Entering our second tournament we knew that we would have our hands full playing 5 games in two days. We ended the weekend with a 4-1 record overall, with our lone loss coming against the IYB Blaze, who played our 13u team close that morning. Overall our defense is what won us games.
We came out of the gates strong in the first half of our game against the Westchest Knights and never looked back. Our next opponent was a the Westchest Cougars, who we knew played well against the 12u West that morning, so we knew we would have a good game. And that it was, we were able to withstand a late surge by the Cougars and Danny Figeralla stepped up to the free throw line and sdealed the deal with only a 5 seconds to go and we were able to hang on and win by 3!
Our last game of the day was against the Glenn Hines Panthers, an 11u team who had just came off a heartbreaking loss their game before, so we knew that they would come out with a lot of fire. We were able to match that intensity and jump out to an early lead, and just like our first game, never look back. Ryan Metz played terrific on the ball defense, causing them to turn the ball over numerous times, and the team did a great job filling the lane.
Our defense really set the tempo all day, and when were able to play defense the way we did on Saturday, we are a very hard team to beat. Our guards really do a good job in pressuring the ball, causing turnovers, and our big man fill the lanes nicely. We have very good teamwork and chemistry, which is something as a coach you really enjoy having. These kids played hard. I know it’s not easy to play 3 games in 6 hours, but we were able to be very successful
On Sunday we knew we were going to be short handed coming into our challenge against a very good 13u team that played our 13u team close earlier that day. We had a few kids step in and help out though, Kyle Santoro and Justin Rhynders, from the 13u team, and Ishmael Chislom, from the 12u West filled in and helped us out for the game. The IYB Blaze was a very big physical team who really knows how to get up on the guards and pressure the ball. We started out very good actually timed the score at 10-10 midway through the first half. They just were too big and strong for us. The blew the game wide open in the second half and we eventually fell. We gave it our all though and really played hard. Thanks to Kyle, Justin, and Ish for the help!
In our last game of the weekend we played against a good team in the Playmakers who, came off of an impressive performance against the Dream Team. They came out and jumped to a 6-0 lead on us before we could do anything. We fought back though, through the big rebounds and plays from David Fadden and the point guard duties of Chris O’Neill proved to be too mmuch for the Playmakers. It is very hard to play with 6 kids, which is what we had the last game. Our kids have to play majority of the game and we can’t really get them any rest. It didn’t help that they came out in a full court 2-2-1 press which we handeled pretty good. It came down to us hitting out free throws and David Wallace and Chris O’Neill were able to do that for us.
I want to congratulate our 12u team for all of their hard work this tournament. They are reall starting to understand what we are doing defensively and the rest of our play is picked up by our defense. We start to set the tempo early and we want to get out and run. Our guears are doing a great job pressuring the ball, and the big men are getting our rebounds, outletting the ball and were running the floor. These are a great group of kids. Lets keep it up and contiune to give 110%!