Friday, February 17, 2012

Basketball Spotlight Texas Report: Houston Defenders Select Wins Stars Are Born Crown (By Paul Miranda)

Houston Defenders Select Protected Their Home Turf

With a strong team performance on both ends of the court, their high octane, never quit, running and pressure style of play kept this team on top throughout the tournament. They have been notoriously known nationally for the constant full court press and man to man defense, but they provided many highlights from the offensive end. Several dunks by #21 Courtney Lark and #5 DeArron Foxx, beautiful passes by PG #23 JJ Caldwell, great penetration and strong finishing layups by #3 Carsen Edwards, and outstanding showmanship by #4 Jake ‘the Headacke’ Valero kept the crowd standing throughout their games. They are starting 2012 season with a strong inside presence in #34 Mongo Cornett and he did nothing but dazzle us with several outstanding post moves and protecting the paint. This year’s AAU nationally #6 ranked team is off to a strong start for 2012 in their quest to win a national title. They defeated the DFW Defenders Select squad in the semifinal and won the championship game over an exciting Texas Pro squad.

Tournament M.V.P.
DeArron Foxx #5 Houston Defenders Select 2016
‘Swipa the Fox’ was off the chain and wreaking havoc on anyone standing in his way. His smooth, silky, and sly way of slashing to the cup and his step back pull up jumper’ from anywhere on the court was just too much all tournament long. He had couple of dunks that wowed’ us all, showing that his game is now headed above the rim.

Other Top Performers

Cam McGriff #32 DFW Defenders Select
The 6’5” raw monster on the boards and in paint showed huge gains on the offensive end with alley-oop’ dunk in the semifinal game that had the whole gym going nuts. He continues to show signs of significant improvement and is continuously leading his new team to another final four and strong start for the 2012 season.

A.J. Lawson #32 Texas Pro
This ‘do-it-all’ 6’3” player rocked the gym with a thunderous tip in dunk in the championship game. He scored at will, he rebounded the ball against the best of them. He handled the ball in the open court and with pressure on him religiously.

Mark Vital #5 Louisiana Elite
This 6’3” young man has the making of being the class of 2016’s version of the ‘Human Highlight’, had several dunks that had the crowd ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ every game. Defending the rim was not a problem for him, he swatted so many potential layups that his opponents didn’t even try to go to the rack when he was around.

Tristain Upchurch #24 McAllen HoopDawgs
This strong, clever, and crafty PG had all of his opponents on their heels throughout the tournament. He showed an uncanny ability to set up his teammates and still get his shots off. He showed remarkable improvement in the scoring department with many pull-up jumpers’ and strong drives to the rack.

Mongo Cornett #34 Houston Defenders Select 2016
The 6’5” big man was a force that many did not want any part of. His low post game was forceful and very consistent. He out-rebounded all opposing big men. He defended the paint with an attitude that frightened many. If even show amazing ball handling skills in the open court finishing it off with guard-like passes and finishes.

Robert Martin #1 Texas Pro
“RobbieMart” put on a show, especially in the championship game, knocking down some big shots from downtown and in transition. Was amazed at how composed he was when some of his teammates went down with injuries and he had to assume the driver seat for his team. He made great strides with running his team’s offense effectively and efficiently.

Chase Winchester #15 DFW Defenders Select
The team’s captain brought his ‘A game’ throughout the tournament. His pull-up jumper’ from anywhere was second to none in this tournament. The Winchester Special was firing from all over the court and he showed that he doesn’t fear anyone in his way at the cup, hitting many acrobatic lay-ups.

Mike Williams #31 Houston Defenders
The 6’2” bundle of energy was doing it all on both ends of the court. His scoring abilities were unbelievable, he can take you off the dribble either way or he can hit you with the midrange pull-up jump shot. He was always finding ways to get put-backs or defensive rebounds, despite being smaller than his opposing team’s big men. Kid works hard on both ends of the court.

Jonathan Sanchez #00 McAllen HoopDawgs
The 6’5” big man has a sweet jump-shot from midrange to downtown. Despite his slim stature, he was tough on the inside, outwitting his opponents for rebounds and getting his shots off. Be blocked shots throughout. Young man showed great passing skills from the post too.