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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