Saturday, January 3, 2009

Inside The Grand Finale 08: 11 and Under Division

The 11U Division brought a lot of excitement. We had a buzzer beater, some new impressive teams and some impressive performances. Here’s a good look into the Baby Ballers bracket of the Grand Finale.

Gauchos New #1 Team?

At the end of the summer we had Team Battle listed as the #1 10U Team in the region. This season the Gauchos seem to be making a run at that crown. The Bronx boys already had an influx of guards including Jared Rivers, George Pena and Brandon Randolph. Now you throw in high scoring guard Shamorie Pond and they should be tough to beat. They defeated PTS Pistons twice, Bay State Magic and F.A.C.E.S. on their way to the crown. Expect a serious matchup with them and Team Battle soon.

Welcome To Basketball Spotlight

A few fresh faces made their Basketball Spotlight debut and I would like to write about their accomplishments. Here’s a look at the PTS Pistons and Team Ron Artest.

PTS Pistons came up from Maryland and represented the PV area to the fullest. In the quarterfinals they knocked off New Jersey powerhouse Team Battle on a last second buzzer beater by Vincent Walker. They eventually fell to Gauchos in the semifinal. Their trio of Alex Leder, Keith Simms and Vincent Walker has to be one of the best on the East Coast.

Team Ron Artest brought a lot of spunk from Queensbridge. They ran through the pool knocking off Team Underrated and the stubborn KBR. In the quarterfinal they got past Mid Jersey Heat before falling to F.A.C.E.S. in the semifinal. When you face them you must prepare to stop Anthony Gibbs, Mekhi Hall, Romello Ford and Nakye Sanders.

Noticeable Top Performances

Brandon Randolph(Gauchos)- Randolph went for 20 points in their opening game against Delaware Finest. The ultra quick guard got out into the open floor and scored many uncontested lay up’s his speed is very effective on this level of basketball.

Shamorie Pond (Gauchos)- Pond followed up Randolph’s feat with a 20 point game of his own against PTS Pistons during their pool game. The lefty does whatever he wants offensively on the floor. It’s extremely hard for any guard at this age to stay in front of him.

RJ Cole (F.A.C.E.S.)- Cole lit up most of the opposition averaging about 18 points a game in this tourney. He has great quickness and probably has the best range from the perimeter in this age group. Once RJ gets hot he burns the net quickly.

Tyus Battle (Team Battle)- Battle has grown a few inches and lead his team in scoring during this event. His size and ball handling is a very rare combination on this level. He relishes the opportunity to shine on this type of stage.

Grand Finale All Tournament Team
George Pena (Gauchos)- MVP
Jared Rivers (Gauchos)
Shamorie Pond (Gauchos)
Brandon Randolph (Gauchos)
RJ Cole (FA.C.E.S.)
Ray Montilous (F.A.C.E.S.)
Javon Reis Wilson (F.A.C.E.S.)
Shyquan Gibbs (F.A.C.E.S.)
Alex Leder (PTS Pistons)
Keith Simms (PTS Pistons)
Vincent Walker (PTS Pistons)
Anthony Gibbs (Team Artest)
Mekhi Hall (Team Artest)
Romello Ford (Team Artest)
Nakye Sanders (Team Artest)
Tyus Battle (Team Battle)
Anthony Schimbeno (Mid Jersey Heat)
Darius Chester (Team Underrated)