Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up: Gibbons and GCA Hardwood Classic

ABR readers and viewers who followed our activities last weekend know that we broadcasted and published highlights live from two very different tournaments:  The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions at the Suwanee Sports Academy and the GCA Hardwood Classic at Butler High School.

Suwanee was the site where many of the southeast's best high school aged AAU teams gathered to play during the second of two weekends during the Spring when college coaches were permitted to evaluate AAU basketball players.  And the GCA Hardwood Classic featured our area's youngest basketball players.  The teams in this local tournament, which was hosted by a new organization called the Garden City All Stars, included players in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.

We published updates about teams in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions throughout the weekend.  By Sunday morning, the only team on which we had focused that had advanced through the elimination tournament to the final four was the red hot Upward Stars, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  The Stars, winners of 19 of the Spring's first 20 games, have had a storybook Spring, beginning from scratch as a program and instantly logging wins against the top AAU teams from just about every state in the Southeast.  And after defeating Georgia's Southern Select (see the archived "stream" here) Saturday morning and completing an unlikely come from behind upset over the highly regarded Florida Rams, the team finally fell short Sunday morning on the game's last possession to the formidable Garner Road Bulldogs.  The highlights of this game are included in the video below.

Gibbons Final Four Action: Upward Stars (SC) vs Garner Road Bulldogs (NC)

On the other end of the spectrum, Sunday's final game in the GCA Hardwood Classic featured two Augusta based teams who seem to face each other just about every weekend:  The Southern Kings 12u and the Garden City All Stars 12u teams.  These teams seem to trade victories at every turn, so it was no surprise when Garden City stormed back after the Kings took a big lead early.  But the Kings were destined to spoil the fun for the host Garden City squad.  Enjoy the highlights from the championship game below.

GCA Hardwood Classic 12u Championship Game: Southern Kings vs Garden City All Stars

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