All posts by nplunkett

EXCEL ALL STAR SUNDAY 2016- SAN ANTONIO

The third installment of the Excel All Star Game broke all records this Sunday.  The event has always been a celebration of all the talent Texas has to offer.  Each player received the 2016 Excel All Star uniform and a platform to showcase their talents.  The record attendance were treated to a pre Christmas gift.

In the Excel Girls All Star game the South team striked first led Ja’Shelle Johnson (18 pts. and game MVP) and Jada Tovar (11 pts).  North would fight back led by Jasmyn Brock (16 pts) and Haylie Adams (12 pts).  The game was full of talent with each player bringing the record crowd out of their seats.  In the end the South girls would prove to be too much and would take home the crown.  Ja’Shelle Johnson would take home the games MVP. Check out the games box score below.

The three point championship would pit the best eight boys and the best eight girls against each other between the girls and boys All Star games.  Over 100 players would attempt to qualify in the morning for the chance to compete in this championship.  When the dust settled 16 players would remain.  When the dust cleared four would remain. Aiden Mendez would go up against Steven Quintero and Gabby Gaskins would face off against Avalon Munoz.  Aiden would put Larry Bird type numbers with a 20 point round to win the boys championship and Gabby would put up 18 to win the girls championship .

In the Excel Boys All Star game 30 players would compete for the South and North teams.  The game would bring multiple match ups that would prove to be worth the price of admission.  One match up pitted State Ranked guard Cortez Ivie Jr (10 pts) from KIlleen VS stand out guard Maliq Nuerell (14 pts).  Both guards took over all aspects of the game showing why they are so highly celebrated. Another great match up was a family showdown between Izaiah (10 pts) and Brandyn Riojas (11 pts)who we are used to seeing dominating together now had the task of guarding each other.  North would jump out early led Trashawn Leak (19 pts) of Austin and C.J. Hall (13 pts) of Killeen. The South would be led by the long shooting Steven Quintero (17 pts) and Maliq Nuerrel (14 pts).  In the end the boys from up North would end up with the victory. Check out the box score for this game below.

EXCEL GIRLS ALL STAR GAME  – DECEMBER 18TH, 2016   – OUR LADY OF THE LAKE UNIV

SOUTH GIRLS ALL STARS 71

Ja’Shelle Johnson 18 pts, Jada Tovar 11 pts, Sydney Juarez 7 pts, Madaline Gomez 7 pts, Annalia Cuellar 6pts, Alexus Arroyas 6 pts, Avalon Munoz 5 pts, Julia Plata 4 pts, Alyxa Martnez 4 pts, Alexia Hollings 3 pts,

NORTH GIRLS ALL STARS 48

Jasmyn Brock 14 pts, Haylie Adams 11 pts, Erin Jivilanz 7 pts, Ari Rodriguez 5 pts, Katie Flemming 3 pts, Emyiah Spencer 3 pts, Joana Lopez 2 pts, Brylee Miller 2 pts, Iyanna Billups, Janae Randall.

EXCEL BOYS ALL STAR GAME  – DECEMBER 18TH, 2016   – OUR LADY OF THE LAKE UNIV

NORTH BOYS ALL STARS 80

Trashawn Leak 19 pts, CJ Hall 13 pts, Brandyn Rios 11 pts, Cortez Ivie Jr  (9 pts(, Reid Higgins 8 pts,  Xavier Terrazas 7 pts, Jonathon Eliis 6 pts, Antoine Ferguson 5 pts, Justin Hill 5 pts, Dalon James 3 pts, Isaiah Ward 3 pts, Katerius Hamilton 1 pt, Nathan De la Garza, Nick Haggett, Danny Amezquita.

SOUTH BOYS ALL STARS 63

Steven Quintero 17 pts, Maliq Nuerell 14 pts, Issac Castillo 7 pts, Aaron Goodman 6 pts, Nathaniel Biache 5 pts, Luke Price 5 pts, Damon Cardenas 3 pts, Jordan Gutierrez 2 pts, Izaiah Riojas 2 pts, Ashton Pena, Alex Leak, Jordan Alvarado, Donavon Gomez, Christian Flores.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel All Star Games at Facebook

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Excel Hoopfest 2016 Recap-Austin

dsc09083dsc08828dsc08946dsc08800dsc08759dsc09131With College and Pro Football in full effect its hard to believe that we would have any additional attention but this past Sunday all attention fell on the talent that gathered in Round Rock for the Excel Hoopfest.  With teams from all over Texas including San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, San Angelo, Shreveport, and Laredo the talent pool couldn’t be any better setting up a memorable Excel Sunday.

In the Bronze 7th Grade boys division the championship came down to two very successful Austin organizations in the Austin Vipers and ATX Lockdown.  Both groups were well coached which would lead to a very strategic championship showdown.  Lockdown led by super guard Jacob Swoboda (19pts) would jump out to an early lead but never could get comfortable with a very good Viper group.  When the dust cleared the ATX Lockdown boys would be too much.

The Amber 9th Grade boys division was so evenly matched that final placement could not be determined to the very last minutes of the last games.  Jose Palma’s San Antonio Blue Devils, Austin New Era, and Team Killeen Elite would find themselves near even going into the last game.  Austin New Era led by dynamic shooter Max Smith would need a victory against the Blue Devils led by the lock down defender in Jeremy Palma.  With Smith coming off a 30 point performance he would remain hot to start the game.  Team Killeen Elite would take care of business against the Copperas Cove Kings getting a 15 point victory so now their fate would be in the hands of the Blue Devils and Austin New Era.  Close the entire way, the Blue Devils would hit some late clutch buckets to take a demanding lead and take the cup back home.  Because of the 10 point victory New Era would fall into 3rd place elevating Team Killeen Elite into the runner-up spot. Great division.

The Rose JV Girls division would come down to the Liberty Hill Swoosh and Texas Bulldogs of San Angelo.  The Swoosh have owned this division threw the Spring and Summer but the girls from San Angelo would have a different plan.  With a close game between the two teams Liberty Hill’s experience would prove to be too much for the Bulldogs.

The Dallas Red Raiders from the Rockwall area would have a successful Sunday.  Coach Mark Jones has been working hard with his boys all year and the work is finally paying off.  The 8th grade boys led by the slashing finisher Guinten Milton (17.3 ppg) would defeat the Round Rock Rimrockers in the championship and the Junior Varsity boys would fall short to a very good Rimrockers Black team in their championship. Congrats to Coach Mark for all his dedication and hard work.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: ORANGE 5TH/6TH GRADE  BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Grizzlies/RUNNER-UPS Texas Bulldogs , SILVER 8TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Dallas Red Warriors /RUNNER-UPS Round Rock Rimrockers, PLATINUM VARSITY BOYS CHAMPIONS Round Rock Rimrockers Jones/RUNNER-UPS Round Rock Rimrockers Romel.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel Hoopfest in Austin at Facebook

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Excel Hoopfest 2016 Recap-San Antonio

dsc07981dsc07688dsc06960dsc07249dsc08297dsc08501dsc07486The school year has started and kids are back into the swing of things.  In San Antonio our local basketball talent play year round and because of this you have seen San Antonio begin to rival our DFW and Houston neighbors.  With excellent talent, coaching, and supportive parents this weekend’s events would be full of instantly classic showdowns.

In the Green 4th grade boys division the championship would come down to the San Antonio Grizzlies and the Laredo Blackout.  Laredo Blackout dominated their division last year while ths Grizzlies were very successful in theirs.  Blackout would test their talent up a division and this would make for an epic championship game.  The younger Laredo Blackout team would jump out to an early lead but the Grizzlies would respond to every basket with their own run.  By the second half the Grizzlies had figured out how to contain the lightning quick Blackout team and were able to keep the Excel Cup at home in San Antonio.  The Grizzlies were led by Isaac Castillo (14.2ppg).

Texas Prime had a very successful weekend taking home 3 championships.  Coached by the brilliant coaching staff of Mark Jones and son Preston Jones we are seeing Texas Prime become the new power organization in Texas.  The Blue 5th grade boys would have to get by the established HD Toros organization in the championship. Led by Eddie Arroyo (12pts) and Luke Bellucci (9pts), Texas Prime would be able to escape a very good Toros team.  The Silver American TX Prime team would be lead by Hunter Darling’s 23 points as they were able to defeat one of the best 8th grade team in San Antonio in the Dream Loudly Boomers.  With Preston Jones winning 2 championship, it was time for Mark Jones to get one and he did with his Amber 9th grade boys championship win against San Antonio Arsenal.

The Gold American Junior Varsity boys championship would come down to the unbeatable San Antonio Falcons and the Laredo Rebels.   Saturday the Rebels would test that unbeatable title.  With steady guard play the Laredo Rebels would run threw pool play to set up the match up against the Falcons.  Any time the Falcons are in the championship its going to be a tough battle and this one would not be different.  With the lead changing back and forth Laredo Rebels Foro Villlareal would hit a couple late long bombs to put the game out of reach and take the Excel Cup back to Laredo.

The Lilac 5th/6th grade girls would come down to the San Antonio Lady Hoops and the Somerset Hoopstars.  Trying to revenge a loss three weeks ago from the Hoopstars, Lady Hoops were hungry to win their first Excel championship.  Lady Hoops Myranda Perales (17pts) would be huge for her team and the Hoopstars would not have an answer for her all game.  The San Antonio Lady Hoops would get their revenge and win the championship. Look for this to be a new rivalry for this upcoming year.

The San Antonio Fire lived up to their reputation in the Bronze 7th grade division. With two successful victories early they would have their hands full in their last game.  All the Fire would need to do is win and they would be the divisions champion but they would need to beat a very tough San Antonio Crew team.  The Crew would jump out to a 9-0 lead early before the Fire would need a timeout to calm down.  Even after the timeout the Fire had a hard time cutting into the lead.  At half time the Crew would still have a demanding lead but the second half would be total different story.  Led by Jayce Sibley and Eddie Arroya the Fire would go on a 34-6 run to not only win but win big.  While the Fire would win the championship the Next Level Raiders would take home second.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: RED 2ND/3RD GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Grizzlies/RUNNER-UPS Texas Bulldogs , BLUE 5TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Texas Prime/RUNNER-UPS HD Toros , ORANGE AMERICAN BOYS CHAMPIONS Dream Loudly Boomers/RUNNER-UPS Texas Ignite, ORANGE NATIONAL BOYS CHAMPIONSHIPS Somerset Heat/RUNNER-UPS HD Toros, SILVER AMERICAN BOYS CHAMPIONS Texas Prime/RUNNER-UPS Dream Loudly Boomers, SILVER NATIONAL BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Blue Devils-Soto/RUNNER-UPS New Braunfels Warriors, AMBER BOYS CHAMPIONS Texas Prime/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Arsenal, GOLD NATIONAL BOYS CHAMPIONS Next Level Raiders/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Arsenal, PLATINUM AMERICAN BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Apaches/RUNNER-UPS Texas Champions, PLATINUM NATIONAL BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio SWAT/RUNNER-UPS Texas Tigers, PEARL GIRLS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Unite Skills Academy/RUNNER-UPS Next Level Raiders, LAVENDER HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIPS Corpus Christi Falcons/ RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Lady Toros.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel Hoopfest in San Antonio at Facebook

Also follow us on both the Excel Tournaments Facebook Page and the Excel Tournament Blog Facebook Page for updates on all posts and coverage.

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Excel Back 2 School Invitational 2016 Recap-San Antonio

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 September means a lot of things for the basketball community.  Kids are transitioning into new grades and schools. The Excel Back 2 School Invitational has always been the event in which teams also transitioned into new divisions.  Going on our 5th year as Excel Tournaments its hard to believe that teams that started at the elementary level our now starting High School.  While our teams have been growing in front of our own eyes so has the Back 2 School Invitational bringing teams from Alaska, San Angelo, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Laredo, and Austin to the Alamo City to compete against the best San Antonio has to offer.

The highlight of a very competitive Saturday came in the Lavender JV girls division.  San Antonio was excited to welcome the girls from Point Hope, Alaska who actually live closer to Russia than the United States.  With the division loaded with talent including the San Antonio Stealth, San Antonio Lady Toros, San Antonio Lady Vipers, San Antonio Lady Outlaws, and San Antonio Wolverines the Alaskan Too Driven/Tikigap girls would have their hands full.  Struggling early the Alaskan girls would fall to Stealth and Lady Vipers but rebound to beat the Outlaws in their last game.  The overall warmth and sportsmanship all of our San Antonio ladies showed to our guests was amazing.  The San Antonio Outlaws exchanged pins with the Point Hope girls and were so excited to learn about the girls from up north.  The division would come down to the Lady Toros and the Stealth with the Lady Toros edging it out for the championship.

In Saturday’s Gold JV Boys Division teams from all over Texas would battle for the crown.  Epic battles included the Dallas Red Warriors and San Angelo Outlaws, San Antonio Dreamteam and Houston Lamar Elite but the championship would be a rematch of a summer instant classic between the San Antonio Falcons and Houston Lamar Elite.  In the Summer Jamboree Gold Championship in July, Lamar Elite ran away with the title but the Falcons who have won 7 of their 10 divisions since March were up for the challenge.  From the beginning  you could tell that this would be a different championship with the Falcons taking the early lead. As the game got late the size and athletic ability of Lamar Elite would prove once again to be too much for the Falcons as the boys of Houston would take another.  Look for this rivalry to continue in the upcoming year.

In the Bronze 7th Grade Boys Division the championship would come down to an almost unbeatable Laredo Evolution team who has been playing together for six years and a brand new squad in the San Antonio Crew. With the game close the entire way the Crew showed how much they have improved since August and was able to capture their first Excel Cup in a close championship victory. The Crew’s Jack Greenwood would lead all players with 16 points.

The Platinum Varsity boys Division came down to the San Angelo Outlaws and San Antonio Fundamentals coached by IWC and Marshall grad Pierce Caldwell.  While the Fundamentals had strong performances from Uvalde stars Dillon Bellino and Major Meuster, the Outlaws led by Isaiah English’s 23 points would keep it close to even.  The game would come down to a layup from English to capture the victory.

Sunday would bring the most competitive division of the event in the Silver 8th Grade Division.  In the first game of the division the Dallas Red Warriors and the San Antonio Dreamteam would give us an instant classic.  The Dreamteam found themselves up by 18 point at the beginning of the second half but would not be able to respond to a 26-8 run to close the half for the Red Warriors forcing overtime. In overtime they would hand a very tough Dreamteam their first loss.  The Dreamteam could have fell apart after the heartbreaking loss but instead went on to win their last two games including a tough win against the Dream Loudly Boomers in their last game.  The Dream Loudly Boomers would surprise the Dallas Red Warriors in their second game and when the dust settled the Dreamteam took home the championship lead by Evaunte Freeman’s 18.3 PPG. The Dream Loudly Boomers would capture second.

The San Antonio Rebels would test their talent Sunday in both the Orange 6th Grade boys and Blue 5th Grade boys divisions.  The Rebels have long been a dominate force in their division but in the 6th Grade division they struggled a bit.  While still competitive they found themselves outside the championship. The Orange 6th Grade Championship would come down to the San Antonio Grizzlies who beat a tough San Antonio Blue Devils lead by Matthew Soto in their Semi Finals and the Dream Loudly Boomers.  The Boomers led by the steady Joshua Devora would outlast the Grizzlies in the championship.  In the Blue 5th Grade Division later in the evening the Rebels would be back in form as they dominated the field and took home yet another championship led by Charlie Georgelos’s 16.7 PPG.

The Lilac 6th/7th Grade Girls Division brought teams from San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Austin.  While the Somerset Hoopstars have dominated the division in the past but they would have their hands full with the Corpus Christi Triple Threat, Austin Lady Aztecs, and San Antonio Lady Hoops.  The Lady Hoops and Triple Threat being a year younger than the Hoopstars and Lady Aztecs had no fear and competed with the some times bigger opponents.  All four teams would leave with at least one victory but the Somerset Hoopstars would come away with the championship and the Lady Hoops would be the runner-ups.

 OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: RED 3RD GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Notre Dame Warriors/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Spartans, AMBER 9TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS St George Episcopal/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Team Warriors.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel Back 2 School Invitational at Facebook

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Excel Summer Showcase 2016 Recap-San Antonio

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The Excel Summer Showcase has always been a great event to do exactly what it says by showcasing all the talented teams, players, and coaches we have in the State of Texas. From the first and second graders of the Mo Williams Blue Chips putting on an offensive barrage to the high flying talent filled varsity division; this years Summer Showcase would only elevate the prestige of the event.

In the Crimson 2nd grade boys division the Mo Williams Blue Chips showed they are the team to beat in Texas right now.  Sponsored by Cleveland Cavalier’s Mo Williams, the team has been built around speed and offensive power.  Their full court press tortured opponents all weekend forcing the biggest basketball fans to focus on their games over other divisions.  Truly one of the most entertaining teams I watched all weekend.  In the championship Sunday the San Antonio Bulldogs would be the last team standing in the way of the Blue Chips taking home the Excel Cup.  The Bulldogs fault hard in the 1st half but the waves of Blue Chip players wore down the Bulldogs. Congratulations to the boys from Houston.

In the Silver 8th grade boys division teams from all over the state of Texas converged on the Alamo City to battle.  The El Paso Hurricanes, Cap City Elite, San Antonio Venom, and Alamo City Thunder all showed strong in Saturday’s pool play action but Sunday only the strongest move on to the championship.  This Sunday it would be the El Paso Hurricanes and the Cap City Elite.  A rematch in which the Hurricanes beat the Cap City Elite in pool play by double digits.  The Championship would be a different story.  Cap City looked like a different team jumping out to an early eight point lead led by Deandre Wilson’s 17 points. The El Paso Hurricanes who had run threw pool play, would fight back by halftime and even the match.  Led by Mason Chambers (SEE VIDEO) 19 points the boys from El Paso would go back and forth with the Austin boys.  The Hurricanes had many chances to take the lead and could not convert at the end of the game and the Cap City Elite would escape with a championship finish.  Cap City’s Elijah Washington (SEE VIDEO) had a strong 14 point performance in victory.

The Lavender High School girls division boasted teams from Corpus, Houston, and Nixon but the San Antonio Rise would be the strongest of the very talented High School girls field.  In the championship, Marie Ferdinand’s Rise girls would have to go threw the Texas Dream squad from our coastal neighbors in Corpus.  Both teams came in with an undefeated record but the Rise team seemed to be the sharper team on Sunday.  Jumping out to an early lead led by Kayla Dotson, the Rise never looked back. Congratulations to the Rise girls.

The Gold Junior Varsity boys division was the events largest with some real heavy hitters.  The Houston Lamar Elite, Port Arthur Warriors, San Antonio Falcons, Fredericksburg Die Zeigen, Baytown Blitz, San Antonio Team United Gold, and El Paso Texas Elite all showed strong pool performances Saturday but the these strong performances would be tested against each other in Sunday’s playoffs.  The semi finals came down to the San Antonio Falcons VS Team United Gold and the Port Arthur Warriors VS the Lamar Elite.  Falcons were able to sneak by Team United Gold to reach their second championship in a row.  The Port Arthur Warriors would fail to reach their 3rd championship in the last three weeks by losing to Lamar Elite.  In the championship, Lamar Elite showed that the deep talent pool with size and speed that made it a tough 28 minutes for the Falcons.  In the end Houston would be welcoming back their Gold Champion Lamar Elite.

Lamar Elite wasn’t the only Houston team that would take an Excel Cup back home.  In the Bronze 7th grade division, Houston INYAFACE would revenge a pool play loss in the championship against the San Antonio Falcons.  You would be able to tell from the tip that INYAFACE was a different team.  The boys from Houston would answer every Outlaw run all the way to the end until they raised the cup in victory.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: RED 3RD GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS DC Kings/RUNNER-UPS Houston Elite Force, GREEN 4TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Fort Bend Live/RUNNER-UPS Corpus Christi Rebels, ORANGE 6TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Boerne Bears /RUNNER-UPS Midland Nuff Sed, PLATINUM VARSITY BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Elite/RUNNER-UPS Texas Bandits, LILAC 6TH/7TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS PHA Thunder/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Lady Titans.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel Summer Showcase at Facebook

Also follow us on both the Excel Tournaments Facebook Page and the Excel Tournament Blog Facebook Page for updates on all posts and coverage.

Check out www.exceltournaments.com for full 2016 Excel Tournament Series Schedule

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Excel Capital City Classic 2016 Recap-Austin

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 The Excel Capital City Classic was our first event ever thrown in Austin and four years later it has become our flagship event of the year in the Capital City.  This years installment only was elevated with talented teams and coaches from all over Texas making it the most successful Cap City ever.

The Early Bird championship game and start of a great championship Sunday was the Lilac 5th/6th Grade between the El Paso Lady Kings and the Austin Lady Aztecs.  The EP Kings had a very successful Saturday winning their pool in convincing fashion. Sunday’s championship game would be a little different as the Lady Aztecs started off with stellar defense and offense led by Tse Morgan and Maya Pimentel.  Eventually the stellar Lady Kings full court pressure would take a toll on the Lady Aztecs and by the end of the half the Lady Kings lead had grown to double digits led by Jennifer Valdez’s 14 points and Juliet Huizar’s 9 points.  Huizar’s size on the defensive end also proved to be a hand full as she made every shot attempt by the Lady Aztecs a tough one. Congratulations to the Lady Kings taking the Cap City Vase back to El Paso.

The Red 3rd/4th Grade boys division might have been the most entertaining of the weekend with a 10 team division with all the best teams from all over Texas.  Both Houston Trailblazers 10U and 9U teams won their pools Saturday showing off speed and superior athletic ability.  Arguably one of the best 3rd grade groups in Texas in the San Antonio Grizzlies held their own beating a very good CTP team and loosing in overtime to the Houston Trailblazers 9U team.  What people were overlooking was the Round Rock Rimrockers and CenTX Attack teams that were in the other pools winning and doing it with great teamwork and fundamentals.  No surprise that in the semi finals as underdogs they were able to knock off both favorites in the Houston Trailblazers groups setting up a great championship.  Early In the championship the RR Rimrockers controlled the game led by spectacular guard Desi Cantu (CHECK OUT VIDEO ON FACEBOOK) who would finish with 10 points and 9 assists. Towards the end of the second half you could see that CTX Attack was not going to go down that easy. Erasing a 12 point deficit by half time, the Attack boys led by Evyn Waldrop’s 18 points would keep forward with their momentum and race off with the championship.  Could have been the best championship of the day. Two well coached teams from the top organizations in Austin battling it out for all the marbles.

In the Purple 8th grade girls division the rest of the field would have to go threw the powerhouse San Antonio Outlaws who have dominated the 8th grade division nation wide all year. The championship would come down to the Outlaws against the China Springs Elite from the Waco area.  The overall size of the China Springs girls made it tough for the normally efficient offense of the Outlaws struggle in the first half but after halftime the Outlaws were able to figure out the China Springs size by applying a very effective press.  The Outlaws were lead by A. Gutierrez’s 12 points and A. Munoz’s 10 points while the China Springs Elite were lead by Kendall Richards 8 points.

The Lavender High School girls division came down to the Longview Dream Chasers led by national ranked Destiny McAfee (19 points) and Marissa Gray (17 points) and the Austin Lady Jaguars led by Simone Overton (12 points) which would lead to a guard showdown.  While Overton and the Lady Jaguars held their own, the overall size of McAfee and Gray at the guard position proved too much for the Lady Jaguars.

The Pearl 7th Grade girls division was full of talented teams in the San Antonio Lightning, Hill Country Hawks, Unite Skills Academy, and Burnet Bombers.  Each team would battle it out in the six team division pulling out close wins to position themselves into the semifinals.  When the dust settled it would be a championship between the Hill Country Hawks and San Antonio Lightning.  The first half was a very close battle as both teams took shots at the lead.  The Lightning led by Aaliyah Ellis’s 17 points and Navj Haynes 13 points looked poised to get payback on the their earlier pool play loss to the the Hawks.  In the second half HC Hawks Kayla Presley (19 points/12 in the 2nd half) would take her Hawks teammates on her shoulders and carry them to victory.  While the game was never not close the Hill Country Hawks were stellar in the second half and truly deserving of the Pearl Championship.  Hill Country Hawks forward Faith Phillips chipped in for 11 points in the victory.
The Blue 5th grade boys division came down to two very talented groups in Texas Ignite and the Laredo Rebels.  With both teams evenly matched, one of the groups would have to figure out in the championship what the deciding edge would be.  Both teams had bigs and great guard play and this would lead to an epic championship match-up. With the game close the entire way and leading to a close conclusion, Ignite coach Tommy Hines would call a play (SEE VIDEO ON FACEBOOK) that would lead for a quick basket and change the momentum in favor of Texas Ignite who would escape with a close championship finish.  Texas Ignite was led by Adam Mendez’s 17 points and Roman Chase’s 12 points.  The Laredo Rebels were lead by Brandon Lopez’s 10 points.

The Gold Junior Varsity boys championship game might have been the most entertaining championship of the Summer.  JV Boys powerhouse Port Arthur Warriors were poised to capture their first Excel Championship after reaching the championship in 4 of their 6 Summer Excel events.  They would have to face the Brownsville Outlaws this time.  With the PA Warriors controlling the game a most of the way the Outlaws would climb back into it in the second half to set up one of the best finishes in Excel Tournament history.  With 8 seconds left in the game and the Outlaws with a 3 point lean, PA Warriors Joseph Davis would find his spot and get the ball to launch a long bomb that would hit nothing but net to tie the game.  The Outlaws would call a timeout with 4 seconds left and draw up a play for the ages.  With the ball on the PA Warriors baseline, the in bounder would lob the ball towards half court to Outlaws guard Gino Vasquez who would catch it in stride to the basket and finish with a game winning lay up as time expired.  You can see the video of this play on our blogs Facebook page.  PA Warriors Joseph Davis would finish with 14 points and Robby Soto  would finish with 15 points for the Brownsville Outlaws.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: ORANGE 6TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Texas Shockers/RUNNER-UPS CTX Attack, BRONZE 7TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Round Rock Rimrockers/RUNNER-UPS Killeen K Town All Stars, SILVER 8TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Mustangs 2020/RUNNER-UPS EBA, AMBER 9TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Flight/RUNNER-UPS ATX Youth Academy Knights, PLATINUM VARSITY BOYS CHAMPIONS Round Rock Rimrockers/RUNNER-UPS Copperas Cove Crusaders.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel Capital City Classic at Facebook

Also follow us on both the Excel Tournaments Facebook Page and the Excel Tournament Blog Facebook Page for updates on all posts and coverage.

Check out www.exceltournaments.com for full 2016 Excel Tournament Series Schedule

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Excel July Jamboree 2016 Recap- San Antonio

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Basketball can be many things. The game brings together amazing kids, parents, coaches, and basketball fans with a unified desire to better the kids.  Basketball tournaments become that type of avenue and I have always felt blessed to be part of this basketball community. To be part of a basketball history in which I played, coached, and worked. This weekends July Jamboree was a perfect example of the community of a basketball event. From the Strength N Motion International groups full of talent from Mexico to Sweden to teams from all over the state of Texas, all unite under this game we love.

The Platinum High School boys division was full of talent from around the globe. Yes around the globe. Strength N Motion’s two varsity groups cover all parts of the globe including Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, Angola, Argentina, Brazil, and numerous other countries including kids from all over TX.  A brainchild of Gee Gervin started 10 years ago, the International Camp has grown from a handful of campers to over 40.  All spending time together learning their diverse cultures and common bond in basketball.  One of the neatest things I experienced this weekend was a conversation from three kids from three different countries trying to explain the Varsity bracket they were competing in.  All speaking broken English sounding more like their foreign tongue they figured out their map to the championship.  On this map would be a very talented field including the Texas Bulldogs from San Angelo, K Town All Stars from Killeen, San Antonio Elite, Boerne Greyhounds, Next Level Raiders, and Lake Travis Cavs. As the dust settled four teams would remain in the semifinals.  Strength N Motion International A would face the Texas Bulldogs and Strength N Motion International B would face San Antonio Elite.  In the first semi the Texas Bulldogs would prove to be too big for SNM International A and in the second semifinal SNM International B would have a hard time staying with the pure athleticism of San Antonio Elite.  The championship would be epic with both the Texas Bulldogs and San Antonio Elite going back and forth at each other. Close the entire way, Bulldogs BJ Hollis would have a monstrous dunk that would change the momentum of the game in the last couple of minutes.  The Bulldogs would go on to take the championship back to San Angelo led by Hollis’s 23 point and 9 rebounds along with Jordan Pena’s 12 points.  San Antonio Elite would be led by Malik Nevrell’s 22 points.

The Gold Junior Varsity boys division championship would come down to the Port Arthur Warriors and San Antonio Falcons.  The Falcons would take an early first half lead but the PA Warriors would bounce back and take the lead before half time.  In the second half led by Jamie Keal (14 points) and Nick King (10 points) the PA Warriors jumped out to a six point lead.  The San Antonio Falcons would not go away and with only six players due to injuries they stormed back in a thriller to jump ahead as time ran out.  The Falcons comeback was mainly lead by steady scoring from Cristian Russel (8 points), Brandon Nethertori (10 points), Dhimani Hernandez (10 points), and Joseph Trevino (8 points).

The Red 3rd/4th Grade boys division was decided by a late three point bomb.  The game between the Alamo City Hoop Squad and the Blue Devils was close the entire contest and the Alamo City Hoop Squad found themselves ahead by one point with just under a minute left in the game.  With the Blue Devils having the possession, Roman Flores would drain a long bomb and never look back.  Flores would finish with 8 points and Blue Devils Lorenzo Morales would chip in with 10 points.  The Alamo Hoop Squad were led by Trey Martins’s 16 points.

The Silver 8th Grade boys division once again came in as the largest division of the week with 16 teams.  Talented teams like Capital City Elite, Texas Prime, San Antonio Sun Devils, San Antonio Blue Devils, Austin Beast Elite, EBA, and Texas Dreamteam.  A very competitive championship bracket would produce only two teams for the championship though. Texas Dreamteam had found themselves three times before this Spring and Summer in the semi finals knocking on the door to the championship unable to advance. This time they would face a tough EBA team making their first Excel championship.  The “Beasts in Pink” would not denied in this championship. Led by Amarea Bailey (18 points) and Brandyn Riojas’s sharp shooting and 14 points, the Dreamteam jumped out to an early double digit lead and never looked back.  EBA was led Ambrose Johnson’s 12 points.

The Purple 7th/8th Grade girls Division saw an unbeatable San Antonio Lady Outlaws take their first “L” in a very long time to the San Antonio Lightning.  They would rebound from the loss and find themselves Sunday in the championship against a very tough Unite Skills Academy.  The Outlaws led by Alexus Arroyos (13 points), Madline Gomez (12 points), and Avalon Munoz (12 points) took an early demanding lead and never looked back.  The Unite Skills girls would have strong performances from Sophia Haberer (9 points) and
Bella Brown (7 points).

The Amber 9th Grade Division championship had yet another epic finish between the San Antonio Mustangs 2020 and Texas Bulldogs of San Angelo.  You can see the video on the excel tournament blog Facebook page but I will describe the moment.  With seven seconds left in the game and the Texas Bulldogs in bounding the ball at half court they in get the ball to Kobe Penha but in the back court which instantly would prove to be a challenge for Penha who now gained momentum and drove the ball directly to the basket where the Mustangs collapsed on him. Penha would find teammate Isaiah English diving to the basket and English would put the ball in the basket with 1.3 seconds left.  The Mustangs couldn’t create a miracle in the limited time and the Texas Bulldogs would escape withe their second Championship of the evening.

In the Lavender Division would be full of great teams such as the San Angelo Shockers, San Antonio Lightning, San Antonio Synergy, San Antonio Lady Vipers, and Liberty Hill Swoosh.  The championship would come down to the Liberty Hill Swoosh and San Antonio Synergy.  The Swoosh all weekend put on show of spectacular teamwork and passing that would melt opposing defenses. Nothing would change in the championship against a very strong Synergy team as the passing would cut up Synergy’s defense on way to a championship finish.  Melany Bethany would lead the Swoosh with 14 points while the Synergy were led by Morgan Rodriguez’s 8 points and Bri Gonzales’s 7 points.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: CRIMSON 1ST/2ND GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Alamo Hoop Squad/RUNNER-UPS Killeen K Town All Stars, BLUE 5TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Clear Lake Legends/RUNNER-UPS Brennan Lil Bears, ORANGE 6TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Kings/RUNNER-UPS Dream Loudly Boomers, BRONZE 7TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Dallas Hoop Hunters Hustlers/RUNNER-UPS Fredricksburg Kings, LILAC 6TH/7TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS Somerset Hoopstars/RUNNER-UPS Houston Lady Legends.

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Excel State Championships 2016 Recap-San Antonio

DSC08954 DSC07907 DSC08081 DSC08258 DSC08356 DSC08112 DSC08660 DSC08821 DSC08705The Excel State Championships is the flagship event for the tournament series. Its hard to believe that this past weekend would be the 5th installment of this great event.  With the popularity of the event it is no surprise that the event broke attendance records.  With teams from all over Texas coming to have a chance to compete for Excel’s ultimate crown, the talent and competition was threw the roof.

Championship Sunday started with the Red 3rd Grade boys division which would pit the San Antonio Grizzlies and the Alamo City Hoops Squad.  The Grizzlies won this division at the 2016 Regionals in San Antonio and defeated the Hoop Squad in the semifinals in doing so.  From the beginning it was very clear that the Hoop Squad was out for revenge for their Regionals defeat. Led by Izziek Chandler’s 16 points the Alamo Hoop Squad jumped out to an early lead.  In the second half the Grizzlies led by Enrique Torrez’s 14 points would make an early run but the Alamo Hoop Squad would respond to every basket.  When the dust settled the Alamo Hoop Squad would take home the Excel State Championship.  Later in the day the Alamo Hoop Squad 2nd Grade boys would come up short in their championship. Very successful weekend for the boys in black,

Laredo Blackout’s talented organization brought their talents to the Alamo City for the State Championships. Both their 2nd grade and 4th Grade girls teams would reach the championships in their divisions.  The girls were up first in their Pink division championship game against the Regional Champions Somerset Hoopstars.   The Hoopstars superstar point guard Bella Rodriguez had her typical performance with 15 points and 7 assists but the ladies of Laredo Blackout were ready for this stage.  With the game close the entire game, the Blackout tandem of Cristan Rodriguez (16 points) and Valentina Torres (11 points) proved to be the difference at the end as the Blackout girls would take the crown back to Laredo.  The second grade boys would later capture the Crimson Championship.

In the Blue 5th Grade boys division San Antonio Hardwork would have their hands full with Texas Ignite.  Ignite boasts a very talented back court in Roman Chase and Charlie Georgelos and San Antonio H.S. coaching legend Tommy Hines running the show but Hardwork is well…….Hardwork. Hardwork has plenty of star power in Jaylen Williams, L.J. Bowens, and Jaylen Crooker.  Williams gets to play for dad and coach of this collection of talent Jarvis Williams who has been in his share of classic battles.  The game would start as everybody expected as an all out battle.  Jaylen Williams (12 points, 4 assists) would battle all game with TX Ignite’s back court Georgelos (17 points) and Chase (14 points) but the difference in the game was big man L.J. Bowen’s 22 points and 8 rebounds.  At the end Hardwork would prove they were Excel’s best in State.

The Lilac 6th Grade girls division championship came down to the Laredo All Stars and the CenTX Lady Soldiers of Killeen. With the game close at first the Laredo All Stars deep roster proved to be a challenge for the Soldiers.  Evelyn Lorenzo (15 points) and Taylor Lewis (12 points of the Soldiers made it a great championship but the star of the game was Laredo All Stars Angelina Lopez (19 points). Lopez’s supporting cast of Leslie Lugo (11 points), Amber Castillo (10 points), and Dezerae De La Garza (10 points) were also huge in the championship victory.

The Green 4th Grade boys division would be a battle between the ATX Force and Boerne Wolverines. The Force led by Jaxson Vandegarde (16 points) and Jordan Sullivan (9 points) would be hand full for the Wolverines led by budding superstar Lance Beeghley (20 points). ATX Force which has plenty of Excel hardware controlled the game from the beginning and answered every Wolverine run with their own.  At the end it was the Austin boys taking the honor of Excel State’s best back up north.

The Bronze 7th Grade boys championship game was an epic battle between the Urban Kings of Houston and the Excel Regional Champions San Antonio All Stars. Both of these teams had to battle threw a very talented 16 team division to reach the championship. The Urban Kings came in with a very athletic and talented group led by Jordan Whitley (21 points) and Tylek Simmon (16 points).  The All Stars came in with a group that plays like a unit. Most of the core of this groups has been together since 2nd grade and it shows on the court.  Angelo Samudio (19 points) along with Xavier Rodriguez (12 points) and Orion Campa (10 points) would counter the star tandem of Whitley and Simmon.  With the game being an all out war on both ends the game would remain close to the very end. A couple of late baskets by Urban Kings Whitley pulled the boys from Houston close but when it mattered the All Stars pulled away and would keep the State Championship in San Antonio.

The Orange 6th Grade boys championship division was a treat for all in attendance at Our Lady of the Lake University Sunday.  What started as a 20 team division only left two arch rivals in the San Antonio Fire and San Antonio Kings.  The Fire is ranked nationally in the 5th grade division and were playing up in the 6th grade division.  The Kings have had their share of success with the Excel tournament series.  The Kings would jump out to an early double digit lead led by Jalen Smith (24 points), Aaron Terrazas (16 points), and Jad Reda (14 points).  With the game getting out of reach Fire coach Art Gonzalez was challenged with a way to wake his players up and make a run.  Well he figured it out in the second half as the Fire led by Gerry Martinez (22 points) and Jayven Cofer (12 of his 14 points in 2nd half) made a 22-3 run to cut the lead to one point.  Looking a little snake bit Kings coach Elray Garcia called a timeout and settled his troops down.  This timeout would prove to be effective in stopping the run and allowing the Kings to pull out the close championship victory at the end.

The Purple 8th Grade girls division would come down to a battle between national powerhouse and ranked San Antonio Lady Outlaws fresh off a championship finish at the Nola Super 60 and a runner up finish in the West Coast Showcase in Las Angeles and the Dallas Team Takeover.  This battle would prove to be a spectacular showcase of talent.  From the beginning Team Takeover would be a force led by Kya Gastineau (17 points) and Kyra Kelley (9 points).  The Lady Outlaws led by Alissa Martinez (22 points) and Avalon Martinez (21 points) would help keep it close.  Back and forth the game went with big baskets made on both sides.  When the dust would settle we would witness a very rare defeat for the Lady Outlaws and Team Takeover taking the State’s crown home to Dallas. The Team Takeover organization would take also win the Lavender High School girls championship and get 2nd place in the Platinum High School boys division.

The Silver 8th grade boys division was the biggest division of the weekend with 30 teams.  Only the Brownsville Outlaws and San Antonio Hoops Elite would survive.  The Outlaws led by twin back court Josh Martinez (24 points) and John Martinez (14 points) would run into a war tested team in the San Antonio Hoops Elite led by Kyle Schafer (16 points), Andrew Lazenhat (11 points), and Ty Fontenot (10 points).  Close in the first half, the second half was a different story as Hoops Elite’s 16-2 run would push them to a big lead and victory.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: CRIMSON 1ST/2ND GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Laredo Blackout/RUNNER-UPS Alamo Hoop Squad, AMBER 9TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS( Hardwork 2021/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Flight, GOLD JV BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Hardwork 2119/RUNNER-UPS Brownsville Outlaws, PLATINUM VARSITY BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Outlaws/RUNNER-UPS Dallas Team Takeover, PEARL 7TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Lightning/RUNNER-UPS PHA Thunder, ROSE 9TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Hoops Elite/RUNNER-UPS SA Unite Skills Academy, LAVENDER VARSITY GIRLS CHAMPIONS Dallas Team Takeover/RUNNER-UPS Laredo United South.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel Summer State Championship on Facebook

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Excel Summer Jump Off 2016 Recap- San Antonio

DSC00144 DSC00223 DSC00503 DSC00572 DSC00653 DSC00897 DSC05301 DSC05617 DSC05953 DSC06015 DSC06129What better way to start your basketball summer circuit but with Excel Tournaments. On June 11-12, teams from all over Texas came to the Alamo City to battle for the Excel Summer Jump Off crown.  The talent on display was like no other.

 One of the most impressive performances of the championship series Sunday at Our Lady of the Lake University came from the Greg Buckner Elite group. In their Blue 5th Grade boys championship game against a very tough San Antonio Cobras team, the boys from both the Houston and the Dallas area put on a barrage of skills.  While the Cobras were a challenge, the back court tandem of Ty Beston (24 pts) and Ace Buckner (12 pts 10 asst) were flat out amazing.  Sharp shooting and pin point passing made them near impossible for the Cobras to defend as they took the special GOLD CUP home.

The Lavender High School girls division came down to two out of town teams. The New Braunfels United girls led by Olivia Esqueda (9 pts) and Aubrey Montoya (7pts) would have their hands full with a very physically talented Laredo United South squad led by the scoring tandem of Lilly Hernandez (18pts) and Kat Mata (19pts).  At first what seemed to be an instant classic turned to a Laredo United South route simply off tough physical play as a unit.  While the New Braunfels showed signed of brilliance, the United South girls proved on this Sunday they were the more weathered team.  Would love to see this rematch later in the summer.

In the Gold Junior Varsity boys Championship we were treated to two teams with extreme athletic talent.  The K Town All Stars of Killeen had Texas Hoops Ranked sensation Cortez Ivie while the Texas Riders of Tyler, TX had Gary Lyons, DK Goodson, and a supporting cast boasting of future NCAA D1 Football players.   As a basketball fan I was amazed how talented this game was. Truly an exceptional championship game.  Ivie would hold it down for the All Stars scoring the game high 26 points but the combination of Goodson’s 15 pts and Lyons 18 points along with strong performances from Breshawn Williams and Tre Allison would make the Texas Riders too much at the end.

The 18 team Silver 8th Grade Division came down to the Austin Juggernauts New Era and Texas Riders fresh off a Junior Varsity championship win just the game before.  Austin New Era would shoot the ball lights out with help from Max Smith’s 19 points but like the JV Boys before them, the Tyler boys were a barrage of weapons on both the offensive and defensive ends.  Their athletic prowess made it tough for the New Era to get shots off after a first half adjustment and would take home their organizations second championship.

The Orange 6th Grade boys championships came down to two San Antonio powers in the championship in Marcus Soto’s Blue Devils and the Southwest Phenoms. Matthew Soto put on an all out show scoring a Sunday high 28 points.   Soto who plays a majority of his circuit minutes with the nationally ranked D1 Shooters out of Dallas loves to get to showcase all the hard work he puts in with his original dad’s team the Blue Devils.  The hard work paid off Sunday as the Blue Devils jumped out to a large first half lead.  After the SW Phenoms settled down a bit they went on a 24-4 run to start the second half and take the lead led by huge performances from Donovan Graham with 23 points and Josh Rodgers with 14 points.  A big part of the huge comeback was the guard play of Donovan Holcombe. His 9 assists and 4 steals helped put his teammates in the right positions to be successful. A late injury to the Phenoms Graham though would prove to be the difference as the Blue Devils took advantage of the Phenoms without their leading scorer to win the championship. Shane Perales and Aidan Gonzales were also huge for the Blue Devils.

In the Amber 9th grade boys division, a very well coached UC Hoops team would have their hands full with a huge Houston Hyperfuse team.  Boasting 6’9 Rodrigo Contras and 6’6 L.T. Hutchins, UC Hoops Coach Vanlandingham would need a plan.  Early the Hyperfuse seemed to have their way down low and would sprint out to an early lead.  But UC Hoops led by Cooper Vanlandingham’s 18 points including 4 long bombs from outside would battle back to tie the game by halftime.  With the lead going back and forth in the second half the UC Hoops squad found themselves down by 1 with time running out and numerous attempts to win the game.  Unfortunately none of these attempts would be successful and the Hyperfuse would take the GOLD CUP home. Contras’s 12 points and 9 rebounds along with Hutchins 18 points were huge for the boys from Houston.

The Lilac 5th Grade Girls division came down to a battle between the Somerset Hoopstars and the San Antonio Lady Boomers.  With plenty of talent on the floor Isabella Rodriguez would control the game with 15 points and 7 assists. Lady Boomers Reese Stephens would also put on a show with her own 14 points.  With the Hoopstars second scoring threat in Jazzy Vallado (12 points) the Boomers would not be able to keep pace as the game concluded.

In the Bronze 7th Grade boys division, the Texas CRU Elite squad from Austin found themselves in a familiar spot against the Uvalde Raptors.  The CRU Elite team is a constant championship game participant but have come up short in this game twice in the past two Regional Championships.  They came in with a chip on their shoulder to prove the are championship quality. Led by Jaden Williams 21 points and Payton Miller’s 14 points TX CRU Elite looked like they would change their fate. But the Raptors Majik DelaGarza would make it tough with an outstanding 19 point performance.  When the dust settled the TX CRU Elite would prove that they not only could win the GOLD CUP but will be a main stay in the 7th grade division this summer.

In the Red 2nd/3rd Grade boys division we would see an all out war.  Both the Notre Dame Warriors and the San Antonio Lion Life teams would leave everything on the floor.  It was simply amazing to see the extremely young boys play like men. Diving on loose balls and defending like this would be their last game made this championship memorable. With a close game most of the way the Notre Dame Warriors would dig deep and find a way to win the championship at the end.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: GREEN 4TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Rebels/RUNNER-UPS Texas Riders, PLATINUM VARSITY BOYS CHAMPIONS (LATE) Houston Hyperfuse/RUNNER-UPS Texas Allegiance, PURPLE 8TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS Laredo United South/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Skills Elite.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of this Excel Summer Jump Off at Facebook

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Excel Keep it Weird Classic 2016 Recap-Austin

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Memorial Day Weekend has always been a popular start for club basketball. For the Excel Tournament Series, the Keep it Weird Classic in Austin has been the big event.  Teams from all over Texas converged on the Capital City for a very talented and competitive weekend of basketball.

In the opening championship game of Sunday, the Fredericksburg Kings would face the ATX Youth Academy Knights in the Orange 6th Grade Championship. The Knights all weekend had shown great skill from their guards along with sharp shooting.  They also were the only team with a big that look that Kings in the eye. Unfortunately the Knights big man would not play in Sunday’s championship due to a Saturday night ankle sprain.  Without the size the Frederickburg Kings bigs were able to control the boards and clog the middle making it tough for the knights to score.  The overall size of the big team from a small town outside of San Antonio proved to be dominate this weekend as they took the Excel Cup back home.

In the Bronze 7th Grade boys division Lion Life of San Antonio would face the Crossroad Kings of Victoria.  With skilled players at every position, the Lion Kings came on in constant waves in the championship game. The very talented did everything they could to contain the very talented Lion Life team.  When they defended the lane, Lion Life had a barrage of three point bombs.  When they crowded the arc, the Lion Kings drove the lane and finished with great consistency.  Both groups had very successful weekends but Lion Life proved to be too much to handle Sunday in the championship.

The Green 4th Grade Championship was one of the more anticipated championships of Sunday.  The near unbeatable Manor Falcons would face a very strong Beaumont Storm team.  Both the Falcons and Storm have very strong guard play so you can imagine the track meet type of game that would ensue.  Putting up big number the lead changed numerous times but just when you thought one of the teams would pull away the other would answer.  Ultimately the bigs of the Storm would be the determining factor making it tough for Manor’s talented guards to finish at the rim.  Look for these teams to battle many more times this summer.

The Lilac 5th/6th Grade girls brought one of the best teams in Texas with Laredo Team Fearless going against an unknown Austin organization in the Lady Magic.  The start of the game looked like Team Fearless would continue their dominance but the Austin Lady Magic had some different plans.  Being very well coached the Lady Magic were not bothered by the smothering defense of the ladies from Laredo.  Even though Team Fearless would make a late run the Lady Magic would hold steady and win the championship.

The Silver 8th Grade Division would be the largest division of the weekend starting with 15 teams but only two would survive.  The CenTX Soldiers and the Liberty Hill Swoosh come out of the dust of a very talented pool of teams.  The Swoosh has the advantage of chemistry that has been built from years of playing together.  But along with this amazing team chemistry comes stellar outside shooting and passing.  CenTX Soldiers would challenge this with a very aggressive press and an attack offense.  While the match up in the first half lived up to the hype, the second half proved to be the Soldiers.  With probably the most aggressive half of Sunday’s championship game, the CTX Soldiers jumped out to a big lead and never looked back.

The Championship finale of Sunday was the Platinum varsity boys division which pitted Sanni Hoops of Houston against the Next Level Raiders of San Antonio. Both rosters were full of top notch High School talent and this would be a rematch of Saturday nights epic Pool play battle in which Sanni Hoops won.  The beginning of the rematch would be all Raiders as they jumped out to as big of a lead as twenty points.  Sanni Hoops would not go out like that. In the second half the guys from Houston would slowly chip away at the big lead of Next Level and before anybody could blink Sanni Hoops pulled within single digits. By the last minute of the game it was down to one possession.  Sanni Hoops would tie the game with three seconds to go and as the Raiders in bounded the ball Sanni stayed in their press that had been so successful but were called for a foul putting the Raiders on the line with 1.5 seconds to go. After missing the front end, the Raiders would make the second and survive with the championship.  What a conclusion to a great weekend of basketball.

OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: RED 2ND/3RD GRADE BOYS DIVISION CHAMPIONS San Antonio Grizzlies/RUNNER-UPS Austin CTP, BLUE 5TH GRADE BOYS DIVISION CHAMPIONS ATX Youth Academy Knights Weyard/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Cobras, AMBER 9TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Houston Klutch City Ballers/RUNNER-UPS Westlake Hoops, GOLD JV BOYS DIVISION CHAMPIONS San Antonio Flight, RUNNER-UPS Port Arthur Warriors, PURPLE 7TH/8TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS Austin Lady Magic/RUNNER-UPS ATX Youth Academy Knights, LAVENDER HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS CHAMPIONS Liberty Hill Swoosh/RUNNER-UPS Austin Lady Magic.

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Excel Regional Championships 2016 Recap-San Antonio

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The weekend of May 13-15 has always been the home of the Excel Regional Championships.  As the first 2-day event of the Excel Spring/Summer season, it has also challenged Excel’s largest event the State Championships in size.  Being the 4th year for this prestigious event, 250+ teams came from all over Texas and Southern United States proving that the Excel Regionals are still the premier event for this mid May weekend.   That was a given but the amount of talented teams and players playing this weekend was groundbreaking.

To start championship Sunday at Our Lady of the Lake University we had the Green 4th Grade boys division match up of NBA All Star Tracy McGrady’s GR Sports team out of Houston and San Antonio’s own HD Toros.  Coming into the game it looked like the GR Sports size would be too much for the HD Toros but the speed and shooting of the HD Toros proved to be too much early and by the time the dust cleared in the first half the GR Sports boys were own by double digits. In the second half led by Laymond McGrady and Christian Williams the GR Sports settled down and did what they do well.  The HD Toros leader Preston Jones would not take no for an answer as he poured in 15 point with a majority in the second half helping the Toros capture the Regionals championship.

The Blue 5th Grade boys division boasted 16 teams from all over Texas but the championship would come down to two local state powerhouses in Hardwork and San Antonio Fire.  Hardwork has become a national power at all levels and the Fire have been hungry to gain their respect. This would show in the first half as to the capacity crowds surprise the Fire held Hardwork to only 1 point. In the 2nd Half Hardwork came out of their shell but the front line of Kendrick Deluna (17pts 10 reb) and Jaylen Gardner (12pts 6 reb) proved to be too strong for Hardwork.

The Orange 6th Grade boys division started with 21 teams but finished with two Austin rivals in the championship in the ATX Blazers and Texas Shockers.  With all this talent in northern Austin one is to wonder what if these guys ever combined? For now we will settle for epic battles between the two groups. Led by Nehikhare Igiehon the ATX Blazers controlled that paint but solid shooting by the Shocker guards kept them in the game. Ultimately the Shockers would have no answer for Igiehon and the Blazers at the end.

We had an epic battle in the Purple 7th/8th Grade girls division between the San Antonio Lady Stealth and the Sofia Young Elite Gold girls.  Teams have always struggled with the size of Stealth’s front court anchor in Aleesha Orange (19pts 7reb) but Sofia Young’s girls would bring the size in the championship game to look her in the eye.  This would make for a great championship game that would come down to the very end.  Led by Kathryn Price (15 pts) and Imani Hardin (12pts) the Sofia Young Elite battled to the very end.  Orange’s 18 points and Vivan Castro’s 16 points would be too much in the second half.

The Bronze 7th Grade boys division became a rematch of last years 6th Grade Orange Regional Championships between the San Antonio All Stars and Texas Cru Elite in which the All Stars ran away with the contest.  With something to prove Cru Elite led by Jaylen Bedford (17pts) and Jaden Williams (12 pts) would show they have grown as a unit and a force.  Close the entire contest All Stars Orion Campa (23pts) and Andrew Galvan (18pts) would take off late in the second half and create some space between them.

In the Lilac 5th/6th Grade girls division the Laredo Lady Venom came into the championship on fire with demanding victories in pool play and early bracket play. The Somerset Hoopstars would change this momentum in the championship game. The Lady Venom led by Bella Rodriguez (13pts) continued their dominance in the 1st half but the Hoopstars led by MVP Mia Godina (24pts) the Lady Venom saw their lead shrink until finally the Hoopstars took their first lead. After that the momentum carried the Hoopstars into a championship.

The Red 3rd Grade boys division was stacked with power house teams such as Alamo Hoop Squad (5 Excel Championships), Laredo Rampage (2 championships), San Antonio Grizzlies (2 Championships), San Antonio Blue Devils (11 Championships), Somerset Bulldogs (6 Championships), and many other teams working for a taste of a Excel Championship. In Pool play Houston GR Sports beat everybody but when bracket play started on Sunday everything started over.  Going into the bracket GR Sports looked like the team to beat but two teams with losses would be the better teams on Sunday with the Laredo Rampage and San Antonio Grizzlies surviving to battle it out in the championship.  Led by Isaac Castillo (9pts) and Enrique Torrez (8 Pts) the Grizzlies would overcome an early Laredo Rampage lead to win the championship.

The 28 team Silver 8th Grade boys division came down to San Antonio Blue Devils Palma and the Texas Warriors Black team from Austin.  A rematch of  Saturday ‘s pool play match up in which the Blue Devils won, the championship would be a different game.  The overall size of the TX Warriors played a major role in the first half as they were able to hold a slight lead at half time. In the second half the same size seemed to wear on the undersized Blue Devils and the Warriors would run away with the championship.

OTHER REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: CRIMSON 2ND GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Fire/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Blue Devils, GOLD JV BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Flight/ RUNNER-UPS Austin Wildcats Black, ROSE JV GIRLS CHAMPIONS Sofia Young Elite/RUNNER-UPS Killeen Lady Assassins.

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Excel Fiesta Hoopfest 2016 Recap-San Antonio

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One of San Antonio’s well known traditions is Fiesta which has been celebrated since 1891. Showcasing all the greatness of the Alamo City and its rich tradition, millions of party goers from all over the nation converge in celebration. Well the Excel Tournament Series cant boast an 100 year history but in our four year existence we like to say we celibate what is great in basketball. Throw in our 4th annual Fiesta Hoopfest and you have a party only Excel can host.

In Saturday’s Silver American 8th Grade boys division, eight of the most talented teams battled it out for who is best of the best. With the field bringing in the best of San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and the valley only two teams would survive the test and get the the championship.  This would set up an old Northside San Antonio rivalry between the Mustangs 2020 squad and the Team Warriors.  In one of the best championships I have seen in a while, both teams bruised and banged away.  No team would have a bigger lead than six points with the lead changing an amazing 15 times.  When the dust settled it came down to one free throw by the Mustangs to claim victory.

In the Rose American JV Girls Division the Austin FTV girls were way too much to handle for the rest of the field.  With solid outside shooting combined with athletic bigs, FTV put on a scoring clinic with three 20+ victories to their belt.  Their stiffest game came in the championship against San Antonio All In. While the All In girls hung in the game at the beginning, the multiple ways FTV scored made them tough at the end.

In the Blue National division the Somerset Heat sported some new uniforms. But don’t let the new look fool you because they were up to their same dominance.  They would have to get threw a very tough HD Toros team in order to claim another Excel Cup which would not be an easy task.  The HD Toros bigs cause a true challenge for any opponent but since the Heat have some bigs the that can look the Toros in the eyes, the always steady front court of the Toros had their hands full. At the end the Heat proved to be too much for the Toros.

The Orange American 6th grade boys division came down to one of the best teams in the valley against one of the best teams in San Antonio.  The Texas Heat from Pharr, TX came to San Antonio with an arsenal of weapons. With a very tough press and talent at every position it makes since why they came into this weekend with some big victories against the traditional powers in the valley.  The STX Hornets from San Antonio are a somewhat new team but that hasn’t stopped them from having quick success.  In the championship the Texas Heat jumped out to a quick lead but the STX Hornets would hang around with outstanding outside shooting. Every time the Heat started to pull away the Hornets would answer with multiple long bombs. Close to the end the Texas Heat proved to be too much as they took the Excel Cup back to Pharr. Look for big things from both of these teams in May and in the Summer.

The Amber American 9th Grade division came down to a match up between the Austin Vipers and a very tough San Antonio Air Elite team.  Air Elite had dominated their pool play with 40 minutes of press and an attack offense that put huge numbers up against their opponents.  The Austin Vipers controlled their pool by more of a half court fundamental approach.  Compare in to what all basketball fans hope to see in the NBA Western Conference Championship with the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. The Championship proved to be everything the fans at Gervin expected with a close contest most of the way. At the end the Austin Vipers just made less mistakes and were able to control the tempo of the game forcing Air Elite to play their game.

In the Green National 3rd Grade Boys division Sunday night the championship came down to two powerhouses in their division.  The San Antonio Blue Devil have been the juggernaut in the division but the Texas Lighting have been improving and had eyes on the Excel Cup Sunday.  A close battle all the way, the experience of the Blue Devils helped them pull away at the end for a close championship victory.

Being an ex high school coach I love to see a great championship game between two great Varsity boys teams. In the Platinum American Varsity boys division we got that.  The San Antonio Apaches have been a power since they were 6th graders under the East side Apaches.  All of that hard work and dedication has equated into very talented varsity players.  They would have to get threw the always tough and well coached San Antonio Zags to take home the Excel Cup Saturday.  The Apaches controlled the game most of the way with a 16 point lead at one point but the Zags wouldn’t take no for an answer. Erasing the huge deficit in the first half the Zags stormed back to cut the lead to 4 with less than a minute left.  A couple clutch defensive possessions along with some hot hands on the offensive end allowed the Zags to shock the OLLU fans and pull out an amazing come from behind victory. Congrats to both teams for treating us to an amazing contest.

OTHER RESULTS: CRIMSON 2ND GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS SA Fire/RUNNER-UPS D1 Elite, RED 3RD GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS SA Fire/RUNNER-UPS SA Blue Devils GREEN AMERICAN 4TH GRADE BOYS HD Toros/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Hoopers, ORANGE 6TH GRADE BOYS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS SA Fire/RUNNER-UPS SA Kings, BRONZE AMERICAN 7TH GRADE BOYS HTX Panthers/RUNNER-UPS Killeen K Town Bulls, BRONZE PATRIOT 7TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Texas Shockers/RUNNER-UPS SA Ravens, BRONZE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS Uvalde Aztecs/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Fire, SILVER PATRIOT 8TH GRADE CHAMPIONS HD Toros/RUNNER-UPS On Point Gold Elite, AMBER NATIONAL 9TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS BTA Thunder/RUNNER-UPS SA Arsenal, GOLD AMERICAN JV BOYS CHAMPIONS SA Hoopers/RUNNER-UPS Austin FTV, GOLD NATIONAL JV BOYS CHAMPIONS SA Flight/RUNNER-UPS SA Wizards, PLATINUM NATIONAL VARSITY BOYS CHAMPIONS SA Elite Athletics/RUNNER-UPS HD Toros, LILAC 5TH/6TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS Unite Skills Academy/RUNNER-UPS Austin Lady Aztecs, PEARL 7TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS Unite Skills Academy/RUNNER-UPS SA Lady Titans, PURPLE 8TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS SA Lighting/RUNNER-UPS Corpus Christi FB Nets, TEAL 9TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS Somerville Attitude/RUNNER-UPS Unite Skills Academy, ROSE NATIONAL JV GIRLS CHAMPIONS Unite Skills Academy/RUNNER-UPS Laredo United South, LAVENDER AMERICAN VARSITY GIRLS CHAMPIONS SA Ballinisahabit/RUNNER-UPS Unite Skills Academy, LAVENDER NATIONAL VARSITY GIRLS CHAMPIONS Corpus Christi Hotshots/RUNNER-UPS

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EXCEL PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Excel Fiesta Hoopfest 2016-San Antonio

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PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: MARCUS VARELA, LINDSEY RAMOS, CHRISTOPHER MAY, ISAAC GONZALES, JOSH MORENO, GABBY KOUASONIC, DE ANTHONY, JAMIE RUEDE

Marcus Varela-SA Mustangs 2020-8th Grade Boys Varela was part of one of the best championship games Excel has seen in a while. A highly competitive contest came down to a free throw by Varela.  With the score tied and 3.4 seconds left, Varela knocked down the second of two free throws to make his team the champions. Ice water runs threw Marcus Varela’s veins!!!!!!

Lindsey Ramos-Austin FTV-Junior Varsity Girls  Ramos showed Saturday that she is as good of a shooter as anybody in this weekends event. The Del Vale product went 7 of 8 from the arc in the Rose American championship game finishing with 28 points.  Showing Curry like range she is able to knock down shots from all over the floor.  Her sharp shooting allowed her teammates a wide open lane to attack the rim.

Christopher May- Port Arthur Warriors- Junior Varsity Boys  Two weekends ago in Austin Excel was blessed to see the #33 9th grader in the country in Chris Harris of Dallas.  This weekend we saw the #25 ranked 9th grader according to ScoutFocus in Christopher May.  The Houston (Port Arthur) product does just about everything for his team.  His length and speed makes him a great rebounder and defender from the guard position. But his court savvy is what makes him a coaches dream.  May plays like a veteran guard on the floor. FINAL STATS: 18.2 ppg, 7.2 apg, 2.1 spg.

Isaac Gonzalez- Texas Heat- 6th Grade Boys Young Isaac plays anything but young. The rolling and banging guard almost looks for contact.  Like Lebron James he thrives in contact and can get from baseline to baseline as fast as and guards he faces. You see a lot of players that have the physical attributes of Gonzalez but not very often do you see all those players finish at the basket with the pure accuracy of Issac.  Truly a fun player to watch, he dominates every aspect of the game.  As good of a offensive power that he is, he is just as good if better on the defensive end.  On one occasion he came out of nowhere to swat an opposing players ball into the stands almost making me fall out of my seat.    FINAL STATS: 23.1 ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.8 bpg

Josh Moreno- SA Fire- 6th Grade Boys Josh is sometimes overshadowed by the great Fire back court players but Sunday was the day for the big man.  Going up against a very solid front court in the championship against the SA Kings, Moreno scored 15 points and pulled down 9 rebounds.  His size clogged the lane making it hard for the Kings guards to get shots at the rim.  A couple clutch defensive possessions at the end of the game proved to be enough to lead his team to a championship.

Gabby Kouasonic- Somerville Attitude- 9th Grade Girls Gabby is used to dominating the paint.  That’s why the girls from Somerville have always been competitive. Sunday Gabby took her game to a another level controlling every board and also scoring big points in the paint.  Her game isn’t limited to down low. Gabby is also a deadly mid range shooter which makes her near impossible to stop.  Her play this weekend proved enough to take the Excel Cup back home. FINAL STATS: 14.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg

De Anthony- Alamo City Thunder- 8th Grade Boys  You might know De from the Gervin Academy where he led his school to a private school state championship. De’s Spring and Summer circuit ball is taking off to another level.  The long and lanky Anthony is a threat in every element of the game.  He plays hard! But what makes him such a great player to watch is his ability to put point up.  The young man had 28, 32, and 29 points in his three games Sunday.  We might have the next San Antonio all time leading scorer on our hands.

Jamie Ruede- Unite Skills Academy- 5th/6th Grade Girls Jamie was clutch in her teams dominance in Sunday’s girls division.  Her steady guard play led her to MVP Status and her team to a championship.  Jamie’s ability to survey the floor and make her teammates perform at their very best makes her so valuable to her Unite Skills Academy success. FINAL STATS: 8.2 ppg 5.8 apg 2.2 spg

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Excel Heart of Texas Classic 2016 Recap

DSC03245DSC03346DSC03368DSC03644DSC02816DSC02404DSC02275DSC02953I am proud to say that my Heart is in Texas. The Heart of Texas Classic in Austin this weekend would showcase the love for basketball in our great state. From the amazing talent on the floors to the coaches and parents that packed the Premier Athletic Complex, Heart and love for basketball was at a premium.

Along with heart the Gold American Junior Varsity boys division Saturday brought State Ranked talent to the floor.  In the divisions championship between the Texas Hustle out of Dallas and the Killeen K Town All Stars, two guards put on a show.  Texas Hustle’s Chris Harris Jr. who is ranked 33th in the country as a two guard would face the K Town All Stars Lightning Point Guard in Cortez Ivie Jr. who is climbing up Texas rankings.  The game lived up to expectations with both putting up big numbers but Harris’s squad being a little too much to handle at the end.

In the Silver American 8th Grade Boys Division on Saturday the championship came down to a match up between the Corpus Christi Bombers and the Luling Oil City boys.  This match up promised to be an even with both teams being very talented.  The Bombers would jump out to an early lead but the Oil City wouldn’t go away.  Guard play became the ultimate deciding point for the Corpus Christi Bombers as they would handle the pressure Oil City tried to put on them and take home the Excel Cup.

Sunday’s Rose National Junior Varsity Girls division came down to a showdown between two Central Texas powerhouses in the Killeen Lady Assassins and the Temple Urban Elite.  Both of these teams play smash mouth tough games and the championship would be a true example of this.  Every possession would be a tough fought battle.  Every loose ball would be contested. Every element of the epic game would be a challenge.  At the end the Lady Assassins would have a little more in the tank than Urban Elite.

Saturday’s Bronze American 7th Grade Division would have the powerful STX Regulators from San Antonio go up against a very well coached Austin Rain team.  Austin Rain led by point guard Will Agnew would make it tough for the Regulators to force turnovers which had shown a lot of success in the games leading up to the championship.  While the Regulators continued to claw at the fundamentally sound Rain squad, Agnew and his teammates were too much at the end.

In the Blue American 5th Grade boys division the New Braunfels Warriors got a well deserved victory with a win against an almost unbeatable Westlake Hoopsters team.  The Hoopsters came into this weekends championship winning every 2016 Excel event they have played in. With a depleted roster the Westlake boys still found themselves playing for the championship.  A Combination of great pressure and knock down shooting would be too much for the Hoopsters in this championship.

Sunday’s Platinum National Varsity boys division brought all the big dogs to the party.  With two of San Antonio’s best varsity teams in the Next Level Raiders Elite and Texas Tigers along with Austin and Central Texas powers such as the Round Rock Rimrockers and RTX Hoops the division promised to be a masterpiece.  With a stunning comeback victory in pool play over the Next Level Raiders for the Round Rock Rimrockers and the Texas Tigers running threw their pool, the dust would settle with the Rimrockers and Texas Tigers battling it out in the championship.  Both teams would push the ball on offense and press at all ends on defense leading to a very entertaining match-up.  Close most of the way, the Rimrockers would pull away and keep the Excel Cup home in Austin for this one.

In the Green Division Championship we saw two of the most talented 4th grade boys teams in Texas battle it out. Both the Round Rock Rimrockers and Manor Falcons breezed threw pool play to set up this epic showdown.  The Rimrockers showed very early that the pressure led by guard Chris Colter would not effect them like the other teams the Falcons faced earlier in the division.  This would only last for so long as the Manor Falcons would eventually wake up and start forcing the turnovers they are known to force.  Being a relatively new Rimrockers team going against a Manor Falcons team that’s core has been together for several years, the experience of the Falcons proved to be the reason for pulling away the championship. Look for this to be a repeated match up in the future.

The K Town Bulls would have a very successful weekend with three championships in the Blue National 5th Grade boys, Orange American 6th Grade boys, and Bronze National 7th Grade boys divisions.

OTHER WEEKEND RESULTS: BLUE NATIONAL 5TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS: K Town Bulls/RUNNER-UPS Manor Falcons, ORANGE AMERICAN 6TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS: K Town Bulls/RUNNER-UPS Victoria Crossover Kings, ORANGE NATIONAL 6TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS:Texas Shockers/Westlake Hoops, BRONZE NATIONAL 7TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS: K Town Bulls/RUNNER-UPS Austin Lobos, SILVER NATIONAL 8TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS: CTX Attack/RUNNER-UPS RTX Hoops, AMBER AMERICAN 9TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS: BTA Thunder/RUNNER-UPS Victoria Crossover Kings, AMBER NATIONAL 9TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS: Austin Wildcats/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Flight, GOLD NATIONAL JV BOYS CHAMPIONS: Waco Elite/RUNNER-UPS Round Rock Rimrockers, PLATINUM AMERICAN VARSITY BOYS CHAMPIONS: K Town All Stars B/RUNNER-UPS K Town All Stars 2017, LILAC 5TH/6TH GIRLS CHAMPIONS: Texas Hustle/RUNNER-UPS Corpus Christi Thunder, PEARL 7TH GIRLS CHAMPIONS: Unite Skills Academy/RUNNER-UPS CenTX Elite, PURPLE 8TH GIRLS CHAMPIONS: Kerrville Swoosh/RUNNER-UPS SYC All Stars, ROSE AMERICAN JV GIRLS CHAMPIONS: Unite Skills Academy/RUNNER-UPS Kerrville Swoosh, LAVENDER VARSITY GIRLS CHAMPIONS: Kerrville Swoosh/RUNNER-UPS Unite Skills Academy.

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EXCEL PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Excel Heart of Texas Classic 2016-Austin

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PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: CHRIS HARRIS JR , CORTEZ IVIE JR, WILL AGNEW, CHRIS COLTER, GRACE DOLLARHIDE, JON JON SALAZAR, ZAVANNAH RODRIGUEZ, NAOMI WHITFIELD

Chris Harris Jr.- Texas Hustle-Junior Varsity Boys. Very strong guard that with range and the size and quickness to beat his defender and get to the cup.  As the #33 ranked 9th Grader in the country, you can see how easy the game seems to Harris.  In Saturday’s Semi Finals VS Round Rock Rimrockers he seemed to be coasting with only 5 pts but when the game was on the line he dropped 15 late points including two-deep 3 balls to help his Hustle team advance.  In a championship showdown with fellow guard protege Cortez Ivie (K Town All Stars), Harris showed why he is so highly regarded on the national scene.  Final Saturday stats for the South Garland (Dallas) product: 19 ppg, 11.3 apg, 7.4 rpg

Cortez Ivie Jr.- Killeen K Town All Stars-Junior Varsity Boys.  C.J. makes up for being undersized with hard work and the biggest heart on the floor but lets not underappreciated the young man.  His skill set also makes him a monster to guard.  He’s already the fastest man on the court every game but his long rang along with the sickest handles make him near unstoppable. No wonder his name has been getting a lot of love on the national scene.  John Lucas’s camp has rated him as one of the point guards in the state for his age. His showdown with fellow star Chris Harris Saturday night was epic as he scorched the nets with 28 pts to keep his boys close in the championship. Final Saturday stats for the Killeen High product: 21 ppg, 7.1 apg, 2.6 stp.

Will Agnew- Austin Rain-7th Grade Boys. Will being the middle child in the Agnew family has a lot of pressure to deal with. Older brother Heath is busy playing college ball out of state. His father is a legendary high school coach in Austin. His sister is a stand-out volleyball star. WIll doesn’t live in shadows though, instead he has created his own identity as a player.  Comparing his to his brother Heath is like comparing Apples and Oranges.  Heath is an athletic above the rim slasher with a lot of range.  Will is a true guard with court sense like nobody else in the gym Saturday.  He was the only player i saw Saturday that made the correct basketball play in every opportunity.  His shooting and handles are far superior to other 7th graders and he is naturally blessed with the Agnew size that allows him to see over defenders to be so effective. Final Stats: 11.4 ppg, 10 apg.

Chris Colter- Manor Falcons-4th Grade Boys. Most of you have probably seen Chris on the circuit with Ray Jackson’s Rising Stars but now Chris is teaming up with Chris Sr. and staring for his dads Manor Falcons.  Chris might be the best 4th grade player I have seen in a while.  Playing since he was five years old the young man can do almost anything on the floor. Blessed with his dad’s length and height, Colter is a constant pest of passing lanes and a aggressive rim attacker.  He put up some real big number Saturday: 15.6 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.9 spg 4.2 rpg.

Grace Dollarside- Unite Skills Academy- Junior Varsity Girls. Grace is the total player. She is the player diving on loose balls. When coach needs a basket she is the one he goes to. When coach needs a stop she is the one guarding the opposing teams best player.  Lets throw in the fact that she is a deadly shooter with unlimited range. Well then we have as close to perfection as we can get.  Grace’s ability to effect the game in so many ways makes her as important or you might so more important to a coach.  Saturday Stats: 13.7 ppg, 3.5 apg, 5.2 rpg and 54% from arc.

Jon Jon Salazar-Next Level Raiders Elite- Varsity Boys. Jon Jon is the exact player coaches love. He plays hard and hates to lose more than anything.  This passion for the game has made Salazar as complete of a big man as you can find. Very capable of controlling the paint, he wows you with his consistent range from all parts of the floor.  This makes Salazar a near impossible offensive player to guard.  When you crowd his shot, he breezes by you to finish at the cup.  In Sunday’s showcase Varsity boys division Salazar out on an offensive show scoring from all over the floor. Coach Harrison has a true jewel in this very talented varsity squad. Look for a big Spring and Summer.  Sunday Stats: 17.9 ppg, 11.2 rbg.

Zavannah Rodriguez-Texas Hustle- 5th/6th Grade Girls. Rodriguez is a well balanced guard.  She has the ability to make her teammates much better with amazing passing skills.  In the championship game she showed she can score when her teammates need it the most. In Saturday’s very talented 5th/6th Grade girls division she seemed so much more advanced then most of the guards she faced. Coach Harris is doing an outstanding job developing his Texas Hustle players. Saturday’s Stats 8.1 ppg, 6.3 apg

Noami Whitfield-Killeen Lady Assassins-Junior Varsity Girls.  Whitfield has been playing with Excel Tournaments along with her Lady Assassins teammates since they were in middle school and it has been a true joy to see her and her teammates develop into the powerhouse that they have become.  Noami is the anchor of this very talented group.  Her length makes her a dominant rebounder and shot blocker.  No opponent offensive possession is easy with Whitfield on the floor. Sunday’s Stats: 8.2 rpg, 2.3 bpg.

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EXCEL PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Excel Spring Super Showcase 2016-San Antonio

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:CAMERON DE LA PENA, JANIE DANIELS, CLAIRE HALE, VICTOR PERALES, DAMIEN WEST, DAYTON BOOKER, XAVIER KIRK

Cameron De La Pena- Corpus Christi Bruins Cameron is a savvy point guard that is a pass first shoot second type of guard. He see’s the floor better than anybody in the 6th grade division. De La Pena can score too. He averaged 13.6 ppg to go along with his 10.2 assists this weekend. Excel staff couldn’t stop talking about the brilliant back court plays he made all weekend.

Janie Daniels- San Antonio Lightning  Janie is brilliant around the basket. A combination of great foot work and strength made her near impossible to stop this weekend. A demanding 8.4 rebounds per game helped her team secure the championship.

Claire Hale-Alamo City Shock Claire being a 9th grader playing in the JV girls division this weekend showed no sign of being young.  Her overall scoring and length drove opponents and coaches crazy as they looked for ways to stop the youngster. Her 14.5 ppg and 5.2 rpg were the dominant performance in this weekends division.

Victor Perales-San Antonio Sun Devils Big Vic was bigger than life this weekend. Often the biggest man on the floor in the 8th grade division, his game is much more guard oriented. Big Vic is one of the best shooters and slashers we have seen in a body so big.  This causes match up nightmares for 8th grade opponents. His stats don’t lie. Against some of the best teams and players in the area Victor put up 18.7 ppg along with 7.1 rpg.

Damien West-Houston Trailblazers Damien patterns his game after Portland Trailblazer All-Pro Damian Lillard and you can see why. This 4th grader has the coldest handles I have seen in a player his age. He is an instant press break as he weaves and cuts threw defenders. Coaches always say that a dominant point guard will always lead to success. Look for a bright future in this young man. His stats for the weekend included 9.3 ppg along with 7.9 apg.

Dayton Booker-Gulf Coast Magic Dayton hands down was my guy this weekend. Surrounded by tons of talent, he found a way to make his teammates better.  His court sense is hands down so good that every spectator in the gym this weekend was buzzing about this elite point guard.  I couldn’t take my eye off him when the rock was in his hand. What would he do next? A no look dime to a cutting teammate? A step back jumper with his opponent tightly covering him? A slashing layup at the basket?  This 8th grader can do everything and his stats this weekend prove it. 16.3 ppg and 12.1 apg! WOW!!!!

Xavier Kirk-Hardwork 2023 The X Man is the true eraser at the basket. Nobody is scoring on this young man. Blessed with length, athletic ability, and timing; this young man does everything on the defensive end.  He also is a great offensive re bounder and while he isn’t even close to his potential on the offensive end yet, the kid can finish at the basket. He is an anchor for probably one of the top teams in Texas and the country. We don’t track blocks but if we did the numbers would be huge. 8.6 rpg along with 7.9 ppg are no slouch either.

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Excel Spring Super Showcase 2016 Recap

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Excel Tournaments does a showcase once in the Fall, Spring, and Summer and these events always live up to their true purpose; to showcase the amazing talent from around Texas.  The Spring Super Showcase has become one the biggest of these showcases in the past years with teams traveling from all over Texas to showcase their teams.  With 150+ teams in the field the 2016 Super Spring Showcase set the bar even higher than previous years.

Saturdays Red and Green American Divisions were full of teams coming from out of town to play the best San Antonio could offer.  Tracy McGrady’s sponsered team GR Sports brought a very talented 3rd and 4th grade group to the Alamo City. The Houston Trailblazers and their crowd base also came down with a very talented team in both age divisions.  In the Red 3rd Grade division it would com down to a championship between the very hot Alamo City Hoop Squad and Houston Trailblazer team.  The Hoop Squad led by Camrin Garza’s scoring looked like they might have found their match with a very deep Houston Trailblazer team. The steady scoring power of the Hoop Squad would prove to be too much for the Trailblazers.  In the Green 4th Grade division the championship became a battle for bragging rights in the Houston area between the Houston Trailblazers and GA Sports.  With Htown representing hard the tempo was frantic between the two rivales.  The Houston Trailblazers had the ultimate weapon in point guard Damien West though and his playmaking ability proved to be the determining factor in his squad taking home the Excel Cup.

In Saturdays Orange American 6th Grade boys division the Gulf Coast Magic of Galveston took on the best San Antonio 6th grade teams and came out with a championship.  They had a tough battle in the semi finals against the Crossover Kings of Victoria before having an epic championship battle against the HD Toros. Ultimatley the guard play of the Magic proved to be too much.  While the 6th Grade Gulf Coast Magic took the early championship home the 8th Grade Magic team proved to be the most impressive of the two teams.  With a loaded 8th grade bracket the Gulf Coast Magic group battled threw San Antonio teams to win the championship in convincing fashion.  Point guard Dayton Booker put up big numbers in both points and assists to run circles around his defenders.

In Sundays Silver National division we would see the most winning 8th grade team battle it out. This loaded bracket included Under Armors Hardwork, Palma’s Blue Devils, State Champion Team Gervin, and the Sun Devils.  The Sun Devils have battled injury and commitment in the fall but played their first event of the Spring with their full healthy roster.  This equated into three tough victories and a championship finish. In the first round it took overtime to defeat a very talented HTX Panthers. In the semifinals they pulled off a major upset against Hardwork and then battled to the very end with a 3 point victory over almost unbeatbable Team Gervin.

Sunday’s Lavender Varsity girls division might have been the most competive with four very talented groups. The championship wouldnt be decided until the very last game in which the Laredo United South girls going in with a 2-0 record.  They would have to go threw a very solid San Antonio Mystic Knight team who desperately would need to win by alot to even place.  The San Antonio Cardinals took care of business agaisnt the San Antonio Lady Toros and the Mystic Knights would pull off a large upset of the United South girls.  This would leave a 3 way tie between the Cardinals, Mystic Knights, and United South teams.  When the dust settled and the points were all added up the Mystic Knights and Cardinals both were +11 points and the United South girls would finish with +10 causeing a two-way tie between the Mystic Knights and Cardinals.  Because the Cardinals had beaten the Mystic Knights in their morning game, they were crowed champions in the closest championship draw of the weekend.

OTHER RESULTS:
CRIMSON 2ND GRADE BOYS: CHAMPIONS SA BLUE DEVILS/RUNNER UPS ATX SPURS

RED NATIONAL 3RD GRADE BOYS: CHAMPIONS SA MULES/RUNNER UPS GULF COAST MAGIC

GREEN NATIONAL 4TH GRADE BOYS: CHAMPIONS HD TOROS/RUNNER UPS BOERNE WOLVERINES

BLUE 5TH GRADE BOYS:CHAMPIONS SOMERSET BULLDOGS/RUNNER UPS SAN ANTONIO GRIZZLIES

ORANGE NATIONAL 6TH GRADE BOYS:CHAMPIONS SA KINGS/RUNNER UPS TX SHOCKERS

BRONZE AMERICAN 7TH GRADE BOYS: CHAMPIONS TX PRIME/RUNNER UPS UVALDE RAPTORS

BRONZE NATIONAL 7TH GRADE BOYS:CHAMPIONS HARDWORK 2023/RUNNER UPS SA FIRE

SILVER PATRIOT 8TH GRADE BOYS: CHAMPIONS TEXAS TIGERS/RUNNER UPS SCHERTZ COWBOYS

AMBER 9TH GRADE BOYS: CHAMPIONS SAN MARCOS HEAT/RUNNER UPS SA FLIGHT

GOLD AMERCIAN JV BOYS:CHAMPIONS SA MAMBAS/RUNNER UPS LAKE TRAVIS CAVS

GOLD NATIONAL JV BOYS:CHAMPIONS FEED THE FAMILY/RUNNER-UPS SA WIZARDS

PLATINUM AMERICAN VARSITY BOYS:CHAMPIONS SAN ANTONIO GATA/RUNNER-UPS TX PRIME ELITE

PLATINUM NATIONAL VARSITY BOYS:CHAMPIONS HD TOROS/RUNNER UPS AUSTIN RIMROCKERS

PINK 4/5TH GIRLS: CHAMPIONS NEXT LEVEL RAIDERS/RUNNER-UPS SOMERSET HOOPSTARS

LILAC AMERICAN 5/6TH GIRLS: CHAMPIONS SA LIGHTNING/RUNNER UPS SA HOOPS ELITE

LILAC NATIONAL 5/6TH GIRLS: CHAMPIONS NEXT LEVEL RAIDERS/ RUNNER UPS LAREDO LEOPARDS

PURPLE 7/8TH GIRLS: CHAMPIONS SA OUTLAWS/RUNNER UPS SA LIGHTNING

ROSE JV GIRLS: CHAMPIONS ALAMO CITY SHOCK/RUNNER-UPS SA CARDINALS

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Excel Longhorn Classic 2016 Recap

DSC08222 DSC08092 DSC07990 DSC07266 DSC06896South by Southwest was not the only show in Austin March 19-20. The Excel Longhorn Classic entertained the masses and showed why it is the premier basketball event of this weekend.  Teams as far as Laredo, Eagle Pass, Rio Grande Valley, College Station, Waxahachie, and San Antonio came to get the best Austin and Central Texas has to offer.  The outcome was a hotbed that not even this years crazy NCAA March Madness could compete with.

Probably the most impressive performances Saturday came from two high school powerhouses in the College Station Lady Thunder varsity girls and the local ATX Lockdown varsity boys.  Both groups showed great depth at all positions with propelled them into demanding three game sweeps of their competition this weekend.  It will be exciting to see what these talented teams accomplish this Spring and Summer.

Saturday’s Silver American 8th grade division was dominated by the San Antonio teams with 3 of the 4 first round match-ups resulting in wins.  Ultimately this would set up the battle of the Blue Devils.  Don’t let the similarities in name fool you. These Blue Devil teams have very different ways to their success.  Jose Palma’s Blue Devils are a tenacious group that rely on scrappy defense and an attack offense that has made them successful in this match-up more than not. Marcus Soto’s Blue Devils bunch rely on size and a deliberate half court game that breaks down their opponents.  These very familiar foes would battle out for the Longhorn Classic championship with the Blue Devils Soto pulling away in the second half and getting the latest bragging rights in this major rivalry.

In the Red 3rd Grade division the Alamo Hoop Squad showed that all their hard work and dedication has propelled them into sudden success and dominance.  Fresh off a championship two weeks ago at San Antonio’s Excel Spring Break Invitational, they picked right off where they left off dominating the division including CTP, Waxahachie Knicks, and a very tough Laredo Lil Kingz.

On Sunday the crowd was treated to Platinum National Championship between Adidas sponsored Texas Cougars Elite and San Antonio Elite.  With both teams stacked with talent the contest became dominated by the numerous big men of both teams.  The Texas Cougars Elite came in as heavy favorites because of their national spotlight but the guys from San Antonio Elite were not impressed in the 1st half as they held a slight lead the entire time.  In the second half the Cougars showed what they were made of going on a 20-6 run to begin the 2nd half and never look back. The amount of spectacular play from both teams made this a memorable championship game.

The Killeen boys from the K Town Bulls showed that they are still the program to beat with championships in Saturday’s Blue 5th grade division and Sunday’s Orange National 6th grade division.

San Antonio’s best teams would come to Austin for Sunday’s Silver 8th Grade boys division. The Dream Loudly Boomers, San Antonio Cobras, and San Antonio Team Warriors were hungry for some new Austin and Central Texas blood and they got what they asked for in the CenTX Soldiers out of Killeen.  When the smoke cleared it was a championship battle between the Soldiers and Team Warriors.  Early the size and speed of the Team Warriors caused trouble for the CenTX Outlaws but as the game progressed the Outlaws overall athletic prowess became too much for the San Antonio boys as they took the Excel Cup back to Killeen.

One of the last battles of the Sunday Night came in the Amber 9th Grade division. The Eagle Pass Regulators and the Temple Flyers couldn’t have been more different.  The Regulators are a tough gritty group that rely on a solid press and great guard play where the Temple Flyers boast a very large front court along with slashing forwards that blaze by their defenders.  You can imagine that this contrast would lead to a very close contest.  With the lead going back and forth the entire game, the Regulators guard play would be too much late in the game.

OTHER WEEKEND RESULTS: GREEN 4TH GRADE BOYS DIVISION CHAMPIONS HD Toros/RUNNER-UPS Austin Life Prep, ORANGE 6TH GRADE BOYS AMERICAN CHAMPIONS Laredo Speedsters/RUNNER-UPS HD Toros, BRONZE 7TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS HTX Panthers/RUNNER-UPS Austin Dynamic Hoops, GOLD JV BOYS AMERICAN CHAMPIONS ATX/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Feed the Family, LILAC 5TH/6TH GRADE GIRLS DIVISION CHAMPIONS Texas Elite/RUNNER-UPS CenTX Soldiers, PURPLE 7TH/8TH GIRLS DIVISION  CHAMPIONS San Antonio Outlaws/ RUNNER-UPS Texas Lightning, ROSE JV GIRLS DIVISION CHAMPIONS Killeen Lady Assassins/RUNNER-UPS Somerville Attitude

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Excel Spring Break Invitational Recap

DSC04756 DSC04818 DSC04361 DSC05168The Excel Spring Break Invitational has always been the 1st event of the Spring Season.  This years transition from Fall to Spring brought 128 teams to the Alamo City to leave their successful school seasons behind and start their club seasons.   Teams from all over the State of Texas would test the best San Antonio can offer all weekend.

In Saturdays Silver American 8th Grade division you would see one of the best Private school programs in the Gervin Academy taking on an up and coming powerhouse from their neighbors up North in the Texas Warriors.  One thing that Gervin has been successful at is how talented their roster is from top to bottom.  Austin’s Texas Warriors would try to eliminate this advantage with physical and fundamental basketball.  While this was successful for a majority of the first half, in the second half the Gervin team would pull away with a constant press and aggressive offense not allowing the Austin boys to take home the cup.

The Purple 8th grade girls division would showcase the San Antonio Outlaws against the San Antonio Hurricanes.  While the Outlaws jumped out to a quick 10 point lead early the Hurricanes would fight back before half to cut the lead to four points.  As the game continued in the second half both teams competed hard but the overall championship experience of the Outlaws would prove to be too much for the Hurricanes in their first event of the year.

Sunday’s Platinum Varsity boys showcased a Bexar County Bandits teams with some of the better senior talent in San Antonio against the newbies to the Varsity boys field in San Antonio GATA.  Coach Hayes and Benavides would not allow youth to be an excuse in this championship.  From the tip the GATA team controlled the game with great ball control and patience.  GATA would make the Bandits press pay on the back end the entire game.  Every time the Bandits would fight back with their press the GATA boys would get easy baskets.  Look for many more victories from this GATA group in the varsity division.

The San Antonio Grizzlies would dominate the Blue National 5th Grade boys division Sunday with average victories of 23 points in their three victories.  They would face a very tough San Antonio Venom team in the championship who had a couple close victories in route to the championship.  The Grizzlies would prove to be too much and show that they are the early cream of the crop in the 5th grade boys division.

The San Antonio Mules 2nd Grade boys group learned from past experience to play for all three games in their champion finish.  They have been the best team in this Crimson division for the first 2 games in past events only to fall apart in their final game.  This time they would need a 11 point victory over the San Antonio Blue Devils who have dominated the Crimson Division the entire fall.  With a 13 point victory the Mules were able to take the Excel cup away from the Blue Devils for the first time in a very long time and even more rare drop them to 3rd place in the division.

Sunday Championships: PINK DIVISION CHAMPIONS  Next Level Raiders/RUNNER-UPS Dream Loudly Boomers AMBER DIVISION CHAMPIONS San Antonio Flight/ RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Spartans, ORANGE AMERICANS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Hoops Elite/RUNNER-UPS Next Level Raiders, BLUE AMERICAN DIVISION CHAMPIONS Texas Ignite/ RUNNER-UPS Westlake Hoopsters (Austin), BLUE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS San Antonio Grizzlies/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Venom, ROSE CHAMPIONS San Antonio Lady Vipers/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio BIAH, BRONZE AMERICAN CHAMPIONS HTX Panthers/RUNNER-UPS HD Toros,  GOLD CHAMPIONS San Antonio Flight/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Wizards-Johnathon, LILAC CHAMPIONS Somerset Hoopstars/RUNNER-UPS New Braunfels Diamondbacks, ORANGE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS San Antonio Blue Devils/RUNNER-UPS HD Toros, SILVER NATIONAL CHAMPIONS San Antonio Blue Devils-Soto/RUNNER-UPS, GREEN CHAMPIONS HD Toros/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Blue Devils, GREEN DIVISION CHAMPIONS HD Toros/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Blue Devils, RED DIVISION CHAMPIONS Alamo Hoop Squad/RUNNER-UPS Next Level Raiders, BRONZE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS Dream Loudly Boomers/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Mules, and LAVENDER CHAMPIONS San Antonio BIAH/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Tarheels

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Excel Love 4 The Game Classic Day 2 Recap

DSC01679 DSC02889DSC01843DSC02613 DSC02482 DSC02682Sunday’s Love 4 the Game Classic’s action took us to the capital city where talent from all over Texas converged to produce some of the weekends most competitive divisions.

A pair of teams from the basketball powerhouse Westlake area showed that the future of basketball in Texas is in their backyards.  The 5th Grade Westlake Hoopsters led by the youngest of the Carlton boys Colton, dominated pool play to set up a instant classic championship against a very big Houston Total Package team.  At first the size seemed to be a problem for the guard heavy Westlake Hoopsters team, but with great shooting and precise passing the Hoopsters when pull away and keep the Excel cup in Austin.  In the 6th Grade division Westlake Hoops would follow in their neighbors footsteps by capturing the Excel Cup with a championship over a tough and athletic Waco Elite group

The ATX Youth Academy Knights led by KJ Adams showed why they are considered one of the best 7th grade groups in Texas with dominant play from every position. Coach Mike Robertson has a gem in this group and he showcased it to the captive audience in Austin running away with three large victories or way to the championship.

In the Silver 8th Grade Division the Temple Flyers were determined to take a Excel Cup away from from the Austin area.  The Flyers led by star Mason Magnum have been on a run of late winning their past three Excel Events and Sunday would not be any different despite a very strong showing by a very talented Texas Warriors team.

The Purple 6/7th Grade girls came down to a match up we have seen in many of our past events between the Texas Elite and Austin Vipers. With both teams rolling with two victories in pool play it set up a championship rematch with both teams beating each other in past championships.  On Sunday though led by Natalie Curtis, Texas Elite would dominate from beginning to end going one up in a rivalry we will enjoy all Spring and Summer.

Other Sunday Austin Championships: GOLD DIVISION CHAMPIONS Austin FTV /RUNNER-UPS Cedar Park Timberwolves, RED DIVISION CHAMPIONS Mo City Ballers/ Runner-ups ATX Force

Sunday San Antonio Championships: GREEN DIVISION CHAMPIONS San Antonio Rebels/ RUNNER-UPS San Antonio HD Toros, CRIMSON DIVISION CHAMPIONS San Antonio Venom/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Blue Devils, GOLD DIVISION CHAMPIONS San Antonio Thunder/ RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Wizards Johnathon, ORANGE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS HD Toros/ RUNNER-UPS Boerne Bears, LAVENDER DIVISION CHAMPIONS San Antonio Tarheels/ RUNNER-UPS SA Mystic Knights, BLUE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS Next Level Raiders/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Venom, LILAC CHAMPIONS Somerset Hoopstars/RUNNER-UPS Next Level Raiders, SILVER NATIONAL CHAMPIONS San Antonio Blue Devils Palma/RUNNER-UPS Schertz Cowboys, and BRONZE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS Texas Titans/RUNNER-UPS San Antonio Mules.

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Excel Love 4 The Game Classic Day 1 Recap

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We started the Excel Love 4 the Game Classic five years ago as a celebration of the beautiful game we play year round.  A celebration of a sport that when played with the passion and love can be the most amazing show. Well Saturday “The Show” was on full blast as almost every division was stacked to capacity with talented teams, coaches, and players.

The first division to finish Saturday was the Red 3rd Grade Boys.  The Mo City Ballers of Missouri City outside of Houston came to conquer the first leg of their basketball weekend in San Antonio.  Sunday they will take their 4th and 6th grade boys to the Austin site of the same event. Dominant they were in San Antonio Saturday with average victories of 34+ points.  A combination of 28 minutes of a steaming press along with a chemistry offensively that only a team that has played together for 3 years can have. In only their 3rd tournament ever, the San Antonio Fire would have the huge task of stopping the Mo City Ballers machine.  While the Fire showed how talented they are and how bright the future will be, the day belonged to the Mo City Ballers.

The Blue 5th Grade boys division also was dominated by a familiar name.  San Antonio Hardwork’s 5th grade squad ran threw Saturday’s competition with only the San Antonio Gunners giving a challenge in the championship.  Hardworks overall length and size makes them a hard team to defend and score on. Look for this young group to make a lot of noise in the Spring and Summer.

The Orange 6th Grade American Boys division was a very competitive division with teams from Laredo, Brownsville, and San Antonio.  You could see early that their was a collision course for the championship between a very talented San Antonio All Stars team and the valley power Laredo Evolution.  This championship was an instant classic with the lead changing 20+ times not counting the 3 overtimes it would take to have a conclusion.  When the dust settled the All Stars survived and kept the Cup in San Antonio.

The Bronze 7th Grade American Boys Division was dominated by a very deep and talented HD Toros.  Coach Lou Martinez had his boys firing on all cylinders Saturday afternoon with pool play blow outs and a convincing championship over the runner-up San Antonio Outlaws.

The Purple 7th/8th Grade girls Saturday had talent from all over San Antonio and even Central Texas.  The San Antonio Vipers pressing style and outside shooting disrupted the field of teams all day.  The Concordia girls used precision on the offensive end to control big chunks of the game. The Copperas Cove Team Clutch while young used supreme athletic ability to win possessions.  Throw all of these styles into Saturdays division and you can imagine the battles that took place.  At the end of the day the Vipers owned the day.

The Silver American Division boys had several tight games with epic battles between the San Antonio Team Warriors, San Antonio Mustangs 2020, and Alamo City Thunder. The Mustangs 2020 squad showed their experience as a group with over 6 years of chemistry as a unit pulling out close match after close match. The Mustangs continue to show that they are the cream of the crop in 8th grade boys and are ready for a very extensive road schedule this Spring and Summer.

Saturday nights conclusion came in the 9th Grade Amber boys.  All four teams in this division not only came in with the reputation as a player in the 9th grade division but also with a chip on their shoulder.  9th graders are no longer middle school boys but high school men. This showed with the brute physicality of the division.  Even the younger talented 8th grade unit of the Gervin Academy stepped up their game ti make the division the best of the day.  Every game between the Eagle Pass Regulators, San Antonio Tarheels, Gervin Academy, and Bexar County Bandits was a closely possession to possession battle.  When the war was over the Regulators would be taking the Cup back to Eagle Pass.

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Lord of the Rings….Excel Super Bowl Showdown Recap

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At the end of the long NFL Football season, two teams battle for the ultimate championship in pro football the Super Bowl Championship.  The Saturday before this highly watched battle of titans Excel hosts the Super Bowl Showdown in which teams from all over the state of Texas converge on San Antonio to get some basketball in before their football filled Sunday.  Throw in the Excel Super Bowl Showdown Championship Ring and the stage couldn’t be any bigger.

The Red 3rd/4th grade boys championship came down between the San Antonio Blue Devils and the Next Level Raiders.  The Blue Devils have had the Next Level Raiders number in recent match ups but Coach Harrison’s Next Level Raider teams always show rapid improvement.  This would lead to a heated close championship.  The NL Raiders had an early lead but the guard play of the Blue Devils would ware down the Raiders and claim the Championship rings

The Blue 5th grade boys division was the largest of Saturdays field but it didn’t change the cream from rising to the top.  San Antonio Fire and Hardwork 2023 arguably the best two 5th grade boys teams in the city would meet yet again in the championship.  Unlike their last match up the Fire jumped out to a huge lead early and never looked back. We look forward to seeing this rivalry continue.

The 8th Grade boys Silver championship had a lot of implications. The Gervin Academy had just won the Texas Private School State Championship the weekend before but they would have to beat one of the better 8th grade teams in South Texas in the Blue Devils of Jose Palma.  The game would change leads 12 times but the overall talent and bench play of the Gervin team proved to be too much at the end.

Other Saturday Results: CRIMSON 2nd/3rd Boys Champions SA Fire/Runner up SA Blue Devils, ORANGE AMERICAN 6th boys Champions SA All Stars/Runner up SA Fire, ORANGE NATIONAL 6th boys Champions Westlake Hoops/Runner up Next Level Raiders, BRONZE 7th boys Champions Hardwork 2022/Runner Up SA Ravens, GOLD JV Boys Champions SA Wolverines/Runner up SA Outlaws, PLATINUM Varsity boys SA Outlaws/ Runner up SA Bandits, LILAC 4th/5th Grade Girls Next Level Raiders/Runner up Somerset Hoopstars.

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Excel Get 2 The Hoop Classic Recap

DSC03137 DSC03457 DSC04058 DSC02635 DSC02670Lots of great basketball in San Antonio for the January 30-31 Excel Get 2 the Hoop Classic.  Saturday morning was up to the youngsters in the 2nd/3rd Grade division to entertain the packed gym at Gervin.

With three very evenly matched teams in the San Antonio Mules, San Antonio Fire, and San Antonio Lil Spurs the final placing came down to a last shot.  Going into the last game of the division the San Antonio Mules held their fate in their own hands. Earlier beating the San Antonio Fire and San Antonio Extreme Speed, all they needed was a victory against the Lil Spurs.  Early on you could see that this would be a challenge for the Mules with the game changing leads seven times.  With the San Antonio Fire beating Extreme Heat in their last game, all they could hope for is a Mules loss in order to win their first Excel Cup. With the Mules up by 4 points with under a minute, the Lil Spur’s Caden Gonzalez took over the game hitting a long 2-point bomb and after a clutch stop hit a deep three to take a one point lead to the excitement of the entire crowd in attendance.  The Mules had a couple close basket chances to win the game in the closing seconds but couldn’t get the ball to fall leaving the Lil Spurs with the victory and the San Antonio Fire with the championship. Truly a treat to see the young talent that battled it out. Congratulation to all the great young men and coaches in this spectacular division and great start to the event

The Blue American division was dominated by the San Antonio Gunners that surprisingly Basketball is their off-season sport.  You would not be able to tell the way they played Saturday.  While the Next Level Raiders and New Braunfels Warriors held their own, the Gunners were able to go 3-0 in Saturdays division and take home the Excel Cup.  Would love to see this talented group on the baseball field.

The Orange American division was the showcase division of the day with great 6th grade teams including Austin’s ATX Youth Academy Knights, the New Braunfels Warriors, powerhouse organizations in the Next Level Raiders and San Antonio Hoops Elite, San Antonio Fusion, STX Hornets, Dream Loudly Boomers, and the nationally ranked 5th grade San Antonio Fire group. With four closely contested first round games, the NL Raiders, Fire, Hoops Elite, and New Braunfels Warriors made it to the semifinals.  The young Fire proved to be a little too much for Coach Harrison’s Raiders and Hoops Elite took care of business against the Warriors of New Braunfels.  In the championship the size and shooting of the San Antonio Hoops Elite proved to be a challenge for the smaller San Antonio Fire keeping it close. The experienced Fire team stayed consistent with their speed and effective press and they pulled away with the championship

Saturday’s Bronze Division had the San Antonio Mules, San Antonio Roadrunners, Texas Champions, and a reloaded San Antonio Ravens squad.  The Ravens organization has experienced some low point the last couple years from what was considered one of the best groups in Texas to falling apart due to players leaving to other opportunities.  The Ravens of new looked a lot like the the Ravens of old with strong guard play and solid bigs. Their biggest challenge came from an undermanned Texas Champions team missing four key players.  It was good to see the Ravens back in championship form.

Saturday’s last championship came in what is always a competitive division in the Silver 8th Grade Division.  With the D1 Ambassadors coming in from Killeen, the strong San Antonio programs were at their best.  Jose Palma’s The San Antonio Blue Devils, Mustangs 2020, and San Antonio All Stars all had strong showings but when the dust settled the San Antonio Mustangs 2020 defeated the San Antonio All Stars in the championship.  One side note was the opening game of the division between Mustangs 2020 and the Blue Devils of Coach Palma.  In probably the best game of the day outside of the game between the Lil Spurs and Mules in the morning, the Mustangs 2020 pulled out a very close game in pool play.

LATE SUNDAY RESULTS: Green 4th Grade Boys Champions SA Rebel/Runner Ups HD Toros  ,Blue National 5th Grade Boys Champions SA Fire/Runner Ups Somerset Bulldogs ,Red 3rd Grade Boys Champions NL Raiders/Runner Ups SA Mules ,Gold Junior Varsity Boys Champions San Antonio Flight Red/Runner Ups SA Yellow Jackets ,Orange National 6th Grade Boys Champions Boerne Bears/Runner Ups Belton Fury , and Lilac 5/6 girls Champions Next Level Raiders/Runner Ups Laredo SWAT

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Alot Of Hardwork in Round Rock

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DSC02021Hardwork made the journey to Round Rock Sunday to conquer yet another talented field.  Because of the MLK Uniform Classic the teams were out in force for a chance to design a free set of uniforms.  Hardwork has spent a majority of the past two years playing in the Nike EYBL Circuit so they are used to the stiff completion.  All 3 teams dominated dominated teams from Austin, Houston, Temple, Waco, Brownsville, and San Antonio.

The eighth grade Hardwork group was the first of the three teams to capture the title with three dominating games including a 20+ point drumming of the Texas Hardwood Prospects.  Micah Peavy showed why he is considered one of the best 8th Grade players in the country with a stat filling championship game (15pts, 9asts, 7 rebs). His teammates though push this team into true dominance. They come at you form every position.

The seventh grade Hardwork team also dominated their division but found the always tough Tri City Crusaders in the championship game. The game was close most of the game but the guard play led by Jayshon Jackson (17 pts, 6 ats.) proved to be a constant wave of assists and scoring.

The conclusion of the Hardwork hat-trick came with a championship victory for the 6th grade group over the Shooting 4 Success Storm Elite team.  S4S is one of the best 5th grade groups in the state which was obvious how talented they were with victories over stellar 6th grade teams such as Houston’s Mo City Ballers and BBA of Brownsville to get to the championship. Hardwork would be too much for the younger Storm players and would run away with Hardworks third championship.

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Excel MLK Uniform Classic Day 1 Recap

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The stakes couldn’t be any higher.  With the ultimate chance to design a free uniform for the championship winner; teams swarmed the San Antonio area for this very opportunity   on day one of the event.

Starting the day we had the Lilac 4th/5th Grade Girls division with teams from Corpus Christi, Laredo, Somerset, Austin, and Lake Travis.   All the team in the division came from different communities but were very equal in talent.  As the morning games played out it was clear that the Somerset Hoopstars and Lake Travis Pride were playing on a different level than the rest of the field.  With the lead going back and forth the Pride out of Lake Travis made a late run and took the uniforms back to Austin.

In the Blue 5th Grade Division we saw two Texas Powerhouse programs the San Antonio Fire and San Antonio Hardwork.  At one point these two great teams were on the verge of merging into a Hardwork Dynasty team which made a lot of sense with their recent Under Armor Sponsorship.  Instead we get to see the occasional heated rivalry that draws record crowds.  The San Antonio Fire recently have seen national attention with two close championship loses to the #1 team in the nation Gulf Coast Blue Chips of Houston.  They carried this recent success into Saturday’s Championship showdown.  With a strong press the Fire pulled away early but they witnessed something they haven’t seen in a very long time with Hardwork fighting back cutting the lead to 6 points early in the 1st half.  Fire Big man Kendrick Deluna was a constants force and the guard play led by Luke Price, Dillon Gonzalez, and Jarek Schmittou wore down the talented Handwork group

The Orange 6th Grade boys championship was the best of the day.  The almost unbeatable Corpus Christi Bruins had their hands full with a hungry San Antonio Fire looking for revenge of a four point loss 2 weeks ago.  The Bruins took charge early with steady guard play and a solid rotation of bigs that seemed to wear on the thin front court of the Fire.  The Fire’s Eddie Hernandez would not except failure. His 27 point championship performance kept the Fire in the game and when the game was at its most clutch time Hernandez made sure that the Fire would not be defeated with 7-late point.

The last championship game of the night had a lot of buzz because of the dominance of the San Antonio Rebels locally and the San Antonio Future who have been taking care of business all over the state.   The Future took care of business from the tip getting an early lead and controlling the game. The Rebels will learn from the match up and be more competitive in the future.

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Battle of the Powerhouses in ATX

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(LEFT: NEHIKHARE IGIEHON RIGHT: SIDNEY MBANASOR)

The 6th grade boys division in Texas has become one of the most competitive with teams from every region holding bragging rights of who is the best.  Sunday afternoon was bragging rights for Austin between the ATX Blazers and the Pflugerville Shockers.

The ATX Blazers might arguably have the best big man in the division in Nehikhare Igiehon (23ppg 9rpg).  Igiehon comes from a lineage of successful basketball talent.  Igiehon’s brother is a member of the Texas Longhorns and mom played college ball.  Igiehon is not only big but a great ball handler.  I have been watching the kid develop the past four years and he is becoming an unstoppable force. His 28 points in the Orange 6th Grade boys division Sunday was the most dominating performance of the day.  That being said the Pflugerville Shockers boast size of their own.  Sidney Mbanasor (12.3ppg 6.3rpg) of the Shockers was tasked with the job of containing Igiehon and did a pretty good job. The problem became foul trouble for Mbanasor as Igiehon was in attack mode the entire game.

Pflugerville Shockers Jacob Swoboda (19.7ppg) was a huge factor in the championship with 23 points but the contributions of Igiehon and teammate Caleb Burton’s 19 pts made ATX Blazers unstoppable on Sunday as they took another Championship home.

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San Antonio…..Here Are The Aussies From Radford Prep

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(TOP: RADFORD PREP VARSITY AND SA THUNDER AFTER GAME, MIDDLE: RADFORD PREP JV AND SA TARHEELS AFTER GAME, BOTTOM: RADFORD PREP VARSITY CHAMPIONSHIP PIC)

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(LEFT: VARSITY DIVISION MVP JAMES MARTIN. RIGHT: WESLEY LO WHO HIT GAME WINNING SHOT TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIP)

San Antonio Spurs fans are very familiar with Patty Mills.  The Australian native has become a staple for the successful Spurs. While we love the outside shooting, passing, and lock down defense of Mills, he is a much bigger thing for the young upcoming basketball players of his native land. He represents a dream that an Australian can not only make it to the biggest stage in the basketball world but be successful on that stage.  On Saturday night there was no question who the Radford Prep players modeled their play after.

With a very tough Varsity boys division the Radford Prep team got everything you would want in a division.  They struggled with the very athletic and big Texas Bandits in which they lost in overtime. Their fundamentally sound passing and shooting were a success in both wins against San Antonio Thunder and San Antonio Warriors in which they had to overcome deficits.  Working as a unit they were never out of any of the three Saturday games. Led by division MVP James Martin (19.7ppg) and Lars Henson (14.1ppg) the Aussies found themselves in a position to take back home the Excel Cup.  With 7 seconds left and the ball down by 1, Radford Prep’s Wesley Lo took the inbound and dribbled three times launching the ball just past the half court line banking it off the glass for the last second game winner to take home the championship.

The biggest thrill for me in this great game is to see the partnership and brotherhood between these great athletes. After a hard fought division that young men from to different continents can come together and share the moment together. Always reminds me why this is the greatest sport in the world.

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Excel New Years Invitational Day 2 Recap

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Sunday has always been the day for NFL Football especially when its playoff time, but this Sunday the youth basketball of Texas was the showcase at the Round Rock Sports Center.  With events taking place at both Austin and San Antonio locations I was witness to talent from all over Texas in Austin.

The Purple 6th/7th Grade girls division that would close the gym down was arguably the most competitive with three Austin powerhouses (Austin Vipers, Texas Elite, and the Lady Aztecs) along with the Texas Impact out of Waco, TX. The games between the Austin Vipers, Texas Elite and Texas Impact were all very close and going into the last game Texas Impact had a 2-0 record. They would need to beat a very tough Texas Elite team in order to secure the championship.  Knowing that Texas Elite would need a win to force a three way tie and chance at a championship they jumped out to a 16-4 lead against Texas Impact.  The Austin Vipers took care of business with a 20+ victory against the Lady Aztecs of Austin so they patiently waited for the outcome of the last game of the night.  Texas Impact would make their move at the end of the 1st half to cut the lead to 4.  Their momentum would carry into the 2nd half as they took a 6 point lead early in the half.  Texas Elite fought back but the girls from Waco proved to be too much at the end.  The loss put Texas Elite in 3rd and the Austin Vipers would take 2nd Place.

The Blue 5th grade division in Austin was the biggest but that didn’t stop one of the better 5th grade programs in Texas from placing both of their teams in the championship.  The Shooting 4 Success Storm program has been competing all over the state of Texas making a name for themselves and Sunday they showed that they are the cream of the 5th Grade in Central Texas.  The Championship showdown between the S4S Storm Silver and S4S Storm Black teams pitted dad vs son.  The game was full of amazing highlights from Silver’s Jayven Cofer (19 pts), Brycen Wilkins (11 pts) and Black’s Max Lai (18pts) and Loch Cuttingham (15pts) as they battles all game long.  The lead shifted back and forth, Robin Bramlette (dad) would come up short against his son with S4S Storm Silver edged Black.  A total win for the Shooting 4 Success program

The Silver 8th grade was loaded with high profile teams in the ATX Blazers, San Antonio Blue Devils-Palma,  Texas Warriors, and Dallas Red Warriors.  The Dallas Red Warriors would win a close one against the ATX Blazers that proved to be the most athletic 8th grade teams I have seen in  a while.  The San Antonio Blue Devils outside shooting and overall speed led by twins Brandyn Riojas (15.7 ppg) and Izaiah Riojas (13.2ppg) would prove to be too much for the size of the Texas Warriors setting up a championship between the Dallas Red Warriors and San Antonio Blue Devils.  Now everybody knows I am born and raised in  San Antonio and always as a tournament director I remain bias but I cant tell you how proud I was of the San Antonio guys.  The size and athleticism of the Dallas boys led by the high flying Iyanous Moffett (19.2 ppg) was a challenge for the Blue Devils but with speed and overall hard work they battled and kept it close the entire game.  When the dust cleared the Red Warriors edged out the Blue Devils.

Other Individual Sunday Standouts: Nehikhare Igiehon (ATX Blazers 6b) 26 pts in championship, Caleb Burten (ATX Blazers 6b) 16 pts in championship, Jacob Swoboda (Pfl Shockers 6b) 21 pts in championship, Chello Chapman (Pfl Shockers 7b) 15 pts in championship, Treashaun Leak (Pfl Shockers 7b) 13 pts in championship, Jayden Williams (Tri City Cru 7b) 26 pts in championship, and Jackson Reagan (ATX Force 4b) 17 pts in championship

Other Sunday Austin Champions: Red Division ATX Force, Orange Division ATX Blazers, and Bronze Division Tri City Crusaders

Sunday San Antonio Champions: Orange National SA Hardwork 2022, Bronze Division HD Toros, Silver National Division San Antonio Sun Devils, Lilac Division Laredo Crush, and Lavender Champions San Antonio Thunderbirds.

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Excel New Years Invitational Day 1 Recap

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The 4th Anuual Excel New Years Invitational was full of great action at all the venues.  The Saturday night Varsity boys finale was arguably the most evenly matched.  With Radford Prep from Australia in town for a piece of San Antonio basketball, the gym was full of talent.  Thats why with one game remaining the San Antonio Bandits, San Antonio Warriors, San Antonio Thunder, and the Aussies of Radford Prep were all tied.  Only 2 teams would survive and then it would come down to who beat who in the previous two games.  The SA Warriors would take care of business quickly jumping in front of the San Antonio Bandits and getting a quick running clock. Led by Fabian Chavaria’s 34 points and Ethan White’s 24 points along with Dre Moody’s 7 assists, the Warriors knew what the stakes were going into their final game.  All they needed to win the championship was a SA Thunder victory over the Aussies of Radford Prep.  With the game going back and forth, outside shooting was hot for both teams.  Radford’s James Martin (18pts) was hot early but SA Thunder’s Jeremiah DeLuna (19 pts 5-7 3pt) answered every Aussie three with his own.  Ultamatly one player would have the entire division riding on one shot.  Wesley Lo of Radford Prep would take the quick inbound and take four dribbles and heive the ball at the rim from just inside half court.  As every person in the gym watched the ball banked in for the game winning basket and championship for the Aussies to take back home. Stay tuned for the article on the Radford Prep program.

With Radford Prep already taking a cup away from San Antonio, it would be up to two very successful programs from outside of San Antonio that would challenge the cities best players and teams.  First at 3pm at Factory of Champions the Mo City Ballers of Missouri City or Houston would challenge the powerhouse San Antonio Rebels. Both teams showed why they were the two best teams left in the division and the capacity crowd was treated to a showdown between Trey Perez (15pts 3 stls) of the SA Rebels and Chris Henderson (18pts) of the Mo City Ballers who went at each other all game.  Jani Solis (11pts, 7 assts) helped the Rebels build a comfortable lead as the game went on and the Rebels kept the Cup home.

Houston Mo City Ballers 6th Grade group would meet another out of town power in the very well coached Corpus Christi Bruins in Saturdays Orange American Division.  Mo City probably edged the Bruins in all five positions in athletic ability but the CC Bruins stayed steady and consistent led by Aidan Guerra (12 pts 3 reb) and steady guard play from Cam De la Pena (15 pts 7ass.) and advanced to play the SA Fire.  In the championship both Guerra (12 pts) and De La Pena (25 pts) controlled the action and showed that the best 6th grade boys basketball might be out of Corpus Christi.

Other Saturday Excel Cup Champions included the Red 3rd Grade Boys Champions Next Level Raiders, Blue 5th Grade Boys San Antonio Hardwork, Silver American 8th Grade Boys San Antonio Blue Devils Palma, and Gold Junior Varsity boys Texas Bulls.

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Excel Big 4 Championships Recap

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All great years must come to an end. Excel Tournaments has hosted not only the best teams from Texas but the Southern United States, Mexico, and Australia. We celibate the year with the Big 4 Championships where the best four teams form every division converge on San Antonio for the chance to call themselves the best of the best.

The Green 4th Grade Division hosted the Ray Jackson Rising Stars out of Austin, San Antonio Rebels, San Antonio Blue Devils, and the Somerset Bulldogs.  The division would come down to 2 free throws to determine the placement. With the Rebels in the driving seat and 2-0 record going into their last game against the Ray Jackson Rising Stars, all the Rebels needed was a win. As the Blue Devils watched the outcome the Rising Stars needed a 7-point victory in order to place and the Blue Devils needed a 7-point loss for them to leap frog both the Rebels and Rising Stars into the championship. With the gym totally silent the Rising Stars sunk both free throws to finalize it. BIG4 CHAMPIONS:SA BLUE DEVILS

The Silver 8th Grade Division hosted San Antonio Hoops Elite, Austin Tri City Crusaders, San Antonio Cobras, and the San Antonio Mustangs 2020. Between this very talented organizations over 18 Excel Championships have been won this year. That is what the BIG4 Championships are about: getting them all in one gym for the showdown. The Championship came down to Hoops Elite and the Tri City Crusaders. The epic battle shifted both ways the entire game but it was Hoops Elite’s day this Saturday. BIG4 CHAMPIONS: SA HOOPS ELITE

The Amber 9th Grade Division hosted the Urban Kingz out of Houston, K Town All Stars out of Killeen, San Marcos Heat, and San Antonio Flight.  The K Town All Stars and Urban Kingz were the championship match up that the crowd at Factory of Champions was anticipating.  With one of the most athletic championships I have witnessed this year, the K Town All Stars proved to be a little too deep for the Urban Kingz. BIG4 CHAMPIONS: K TOWN ALL STARS

Other BIG4 Champions included the Blue Division 5th Grade San Antonio Blue Devils, Gold Division JV Division Texas Bulls, and Red Division 3rd grade boys San Antonio Blue Devils, Platinum Division Varsity boys SA Outlaws, Orange Division 6th Grade boys SA Hardwork, Purple Division 8th Grade Girls SA Hoops Elite, Lilac Division 5th/6th Grade Girls SA Lightning, Green Division 4th grade boys SA Blue Devils, and Bronze 7th Grade boys ATX Gym Rats.

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2015 Excel Boys All Star Game A True Showdown of Stars

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The boys would have their hands full following the talent on the floor in the girls game before them but with a very skilled coaching staff on both sides and talent in the gym from all over Texas it would live up to its expectation as a true showcase of what our great state offers in basketball.

The 2nd Annual Excel Boys All Star Game got off to a quick start with the South teams young ones showing why San Antonio is a hotbed in Texas for elementary talent. Led by one of the best young big men in the state, Kendrick DeLuna (7 pts 6 rebs.-SA Fire), the South broke out to an early lead. South guard DJ Robles (6 pts 2-2 from arc) of Laredo Rampage shot lights out and Evan Herrera (SA Lil Spurs) ran the point almost to perfection. The young talent from the North would fight back led by Killeen’s pride Johnathan Ellis (7 pts) of the K Town All Stars and the Hill County Hawks assassin Isaiah DeLeon (5 pts 6 rebs.).

After the quick start from the South’s first group the North second team had a lot to overcome. Led by Killeen K Town Bulls back court tandem of Iv’rson Lavizzo (8 pts 2 steals) and CJ Evans (7 pts) along with the scoring juggernauts of Austin New Era’s Syncere Turner (13pts) and Max Smith (9pts) the North climbed back into the game. South would answer every North run with their own with outstanding play by eventual game MVP Isaiah Salazar (16pts) of the San Antonio Fire and solid front court play by big man Adam Benhayoune (12pts 8 rebs) of the HTX Panthers.

With both teams fired up and at their prime in came the big dogs.  The High School boys on both sides entertained the capacity crowd with electrifying athletic plays.  The best match up came from the South’s Sayvon Frye (18pts 9rebs) of the Texas Champions and Cameron Huntsman (15pts 6rebs) of the North Texas Lakers of Dallas.  The talented forwards were Men on the floor going at each other all night long. Another great match up came at the guard position between arguably one of the best true point guards in Cortez Ivie Jr (9pts 8 assists)of the K Town All Stars of Killeen and Sharp Shooting Tanner Brown (12pts 3-4 from arc) of the San Antonio Hoops Elite. Eight Grader Joey Segura (8pts) of the South’s team and Isaiah Elizondo (4 pts) gave us a peak of what they will offer the local high schools next year playing up with the High School boys.

Feels almost unfair all the talented young men we left out of this article.  We could literally write a book not a blog about all the highlights and contributions of all 30 All Stars in this game.  I can say that I truly got an early Christmas present by being in the audience of this great showcase of young men.

As always the extra hours from the amazing coaches and their programs along with driven parents are the reason that these young men are able to showcase their talents.

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2015 Excel Three Point Championships Shoot the Lights Out

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No All Star Weekend is successful without the three point showdown.  Since its introduction in 1979 the three point shot has become as popular in the game of basketball as the dunk.  Our kids can turn on the TV and see three point experts like Steph Curry score 48 points mostly from outside the arc. No surprise that their would be plenty of hot handed shooters Saturday Night.

Friday Nights three point qualifiers brought out more than 50 participants looking for a chance to participate in the championship Saturday Night.  After the dust settled only 16 participants remained.  In the First Round, San Antonio Hoops Elite’s Tanner Brown would lead the pack with a scorching 18 points followed by All In Basketball Club’s Joey Teske’s 14 points, Dominic Patino (SA Fire) 13 points, Jerek Schmittou (SA Fire) 12 points, Max Smith (Austin New Era) 10 points, DJ Robles (Laredo Rampage) 8 points, Isaiah Salazar (SA Fire) 6 points, and Nathan De La Garza (SA Blue Devils) 5 points

The First Round on the girls side was a close battle to advance with the San Antonio Outlaws Avalon Munoz leading with 15 points followed by Alexus Arroyos (SA Lightning) 13 points, Caitlyn Cron (Round Rock Lady Rockers) 12 points, Victoria Gamez (SA Lightning) 10 points, Madylyn Zavala (SA Outlaws) 9 points, Carley Altenburger (Round Rock Lady Rockers) 8 pts, Madeline Gomez (SA Outlaws) 8 points, and Sydney Ceciliano (SA Outlaws) 6 pts.

The Second Round stepped up the shootout with boys once again being led by Tanner Brown’s 19 points and two-way tie to advance between Joey Teske and Jerek Schmittou with 11 points.  Teske and Schmittou battled it out in crown pleasing fashion taking 3 extra rounds to determine who would advance. Schmittou would ultimately outlast Teske to advance to the semifinals.  On the girls side Avalon Munoz kept pace with the boys scoring 18 points followed by Caitlyn Cron’s 14 points.

With the Semifinals set Tanner Brown would prove to have the legs to outlast Jerek Schmittou and advance while Avalon Munoz would edge Caitlyn Cron to set up the Championship.

In the Championship Tanner Brown put on a Larry Bird type moment hitting 9 of his last 10 balls to  stop a late run by Avalon Munoz and set the record straight who was the hottest hand Saturday Night. Brown finished with 21 points in the final round with Avalon Munoz pouring in 16 points.

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2015 Girls Excel All Star Game Full Of Talent

DSC03475IMG_7607Every year Excel Tournaments gets together on the weekend before Christmas to do something special for the great kids, coaches, and parents that make Excel what it is.  This year was the first time Excel has hosted an all girls All Star Showcase.  It would not disappoint.

The North All Stars jumped out to an early lead with the sharp shooting of San Antonio Unite Skill Academies Charlize Cosmas (13pts 3-4 from arc) and San Antonio Hoops Elites Taylor McDonough (10 pts 2-2 from arc).  The South All Stars would stay around with the steady point guard play of San Antonio Outlaws Avalon Munoz (12pts 7asts) and the strong post play down low of San Antonio Lightnings Alyna Alamillo (8pts 7rebs).  Munoz would later win the Girls 3 Point Championship later in night but in the All Star game she showed she could do much more than shoot the rock.

Other strong showings included the Norths Kaia Herrera (SA Hoops Elite) with 7 pts, Tierra Tullis (SA Hurricanes) with 7pts 8asts, Gracie Gibson (SA Hoops Elite) with 6 pts, Carley Altenburger (Round Rock Lady Rockers) with 6 pts, and K’Yana Parker (SA Hurricanes) with 5 pts.  The South had storg performances from Angelina Longoria (SA Retro) with 7 pts, Julian Torrez (SA Unite Skills Acad.) with 6 pts, Esmi Garza (SA Lady Toros) with 5 pts, and strong guard play from Cinnamon Castillo (SA Retro) with 8 asts.

Thank you to all the wonderful coaches ans parents that give their weekends and extra hours after long days at work to make their daughters the true talent they are.

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2015 Excel All Star Game 3 Point Finalists Announced

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Boys Qualifiers
Tanner Brown- San Antonio hoops elite
Tanner Brown- San Antonio hoops elite
Joey Teske- All In Basketball Club
DJ Robles- Laredo Rampage
Max Smith- Austin New Era
Isaiah Salazar- San Antonio Fire
Nathan de la Garza-San Antonio Blue Devils
David Esquivel- Marshall High School

Girls Qualifiers
Madeline Gomez- San Antonio Outlaws
Sydney Ceciliano- San Antonio Outlaws
Avalon Munoz- San Antonio Outlaws
Carley Attenburger- Round Rock Lady Rockers
Victoria Gamez- San Antonio Lightning
Caitlyn Cron- Round Rock Lady Rockers
Madylyn Zavala- San Antonio Outlaws
Alexus Arroyos- San Antonio Outlaw

Excel Winterfest Day 2 Recap

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The Excel Wintefest in Austin kicked in Sunday at the amazing Round Rock Sports Center and there was plenty of talent from all over the state of Texas. The capacity crowd was treated to multiple nail-biting games.

One of those back and forth games was the 7th Grade championship between the Phflugerville Shockers and the Round Rock Rimrockers. The Rimrockers controlled the game most of the way led by Traeshaun Leak (17pts 4 steals). Leaks favorite player is Steph Curry of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and you can certainly see that he patterns his game after Curry.  In the second half the Pflugerville Shockers fought back led by Leak in a Curry like come back performance to take their first lead.  The game came down to the last couple possessions with the Shockers being clutch and pulling away with the victory.

The 8th Grade Silver Championship was a match up between the Austin powerhouse New Era and a very talented group from Temple. The Temple Flyers dominated their pool play games with talent from multiple positions including Elcid Smith (23 ppg) and Chuey Hernandez (13 ppg). But the New Ere team led by Max Smith’s 19 point and 5 assists would prove to be a challenge.  New Era’s outside shooting and tough play under the basket challenged the Temple Flyers at times. Its every basketball fan to see a match up between two different styles of play.  Ultimately the athletic juggernauts of the Flyers proved to be too much for the Austin New Era team as they took the Excel Cup back to Temple.

Another fan favorite match up came in the Platinum High School division between the San Antonio Flight and the Temple Dreamteam. The Flight play with a type passion that reminds you of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Great defense, passing, and outside shooting made the Flight a tough match up all Sunday. In the finals they came across a very talented Temple Dreamteam team that matched their intensity in the championship game. Thanks to the outside shooting of the Flight the game went back and forth.  When the dust cleared Temple Dreamteams Travece Coleman (26 pts) was too much for the undersized Flight as the Dreamteam took a 2nd cup of the day back home to Temple.

Probably the most talented group in the event Sunday was the 6th Grade ATX Blazers. Led by Beck Raymond (14 ppg 7 rpg), the Blazers were bigger and faster than their opponents. They did get a challenge from the K Town Bulls of Killeen who might be the second or third best 6th grade team in Texas.  CJ Evans poured in 18 points and Iv’rson Lavizzo addes 12 to give the Blazers a much tougher game in the championship but the Blazers were too touch and kept the Excel Cup home in Austin. Both teams will have a highly anticipated rematch this weekend in San Antonio at the Excel BIG4 Championships.

Who is going to touch Ray Jackson’s Rising Stars 4th Grade team? That is yet to be seen. Cant remember the last time this group of young men have lost. They held up their reputation with a dominating performance Sunday going 3-0.  They will get a challenge Dec 19th at the Excel BIG4 Championships against three of the best 4th grade teams in Texas.  The San Antonio Rebels played them tough in the summer and both teams have improved greatly. Cant wait to see that match up this weekend in San Antonio.

Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the great photos of a very talent filled Sunday on Facebook

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Rivalries Never Get Old

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Those familiar with San Antonio youth basketball know that when the San Antonio Blue Devils and the San Antonio Fire organizations get together you are in for a treat.  Saturday nights Orange American Winterfest Championship added to the talented series between the two great organizations.

San Antonio Fire’s Isaiah Salazar (17 pts) sparked the early lead but the Blue Devils kept it close in the second half mainly because of the guard play of Mathew Soto (15 pts 6 ast). Everybody in the crowd was waiting for the talented Blue Devils team to make their run and pull yet another title but the Blue Devils ran out of time.  The Fire came out victorious and have the latest win in this back and forth rivalry

 Stay tuned for more articles like this one.  Meantime check out all the photo album from both of these games on Facebook

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Unite Skills Academy Wins Championship Against RGV Team Elite

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Saturdays battle between one of the best 6th grade girls teams from San Antonio and one of the best from the valley proved to be what the crowd at Factory of Champions had been waiting for.

Ralph Torres’s Team Elite came into the Excel Winterfest with an amazing resume. Marco Rivera’s Unite Skills Academy girls resume is pretty amazing as well. With probably the two most physical teams that we have seen all year, the two groups battled for 2 hard fought halves with the lead changing multiple times.

Unite Skills led by Bella Montavalo (15 pts 7 rbs) and the great guard play of Julian Torres (10 pts 5 ast) proved to be to tough for the RGV Team Elite led by a very talented Lily Lozano (18pts 7 ast).  Unite Skills Academy was able to keep the Excel Cup with them in San Antonio.

Coach Torres’s RGV Team Elite 5th Grade boys were able to do what the girls were not. A combination of size and talented guard play from Bruno Tellez (21 pts) proved too much for the other 5th grade teams as they took the Excel Cup back to the valley.

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The 8th Grade Battle

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(ABOVE THE CAP CITY ELITE OUT OF AUSTIN WATCH PATIENTLY TO SEE HOW THEY WILL FINISH, DREAM LOUDLY BOOMERS KEITH DAVIS TAKES IT TO THE HOLE HARD, CAP CITY ELITE STEVEN ONEAL SIZES UP HIS OPPONENT)

Saturday nights Silver American Division was the perfect conclusion to the first day of action at the Excel Winterfest.  A division so evenly matched with talent that it literally came down to the last round of games. With the Marcos Soto Blue Devils in the position to win yet another champion all they needed was a victory over the hungry Anthony Caldwell Dream Loudly Boomers.  All this while the Cap City Elite of Austin waited anxiously for the outcome. The tension as the Gervin Academy couldn’t be any higher.

The DL Boomers and Blue Devils dazzled the capacity gym. The Boomers jumped out to an early lead led by anchor Aidan Wollenzier and great guard play by Keith Davis II. The Blue Devils would fight back with clutch play by Markie Soto. When the dust cleared the Dream Loudly Boomers would get the job done led by Wollenzier’s 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The DL Boomers win by 12 points catapulted the Cap City Elite into a 2nd Place finish. The Cap City Elite had beat the Boomers earlier in the evening but lost in overtime to the Blue Devils in their opening game.  Steven Oneal’s 15 points and 6 assists in the that victory against the Boomers was crucial . You can see why Oneal’s favorite player is Derrick Rose of the NBA Chicago Bulls. His ability to get to the basket and finish kept his team is the game against a division full of talented guards.

This was truly a division that could be played ten times and the outcome would be different every time. This time the night belonged to the Dream Loudly Boomers and Cap City Elite.

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                            Aidan Wollenzier-DL Boomers             Steven ONeal- Cap City Elite

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Excel Winterfest Day 1 Recap

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Saturday was full of teams with plenty of talent. One of the highlights of the night included an 8th Grade Showdown between San Antonio Dream Loudly Boomers, Cap City Elite of Austin, and the San Antonio Blue Devils with all 3 beating each other forcing a three-way tie with the champions DL Boomers being crowned.

The 5/6 grade girls division didn’t disappoint the jam packed Factory of Champions crowd with a championship showdown between the Ralph Torres RGV Team Elite from the valley and the Marco Rivera’s hometown San Antonio Unite Skills Academy.  The action pack game was full of excitement with the Unite Skills Academy sneaking away with the cup.

Other action included a very tough 3rd Grade championships game between two of the best organizations in San Antonio with the Blue Devils and Next Level Raiders .

Stay tuned for detailed posts on this great action.  Meantime check out all the great photos of a very talent filled Saturday on Facebook

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2015 Excel All Stars Announced

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NORTH GIRLS
ANNA BATCHIK

DANI STOPPENHAGEN
CAITLYN CRON
CARLEY ALTENBURGER
KAIA HERRERA
GRACIE GIBSON
SOPHIE SHAW
NADIA ROBLES
TAYLOR MCDONOUGH
CHARLIZE COSMAS

SOUTH GIRLS
MARIAH ANTOPIA
MARISSA MARTINEZ
ESMI GARZA
CINNAMON CASTILLO
JULIANA ALANIZ
JAYDA TOVAR
AVALON MUNOZ
MADYLYNN ZAVALA
ANGELINA LONGORIA
ALYNA AMAMILLO

NORTH BOYS
JOHNATHON ELLIS
ALEX REYNA
JAXSON GILL
ISAIAH DELEON
ANTIONE FERGUSON
SYNCERE TURNER
CJ EVANS
KAMERON WILLIAMS
MAX SMITH
ROMAN LOPEZ
CORTEZ IVIE
TIMOTHY REDDICKS
CAMERON HUNTSMAN
JOEY SEGURA

JERMAINE ERVIN

SOUTH BOYS
DJ ROBLES
KENDRICK DELUNA
JOSH HINES
EVAN HERRERA
CHARLIE GEORGELOS
ISAIAH SALAZAR
CHRIS VILLAREAL
ADAM BENHAYOUNE
ISAIAH ELIZONDO
DOMINIC PATINO
SAYVON FRYE
WILL JONES
RASEAN EVANS
NICKOLAS DUARTE
TANNER BROWN

Australian Tri Star All Stars Bring Talent to San Antonio

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(PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: TRI STAR ALL STAR VARSITY GIRLS, JESSIE GOODLUCK, SAMANTHA SIMONS, AKOL DENG, AND COHAN CREEPER)

When the Tri Star All Stars began their trip to Texas from Adelaide, Australia they didn’t need reassurance that their basketball community could compete in the states. One of Adelaide’s own, Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs, has been a huge success in the NBA. The question was, would they get to meet their hometown hero?  This past Saturday, they got to meet Mills after another Spurs win and Patty would be proud of their successful week in San Antonio.

All 3 Tri Star All Star teams competed this past weekend in the Excel Thanksgiving Invitational with the Tri Star Junior Varsity and Varsity boys finishing 2nd in tough Texas High School divisions.  The Tri Star Varsity girls went 6-0 over the weekend winning both divisions in convincing fashion.

For the Tri Star Varsity boys, Akol Deng (6’7 210 Ibs) and Cohan Creeper (6’5 230 Ibs) were the anchors of a very well coached Tri Star All Star team. Deng who patterns his game after NBA rebounding legend Dennis Rodman really dominated the paint in Rodman fashion averaging  22.4 pts and 13 rebounds a game in games against the Texas Bandits, San Antonio Outlaws, and San Antonio Flight.  Creeper’s patterns his game after Atlanta Hawks Paul Millsap in which you can see in his ability to contribute in all aspects of the game. His Shooting and passing ability for a big man is very similar to his favorite player. Creeper racked up 14.2 pts and 7 rebounds a game.  Despite the strong numbers of Deng and Creeper the Texas talent was a huge challenge for the boys from Adelaide with a narrow victory against the Bandits and their first loss of the week against the Outlaws.

The Tri Star girls were lead by Samantha Simons (6’1 160 Ibs) and Jessie Goodluck (5’7 145 Ibs). Simons led the girls with 23.1 pts and 9 rebounds per game and patterns her game after the very successful WNBA World Champion and Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi. Like Taurasi , Simons uses her length, athletic ability, and game IQ to dominate the competition. The boys all favored the San Antonio Spurs because of their dynamic team play but Simons has a local favorite professional team in the Forestville Eagles. Jessie Goodluck plays from the back court and patterns her game after her big bro Daniel Goodluck.  The sibling rivalry produced 12.3 pts and 7 assists a game this weekend for Goodluck. She feels her team plays like the San Antonio Spurs and prides themselves on the fundamentals and team play the Spurs have become known for.

What a great experience for our hotbed of Texas and San Antonio talent to have an opportunity to compete against the very talented Australians this weekend.

You can find more pictures of the action from the Tri Star All Stars from Australia on our blog  FaceBook page. Also follow us for more articles like this one highlighting the amazing youth talent playing all over the State of Texas.