Sabes Invitational Sunday Action 2008

Sunday at the Sabes Invitational gives us a full 6 game slate of 17U and 16U final 8 action.

Session 1 (16U Quarterfinals): HP 16 White came back from 5 down with with 43.8 seconds to play to tie the game on a Martin Wind triple with 10 seconds left. After giving 2 fouls to kill time, KC Pump N Run 16s got a turnaround buzzer beating 3 from in front of their bench to win it 55-52. Aaron Anderson with 17 points and was a thief on defense. The Mpls Redhawks had the final possession in regulation vs the powerful Illinois Warriors, but couldn't convert. The Warriors got a tipin with 1 second left in overtime to win 74-72. In repeats of pool action, HP Black 16s beat KC Pump N Run 15s and ECI Elite beat Madison Spartans.

Session 2 (17U Quarterfinals): Jesse Pritchard of All Iowa Attack 17U went off for 24 pts in the 1st half (6 3s) vs KC Pump N Run 17s and Michael Dixon with only 6 for KC. That allowed the Attack to take a 40-34 halftime lead. But Pritchard was cold in the 2nd half (Dixon guarding him mostly) and Dixon got 18 of his own in the 2nd half. With a 3 pt lead with 2 minutes to go, KC hits their FTs and wins 69-60. The Howard Pulley White 17s got down big early to the Illinois Warriors (43-22 at half) and never got close as the Warriors won 84-55. In the biggest upset of the entire tournament, the HP 17 Black squad got beat 65-62 by a Chicago Demons team that they blew out by 30+ yesterday. HP had the ball down 1 with 8 seconds left to go full court, but full court pressure from the Demons forced a turnover for the final layup to seal the upset. The Grassroots squad won the other quarterfinal over the RBS All-Stars.

Session 3 (16U Semis): A nice setup on courts 2 and 4 in the Jefferson Activity Center. Great way to follow both games. HP 16 Black once again blew out ECI Elites 77-48 after a 45-28 halftime lead. For as much as their 17U combo team struggled, the ECI 16s were a very solid team despite their results vs HP. The KC Pump N Run squad took on the Illinois Warriors in a very good game in the other semi. KC was up 6 with 12 minutes left, but this game was back and forth the whole way. The Warriors took a 55-54 lead on a deep 3 with 3:20 to play. Rodney Givens put KC up 56-55 with a steal and deuce with 1:44 to play. After a Warriors airball, KC blows a layup with 55 seconds to play. The Warriors miss again with 30 seconds to go, but KC turns the ball over with 16 seconds left. The Warriors have a shot to win it at the horn (after KC gave 3 fouls to kill time like HP did to them in their earlier game of the day), but its no good and KC moves on 56-55.

Session 4 (17U Semis): Semi #1 was Grassroots (Jordair Jett, John Bright et al) vs the upset minded Chicago Demons. After the Demons took a 24-23 lead with 7:10 left in the 1st half, a 16-0 run put the game away for Grassroots. They led 45-34 at half and poured in on in the 2nd half to win 99-70. KC Pump N Run vs Illinois Warriors in the other semi. KC down 7 early but they use a 9-0 run over 2 minutes to get the lead and they hold it for a 40-39 halftime lead. Down 48-46 with 10:45 to go, the Warriors go on a 15-2 run over 2 and a half minutes with hot 3 pt shooting vs the KC 2-3 zone to open up a 60-51 lead with 8:14 to play. KC gets the next 4 points but they don't get any closer. Illinois Warriors win 74-64.

Session 5 (16U Championship): KC Pump N Run vs the HP Black 16 team that they beat in the semis last weekend in the Jayhawk Invite. Trevor Releford with 8 of the 1st 10 KC pts and they lead 10-5 after 3 minutes. He goes quiet momentarily but gets back to back 3s and KC leads 27-23 with 5:30 to play in the half. HP goes on a 16-3 run before KC gets the last 4 of the half to make it 39-34 HP at the break. Releford continues his hot streak as he gets the 1st 8 KC pts of the 2nd half. 5 of those points are part of a 8-0 KC run that gives them a 49-42 lead at 12:52 and HP gets no closer. KC Pump N Run defeats Howard Pulley Black 16U 76-61 for the 2008 Sabes Invitational 16U Championship. Trevor Releford with 26 points and was terrific. All of this playing with some sort in injury from the quarterfinal game. He was not 100% for the 2nd half of that game or the last 2 games of the day. Great performance. Steve Tecker moved over from the 16 White squad for this game and the semifinal and was a valuable addition. Marvin Singleton with 14 pts and 7 rebounds. DJ Peterson with 16 pts and 5 assists. I was surprised that coach Jared Nuness didn't move DJ onto Releford during the game to try and slow Releford down with Peterson's long arms and size advantage.

Session 6 (17U Championship): Grassroots vs Illinois Warriors. Seeing a local team in the game is no surprise, but Grassroots is not the one people thought. Dion Suggs hit a 3 to give them a 7-6 lead 2 and a half minutes in, but hot shooting was the story. The Warriors hit everything they attempted so it seemed and ran out to a 58-38 lead at halftime. 2nd half was no contest, Illinois Warriors defeat Grassroots 107-72 for the 2008 Sabes Invitational 17U Championship.

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