Sunday, April 17, 2011

Texas D1 Ambassadors @ Double Pump Tournament: Denver, CO

It was an early Saturday morning for Texas D1-Houston after their late night buzzer beating win over Double Pump Elite (CA). Their first opponent of the day was a Denver team, Next Level Elite.  Early road games are always a concern as players tend to not get rested while other guys sleep in their own beds.
Pool Play:

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  64  Next Level Elite (CO)  46
All the typical concerns of morning games quickly went away as Texas D1 came out with energy and held a 38-21 halftime lead.  It allowed our young sophomores to get more opportunity and they really show signs of growing into higher levels of production.  The scoring was balanced as 2012 G Devon Turk had 11 points, 2012 F Maurice Letcher-Ellis, had 11 & 2011 Keynon Willis dropped 11  and chipped in with 7 boards.  2012 PG Alex Caruso had 7 points, 7 rebounds & 7 assists.
2012 Maurice Letcher-Ellis (left) of Houston Yates is a double double machine, while Houston St. Pius' Devon Turk (right) has as sweet a stroke as you'll see.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin 59  San Diego All Stars Pump N Run  50
This was a nip and tuck game with Texas D1 trailing 25-23 at the half.  They were down by 9 at one point, but improved shot selection turned the game around.  The second half was like night and day as the final score was 59-50.  The entire roster contributed. 2011 Adam Whitlock hit three from behind the arc (12 points) & 2013 G T.J. Williams of Pflugerville showed great leadership. He scored 12, had 5 boards & dropped 5 dimes.
2013 G T.J. Williams (left) of Pflugerville continues to show his leadership and a nice mid range game to compliment his play making skills. 2011 Adam Whitlock (right) of Austin St. Michael's will knock down the open three pointer at a high percentage.

Bracket Play:

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  82   Idaho Triple Threat  67
2012 Alex Caruso continues to impress at the national level.  He had a monster game, filling up the stat sheet. (6 points, 5 rebounds, 8 steals & 12 assists)!  2011 Keynon Willis led all scorers with 19. 

Chase Brogna         10 pts   3 assists
Devon Turk             11 pts
Jalen Washington    5 pts  7 assists
Maurice Ellis           14 pts  8 rebounds
Johnathan Motley   9 pts

Texas D1 Ambassadors 50  Arizona Magic Pump N Run 48
This game had many lead changes but neither team ever led by more than 7.  It was tied at the half, 21-21.  Texas D1 was sluggish and picked up a tech in the second half to fall behind 41-34.  At that point 2012 PG Michael Hardge of Georgetown took the game over. he scored 16 of the last 18 points as the D1 Ambassadors clawed back.  Hardge saved the best for last as he drove tomards the right baseline, pulled up and swished a jumper from 12 feet out for the buzzer beating win!  He finished with 22 points.  2011 Austin Jenkins of Austin Hyde Park had a great defensive game as he had 8 rebounds & 4 blocked shots.
2012 Mike Hardge of Georgetown brought his A game as he dropped 22 on Arizona Pump N Run.

Colorado Hawks  95  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 75
Not a lot to be said when your opponent comes out hitting 8-9 from the three point line and piling up a 60-33 lead at half time.  I was really proud of the team though because they could have folded their tent, but they gathered themselves and cut the lead to only 8 points with 5 minutes to go.  Poor free throw shooting then kept us from making one final push.  I've been doing this a long time and 2013 W Chris Thomas (son of NBA player Michael Ray Richardson)  was as tough a soph as I've seen.  He was freaky athletic and got to the rim most anytime he wanted.

The second half was a war of egos, and pride as 2011 Keynon Willis of Crosby dunked 6 times all over the opposition as we made our 20 point run.  Willis finished with 18 points and 15 boards. Alex Caruso also got in on the act, throwing down three dunks in that span finishing with 15 points & 6 assists.  If you like high flying acrobatics, then this was the game for you.  Close to 600 fans crammed in to watch this contest.
Two high major players:  2011 Keynon Willis (left) & 2012 Alex Caruso (right)

Devon Turk         15 pts
Chase Brogna      8 pts   4 assists
Maurice Ellis       10 pts  9 rebounds