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Bballnationals Boys: Day 3

9:00am Games

Westshore Dawgs vs Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars shot ahead with a strong lead in the beginning of the half; Westshore came within 2 points and eventually tied it up at 22 with just 3 minutes to go. With a bit of back-and-forth play, the Dawgs stayed up 26-25 heading into the second.

The game continued in tightly contested fashion--both teams jumping ahead by a mere point of each other for the first chunk of the half. Westshore splashed in 3 and then 2 to finally take a bigger lead over the Stars. But with the D clutching up, the Stars sunk another two layups to get within just one again. With under 4 minutes to go, the Dawgs led 51-50.

Westshore proved themselves to be the alpha Dawgs this morning by catching the Shooting Stars off guard and dimming their light at the end of the game. Final score: 63-52.

Player of the Game # 1 Danny Song says this win is a reflection of his team coming together in the end.

“We just focused on breaking the press, passing better, and looking for the open shot. [I’m looking forward to] just winning the whole thing hopefully.”

Northern Bounce U17 vs Salmon Arm Synergy

Northern Bounce was quick with on their passing; they kept the ball moving between players consistently to go up 11 points on Salmon Arm Synergy by the end of the first half.

Bounce led 26-15.

Though Synergy gave us a show in the second, they just could not keep up with Northern Bounce. With their first W of the day, Northern Bounce defeated Salmon Arm Synergy 54-42.

“We haven’t been playing too well this tournament,” said Bounce’s Coach Jordan Yu on the big win this morning. “So finally having a good game is pretty big for us. It’s a good confidence boost. We want to end our season on a positive note. I know this is not the last game, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Bata Sports vs WolfPack

Though the WolfPack took charge of this game in the beginning, Bata Sports got fancy on the Field House courts to lead 33-21 after the first.

Bata continued to press and put up points over their opponent, eventually defeating them with a final score of 65-52.

Notable players include Bata’s # 35 who had a huge 29 points and WolfPack’s # 57 with 14.

Spotters vs Shooting Stars

A pull up three from 46 seemed to spark the Shooting Stars, as they went on a huge run and led 40-23 at the half. The second half saw the Spotters mount a bit of a comeback, scoring 13 to make it a 12 point game with just over five to go. At that point, both teams traded buckets before the Spotters were forced to foul and send the Shooting Stars to the line. Final score was 63-50 for the Shooting Stars.

North Stars vs Dynamite

North Stars began with a deep three from 4, and went on a 9-2 run to start this game. They kept on the pressure, scoring plenty of points in the first half, but Dynamite were able to stay close by picking apart their opponents zone defence. They continued to pile up the points in the second half, eventually winning 84-48.

“We were passing, we were moving, we were cutting” said North Stars Jonathan Tucker on what went right for his team in this one. “With the ball movement, we were able to get easy buckets.”

Spartans vs Northern Bounce

The Spartans raced out to a 17-5 lead and led by 16 after the first half. Northern Bounce managed to put up a better offensive effort in the second half and make it a game late, going on a 17-2 run to make it just an eight point game. But the Northwest got two clutch buckets to give themselves some more breathing room, winning this one 50-36.

“[We just] worked hard and did what we were suppose to do” said the Spartans Jaydeo Bernardo. “We worked hard and so on.”

10:15am Games

Grassroots Elite vs Dynamite U15 Red

Grassroots Elite looked sleepy in the opening minutes of the first half, since they didn’t have the same hold over their opponent as usual. Dynamite was fired up and embraced every single play that went in their favour--in other words, you wouldn’t know they were down by 15 points at the 10-minute mark.

What stood out about Dynamite was their sheer giddiness to be on the court with Grassroots. Every shot that went in translated into a furry of shouts and jumping bodies from the bench. And despite full-on carnage, they were all smiles at the end of the first half.

With a few badass dunks under their belt, Grassroots Elite led 50-6.

Despite a monster lead, Dynamite kicked it up in the second and definitely had some fun on the court. Even though Grassroots destroyed them by a final score of 85-17, the boys Red U15s happily shook their opponents hand after the game as if it were a close one.

Grassroots’ Elijah Fisher spoke with us after the big win about the difference between club tournaments in BC (like bballnationals) opposed to Toronto:

“Teams are more alive; more people there and trying to get into you, trying to stop you,” he said. “The most fun at this tournament for us was getting to see different teams that we’ve played. We’re just stuck in Toronto and America owns Toronto teams.”

Fisher had 13 points in today’s monstrous victory.

Dynamite U14 vs StormHawks U15

At the half the StormHawks led 35-16 over Dynamite U14. With a promising 11-0 run in the second, Dynamite attempted to make a comeback, but with the Hawks continuing to press, it was nearly impossible.

StormHawks grabbed a win in their first matchup of the day with a final score of 67-50.

Notable players: StormHawks’ # 11 had 10 points while # 13 had 9; Dynamite’s # 2 contributed 15 points for his team.

Burnaby Knights vs MacHoops U15

Right off the jump, this game was tight! With MacHoops taking a slight lead at the end of the first 28-23 over Burnaby.

The second half putted saw the nights don their war armour, as they amped up their D and kept a dominant presence in the paint, too. Though MacHoops stayed ahead most of the half, the Knights finally equalized and took this epic battle to OT!

Overtime went completely in MacHoops favour, though, as they controlled possession and put up too many points for Burnaby to recover.

MacHoops defeated the Knights 64-58.

# 16 scored the majority of points for his team--all but one layup being foul shots.

Dynamite vs Red Rush

A tense first half ended 25-22 — both teams couldn’t get on a run to separate themselves at all. It was tied at 28 early in the second, and then at 38 at the seven minute mark. Neither team was giving the other anything.

That was until the Dynamite scored six straight point to take the lead for the first time all game. It looked like they had the momentum. But great defence from the Red Rush stopped that, they got clutch points on the fast break, and scored seven straight to eventually win this contest 62-57.

“We just wanted to go hard, and we went hard from the beginning” explained Carter Wayne when asked about the team’s mindset heading into this game. “It was a bit rough, but we just pulled off and played tougher defence.”

Carter had 16 points in the game.

NextGen vs Doggpound

The Doggpound struggled against the stingy NextGen defence early, getting many of their passes tipped and shots blocked. That helped give NextGen a 25-21 halftime lead.

NextGen went on a mini 6-0 run to start the second half. But the Doggpound tied it up at 33, the tying point coming off a nice passing play from the fast break. They would trade baskets for most of the half, until eight straight from the Doggpound gave them the final edge. Final score was 58-52.

“We just focused and locked in” said the Doggpound’s Isaiah Merk after the game, who had 5 points. “Locked in on defence was the main thing. We moved the ball well on offence and just attacked when we had to.”

Northern Bounce vs Rock Elite

The team from The Rock exchanged baskets to start against Northern Bounce, as it rained down threes on the East Court. Northern Bounce took a slender one point lead from the line, and looked like they were going to win it.

But, there was some late game drama — perhaps the most of the entire tournament. Northern Bounce looked like it was going to win the game on the very last shot of the game. But it was deemed to have been shot after the final buzzer had sounded. Northern Bounce players were inconsolable afterwards as they lost this game by just a single point, 44-43.

“We just focused on boxing out” said the Rock’s Ethan Vey afterwards. “Just box out and play together.”

11:30am Games

Split Second U13 vs Vancouver Selects Green

Van Selects hit the boards first with a little layup quickly followed by Split Second with one of their own. Green showed off with nice ball movement early on, which helped keep the team neck-and-neck with the Cobras.

To end the first, Split Second led 34-15.

Van Selects hit the court with a vengeance in the next half! They brought the score to within just 13 points after a 20-point deficit. Despite the positive shift in movement, Split Second kept on stuntin’ and locked in their first victory with with a final score of 81-56.

# 53 had 16 points for the Cobras; # 8 had 14 points for Vancouver Selects Green.

Northern Bounce vs Westshore

Westshore came out with a purpose, taking a 15-5 lead halfway through the first half. It was looking like a comfortable win for them. But Northern Bounce used their rebounding advantage to limit any Westshore second chances, going on a 12-2 run to tie it at 18 at the end of the half.

From that point on it was shaping up to be a tight game between the two. But a 15-2 run for Westshore got them the lead, which they would not relinquish. Westshore took this one 54-47.

“We were trying our hardest the whole game” said Westshore’s Aman Parmar afterwards. “We needed this win, we want to advance to more games.”

Vancity vs Vancouver Selects Purple

Vancity was deadly in the first half, scoring 20 points in the opening few minutes. But thanks to some great fast break points from 10, the Selects were able to claw their way back to just a 31-20 hole. The second half saw the Twin Towers of the Vancouver Selects unable to take advantage of their obvious size advantage. As a result, VanCity took this one 53-45.

“We did pretty well” said Shane Park on his team’s performance. “Our team passing was pretty good, coach telling us the good advice we need.”

Dynamite vs Live2Give

Dynamite didn’t seem to have too much trouble in this one, taking a commanding halftime lead and eventually winning it 50-37. The Dynamite’s size advantage proved to be decisive, as Live2Give couldn’t score enough from three to make up the distance.

“Our team played really well today” said the Dynamite’s Shaan Vir after the final buzzer. “We got lots of assists, and we played as a team.”

3:30pm Games

North Stars vs IEM Spartans

NS went on a 8-0 run to begin; Spartans finally found their footing and put did it up with a layup. Honestly, this game was do or die and you could FEEL it on the court. Though IEM put on their boxing gloves for this one, the North Stars went off early on. They took a prominent lead of 30 points over the Spartans--making it nearly impossible for them to catch up before the end of the half. NS led 50-20.

The Stars lit up the court again in the second, going on a 7-0 run to begin the half. Spartans hit back with 2, but they took a bus to Turnover City and let North Stars crush them on D. Pair that with NS’s sheer dominance in the paint, and it’s easy to see why they would be the QF winners right from gecko.

With some tussles and tangles near the end, things were looking a little physical; but despite the animosity on the floor, the North Stars kept their cool and proceeded to destroy the Spartans.

This game went into overdrive with nearly 100 points on the board from NS. In the end, North Stars United took the HUGE win over the IEM Spartans to advance to the semifinals. The final score: 96-44.

# 8 Elias Panagioopoulos was named Player of the Game for the first time at bballnationals and had this to say after the epic win:

“You know, yesterday we lost the game, came up pretty slow. So today we promised ourselves that we were going to go out and play ball. We have one more game today and then we’re going to get to the finals tomorrow, so just had to get this W.”

Calgary Storm U17 vs NexGen Basketball