The AGame Super Shootout hosted by Havoc City was the weekend’s most competitive youth basketball event and attracted some of the countries top basketball clubs in grades 3rd– 8th. The 5th grade championship game between Riverside Hawks and Elite Coalition was a must see. Both teams went undefeated in pool and bracket play, but Riverside seemed to run out of gas toward the tail end of the battle versing Elite Coalition. Final score was 35-58, Coalition.
Riverside Hawks gained control of the tip. They started the game patient on offense but did not score on their first possession. Jason Moore scored the first field goal of the game and put Coalition on the board with two. After which, Coalition applied a full press. Although, Riverside broke with press unfazed, they didn’t score on the possession. After several offensive rebounds, Riverside’s Kameron Rodriguez scored two of his six points on a layup. Kennard Davis followed up with a 3-point shot for Coalition.
Although both teams were relatively even in terms of size and skill, Coalition was stronger on the boards, which helped them in the long run.
Riverside’s Francisco Mattei was fouled on an attempt and made both free throws. Antonio Hamlin answered with a quick, hard take to the basket. Devin Denkins added a steal for Coalition, but was unable to score on the transition opportunity. Rodriguez from the Hawks tried to make something happen for his team and was fouled on a strong drive to the basket. He missed both free throws.
Riverside showed impressive play with it’s bigs down low. Moore assisted Johnson for two points in the paint. With 9:26 remaining in the half, Hawks call a time out. After which, they ran a motion offense. Caroturrs cut to the basket and scored on a layup. The Hawks followed with a defensive stop and a 3-point basket by Nick Padilla.
Curothurrs stole the ball from Coalition and took full advantage of the fast break opportunity scoring two points on the drive. The levelheaded Coalition showed a bit of frustration, but kept with the mission. They were able to score despite the aggressive Hawk’s defense.
Riverside and Coalition exchanged baskets and fouls. When Coalition picked up man defense, Riverside’s Rodriguez used the opportunity to showcase his speed by taking his man to the basket. He missed the attempt, but stayed in the play and converted on the put back.
Three-point shots were exchanged by Riverside’s Caroturrs and Coalition’s Hamlin. With just under 4 minutes remaining in the half, Coalition is up by 5, 14-19. Just when the Coalition parents and fans got some breathing room, Riverside’s Carothurrs knocked down a 3-point shot bringing them within striking distance again. But the relentless Coalition answered with another two points.
The back and forth action continued several plays. Padillia scored off a powerful drive to the basket, followed by another Hawks 3-point shot. The Hawks team, coaches and supporters turned up the intensity in the gym. The energy rattled Coalition and may have caused the traveling violation on their next possession.
With 3:32 left in the half, Riverside was up 2. After a few changes in possession and attempts at the basket, Devin Denkins of Coalition finds Jacoi Hutchinson slashing the lane and hit him with a one-handed pass off the dribble. Hutchinson was fouled on his attempt and missed both free throws. Mattei rebounded and scores in transition for Riverside.
After a questionable call by the referee, Riverside used their final timeout of the half to strategize the last few seconds of the half. After the timeout, Coalition attempted a 3-point basket. The shot was missed, but McCreeson rebounded and scored on a powerful put back at the buzzer- sending Coalition into halftime up one, 27-26.
After halftime, Riverside ran down the clock and took over one minute to find the perfect shot. After they scored, they pressed Coalition. Coalition broke the press with ease and found one of their bigs, Jaden Johnson for layups.
An air ball shot by the Hawks afforded Coalition another fast break opportunity and two points. With every basket made, the confidence grew for the Coalition ball club. with 8:19 remaining, Coalition was up 43-30.
At the 6-minute mark, the Hawks Anthony Seonge scored off a put back.
Both teams had good attempts at the basket, but were unable to score on the next few possessions, until Johnson from Coalition powered up another put back. At this point Coalition began dominating the boards and things began to turn in their favor.
Kenard Davis of Coalition showed his speed when he scored off a steal in transition with just under four minutes left in the game. On the next Coalition possession, Davis splashed a three. With less than 3 and half minutes left in the game, Travis Vaughn scored on a slash to the basket. Coalition disrupted the Hawks rhythm capitalized off their missed baskets and turnovers.
The weight of this game was held in the final minutes and Elite Coalition had the stamina necessary to bring home the championship over Riverside Hawks. Final score 35-58.
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