In one of the more inexplicable and strange trends in tournament scheduling is the elimination of pool play and starting everything with a big bracket. The Up North Challenge had such a schedule and it presents interesting questions and possibilities. If you lose your first game, no matter what, you are automatically placed into the consolation bracket, which just seems weird to me. If you lose your second game, you go to the silver bracket, and everyone winning the first two go to gold. That scenario allowed our U17 team to lose by 1 in the first game for their only loss of the tournament, but only end with a consolation bracket championship. Now, to be fair, no one will care or remember who won these tournaments in a few months, but it still just makes you wonder how? Due to players being unavailable, only the U15 and U17 teams made the trip to this year’s tourney in Mount Pleasant, with the U17 bringing home hardware for the second straight week.
The tournament started out with a rematch of the previous week’s silver championship game versus our good friends at CDBA. Unfortunately, turnovers and missed free throws down the stretch of this one found us losing by 1, 50-51. Game two was a forfeit victory for us as the opponent did not show, but we did play a hard game versus Parallel 45 as a makeup to help us prepare for Sunday’s games. In the semifinal game on Sunday morning, we were able to pull out a tough, gritty win over the Great Northern Elite squad, 64-61, which propelled us to the consolation bracket championship game. Kennedy Martin continued his hot streak with 25 points, Dominic Reggio added 11, while Isaiah Franklin chipped in with 10. Demetrius Miller had 9 and Dominick WIlliams 8 in the win as well. The championship game was against a good Michigan United team. We were able to buckle down defensively in the end and come away with a 71-66 victory! Martin again led the way with 27 points, Andrew Spak poured in 16, Franklin 9, Miller 6, and Reggio 5 to help secure the victory. Congratulations again to players and coaches for their hard work and perseverance!
Offensive MVP- Martin
Defensive MVP- James Richardson Jr.
Unsung Hero- Andrew Spak
In what seemed like a bad case of deja vu, the U15 team played three of the exact same opponents as the previous week (another reason why this format can lead to some issues). In game 1, we played our friends at Camp Darryl again and again without one of our starters. We lost 43-59 this time as we couldn’t seem to get off of the ground. Luke Curran led us with 12 points and Jacob Boulay added 9 in the defeat as well. Game two saw us play another opponent from last week in CGR. Though we played them much tougher this time, we were unable to come out on top in the 65-71. Noah Baylis led with 22 points, Hunter Jackson 12, Boulay/Curran 6, and Austin Pellett added 5 as well. Game 3 AGAIN saw us versus ANOTHER common opponent from last weekend in West Michigan Lakers-Gold. We played much better this time and secured a 53-27 victory. Curran had his best game of the spring with 23 points, including five 3 ptrs. Jackson added 6 and Alec Harless/Brandon Buswell had 5 a piece. Becuase of a forfeit in the U16 division, we had an opportunity to step in and play up a level, testing where we are at in the process. We secured a win 48-38 over Northern Exposure, which is a very solid way to cap off the spring season. Baylis dropped 15 in the win, while Boulay, Curran, and Jackson all had 6. Harless added 5 in his best tournament so far as well.
Offensive MVP- Curran
Defensive MVP- Pellett
Unsung Hero- Harless
Well, it is off to HS summer season for all teams, so get your summer schedule to coach Miller as soon as possible for practice scheduling purposes. Tournament time will resume in July! Be better then than you are now!