The Arizona Aces (Windler) by Compton Magic traveled to Las Vegas last weekend and won the 17-U Platinum division championship at the Bigfoot Tip-off Classic. The Aces finished the weekend 5-0 in route to the title and played steady, consistent, and together throughout.
In pool play, the Aces overcame a very athletic, physical squad out of California that ended up losing in the finals of the Gold Bracket (Up and Coming Basketball) in game one and despite a sluggish first half, won easily in game two over Nevada Hoops Stars, who won the Silver Bracket on Sunday.
Left to Right: Malik Williams (La Joya), Mike Mellinger (Dobson), Mason Zwillinger (Brophy), Isaiah Elliott (Moon Valley), Avonte Nelms (Arcadia), Carter Aby (Combs), Andrew Reed (Vista Ranch, CO), and Connor Nichols (Arcadia)
In tournament play, the Aces defeated a very good perimeter team (Idaho Select White) by jumping out to a 20-2 lead and never looking back. That was followed by the best team performance of the weekend with a 27-point win over a very talented (Excel Elite, WA). In the finals, the Aces rallied from an 11-point deficit with eight-minutes to play and sent the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Aces held on defensively and knocked down two clutch free throws with three seconds left to pull out an 83-81 victory over Elite 24 Black (OR). Before the finals, the Aces had not given up more than 45 points in a game and held three opponents in the 30's.
We had three officials for all but one of our games. The officiating was consistent throughout, but they did let both teams play, and it did benefit our guys to play against that type of physicality.
All eight players contributed significantly throughout the weekend, shared the ball, defended, rebounded, and converted the majority of transition opportunities. All of our players are 2015.
Mason Zwillinger (6-1 PG Brophy): Mason shot the ball very well in our last three games and had only one turnover in the final three games as well.
Andrew Reed (6-1 SG Vista Ranch, CO): Andrew saved his best performance for the title game, scoring 13 of 15 points in a stretch that tied the game late. However, he was our leading scorer for the entire tournament.
Carter Aby (6-5 Wing Combs): Carter used his length exceptionally well all weekend, especially defensively and knocked down several 3's.
Mike Mellinger (6-5 Wing/Post Dobson): Mike did the dirty work and defended very well, leading the team in rebounding for the weekend.
Avonte Nelms (6-5 Wing/Post Arcadia): Avonte was our most consistent performer last weekend. He scored in a variety of ways and rebounded well also.
Connor Nichols (6-5 Wing/Post Arcadia): Connor contributed on both ends throughout and played his best game during the semi-finals.
Malik Williams (6-2 combo guard La Joya): Malik played well in transition and off the dribble all weekend. He was our best rebounding guard as well.
Isaiah Elliott (5-10 PG Moon Valley): Isaiah picked his spots very well, creating havoc on defense and controlling tempo offensively. He played his best game in the semi-finals, leading the team in steals.
The AZ Aces (Windler) play next in Ron Coleman's Southwest Showcase, May 16-18 and the Compton Magic Memorial Day, May 23-25. We have a great group that is definitely fun to coach.