The Exclusive: Day One Review
36 games highlight first day of play
LAS VEGAS- With 36 games taking place today, the Exclusive has officially kicked off at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort. The first stay-and-play high school tournament, the invite-only event features 51 teams from across the nation and so far, has been well-received by coaches, players, and parents in its very first day.
“This is the perfect atmosphere for my guys,” said Karoma Smith, head coach of the Arkansas Heat. “There are three courts under one roof and we love that the competition is consistent across the board and not up and down. Our guys are loving the resort, too. Our goal in the summer is to get better as a team and individually, but more importantly, to get them exposure to this type of atmosphere. I just want them to compete, and to compete at a high level.”
With three age groups (15U, 16U, and 17U) all playing at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort, the NCAA-sanctioned Exclusive offers a unique aspect of convenience for players, parents and college coaches alike. In addition, a “Bonus Room” is available, with basketball performance professionals and motivational speakers giving presentations each day.
After day one, the Heat program as a whole remains undefeated, with the 15U squad winning 52-36 over the 509 Elite and the 16U group putting together a 72-34 win over Team Jones. BeyondBall’s 15U and 17U teams both compiled convincing wins on the day, while Hard Work Basketball’s U17 team went 2-0 on the day. Pool play will continue until Saturday afternoon, with bracket play beginning Saturday evening. Each team has a four-game guarantee.
“We love the energy that was in the gym the first day,” said tournament director Brant Minor.
“Programs that have multiple teams were cheering each other on during their games and being supportive. Our speakers did a great job in the Bonus Room and overall, there was just a positive energy in the building.”
The Exclusive: Day Two Review
Day two highlights include 36 games and seven teams with perfect records
LAS VEGAS- After an eventful first day of play, day two of the Exclusive tournament featured 36 games across three divisions, with seven different teams remaining undefeated as of Friday night.
Salem Hoop (Oregon), Hard Work Basketball (California) and Fly Select (Oregon) lead the U17 division as of Friday night, with Fly Select edging out Lark’s Elite 68-65 in the 8:10 p.m. game to maintain a perfect record. The U16 Division wrapped up pool play today, with four different teams boasting undefeated records, as 3D Basketball (BC, Canada), Game Elite (Georgia), West Elite (Utah) and D1 Elite (Washington) all went 3-0 during the first two days of play. In the U15 Division, Arkansas Heat and Team Arsenal (California) both put together 3-0 overall records play to lead their age group heading into Saturday.
College coaches from schools including University of California San Diego, Mount Saint Vincent (New York) and Chaminade University (Hawaii) attended games. Players and coaches also had the opportunity to attend four different speaking events in the Bonus Room.
“The competition is solid and tough,” said Lark’s Elite head coach Nate Lark. “Our guys know what they have to be prepared for (heading into the tournament). We need to execute and get after it on defense. They’ve got to want it more.”
Games resume tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., with the U15 and U17 divisions finishing pool play before the single-elimination tournament kicks off in the afternoon. Follow Max Hoops on Instagram and Twitter @MaxHoops3.
Full-Court Buzzer Beater Highlights Day Three of the Exclusive
Pool play concludes as championship round kicks off tonight
LAS VEGAS- With 0.8 seconds left on the clock in triple overtime and his team down by two, Indy Dosanjh caught the ball on an inbounds pass, squared his shoulders, and shot it from nearly full court. Time expired as it went through the net, securing a 45-43 win for the ITPH Tigers (Sacramento) and defeating the 2-2 British Columbia Panthers in the process.
“It was really big for us,” said Dosanjh, a 6-foot point guard who’s going into his senior year at Yuba City High School this fall. “Everyone was saying we were going to lose because BC (British Columbia) is ranked ahead of us and is a really good team.”
With the win, the Tigers improve to 1-3 overall on the weekend, as pool play wraps up in each division this afternoon. The championship round of the tournament is single-elimination and will conclude tomorrow afternoon to round out the Exclusive’s inaugural year.
In addition to Dosanjh’s buzzer-beater, other highlights on day three included D1 Elite securing a #1 seed in their bracket for the U15 tournament, thanks to a win over 3D Basketball this morning. Arkansas Heat Elite, the Valley Grapes, and Team Arsenal are the other top seeds in the U15 tournament. On the U16 side, 3D Basketball, D1 Basketball, Game Elite, and West Elite are all top seeds heading into tonight. U17 #1 seeds are Hard Work Basketball, Team Jones, Fly Select and Salem Hoop (Oregon).
The championship round kicks off tonight at 5:20 p.m. for all three divisions. Follow @MaxHoops3 on Instagram and Twitter and on Facebook (Max Hoops) to stay up-to-date on all the action.
Game Elite’s Comeback Win Highlights Opening Round of Tournament
Myson Lowe leads effort with 34 points
LAS VEGAS- Game Elite (Atlanta, GA) used 34 points from Myson Lowe to overcome a 26-point first half deficit, taking down Team Rampage (Vallejo, California) 76-62 in the opening round of the U16 championship bracket on Saturday night.
“Team Rampage came out pretty hard on us early on,” said Elite head coach Roger Hubbard.
“We closed the gap and managed to cut the lead to 12 at the half and came in and started playing and the momentum changed. We had to settle in a little. Our guys stepped up and played hard.”
Lowe, a 5’8 guard out of North Cobb High School, had a beyond efficient showing, going 8-for-11 from the field and connecting at a 60 percent clip from beyond the arc (3-for-5). To round out his performance, he went 9-for-11 from the free throw line and pulled down eight boards.
Marvin Mcghee III poured in 17 points, while Saigon Kitt added 11 in the victory. As a team, Game Elite shot 54 percent from deep.
“We got hot and took the lead but went back-and-forth with them,” said Lowe. “With five minutes left, we pulled away and got the win. We’ve been in this situation a lot of times and we just talk about not worrying that we’re down. We’ve just got to stay focused and do what we want to do. Our goal is to win the tournament.”
With the win, Game Elite remains undefeated at 4-0 and advances to the semi-finals of the Exclusive and will take on West Elite (Utah) tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. Follow @MaxHoops3 on Twitter and Instagram and Max Hoops on Facebook to stay up-to-date on games.
The Exclusive: Full Weekend Recap
Title games highlight Sunday afternoon, 124 games played total
LAS VEGAS- Championships were claimed across three age divisions on Sunday afternoon, as the Exclusive wrapped up its inaugural year at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort. Hard Work Basketball (Simi Valley, CA), Texas Mel Elite (Houston, TX), and Team Arsenal Select (Oakland, CA) each took the win in their respective age groups, en route to earning the first-ever Exclusive championship titles.
In the 17U age group, Hard Work Basketball claimed the title, with a 56-42 victory over Salem Hoop (Salem, Oregon). Three different players scored in double-figures for Hard Work, as Micah McLaurin led the effort with 13 points. As a team, Hard Work shot 43 percent from beyond the arc (6-for-14), while holding Salem Hoop to just 19 percent shooting from three. Hard Work was the lone team to compile an undefeated record, going 6-0 overall at the event.
Texas Mel Elite took the title in the 16U division, shooting 54 percent from deep (6-for-11) to top Game Elite Blue (Atlanta, Georgia), 61-38. Westley Sellers and Jordan Henderson added 14 points apiece in the victory, while Melvin Holloway IV hit three three-pointers and scored 11 points in the win. Saigon Kitt led Game Elite with 14 points, including a 3-for-5 effort from deep.
The Houston-based squad put together a 4-1 overall record, ending their run on a three game winning streak.
15U Team Arsenal Select edged out D1 Elite (Marysville, Washington) 52-46 to round out the title games on Sunday afternoon. Malik Merchant connected at a 75 percent clip from the three (3-for-4) and poured in 19 points to lead Team Arsenal to its third-straight win at the Exclusive and claim the championship, while amassing a 4-1 overall record.
Overall, 51 teams from 11 states across the nation took part in the stay-and-play event, with three teams from Canada. Each team had a four-game guarantee, with pool play concluding Saturday afternoon. College coaches from UC San Diego, Chaminade (HI) and Mount Saint Vincent (NY), among others, attended the four-day tournament, where 124 total games were played. Additionally, a Bonus Room was available with speakers specializing in athletic performance, nutrition, and other topics to help athletes succeed on and off the court. For photos of the event and to stay up-to-date on announcements, follow @MaxHoops3 on Instagram and Twitter and like Max Hoops on Facebook.
“There was a contagious energy in the building,” said Exclusive tournament director Brant Minor. “The level of play was great across all three courts each day. The idea behind our Bonus Room was to emphasize that there is more to life than basketball, and our goal is always to help kids reach their potential in basketball, but in life outside of basketball as well. All of our speakers did a great job of conveying that to the players. We’ve already starting planning for next year’s Exclusive and we’re so excited that it was well-received this year.”
For photos of the event and to stay up-to-date on announcements, follow @MaxHoops3 on Instagram and Twitter and like Max Hoops on Facebook.