The 3rd and final day of the 2011 Best Buy Summer Classic featured semifinals and championship games in all 9 brackets. Here's a glimpse of what I saw.
I arrive just in time to see the last 10 seconds and overtime of Southside's 56-54 win over MN PNR in the gold (2nd level bracket) semifinals. 50 all going to overtime. Then Joey King to Latrell Love late for the Southside lead. PNR looks for Wally Ellenson curling to the rim for a lob but DeShun Patterson gets up and knocks it away off Ellenson and Southside hangs on. Southside then had a rough go of it losing the gold title game big to the Atlanta Celtics. Celtics held off Texas D1 Ambassadors yesterday and beat Fury Blue (who had beaten IA PNR I) today on the way to that title. Southside beat Ajays Elite last night in the quarters of the Gold while PNR beat Comets Hanson.
Then its the 17 platinum (top) semifinals. PrymeTyme up 10 at half and then took a 15 point in 2nd half on the Houston Defenders only to see it cut to 2 late. Then the Houston coach gets tossed and free throws make the final margin PrymeTyme 72-62. In the other semifinal, a very tight and low scoring affair between the New England Playaz and Indiana Elite. I missed a 3 minute stall in the last 5 minutes. Kaleb Tarczewski with 1 of 2 FTs for the only Playaz pts in OT. They had a pair of 3s just miss in the last 15 seconds. Indiana Elite makes the final with a 45-42 OT win.
In a 15U semifinal, Fury Black took on MN PNR. Fury Black saw a 9 point lead cut to 5 before going on a huge run to lead by 19. Then coach Nick Carroll gets the gate and PNR cuts the lead to 9 with about 2 minutes left. But PNR goes cold after that and free throws push the margin to double digits with Fury Black making the championship game. They were beaten by the top Indiana Elite team in the finals.
The 17U Silver (3rd bracket of pool winners) Bracket title game was Iowa Barnstormers Black vs M33M. Barnstormers gave up a 6 point halftime lead. M33M turned it over with a chance to win in regulation and the Barnstormers almost got a running 3 to win it. M33M made a buzzer beater to force a 2nd overtime and made 2 FTs with 6.2 left in the 2nd OT to win 73-72. Comets Stock beat Wisconsin Force by 4 to win the 17U Bronze Bracket (teams that were 2nd in their pool). They were in the same pool as PrymeTyme.
In the 17 Platinum title game, PrymeTyme with back to back 3s late in the first half for a 27-22 halftime lead. They then get a 7-0 foul advantage to start the 2nd half which prompts an Indiana Elite techinical. 41-31 PrymeTyme with 10:55 left. Elite comes back to cut the lead to 50-48 inside of 5 minutes to play. Then back to back 3s and a drive for 2 more from stud Fred Van Vleet pushes the lead to 10 with 2 minutes left. PrymeTyme is indeed the sleeper of the tournament as they win the champion 63-52. They were 2-0 in pool and then went through a who's who of Michigan Hurricanes, Atlanta Celtics, Illinois Warriors, Houston Defenders and Indiana Elite. An amazing run for any team, especially one that isn't a big time shoe program. Combine that with Southside's tournament run (beating Indiana Elite One and MN Pump N Run) and it was nice to see programs like that succeed.
Then the 16s Gold (top) title game ended the tournament on a great high note. Grassroots Canada missed 3 late free throws that they were able to get back on offensive rebounds or off of Team Nebraska hands. That allowed them to pull off an 85-81 win in double overtime. A really fun game of athletes going up and down. The last 5 minutes and overtimes (all that I saw with the 17 platinum game going on) were 2-4 points the entire way.
Fred Van Vleet hands down wins my award for 17U MVP. He controlled the game with not just scoring but decision making with passes for easy shots or not forcing tempo with the lead. Reminded me of Jordan Taylor once upon a time. When BSM was ahead late, he got the ball and it was over. Same deal here. But the entire team outworked everybody they played. They also did a wonderful job of slowing the game down and spreading the floor to take advantage of Van Vleet's skills when they got ahead. Top to bottom, coaching, effort, clutch play, star play, it was all there for PrymeTyme. They were the best team here and deserved the title with their high level of play.