In the 2032 division of Hells Kitchen, 3 nationally ranked teams [#4 LOFDL Blue Chips, #13 Buckeye Prep Hoopsters, #15 BNU] rolled into Detroit, MI in search of a crown. By Sunday afternoon, the #4 ranked LOFDL Blue Chips had claimed the title. After finishing 3-0 in pool play with wins over the Michigan Playmakers (26-10), #13 ranked Buckeye Prep Hoopsters (26-19) and The Family (38-9), the Blue Chips would face off against a retooled BNU team in the championship game. In that game, the Blue Chips jumped out to an early lead, and although BNU would make a spirited run in the second half, the Blue Chips would lead wire to wire on their way to a 31-24 win.
Standouts for the Blue Chips included Cole Adams (4’8″/SG/2032/Houston, TX), Erian Love (4’7″/CG/2032/Houston, TX), Teran Jennings (4’8″/SG/2032/Katie, TX), and Karr’Dell Mitchell (4’4″/PG/2033/Houston, TX). We saw Adams up close and personal when he almost single handedly brought his team back late in the second half against the Buckeye Prep Hoopsters. In that game, the Blue Chips were down 13-9 at the break, and were behind 19-14 with 5 minutes left in the game when Adams took over the game, scoring 11 points in a row including back-to-back treys to give his team momentum and a lead which they never relinquished. Adams is highly skilled and his game is smooth and mature. He’s a threat on the perimeter with his ability to hit the 3-ball, both off the bounce and in catch and shoot situations. From what we saw, his name should be mentioned among the best in his class!
BNU arrived in Detroit with an upgraded roster that included several nationally ranked players, including Aydin Garth (IN), Chase Williams (PA) and Maddox Perry (MO). In pool play, BNU finished 3-0 with blowout wins over Run it Up (41-4), Nati Elite (41-4), TTBF (31-7). As alluded to earlier, the LOFDL Blue Chips would jump out to an early lead which they rode all the way to the championship. We really liked Aydin Garth and Chase Williams in the championship game. While Garth showed the ability to get down hill and finish, Williams held it down at the point with solid ball handling and play making.
The Buckeye Prep Hoopsters finished pool play 2-1 after a win over the Family (33-6), a loss against the LOFDL Blue Chips (19-26) and a win over the Michigan Playmakers (22-8). Unfortunately, because of the tournament format, which only sent 1 team per pool [2 pools of 4 teams] to bracket play, there was not a chance to play BNU or get a rematch with the Blue Chips. Next up for Buckeye Prep is the Battle Royale Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2 weeks.
Nati Elite finished second in their pool with a wins over TTBF (26-10), a loss to BNU (4-41), and a forfeit win over Run It Up. As was the case with Buckeye Prep, despite finishing second in their pool, the tournament format did not allow for bracket play. Below is a complete list of standout performers in the form of 3 All-Tournament Teams.