The 12u East went 1-2 in their opening tournament with a 3 point loss and an overtime thriller which we proved victorious. With it being the 1st tournament you saw signs of both inexperience of playing together and positive things to grow on.
Our 1st game against the Rockland Royals, we were short handed only having 6 kids, but they fought for majority of the game. We came out shooting the ball really well and took an early lead. We struggled a little bit mid-way through and trailed by 6 at the break. They eventually seemed to be too much and took a commanding lead with which we could not overcome. Arjun Reddy led all scorers with 7.
In our 2nd game of the afternoon against Team Fenji, we were at full strength and came out looking a little bit better. Again we went through a point mid-way through the 1st half were we could not score and that eventually led to them having a 6 point lead at the half. But unlike the 1st game we did not let them build on that lead and went with full-court pressure causing Fenji to turn the ball over and led to some easy baskets for us. We were down by 6 with only a few minutes to go and locked them up defensively. We cut the lead to three with only a few seconds to go and we got the last shot, but it was unable to fall and we lost 40-37. Ryan Metz led our scorers with 9 points, and both Joey McClendon and Chris O’Neill had 7 points.
In our final game of the weekend we played a Hoops Express team that played us really close. We jumped out to an early lead in that game and really did a good job on defense in the 1st half, holding them to only 8 points. With the second half it was a little bit different and we let them back in the game instead of jumping all over them. What impressed both me and Coach O’Neill is that we made some big plays in pressure situations. We came up with some big hustle plays, loose balls, and even knocked down some pressure free throws to seal the game. We went on to win 31-26 to go out with a win! Arjun Reddy led all scorers with 12 points and Chris O’Neill had 9 points
What impressed me the most about our team is that defensively we held the teams to a lower point total then in the previous game. We showed signs on knowing what we are trying to accomplish defensively, and where we are supposed to be. We will continue to improve and get ourselves better for the next tournament. Good job 12’s and keep making yourselves better!