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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