Thousands of players, coaches, and parents ascended on the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, VA this past week for the 12U AAU National Championship D1 tournament in hopes of winning the “Big Golden Ball” Trophy. It was a long week that started with the Opening Ceremonies.
DAY 1 – Opening Ceremonies
Even the Opening Ceremonies was tense, as teams sized each other up. Some of the early chatter was about how small the Memphis War Eagles looked. Some coaches didn’t think the War Eagles team would matchup well with other bigger teams.
DAY 2 – Pool Play
First day of pool the War Eagles took the stage against the Carolina Team 843. I believe this was a new team to the summer circuit. You could tell the War Eagles was ready to explode and set the stage for the rest of the week. After the first quarter the score was 26 (War Eagles) to 6 (Team 843). It didn’t get any better for Team 843, final score 64-17.
DAY 3 – Pool Play
Next up, the Philly Freedom Stars. This team was more experience then Team 843, but still wasn’t a match for the War Eagles. Final score was War Eagles (77), Stars (44).
DAY 4 – Pool Play
This was the big matchup for pool play; bballspotlight.com was in the stands watching. CB Spiders 12U against the Memphis War Eagles to determine the 1st seed for bracket play. It was a close game from the start but the War Eagles won by 14 pts, 67-43.
Some player highlights from the game via bballspotlight.com:
- Tyler Harris Guard (Memphis War Eagles) – Harris burned the CB Spiders from the perimeter. He nailed about 6 treys and gave them a steady diet of pull up jumpers. He’s small in size but plays with the heart of a lion like a young Allen Iverson.
- Chase Hayden Guard (Memphis War Eagles) – Hayden is a poised point guard that also has a mean pull up jumper. He runs the offense well and usually takes care of the rock. His penetration skills hurt the Spiders late in the game.
- Cameron Taylor Forward (Memphis War Eagles) – Down the stretch Taylor was automatic in the paint. He used a feathery touch to convert in the lane and was a menace on the glass. His size was a major factor in them pulling out the win.
DAY 5 – Bracket Play (2nd Round)
The War Eagles received a bye from the 1st round of bracket play for placing 1st seed out of “Pool” play. Facing another 1st seed, the M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs from Kentucky the War Eagles was dominated from the jump, winning 78-56.
DAY 6 – Bracket Play (3rd Round)
I watched the West Coast Select team play in pool play and I was extremely impressed with defense and effort in which they played. I thought this match would prove to be a challenge for the War Eagles… I was wrong. West Coast Select got a double dose of their own medicine. The War Eagles pressed, pressed, and pressed more and winning 69-47.
DAY 6 – Elite Eight
The second game of the day, the Memphis War Eagles beats AI9 Elite 66-50
At this point, the War Eagles played some amazing basketball. Teams couldn’t slow them down offensively and they put the clamps on their opponents.
DAY 7 – Final Four
Could the War Eagles slay the big giant, known as Cali Style’s Cody Riley? Riley is 6’6”, two hundred-something pounds of force that can ball. Cali Style has a balance team with a good supporting cast. They had a good perimeter shooter, a couple of nice size guards that can pressure the ball and attacked the rim. Plus, another 6’5”, two hundred-something pounds guy that does all the dirty work.
Cali jumps out 10-0 in only the first couple of minutes of the game. The War Eagles storms back with speed on defense and perimeter shooting. After the end of two quarters, War Eagles are up 24-19!!! Could this be the biggest upset of the whole tournament? Cali Style comes out in man defense the second half, forcing the War Eagles to shoot NBA range threes. While on the other end of the court, Cody and the other big guy shot lay ups. To be honest, I believe the War Eagles had a chance to win the game, but they missed too many makable shots in the game. Cali Style beats the War Eagles in the Final Four 45-38.
Second game of Day 7, the War Eagles beats Louisiana Primetime 41-35 to place 3rd in the nation.
Congratulations the 12U Memphis War Eagles!!!
Chase, Blake, Tyler, Noah, Camren, William, Aarin, Derrick, Christian, Kendrick, and Mario.