Las Vegas Tournaments Come to an End
The New England Playaz were certainly on a roll to start the week as they went 3-0 to win their “super pool”. Well that was merely the beginning of their big week of basketball.
64 teams were placed in the championship bracket, which began play on Thursday morning. The Playaz opened up against Salt Lake Select and put on a dominating performance before disposing of them 89-59. Jordan Williams’ recruiting stock continued to soar to new heights as he scored a game high 20 points in that contest.
In the second round they ran into Wedman Pumas. Erik Murphy’s 22 points were the difference in a low scoring affair as the Playaz earned a 51-45 decision to advance to the round of 16. That’s where they met up with Utah Pump N’Run, a disciplined and talented team with a strong reputation. But they wouldn’t be much of a test for the Playaz either, as Nate Lubick scored 19 points to lead his team to the victory.
In their third game of the day on Friday, the Playaz squared off against Pump N’Run from California. In what has been described as one of the most exciting games in Vegas this summer, the Playaz held a 75-74 lead with only a few seconds left in the game, until Pump N’Run’s Kendall Williams, who is one of UCLA’s biggest recruiting priorities, drove to the basket and made the game winning shot in the final seconds. Austin Carroll led the Playaz in scoring in this contest with 14 points, while Murphy, Lubick, and Jansy Cruz were also in double figures.
While the close loss was obviously disappointing for the Playaz, it doesn’t take away from what they were able to accomplish this week. Multiple media outlets are calling the Adidas Super 64 the strongest of the three Vegas tournaments this year, and the Playaz were certainly one of the event’s biggest stories. After winning their “super pool” they were essentially five seconds away from a trip to the semi-finals. If that weren’t enough they attracted tons of college coaches wherever they went, and had a variety of impressive individual performances as Murphy, Lubick, Williams, and Carroll all had their moments to shine.
In other action at the Adidas Super 64, the Mass Rivals also played on until Friday, advancing to the quarterfinals of the gold bracket. They knocked off Ohio Gators Orange 93-84 in the first round, and then held off Rameybasketball.com 79-77 behind 17 points from Carson Desrosiers. But in the quarterfinal they ran into a very strong club, Team Puerto Rico, who ended their run by a score of 86-55.
The New England Playaz also made waves in the 15 and under division. After finishing pool play with an undefeated mark of 3-0 (including a win over D.C. Assault), they Playaz opened bracket play with a dominating 70-52 victory over Tracy Outlawz, highlighted by Alex Murphy's explosion for 32 points. They were equally dominant in the round of 16 as they knocked off Impact Basketball 59-37. Unfortunately the Playaz had prior commitments back in New England, which required the team to return home on Friday and give up their spot in the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, the week was an incredible success for the Playaz as the young group not only gelled at just the right time to go 5-0 in the tournament, but also solidified themselves as one of the rising powerhouses in New England.
The Mass Rivals also participated in the u15 bracket. They got 18 points from Jaymie Spears to defeat Indiana Elite 68-63 in their final pool play game, but were knocked out of bracket play by All Iowa 66-61.