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.

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