14u BLAZE ELITE BOYS RUNNER-UP to NJ CRUSADERS at GARDEN STATE BASKETBALL'S SLAMFEST 63-61
After an an overtime win against the host club Garden State Basketball Warriors, and two dominant performances against HoopDreams and Staten Island's Finest in the preliminary stages, the 14u BLAZE ELITE team advanced to the finals where they faced the New Jersey Crusaders who also ran through their bracket undefeated.
At first glance it was easy to see our boys were out numbered and much smaller than the Crusader team.
With only 2 practices under their belt, the boys put forth a gladiator-like performance twice coming back from large leads to stay within striking distance. With 2 minutes remain the boys took their first lead of the game by a single point 56-55 and found themselves tied with 16 seconds remaining. After forcing the crusaders best guard into a difficult shot with 4 seconds remaining on the clock they were unable to secure the rebound and the Crusaders got the put-back bucket with 1.8 seconds remaining for the win 63-61.
Coach Michael Snell speaking after the game, was thrilled with the boy's effort and is confident there will be championships in his team's future. While everyone contributed in all four games, standout performances were turned in by guard Tito Ramirez who lead the team in scoring all 4 games, Matt Coppola who complimented Tito on the offensive end and played tremendous defense, and Captain Sahil Bhanderi who was a beast on the boards and either blocked or altered several shots in each game.
Next up for the 14u Elite team is the SPRING HOOPS TIP-OFF at Ramapo College April 21/22.