Championship Sunday – Recap

17U D1 Championship Game
Team Loaded Va 68 Vs River City Reign 66
Great game going both ways, and it started off in the paint. Team Loaded Va was led by 6’9” Mamadi Diakite and 6’8” Javin Delaurier. River City Reign – Iverson was led by 6’8” JJ Matthews. Defensively Diakite and Delaurier were at another level, if you were going to come into the lane you had better come with purpose and toughness, because between the two of them they were swatting everything. JJ Matthews was certainly up to the task, and punished anything and everyone within 10 feet of the rim. While Mamadi Diakite was voted the Most Valuable Player, JJ Matthews was the Most Outstanding Player.

While the game was best played in the paint, the wings and guard held their own as well. For Team Loaded Va 6’4 2016Nic Sherod made clutch shot after clutch shot. For River City Reign 6’6” 2017 Jordan Cross and 6’1 2016 Maliek Whiteboth kept a hot hand for the game.

As River City Reign led for most of the game, in the end Team Loaded Va just made one more play and won the game. For a 5PM game on Championship Sunday, the crowd was exciting and the game had extremely high energy. You could not ask for a better match up or better championship game for an event!

16U D1 Championship Game
River City Reign – Iverson 58 Vs Team Loaded NC 56
Back and forth, back and forth was the theme of this game. Both teams experienced great runs throughout the game. River City Reign was led by great wing play with 5’10” Pinky Wiley, 6’3” Mario Haskett, and 6’6” Jordan Crosscontrolling things for tempo. Pinky Wiley is an aggressive and competitive point guard, who controls tempo and pace. Mario Haskett is a high IQ guard, that has all the skill set and all the know how to make the right play. Jordan Cross (who played double duty) is a multi-level shot maker. He has great touch, moves well off the ball and finishes consistently between 5 – 15 feet.

While Team Loaded NC steps onto the court with a considerable size advantage, it was also led by their guard play. 6’3”Blake Harris and 6’3” Jalen Cameron. Harris is a high IQ and deft passing point guard. While he can be a little careless at times, his passing ability makes everyone around him better. Jalen Cameron is a long and active wing. His long arms allowed him to do a lot on the offensive end and his tenacity allowed him to attack the rim, and finish in the half and full court settings.

In the end, River City Reign made a couple more plays and won the game. However, the battle and the atmosphere were next level!

Upward Stars SE 2018
This team won the 15U Championship, running away. They were led by 6’8” Kyle Rawson and 6’4” Nate Hinton. Rawson is an extremely skilled power forward, who pushed the break and showed great vision. Hinton is a high level, high motor defender. The big bodied wing has a great skill set, but his competitive nature is what really sets him apart.

6’6” Dontarius James is a new name for many to know. The 6’6” freshman is the next big name coming out of Lancaster, SC (following Sindarius Thornwell). Much like Thornwell, James is a big bodied wing that has a great skill set and a naturally strong frame.

All in all, this team had all the components of a high level team. Good guard play, athletic wings, and a depth and variety of bigs. It will be interesting to watch this team grow together.

JJ Matthews 6’8” 2016 River City Reign
Against all comers, JJ Matthews was too much of a load in the paint. He hit pick and pop threes, but made his living with his back to the basket. JJ averaged over 20 points and 10 boards on Championship Sunday.

Mamadi DIakite 6’9” 2016 Team Loaded
Athletically, there aren’t many better. 6’9”, 7’4” wing span, 40” vertical. When he is engaged and locked in, his effect on both ends of the court is too much for most to handle. Diakite was engaged and locked in, and led his team to the championship. 16 Points, 7 Boards, and 3.5 Blocks per game on Championship Sunday.

Emmanuel Jones 6’3” 2016 Greensboro Warriors
Not many knew about Jones coming in, however after his explosive 40 point outburst on Championship Sunday, he is an athlete to start looking at.

Jalen Cameron 6’3” 2017 Team Loaded NC
On a team full of long wings, Cameron stood out. He played great defense, which kick started his offense and showed the ability to score at multiple levels. Averaged 18 per game with 3 steals on Championship Sunday.

Andrew Corum 6’6” 2016 Hoop Hill
Corum’s game is hard to pigeonhole as he is a lefty that falls somewhere between a mis match four and a power 3. There is no denying his production as he averaged 21 points, 11 boards, and 3 steals per game on Championship Sunday.

Pinky Wiley 5’10 2017 River City Reign – Iverson 16s
Big time players, make big time plays and Pinky wanted the spot light. He controlled the tempo on both ends from the PG spot, but also came up with a big 25 point effort behind 6 three’s in a huge semi finals win. Carries the toughness and leadership a PG has to have.

Deriante Jenkins 6’6” 2016 Upward Stars SE
On a day that a lot of his team fell flat, Jenkins showed up to play. He is a guy that should find a spot in the 2016 top 100 soon. Jenkins attacked the rim, and showed to be a tough player to defend with his mid range touch and passing ability. In the Quarter-Finals loss, Jenkins scored, stole, and assisted at a high level.

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