I am so proud of our Indy Hoosier teams this past weekend, as I always am but I know as well as everyone knows it is very hard to stay on top. I often wonder when is the success going to fizzleJ. Well it was not this year although every game we play I feel we get the best of that opponent. Besides maybe the 6th grade that did not see a game within 20 points this weekend. All other teams were challenged by our local Indiana teams. The 8th Grade division we knew was going to be a dog fight. Going into the State weekend I knew Indiana Thunder, Elite Jazz and Indy Impact where going to fight and that they did. In the 8th grade division the final four games were all decided with only few minutes left on clock including the Championship game which was only won by five points.
This group was SOOOOO fun to watch this weekend. I felt like we already had four really good players with awesome guard play in Andrew Terrell, Mykelti Williams, Jalen Coleman and the inside presence of Brennan Gillis but with some moving pieces or should I say players, we had to add new pieces this week. With two practices and NO playing experience we added TJ Henderson, Nick Rutherford, Mike Benkert and Dwayne Gibson and became an instant contender J. This team was so fun to watch. They played with passion and so much intensity . They fought hard and to make it to final four with this field of 8th Grade teams was a quite a feat for kids we just united together. I believe in these kids on this team. I think in 8th grade you have to play together to get a comfort level with your players knowing when to pass and when to shoot which I think was really our only downfall this weekend. We add a big for Orlando and get a few tourneys in before then I think we can make a runJ.
I smile typing that (7th grade} remembering the two hand dunk that Eron Gordon started off our first bracket game on sunday with. That was fun, well for me, probably not so much for the other team which I think it kind of messed with them in the beginning of the game. In years past, us and Indy Jazz have breezed through bracket and pools games until we met but this year I noticed more talent in that grade. We still had a couple lop sided games but there was alot more resistance than years past but that is what happens with age. The final game was a nail bitter for sure. We have played the Indy Jazz so much these past few years that we know each other's players so well. The Jazz always comes out ready to play us. We always get a good game from them. It was back and forth the whole game. With a few controversial calls on both sides, the teams still battled hard from tip to buzzer. Our 7th Grade team does not always play our best ball against the Jazz and I think that has more to do with the Jazz forcing us out of our game to a degree but the scoring from Eron, Paul, Antoyne and defense from Chris, CJ and Dujuan just gave us enough advantage to pull that win out.
Hmmm not really much I can say about this team J. The closest game I think they had was 25 points and that was the Championship. They are just good across the board. This team to me has the perfect match of bigs and guards. Paul Scruggs and Zach Gunn as twin towers with help of Evan OhmanJ. Add guard play of Justin Roberts, Ethan Merriweather and Gary Trent Jr. just pick your poison. If the shooting is off the guards can attack the basket at will or go to the inside game. It is just a very well put together group of kids who believe in the TEAM.
Our puppiesJ The youngest teams we have. This is a group of very talented kids and we have not had a lot of practice time as a team due to other commitments. This was our first tournament playing together. They were winning by good amounts but you could tell they are young and lacking a little together time. It speaks to how good the team is going to be. Guard play by Xavier, defense monster in T Tracy and hype man Chayce is a perfect addition to big man Kevin and slasher in Chance. Then you throw in the solid heady play of Josiah Grant and Bryson Meek, a added Sharp Shooter in Joshua Tufts. This team with some experience could compete at National Title level.