basketball tournaments, the 2013 Basketball Nationals and the 2013 AAU Super Showcase. The 10th Grade team began playing in the Super Showcase on July 21st and they didn’t stop until they were done with the National Championship a week later on the 28th. The Vipers are the new 2013 AAU 10thGrade Super Showcase Champions and the 5th place winners in the 10th Grade National Championship. The Vipers were 15-1 for both tournaments, their only loss coming from the Arkansas Wings.
After going undefeated in pool play of the Super Showcase, the Vipers outscored the Nashville Flood 79-66 in the first game of the championship bracket, with Jose Morales leading the charge with 16 points, followed closely by Cedric Wright with 14 and Quincy Rideau with 12.
The Vipers played the next day bright and early, which may have been the reason for a much closer game. The Vipers pulled off the close win by a 59-55 margin, with Antonio Vrankovic leading the way with 14 points, and teammates Jamal Palmer, Cedric Wright, and Jose Morales each contributing 10 points to the cause.
Those two wins secured them a spot in the Super Showcase Championship game on the morning of the 23rd. The Vipers cruised to an easy victory over the Karolina Diamonds, 65-52, once again led by Jose Morales with 14 points. Quincy Rideau and Richard McIntosh also added 11 and 10 points respectively, and Cedric Wright and Jamal Palmer contributed nine points each.
Less than four hours later, the Vipers were back on the court, playing in their first game of the 10th Grade Basketball Nationals. The Vipers dominated the game, 101-51, over Positive M-Pact. LeWayne Grant and Charles Maloney both found their groove, scoring 20 and 18 each,r espectively. Other top contributors were Trevor Goodrum with 15 and Benjamin Bobbitt with 14.
Not two hours later, they ended the day with a 73-39 over Team Charlotte, with the key player of the game being Cedric Wright, who exploded with 20 points. Other important scoring leaders included Richard McIntosh with 14 and Antonio Vrankovic and Trevor Goodrum with 10 each.
The Vipers had a slight break, only playing two games over the next two days, where they easily grabbed the win in both games. The first was in the early afternoon of the 24th where Jose Morales had a spectatular game with 29 points, with four threes in the game! Teammate Trecor Goodrum also sank four threes and contributed a total of 15 points to the 74-63 victory over Club Ohio-Johnson.
The next day, the Vipers continued their dominating run, defeating Ohio Varsity White 55-39, where nearly everyone contributed to the win. Led by Jamal Palmer and Cedric Wright with 12 and 11 points respectively, the Vipers were on their way to the final championship bracket game.
The Vipers squared off against Team Richmond to determine who would advance to the Elite Eight. Once again, the Vipers cruised to a solid victory, 57-48 over Team Richmond, securing their spot in the Elite Eight, where they will battle it out against the Arkansas Wings for a top spot in the Championship!
Later that day, the Vipers feel for the first time in either tournament. The Arkansas Wings defeated the Florida Vipers 79-54 in the first Elite Eight game. Cedric Wright and Jose Marales managed 12 points each against the tough Wings’ defense but couldn’t manage to outscore them.
After suffering their first loss, the Vipers were back at it early the next morning against Texas Pro 2016, where they picked up their dominance once again. They easily grabbed the 67-55 victory with Gregory Kacprzak leading the team with 19 points.
They had the rest of that day and played another morning game their last day in Orlando against The Ville to determine who would place fifth and sixth overall in the 10th Grade division. It was an evenly matched game against the 5th and 6th place teams, but the Vipers managed a 54-48 win over The Ville to capture 5th place in the 10thGrade Division I AAU National Championship!
Hard work, perseverance, smart coaching, and some great basketball is what led this team to grab a 1st place trophy in the AAU Super Showcase and a fifth place trophy in the National Championship! Keep up the good work, Vipers, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!
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