Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gibbons Update: Saturday

Yesterday we shared highlights and commentary from Saturday's opening game at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions: The Upward Stars (SC) vs Southern Select.  It was difficult to imagine that the games following this hotly contested and well played 8 A.M. game between two of the southeast's best 17u teams could be matched in succeeding contests.  But the 17u, 16u, and 15u teams that we followed through Saturday's rounds battled admirably to reach Sunday morning's semifinals.  In the end, the only team from ABR's coverage schedule that advanced was the same Upward Stars 17u team that has been so successful all Spring.  But the highlights below show that each team had exciting moments.  And all undoubtedly benefited by participating in a tournament with a high level of competition.  Enjoy the highlights of the teams we followed during Saturday's games.

17u Division

Upward Stars
We have yet to see this impressive group from South Carolina lose a game.  The Stars won the Ice Breaker Invitational tournament and won every game during the King James Exposure tournament.  And after winning a shootout against the highly regarded Southern Select Saturday morning, Upward proceeded to defeat Team Charlotte (see highlights directly below) and collect a comeback win over the formidable Florida Rams Saturday evening (watch the full game here).

South Georgia Kings
Since seeing them at the Ice Breaker Invitational and the King James Southern Exposure tournament, we have referred to the Kings' JJ Frazier and Aaron Scott as the "southeast's best back court."  As we confessed here, we may not be qualified to make that claim after spending a relatively short amount of time evaluating the AAU scene.  So maybe the "southeast's most exciting back court" is a more accurate description.  But regardless of the wording, we believe the highlights from this game support our case.  These guys are fun to watch, even in a losing effort.

16u Division
We have gotten quite familiar with the Worldwide Renegades 15u and the Georgia Stars Select 16u teams.  The two Atlanta based teams met for the Ice Breaker Invitational championship last month and we were there to record and share a ton of highlights.  And both teams returned to Riverview Park to have immense success at the King James Southern Exposure tournament.  Each competed admirably yesterday but failed to advance to Sunday's final four round.

Worldwide 15u - Watch Jaylen Brown (#4), Terrance Phillips (#3), Ty Hudson (#0) and Renegades teammates lose a heart breaker after Alabama SAC makes a 3 pointer to win the game with less than 10 seconds remaining.

Georgia Stars Select - The Stars, who also won the Norman Parker Elite Showcase tournament in April, fell to the Birmingham Ice Express Saturday evening.  See highlights below.

15u Division
The Will Avery Stars has a long history of success.  After following the team deep into the AAU National Championships last July, we got our first look at many of the Augusta area's best ninth graders during the Stars' second round victory over the Gainesville Wildcats Saturday afternoon (see highlights directly below).  The Stars later fell in third round action.  We look forward to watching the team in the near future.

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