2009 Howard Pulley Sabes Invitational Championship Day

A nice setup with the bracket games alternating between the 16s and 17s.

16U Quarterfinals
KC Truth took on All Iowa Attack Black and jumped out to a 16 point halftime lead, 49-33. Attack Black cuts the lead to 4 with 8:15 left before the Truth hurts. 79-64 KC Truth wins. KC Pump N Run up 38-22 on the Playground Elite at the half and they hang on 65-59. SYF against All Iowa Attack Red. SYF up 3 at the half after Attack Red jumped out to a quick 7 point lead. 39 all with 14 minutes left before an 8-0 run gives them a lead they won't give up. SYF turns it over for a layup with 1 minute left and they only lead by 1. Attack Red has a couple of late chances but SYF makes 2 FTs with 9.6 left for a 77-72 win.

Finally, Howard Pulley Black against Illinois Warriors. Howard Pulley out 14-5 early as they knock down 4 quick triples. The Warriors fight back and lead 31-27 at the half. They extend that lead to 38-28 right away in the 2nd half. HP fights back to tie the game at 45 with 2:45 left. Zach Lofton then converts an offensive rebound to tie the game at 48 with 1:20 left. The Warriors miss the front end of the bonus but after a timeout, Lofton can't get off a shot and we'll play overtime.

The Warriors tie the game with a layup with 16 seconds remaining in OT. Evan Battle misses a layup late that would have won it. We'll play double OT. The Warriors have a chance at the end of the 2nd OT but can't convert. To triple OT and we can't solve the issue there. To a 4th overtime we go. Nick Latzke with a 3 point play and 2 FTs for a 4 point lead. Lofton 1 of 2 with 4.9 left after a Warriors putback. The Warriors can't get a good 3 and Howard Pulley Black advances with a 66-63 win in 4 OT.

17U Quarterfinals
SYF against the Illinois Warriors. A very back and forth game throughout. The Warriors tie the game with 40 seconds left but SYF gets a jumper from the right elbow with 4 seconds left for a 57-55 win. The St. Louis Eagles take a 3 point lead to the half and eventually beat the Playground Elite 90-77.

Grassroots down 25-9 to Houston Hoops 7 minutes into the game. Grassroots claws back and they're down 57-50 with 9 minutes left in the game. But they're down 10 with 4:30 to play. 68-64 Houston with 1:45 left when Joe Bright misses. A Jordair Jett bucket cuts the lead to 3 with 1:22 left but Tobi Oyedeji seals the deal with a dunk. Houston Hoops moves on with a 73-68 win.

Howard Pulley Black gets another morning matchup against the Chicago Demons. This one is just as ugly as yesterday. 20-19 HP at the half. HP up 36-35 with 3:30 left and holding the ball against the Demons zone. HP misses with 1:45 left but the Demons return the favor with 1:16 left. Cedric Martin with a bank with 55 seconds left for a 3 point lead. The Demons miss a tough shot with 30 seconds left. They have a ton of fouls to give and that allows HP to run the clock out for an ugly 38-35 win.

16U Semifinals
KC Truth vs Howard Pulley Black in 1 semifinal. KC Truth by 3 at the half. They extend the lead to 53-40 with 9 minutes left. A couple of Nick Latzke 3 make the final score interesting as KC Truth wins 71-68. In the other semifinal, KC Pump N Run opens up a 45-25 halftime lead on SYF. They win easily 80-55.

17U Semifinals
Houston Hoops vs SYF in the 1 semifinal no one is watching. Houston jumps out to a 28-12 lead with 6:30 left in the 1st half thanks to an Alex Kirk dunk. SYF cuts the defecit to 38-32 at the break. Tobi Oyedeji with 2 FTs with 10 seconds left for a 78-74 Houston win.

Howard Pulley Black vs St. Louis Eagles in the game people are watching. 42-30 Eagles at the half. The Eagles maintain that lead 55-44 with 10:48 left and 61-50 with 6 minutes remaining. Brad Beal faceguarding Jacob Thomas who got hot from 3. 63-58 with 3 minutes to go before Beal becomes a huge factor. He has a steal for a dunk and then a triple. Beal with a layin and a block of a Thomas jumper. The Eagles win 76-69. Beal and Thomas finish with 21 points.

16U Championship
A battle of Kanasas City has the KC Truth take on KC Pump N Run. The Truth do indeed have a bunch of little quick guards. They made it to the semifinals before losing to MN Pump N Run last week at the Jayhawk Invitational. Christian Kirk of KC PNR off to a quick start that included a nice backdoor set for him to start the game. KC PNR looks like they have the game in reasonable control before they give up a late 8-2 run. PNR leads Truth 62-60 with 2 minutes left. KC PNR goes on to win their 2nd straight 16U title 67-63. Christan Kirk with 20 points for KC Pump N Run.

17U Championship
With no Howard Pulley or other local teams in the finals that takes some drama out of it. However, St. Louis Eagles vs Houston Hoops is a very nice matchup. Brad Beal hot in the 1st half prompting this line from his coach to another Eagles player, "Next time throw it to the guy who hit the shot", which prompted a big laugh from the crowd. 42-36 Houston Hoops at the half as Beal has 16 points on 7-10 shooting. Houston big Alex Kirk with 8 points, 7 boards and 2 blocks. Darius Gardner with 4 triples for 12 1st half points.

Kirk back to back buckets for a 10 point Houston lead. Frosh star J-Mychal Reese with a 3 point play with 11:05 left and Hoops leads 55-40. Beal finally gets something in the half at the 8 minute mark. Beal then has a 3 point play with 5:18 left to cut the deficit to 65-60. Then a raindown of triples. The 2nd gives the Eagles a 73-69 lead with 2 minutes left. Beal then for 3 and the lead is 7. Reese counters with a 3 to cut the Eagles lead to 76-74 with 35.4 remaining. Brandon Peters makes 1 of 2 free throws with 12.5 left. Beal misses a 1 and 1 with 6.1 left and Houston has life but Gardner misses at the buzzer. The St. Louis Eagles defeat Houston Hoops 76-75 for the 17U 2009 Howard Pulley Sabes Invitational Championship.

Brad Beal with 24 points. Alex Kirk with 20 points, 8 rebound and 2 blocks on my unofficial stat sheet. I like how Tobi Oyedeji was able to recognize a double team and make an effective pass out of it or use a jump hook when he was able to go 1 on 1.

For another perspective on the tournament, you can read Steven Froemming's thoughts here

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