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Bballnationals Boys: Day 2

10:00am Games

Split Second U13 vs Vancouver Selects Green

Split Second led 10-5 with just under 10 minutes to go. The SS boys showed their strengths early on, including great passing rotation to keep the squad fresh on their feet--which translated well on the scoreboard, as they led by a huge 42-17 over Vancouver Selects Green after the first half.

In the second half, Split Second continued to show us their sheer grit by dominating defensively while also racking up the points. They put up 10 before Van Selects could sink just 1 point.

Split Second’s squad was nothing short of tenacious on the court; they took the win by a long shot with a final score of 86-32.

# 53 Grant Hill credits his team for moving the ball well in transition in order to take such a huge lead.

“I’m just excited to be here and watch other amaizng teams, too.”

Hill had 10 points for Split Second while Zach Zapanta had 20 for Vancouver Selects Green.

Northern Bounce vs Westshore Dawgs

The Dawgs broke out of the pound this morning, etching the first points on the board with a nice 4-0 run. But this game would prove to be fast-paced; Bounce stormed down the court with a flawless layup to follow. Much of the opening minutes showcased a tight battle between two energetic U13 teams. And oh boy, can these dudes steal!

Westshore stayed up 28-22 to finish the half.

The second saw a hungry Northern Bounce, who despite trailing the Dawgs, they stepped it up defensively and were able to make a run for points. Fortunately for Westshore, Northern Bounce could not ‘bounce’ back.

Westshore Dawgs claimed their first win of the day with a final score of 55-41 over Northern Bounce.

Live2Give vs Vancouver Selects Purple

This tightly contested game featured two teams who had fire in their eyes this morning! With much back-and-forth on the courts, Vancouver Selects Purple led slightly 28-24 at the half over Live2Give.

The rest of the game continued in Van Selects’ favour, UNTIL the very end where Live2Give played with intensity and heart. They nearly made the comeback of the morning with a run on the board, but sadly, it wasn’t enough.

Vancouver Selects Purple got the W with a final score of 58-55.

Dynamite U13 vs VanCity Basketball

VanCity and Dynamite faced off in the first game of the day. VanCity — the home team — raced out to an early 8-0 lead, and played gritty defence the rest of the first half. There was so much grit you would think there was sandpaper in their pockets. Dynamite got with within six early in the second half, but the handles from Kai Gibbons had his opponents on skates.

VanCity won 60-44 over the Dynamite in the end.

“Our team had really good teamwork” said Gibbons afterwards on how his team pulled off the ‘dub. “We had good passing, good ball movement, and really ran the floor.”

Northern Bounce U16 vs IEM Spartans

Northern Bounce kept it close to start, rebounding well on the defensive glass to limit the Spartans second chances. That seemed to spark the team from Prince George, as they trailed by just four points heading into the second half.

In the second half, the Spartans pushed the pace and really tried to blow the game wide open. But Northern Bounce was having nothing of it, trailing by just two points and on the verge of pulling off a huge win. It wasn’t to be however, as the Spartans got plenty of turnovers and turned them into points down the stretch. They took this one 64-48 in hard fought fashion.

“At first we started of kind of rusty” said the Spartans Keison Robinson. “[. . .] We just really needed to start to focus and buckle down. We went through a lot of troubles in the game, we just needed to focus and get it done.”

Edmonton StormHawks vs WolfPack

The StormHawks seemed overwhelmed to start, as the WolfPack quickly got out to an 19 point lead. It extended to 30 at halftime, and in the second half it was more of the same. The WolfPack chewed up the StormHawks 63-27.

“I feel like we played better defence today” said the WolfPack’s Abdi Osman afterwards. “We executed all our plays well. We played hard, we fought hard, and we all did good.”

11:15am Games

Spotters vs NexGen

This matchup proved to be closer than some would have imagined, with Spotters keeping a close trail to NexGen--who led 37-34 at the end of the first half.

Though NexGen kept the lead in the second, Spotters were determined to catch up. They trailed by just 5 points with under 10 minutes remaining in the game. Both teams wanted the win; but in the end, NexGen was too hot to handle! They defeated Spotters 79-62.

NexGen’s Matt Ogie put up 23 massive points for his team.

MacHoops Basketball U15 vs Red Rush

Red Rush came out strong in the first, leading 13-8 in the first five minutes of play. They continued to pressure and add points to the board, up 33-25 over MacHoops by the end of the half.

The second half boosted Rush well above their opponent, defeating MacHoops by a final score of 81-42.

Standout players include Red Rush’s # 10 and # 11, with a combined 23 points; while Van’s # 26 dropped 10 points of his own.

Northwest Basketball vs Grassroots Elite

Grassroots Elite completely owned the ball in the opening minutes. They boxed out Northwest on nearly every one of their possessions, going on a 23-0 run. Three dunks on the game already, by the way.

Northwest gained a bit of speed and finally dropped in 2, but the domination continued as Grassroots went rogue on the court. They put up another 20 points before the Spartans grabbed another 2. After a total spanking in the first half, Elite led 51-4.

In hopes of turning this ship around, Northwest gained a bit of traction with # 8 Kevin Hunter making another layup to start the second. Most of the opening minutes were defensively strong on both ends of the court; the Spartans only allowed 4 points from their opponent in the first five minutes of play.

Despite a bashing in the first, Northwest kept their cool and held Grassroots to far less points in the final half. The Spartans showed up to this battle in the end, clutching up on their FGs and defending well against some scary dunk attempts, too.

Grassroots Elite claimed their first win of the day with a final score of 76-14.

Northwest’s Hunter says despite the loss, it was fun to play against a team like Grassroots.

“Literally, even though we lost a lot, it was actually quite fun to know what’s in the higher level and what’s awaiting for when we progress in our basketball career.”

Hunter had 11 points for Northwest while # 22 Elijah Fisher popped in 16 points for the Elite.

Shooting Stars vs Doggpound Hoops

Two great teams faced off in this one, as both were coming off convincing wins in day one of bballnationals. Doggpound managed to get a three point lead midway through the first half, and played tenacious defence to force the Shooting Stars into a few shot clock violations. They went on a run to close it out.

The second half saw the Doggpound pound the boards and dominate the glass. The Shooting Stars were able to counteract this by getting quick buckets off the fast break. This strategy — mixed in with the occasional three — got them to within two points with 5:30 to play.

Both teams traded baskets for a few minutes, before the Doggpound really keyed in on this strategy and started neutralizing it. At one point, Doggpound players were almost acting like safeties. Final score was 66-61 and the Doggpound move to 2-0.

“We forced [Salal Sandhu] and doubled him, made sure he didn’t get the ball” said the Doggpound’s Jonathan Barnett on his team’s strategy. “We forced a lot of turnovers that way.”