by Tamara Brown, recruit757
Team Loaded VA knocked off Dream Vision in the Sweet 16 to advance to the Elite 8 against Brookwood Elite in the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas.
After playing from behind 90 percent of the game against Dream Vision, Team Loaded VA 17U got on the board first with two FTs by John Marshall’s Gregory Jones and tallied the first FG of the game with a layup by HD Woodson’s Kiyon Boyd.
Brookwood Elite didn’t pick up their first field goal of the game until 3 minutes in after a three pointer by Anthony Longpre. Besides a few free throws, Brookwood struggled to get another field goal until Noah Kirkwood’s layup with 10:15 left in the first half.
The drought continued through the rest of the first half for Brookwood while Team Loaded VA owned the floor defensively and offensively.
LC Bird’s Johquin “Pinky” Wiley nailed a three pointer assisted by Aamir Simms late in the first and Brookwood Elite’s Emmanuel Bandoumel responded to keep his team within three points.
Bandoumel brought the game within one with just under six and a half to play in the first half but consecutive scoring drives by Simms extended Team Loaded VA’s lead to two possessions.
With just a few minutes left in the first half, Rasir Bolton tallied a three pointer and Dave McCormack and Boyd added in a pair of deuces to give their team a 36-28 advantage at the end of the 16 minutes.
The second half Team Loaded VA continued to find a rhythm and their momentum really got going after after a trio of triples by KJ Davis, Rasir Bolton and Cam Bacote sparked a run to put them up 15 points.
“I just wanted to keep the run going and the whole entire team is confident in my jump shot, so when I have the chance to shoot I have to take advantage,” said Bethel rising senior, Cam Bacote.
Despite the run, Bandomuel wasn’t quite finished and he scored consecutively for Brookwood Elite but it wasn’t enough to pull off the comeback.
Antwan Walker’s dunk put the icing on the cake for Team Loaded VA 17U and their ticket was punched to the Final 4 after the 69-56 victory.
Luguentez Dort was the game leader with 23 points (12-18 from the line) and 9 rebounds for Brookwood Elite. Every Team Loaded VA athlete that checked into the contest scored and three players, Boyd, Jones and Davis, tallied double digits.
Team Loaded VA 17U shot just below 50 percent both halves, converted 12 points off of turnovers and scored 11 points on second chance opportunities.
“Now with us being in the Final 4, we just need to focus and play as a team in order to reach our ultimate goal. We have fought very hard every game because that’s the only way we know how to play. We just need to continue playing hard and let everything else take care of itself,” said Bacote.
Loaded’s next opponent, Mass Rivals, is currently averaging 67.3 points, 38.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game, while they average 72.4 points, 40 rebounds and 12 assists per contest.