What an amazing weekend. The Varsity team went 3-2 over the weekend losing both games to the highly ranked Utah Jr. Wheelin’ Jazz and defeating the Phoenix Jr. Wheelin’ Suns twice and the Denver Jr. Rolling Nuggets.
The final game of the tournament was such an amazing game that any description that I give will not do it justice. In a rematch of the opening game of the tournament, the Cruisers faced off against the Utah Jr. Wheelin’ Jazz to try and get revenge for a 46-39 loss the day before. The game went back and forth with neither team able to pull away and extend more than a 6 point lead. James and Koda were able to pressure Utah’s big guns and make them earn every single foot of ground they got. Mackenzie, Zach, and Chris matched up with the rest and limited their opportunities and shut down the transition game. Offensively, James controlled the tempo of the game and forced Utah to constantly adjust their defense in order to stop him. He was then able to see Chris, Mackenzie, and Koda cutting to the hoop and the big three made them pay. Of course, non of that would have happened if it had not been for the picks that Zach was setting.
The team was down by 2 with only a few seconds left. James drove down, drew the defense to him, dropped the ball off to Mackenzie, the defense overplayed her so she passed to Chris and he made the shot to tie the game with 1 second on the clock. Then he followed that up by stealing the inbound pass and stopping any chance Utah had to advance the ball. OVERTIME BABY!!
In overtime James started off by jumping the gap on the tip, stealing the ball, getting a pick from Chris and driving in to make a lay-up, giving us the lead. The teams continued to battle back-and-forth but Utah again found themselves ahead by 2 with only 5 seconds left. Again, Chris broke to the basket on a missed defensive assignment but this time Utah was able to recover before he could pass the ball and time expired. The Cruisers lost 58-60.
The one thing that came out of this tournament had nothing to do with this wins and losses. For the first time this season, the team really started playing basketball. They were making reads on the court, helping each other on defense, working with each other on offense, and playing as a team. That was a beautiful thing to watch. Look out rest of the world because these kids are stinking young and they are just getting started!
See you all Saturday!