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

Tied 4-4 in opening minutes; NexGen went up 11-4 over Calgary Storm. But the Storm still had a bit of thunder left in them. They continued to pressure NexGen and came to within just 1 point with four minutes remaining on the clock. And just like that my friends, Calgary ‘stormed’ ahead and took over as leader to end off the first half.

24-17. Second half, here we come.

Much of the half continued to follow the same path as the first, with NexGen adding points and Calgary Storm trailing. BUT like any game, there’s never a definitive winner. Calgary Storm came through like a damn tornado on the court and brought a whole lot of pressure with them. They held NexGen to minimal points and decided to go on a run of their own, eventually taking the lead. Which in the end, was too far for their opponent to catch up to.

Storm defeated NexGen to take their place in the semifinals with a final score of 59-46.

“Well, we really just needed to play a lot better help,” said player of the game # 11 Roman Niro. “They kept getting inside on us and we couldn’t stop them, since we’re a lot smaller. But we started to get stops and move the ball well, and we won the game.”

Northern Bounce vs CBA Cobra U17

In this epic quarter-final battle, the CBA Cobras injected a whole lot of venom into Northern Bounce, which seemed to drain them early on. After just one half, the snakes led 30-18.

Though Northern Bounce went for a few runs in the second, they just could not keep up with the Cobras dominant floor presence and attack. CBA was crowned the victor with a final score of 62-46.

Point leaders: # 32 Kesster for CBA with 20 points; # 20 Jordan for Bounce.

Edmonton StormHawks vs Edmonton StormHawks

This Inter-Edmonton game kicked off with a 9-2 run for the “home” team — in this case the StormHawks team wearing the red unis. But the other StormHawks team managed to tie it up at 15 due to some great work down low.

The second half began 39-24 for StormHawks Red, and they rolled against their familiar opponents after that. Final score was 80-65 for the StormHawks (shocking, I know).

“Obviously we were facing our other StormHawk team, so it was mostly bragging rights” explained Milton Lendin. “We were both going at it and trying our best out there.”

Dynamite vs VanCity

The high-flying Dynamite team scored often to start this contest, but then faltered a bit on the defensive side. It was 22-18 at the 6:30 point, and stayed close for the rest of the half — Aamir of VanCity had an especially good half. Dynamite led by just a single point after the first half.

Points to you if you guessed the second half was as intense as the first. It was a true possession to possession contest, with both teams never trailing by more than four points. It was tied at 60 with 90 seconds left, and then at 62 at the minute mark. VanCity almost won it in regulation as well, but an Aamir finger roll just rolled out of the rim. Just like that, we were off to the best thing in sports — overtime.

The extra frame saw the Dynamite score four straight before a deep three from VanCity got them to within one. It was 72-71 with seven seconds on the clock, and VanCity drew up one last play. They got the shot they wanted in the corner, but it clattled off the rim. Dynamite won this instant classic 72-71.

“Towards the end we were very intense” said the Dynamite’s Ronan Reid, who had _ points. “We knew we had to lock in and get the win. Our bigs were dominating down low so we just kept feeding them.”

Congrats to both teams for putting on a great show for the fans.

Edmonton StormHawks vs MacHoops

MacHoops scored ten unanswered to start, and didn’t allow any StormHawks points until the 7:25 mark. In fact, they only scored eight in the first half — a testament to the excellent defensive effort MacHoops were displaying. MacHoops did more of the same in the second half, beating up on the StormHawks 60-28.

“We played well” said MacHoops Hudson Swim after his team’s win. “Their defence was kind of hard to read at times but we made our shots and played well.”

4:45pm Games

Salmon Arm Synergy vs Shooting Stars

Salmon Arm Synergy came out strong in this half, leading by a ridiculous 30 points at the end of the first. Despite Shooting Stars ability to shoot (when they did keep control of the ball), they were unable to make the climb on the scoreboard.

In the end, Synergy defeated the Shooting Stars with ease by a final score of 77-45. They will advance to the semifinals.

“We came out and wanted to compete. We came off a bunch of losses that we thought we should have won, so we wanted to come out and show them what we could do this game. We’re looking forward to tomorrow--we get to play the Dynamite U16s, so we’re hoping to bring home the W.”

Wolf Pack U17 vs Dynamite U16

The Wolves went up 3-0 on a quick run; however, Dynamite WENT OFF from there and never gave up the lead. They ended the half off 41-18.

With everything on the line in the second half, home continued to pressure guest by grabbing clutch rebounds and showcasing a whole lot of money shots to put them up 20+ points on their opponent at any given moment.

Dynamite U16 defeated Wolf Pack by 76-49.

“[The game] went pretty well, we played pretty good defense and we hit our shots. We came back from a hard loss, so I’m happy with the win,” said Ian Pawlowicz, who had 11 points for Dynamite U16.

Northern Bounce U15 White vs Spotters

Though the first half stayed tight, Spotters found their stride early on to jet ahead of Northern bounce, and stay ahead. They led 27-19 heading into the second.

After another beating in the final half, Spotters claimed their final W on Day 3 defeating Northern Bounce 56-31.

Spotters’ # 4 scored 10 points for his team.

StormHawks vs MacHoops

Both teams were determined to put up points, as defence was rarely a concern. 75 points were scored between the two teams at halftime. The StormHawks were down, but staged a miraculous comeback to take the lead 56-55. After both teams traded points for most of the half, two big treys from the StormHawks gave them a five point cushion with under a minute to go. That would be enough, as they won 75-69.

“We started playing proper defence” said Karan Virk. “Pick and rolls, and proper shots.”

Spartans vs Shooting Stars

It was 31-21 after the first half for the Shooting Stars, and they kept the ball rolling in the second half, eventually winning it 66-51. The Stars 12-2 run effectively iced this game early in the second half.

Dynamite vs Burnaby Knights

The team from Burnaby led by 7 halfway through the half — they played solid defence and limited the Dynamite to low-percentage shots. They managed to get up by ten early in the second half and extended that to over 20 at the nine minute mark. Final score was 66-45, a solid victory considering the Knights had suffered a heartbreaking OT loss the game before.

“We just had fun” said the Knights Nick Osho after the game. “When it was going bad, we were so serious and struggling out there. But when we’re up, we perform well and that’s when we are at our best.”

6:00pm Games

Westshore Dawgs vs Northern Bounce

These two teams came into the game with less gusto then previous ones, but it was Northern Bounce who showcased their ability in the paint by going up 30-19 in the first.

The Dawgs must have howled at the moon because they completely woke up in the second, bringing the score to within just 7 points of Northern Bounce at the 10-minute mark.

With tremendous work and continuous pressure, Northern Bounce eventually were named the champs of this semifinal match. They defeated the Dawgs with a final score of 63-52.

Player of the Game Ameer Dhillon had this to say about tomorrow’s Championship game:

“I think the team we beat earlier on in the tournament is who we’re going to play, so we kind of already know what to do. Just play our game and run fast, that’s all.”

Bata Sports vs North Stars U16

It was an 11-0 run for North Stars to begin the half. The Toronto team continued to crush it and went up 30 points on their opponent after the first 16 minutes. To close out the half, they led 57-26.

The next half saw North Stars hit the triple digits on the board! After a gruelling game, they ultimately took the W over Bata Sports with a final score of 106-69.

North Stars United U16 will advance to the Championship Final game against Northern Bounce U17 on Sunday at 1:30pm.

# 4 Jamar F. had an INSANE 47 points for the Stars.

NexGen vs Dynamite U15 Red

Dynamite went on a tear of trey’s in the first, with # 6 hitting four for his team, paired with a layup, too. Even though NexGen may have been pegged as the favourite in this one, Dynamite blew it up on the Field House court. Both teams were tied 23 a piece at the end of the half.

In the second, NexGen pressed hard, locked in a solid defensive plan, and made their shots count. With tenacity and grit, they defeated Dynamite U15 Red 58-44.

# 23 smashed in 17 points for NexGen.

Rock Elite vs Red Rush

Red Rush took a 13-6 lead and never really looked back, easily winning 61-26. The Red Rush’s smooth offensive moments proved too much for the Rock’s defence to put up with.

Red Rush now plays GrassRoots in the final, a challenge their players are looking forward to.

“We know that we have more talent than them” said Red Rush’s Devonteh Reed. “I think we have a good chance against them.”

Should be a good one.

Northern Bounce vs Dynamite

It was 11-4 Northern Bounce early, as the Prince George team played great team basketball. However, the Dynamite went on a 13-3 run to close out the half.

This Northern Bounce team has a lot of heart and grit though — they did not go down without a fight. After hitting a corner three to make it 56-52, it looked like they might just pull if off. It wasn’t to be though, as Dynamite would go on to win 59-57.

“We had a bit of a lull, but we had to grind a little bit” explained the Dynamite’s Eyobi Davidoff. “A lot of our wins are team efforts.

GrassRoots vs Doggpound

After GrassRoots put on their usual show during warmups, they faced a stiff test against the Doggpound. It was 20-14 at the ten minute mark, as the Doggpound’s full court press slowed down the vaunted GrassRoots attack.

The game after that point was an extremely gritty and hard fought game, regardless of what the final score may say. The Doggpound were extremely aggressive on defence, and the GrassRoots team dazzled the crowd with some SportsCentre highlight reel dunks. A particular highlight was watching how the Doggpound tried to contain Elijah Fisher. At first it seemed the double team and gamesmanship under his skin, but after he showed why he is such a highly touted player — he had a game high 35 points.

“We pulled off the win by executing what we wanted to” explained GrassRoots Malachi Hall. “And since these guys disrespected us, we needed to come out with the win.”

GrassRoots will play Red Rush in the final tomorrow.

7:15pm Games

NexGen vs IEM Spartans

These boys were both coming off losses from earlier today, so you could just feel the need to win in this one on either side of the court. Spartans brought out the big guns, showing off their field goal skills early on and keeping a slight lead over NexGen.

Someone must have started a fire on the court as players were gettin’ chirpy on both sides. And to top it all off, the sideline was pretty hype as well. NexGen’s Coach even got a technical for “yelling” at the ref. The team began to deflate after that.

With endless fouls, a technical on a player for taunting, and a few more tiffs with the coaches, this game was definitely turning into something far less important than the sport of basketball.

After finally cooling the jets, both teams added a few more points to the board, ending the half 39-36 in Spartans favour. But this tightly contested matchup was not in the books just yet. Both teams stayed hard on their men, slapping balls out of the hands of their opponent on far too many possessions. With just 6 minutes remaining, the two teams were tied at 62.

The court heated up, yet again! Points were flying back and forth on the scoreboard, with NexGen up just 3 points at the five-minute mark. Fans (and reporters, too) must have thought they were watching a championship game, given the intense nature of the remaining minutes of this game. The Spartans # 5 hit a 2 pointer to take the lead only for a brief moment, when NexGen swished in their own. Y’all, Spartans hit a 3 to pull ahead. NexGen communicated extremely well in the last minute of play, moving the ball amongst their bigs, but it just wouldn’t be enough. IEM clung to the ball and drained the clock. With a last-chance miss, NexGen fell to the Spartans.

The final score: 76-75.

Northern Bounce U16 vs VanCity Basketball U17

This game was tighter than the button on your jeans after Thanksgiving dinner! Northern Bounce had a hold over VanCity, though. They seemed to pick apart their D to hold a slight lead over them for the duration of the first half; the score being 32-29 for Bounce.

Ironically, it was Northern Bounce that made it RAIN on VanCity, handing them their final L of the tournament with a score of 75-58.

They will continue on to the 5th Place game against the IEM Spartans, happening tomorrow at 10:45am.

North Stars United vs Calgary Storm U17

Both of these big teams came out with the purpose to destroy in this game, given their shot at the Championship was completely riding on the outcome.

The first half was hyping up the crowd for what turn into a crazy close game between both North Stars United and Calgary Storm. It stayed fairly even throughout, which trickled into the intense second half to follow.

NSU defused Calgary on D, grabbed crucial boards, and tightened up their ball movement. With only 2 minutes to go, the Stars led by just 2 points.

Calgary stormed back to equalize at 54 points, but North Stars hit a WET 3 to solidify their fate. As the seconds fell off the clock, NSU claimed their last win of Day 3 and will advance to the Championship finals, ending the game 61-54 over Calgary Storm.

NSU’s Jacob Pavkovic says he’s most looking forward to his team potentially redeeming themselves against CBA.

“We have a chance to get them back, so I’m hoping we are going home with some hardware.”

CBA vs Dynamite

With a spot in the final on the line, CBA and Dynamite were poised for a fantastic game like the last one the Dynamite played in. CBA got out to a 14 point lead halfway through the first half, as the Dynamite simply could not keep up with the speed of CBA on the fast break. They also dominated the defensive glass, limiting the Dynamite’s time of possession.

In the second one could say CBA ‘blew up’ the Dynamite’s defence, continuing to score fast break points at will. The Dynamite had some fight back courtesy of Rohan Reid and Ethan Fung. It was too late in the game however to make that big of a difference, as CBA won 70-54 and advance to the U17 final tomorrow.

“For us, we just have to get our intensity up” said CBA’s Pierce Nadeau on playing in the final. “We have to keep it there, make smart plays, and be mentally ready for that.”

Written by: Nick Bondi and Crystal Scuor