GRBA National Championships Recap

Wow…another spring/summer in the books for MML!  We closed things out in Fort Wayne, IN at the Gym Rats National Championships.  This gave us an opportunity to see coaches and teams we had not seen all season to that point.  The u17 club finished with a strong pool performance, earning the first place position and birth in the platinum division bracket play.  Game recaps are below:

Game 1 67-77 loss to SMAC- We just could not overcome a slow start which was in part due to not having a full compliment of players on hand at the beginning of the game.  That said, we fought back from 18 down to get the game within 4 points before a series of what can only be described as “strange” calls from an official that appeared impaired basically created a margin we could not recover from.  Thomas Cook led the way with 20 points, including 4 three point bombs.  Austin Harless continued his strong play from Grand Rapids, dropping in 16.  Despite not playing until the second half, Paris Partee scored 8 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.  Ricky Holmes III and Tyler Rose both added 7 points as well.

Game 2 55-42 win over Club1 Select- We only had a few hours to bounce back from the SMAC loss and that is exactly what we did.  The final score is not indicative of the game as we gave up points at the end of the game.  The starting unit jumped out with a fire they had not displayed as a group perhaps all spring/summer.  They locked in to the team on the defensive end and just would not let go.  We had our own share of offensive difficulty, but our defensive stole the show.  Everyone showed great hustle and team play in the win.  Harless led with 14, Cook 10, and Partee 8 in the win.

Game 3 71-68 OT win over Tri City Heat- Friday’s game was definitely our most exciting game of the season and would determine seeding for the bracket play to come.  The bigger Heatr team gave us some trouble initially on the boards and their point guard Chaz Woods was knocking down shots from deep.  The MML boys dug their heels in and begin to recapture momentum as the game wore on.  Despite foul trouble with Partee, we held our own on the backboards and a back-and-forth contest ensued.  It was that way all the way down to the wire until with 7 seconds left, Harless hit what looked like the game-tying 3 pt bomb.  However, some stupid coach (oh that was me) called timeout just before the shot was released.  Despite the disappointment and a little trash talk from the opponent, the play was drawn up in the huddle for Harless again and he delivered with the actual game-tying basket with 2 seconds remaining from well beyond the arc!  As OT began, we carried that momentum into it.  Then with about 1 minute left, Harless again came up big with an off balance jump shot from the corner that put us ahead for good.  A late steal by Rose denied the Heat a chance to even release a game tying attempt!  Harless finished the game with 5 three-pointers en route to 29 points.  Partee scored 10 with 12 rebounds as well.  Holmes III sealed the game with clutch free throws down the stretch among his 8 points.  Trevor Bland also stepped up with 8 and clutch big man play.

Game 4 53-68 loss to The Hidden Gems (platinum bracket)- A sluggish Saturday morning saw us unable to put the ball in the basket virtually all game, leading to some attempts to rectify it going awry and compounding the issues by trying to do too much.  We went from perhaps our best game to our worst in a while.  We pressed and fought, but it simply was not enough.  Harless led with 13, Partee added 10, Cook 9, Holmes III 8, and Rose 7 in defeat.  We were able to have a great heart-to-heart talk afterward that I know will stick with them as they move forward in their lives and careers.

Special thanks to the college coaches that followed our games and progress and those that reached out to coaches and players.  Again, special thanks to the MML parents who traveled and spent their hard earned money in an effort to support these young men.  Thank you to the MML coaches that volunteered their time and spent their money all season as well.  Thank you to Coach Steve Schmidt (Mott CC) and Coach Lance Baylis (Holly HS) for the use of their respective facilities for practice and workouts.  I truly hope the players take the time to thank the appropriate people as well.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to the players that played on the u15, u16, and u17 teams that put in the effort to improve all season.  The growth that you’ve shown will be reflected in your upcoming HS seasons.  Of course that is ONLY if you continue the process of working on your craft from now until then!  I love you guys and hope that we continue to be a part of each other’s lives.  I will always be available to reach if you need me so don’t hesitate at all.  We look for bigger and better things to come next year!

Special to my u17 boys that presented me with an autographed ball at the end of the tournament.  That really touched me and hit home.  It was fun to grow with you guys!

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GRBA Nationals Tournament Schedule (*UPDATED 7/20 2:30 pm)

Here we go again to finish up the season in Fort Wayne, IN!  The 17u will be travelling again beginning on Thursday.  I know it is inconvenient for the adults (believe me I know), but we do what we can to support these young people and their dreams.  Please note that parking at Spiece can be ugly.  Please use caution.  We need to arrive by 12 noon so that we can get that NCAA handout out of the way.

Admission:

$10 per day for adults

$35 weekend pass

High school are free

That said, the schedule is as follows currently:

17u (pool M):

Thursday, July 21 @1:00 pm vs. SMAC-Pinkston – Turstone court 1

Thursday, July 21 @7:15 pm vs. CLUB1- Select – University of St. Francis – Hutzell Center, Court 2

Friday, July 22 @12:45 pm vs. Tri City Heat – Spiece Fieldhouse court 3

***COACHES VS. CANCER 3 POINT AND DUNK CONTEST (CHARITABLE EVENT) – FRIDAY EVENING (7:30pm) @ NORTH SIDE HIGH SCHOOL (Austin Harless will be representing MML)

If we finish:

1st in pool- We play Saturday, July 23 @10:15 am – Spiece Fieldhouse court 1 (platinum bracket)

2nd in pool- We play Saturday, July 23 @11:30 am – Spiece Fieldhouse court 4 (platinum bracket)

3rd in pool- We play Saturday, July 23 @10:15 am – Northside High School court 1 (gold bracket)

4th in pool- We play Saturday, July 23 @10:15 am – Northside High School court 3 (gold bracket)

 

Venues:

North Side High School

North Side High School (NSHS)
475 East State Blvd.

Fort Wayne , IN , 46805

Court 1 (1) , Court 2 (2) , Court 3 (3)

Directions

North Side High School Map >

Spiece Fieldhouse

Spiece Fieldhouse (SFH)
5310 Merchandise Drive

Fort Wayne , IN , 46825

Court 1 (1) , Court 2 (2) , Court 3 (3) , Court 4 (4) , Court 5 (5) , Court 6 (6) , Court 7 (7) ,Court 8 (8)

Directions

Spiece Fieldhouse Map >

Sport One/Parkview Fieldhouse

Sport One/Parkview Fieldhouse (SOFH)
3946 Ice Way

Fort Wayne , IN , 46805

A (A) , B (B) , C (C) , D (D) , E (E) , F (F)

Directions

Sport One/Parkview Fieldhouse Map >

Turnstone

Turnstone (TS)
3320 N Clinton St

Fort Wayne , IN , 46805

Court 1 (1) , Court 2 (2) , Court 3 (3) , Court 4 (4)

Directions

Turnstone Map

University of St. Francis – Hutzell Center

University of St. Francis – Hutzell Center (USF)
2701 Spring Street

Fort Wayne , IN , 46808

Court 1 (1) , Court 2 (2)

Directions

University of St. Francis - Hutzell Center Map >

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Brawl for the Ball Recap

Well, MML had another tournament wrap this weekend in Grand Rapids.  While both teams had some exciting play, it was the 16u squad that stole the show making it all the way to the silver division finals before bowing out in a controversial double OT loss at the buzzer!  It was a great way to cap off their summer and boost them toward high school success in the fall/winter.  Summaries below of both teams’ tourneys:

16u

The tournament started out pretty roughly on Friday afternoon with a mercy rule loss at the hands of a Parallel 45 team.  Unlike their usual great effort, the energy seemed to have been lacking in the game and the coach let them know about it afterward.  That would not be a problem the rest of the way.  They gave everything they had in a game 2 loss to a much better-than-advertised Googs Gamers team, a high school team from Holland (that later turned in the biggest upset of the tournament).  They hung in the game and battled the much larger team to the bitter end before losing 46-58.  Kennedy Martin led the way with 13, followed closely by Dominic Reggio with 12.  8th grader Noah Baylis chipped in 5 as did Andrew Spak in the game.

The final pool game pitted us against MBA Local Saunders and again a huge height disparity.  It just didn’t matter as our guys came out hitting on all cylinders and jumped out to a 19-2 lead.  The game continued in much that same way throughout as we returned the favor that P45 did us to MBA by ending the game in mercy rule fashion, 55-22.  Martin again led the way with 11, while Reggio, Demetrius Miller, freshman Azonte Burks, and Marlando Wade all tossed in 8 points a piece.

Bracket play began Saturday evening (after placing 3rd in the pool) with a game against Championship Sports Gold.  Once again the scrappy bunch clawed their way to a 62-47 victory solidifying in their own minds that they did belong in the tournament with everyone else.  While there were no individual stats kept in the game, the scoring load remained pretty balanced across several players.  The semifinal game Sunday morning was against the Tri City Heat.  In a defense struggle, we found enough points to win an ugly game 43-32, but winning ugly is what good teams do!  Reggio led with 12 points, followed by Martin with 11, Spak 8, and Dominick Williams with 5.

In the finals against MBA Local Massey, the game was a back-and-forth seesaw battle.  Regulation could not determine a winner.  Overtime could not determine a winner.  Finally, on a controversial basket at the buzzer (that was clearly after the buzzer), we fell 57-59, finishing 2nd place.  I am not a huge proponent of moral victories, but this was a perfect example of a team coming together for a common goal and achieving more than many thought they could.

 

17u

The older boys just couldn’t seem to get over the hump this weekend, though they played their guts out even in defeat.

Game 1 of the pool began on Thursday afternoon and pitted us against a very good West Michigan Flight team.  Leading by two at the half, we let our guards down (literally) and allowed too many open shots in the second half.  Combined with 20+ turnovers, it added up to a 57-72 loss.  Austin Harless hit two treys en route to 14 points, Paris Partee had 11, Tyler Rose and Thomas Cook put in 8 points, while Savionn Boone and Devon Williams added 7 a piece.  The second game was better versus Impact Elite, but the amount of turnovers remained the same and it cost us again in a 53-58 loss despite another two treys and 19 points from Harless.  Ricky Holmes III and Partee both chipped in 10 points in defeat.

Before game 3 on Friday, Partee came up to me a promised a win.  I should make him do that more often as that is exactly what happened on the floor versus Team Focus.  Harless again had the deep range with 4 treys and 21 points.  Partee knocked in 12 and had 15 rebounds.  Rose sank all of his 9 points from deep as well.  Holmes III added 7 (2 from a tomahawk jam), Boone 5, and Cook 4 in the victory, leading to a 2nd place pool finish and spot in the silver tournament bracket.

The bracket game on Saturday afternoon saw us face a much bigger Elite Nation Basketball team.  Despite the size difference, the boys played as hard as I have seen them play maybe all spring/summer.  They fought every screen and post up, while boxing out and chasing every rebound.  On most occasions, that would’ve been enough to get the win…but not this day.  In a second half drought where the ball just would not go in the basket, we surrendered the lead for good and lost 61-67.  Once again, Harless led with 24 points (including 6 treys), Cook dropped in three trey balls of his own on his way to 12 points, Partee dropped in 6, and Holmes III 5.

It was a tough weekend, but also a learning one.  We were blessed to have college coaches attend all of our games, which has not happened since 2012, so the guys were able to showcase their abilities in front of them in an effort to earn scholarships.  This week marks the end of many of the guys’ AAU careers, so it is time to move on and make the most of it!  See you in Fort Wayne!

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Brawl for the Ball Schedule (Subject to change **High Importance) UPDATED!!

All, please see the initial pool schedule as listed below.  The bracket schedule is not out yet that will follow the pool games.  That said, U17 has a quite a strange schedule, so I am warning you in advance…I had no say in the matter:

U17 (pool 6):

Thursday, July 14 @1:00 pm vs. West Michigan Flight- court 2 (blue jerseys)

Thursdsay, July 14 @4:45 pm vs. Impact Elite- court 3 (blue jerseys) *crossover game

Friday, July 15 @ 4:45 pm.vs. Team Focus- court 3 (white jerseys)

If we finish:

1st in pool– we are in platinum bracket and play Saturday, July 16 @3:30 pm (court 4- white jerseys).  If we win that one, we play Sunday, July 17 at 10:30 am.  If we lose, we play Saturday, July 16 @8:30 pm in the gold bracket.

2nd in pool– we are in silver bracket and play Saturday, July 16 @2:15 pm (court 9- blue jerseys).  If we win that one, we play Saturday, July 16 @7:15 pm.  If we lose either, we go home.

3rd in pool– we are in the silver bracket and play Saturday, July 16 @2:15 pm (court 7- blue jerseys).  If we win that one, we play Saturday, July 16 @8:30 pm.  If we lose either, we go home.

 

U16 (pool 25):

Friday, July 15 @3:30 pm vs. Parallel 45- court 8 (blue jerseys)

Friday, July 15 @7:15 pm vs. Googs Gamers- court 3 (blue jerseys)

Saturday, July 16 @9:15 am vs. MBA Local Saunders- court 4 (white jerseys)

If we finish:

1st in pool– we are in platinum bracket and play Saturday, July 16 @2:15 pm (court 2- white jerseys).  If we win that one, we play Sunday, July 17 at 9:15 am.  If we lose, we play Saturday, July 16 @7:15 pm in the gold bracket.

2nd in pool– we are in platinum bracket and play Saturday, July 16 @2:15 pm (court 1- white jerseys).  If we win that one, we play Sunday, July 17 at 9:15 am.  If we lose, we play Saturday, July 16 @7:15 pm in the gold bracket.

3rd in pool– we are in the silver bracket and play Saturday, July 16 @6:00 pm (court 8- white jerseys).  If we win that one, we play Sunday, July 17 @8:00 am.  If we lose either, we go home.

4th in pool– we are in the silver bracket and play Saturday, July 16 @11:45 am (court 7- white jerseys).  If we win that one, we play Saturday, July 16 @6:00 pm.  If we lose either, we go home.

Court Locations:

MVP/MSA Fieldhouse (Event Headquarters)- Courts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

5435 28th St Ct SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Cornerstone University – Courts 6, 7

1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Davenport University- Courts 8, 9

6191 Kraft Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

 

IMPORTANT!!!!  TBD Travel has secured some additional rooms at the Ramada Hotel for 129.00 per night.  You will need to call them at 515-207-4910 to reserve.

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Practice This Week

All,

U17 will meet Monday night from 5-7pm at Holly HS (court 1- nearest commons).  U16, check with your coach regarding tonight.  Both U16 and U17 will meet Tuesday from 6-8pm at Mott CC.

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Hotel information for Brawl for the Ball (Grand Rapids) U16 and U17

I have just been enlightened that Brawl for the Ball is also a stay to play event…The information is below:

 

Brawl for the Ball and West Michigan Sports Commission have partnered to create a ‘Stay to Play’ policy for this event.

In an effort to make your travel and stay, in Grand Rapids, as efficient and easy as possible, please make your hotel (teams and coaches) accommodations for our event through TBD Travel Service. This is a complimentary service that makes securing your rooms quick and easy. It is required that teams book their housing through this service to ensure placement in this tournament. Team and individual reservations can be made online or by phone.

***Click the TBD Traveling Service icon to reserve your hotel room(s) today! 

TBD Travel Services

9:00am to 5:30pm Mon – Fri EST

Phone: 515.207.4910

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Hotel information for U17 team in Fort Wayne, IN only!

HOTEL INFORMATION:

Gym Rats Basketball has a”Stay to Play” policy for all tournaments in Fort Wayne.  This requires all participants (teams and guests) in need of hotel accommodations must make their reservations through TBD Travel Services.  This is a complimentary service and makes securing your rooms quick and easy.  It is required that teams book their housing through this service to ensure placement in this tournament.

Team and individual reservations can be made online or by phone, as follows:

CLICK HERE

TBD Travel Services

515.207.4910

Toll Free – 855-TEAMTVL

Email: teams@TBDtravelservices.com

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