2012 7th Grade AAU Nationals: Medal Round Recap
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - The 2012 seventh grade Division I and Division II AAU National Championships concluded earlier today, as DunkDog.com was in and out of nearly every gym in the Bluff City spying on the best action! Check back throughout the week, as more detailed coverage will be added featuring the top players and teams in attendance, but for now here is a brief recap of the medal round games in both the Division I and Division II AAU National Championship events!
7th GRADE DI AAU NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
California Basketball Club defeated West Coast Select of Nevada, 55-47, to win the Division I title behind 28 points from the tournament’s Most Valuable Player Cody Riley. Troy Brown and Alex Barcello led W.C.S. with 10 points apiece. The game marked the first time in at least a decade, and perhaps ever, that two West Coast teams advanced to play each other for a seventh grade AAU National Championship.
In the 3rd/4th place consolation game, Memphis War Eagles defeated Maryland’s Team Takeover 55-53, behind another strong scoring performance from Chase Hayden. Hayden, the son of former Tennessee and NFL running back Aaron Hayden, was easily one of the top guards in attendance from the class of 2017. Unfortunately, Takeover’s lead guard Aaron Thompson suffered a broken wrist in this final game, and is expected to miss the remainder of the summer.
In the 5th/6th place game, the Swilling Storm defeated North Carolina-based Team Felton, 54-44; securing a top five finish nationally in the class of 2017. Team Felton was a surprise group, as very few considered them a top ten squad in the class entering the week, but it was Louisiana-based Swilling Storm who in fact became the talk of the tournament. Coached and managed by former NFL linebacker Pat Swilling, the Storm brought several new faces to the AAU National Championships, and left Memphis, Tennessee having earned a top five finish nationally. Now with a target on their backs for next season, time will tell if the Swilling Storm and Team Felton can return to the winner’s circle.
In the 7th/8th place game, Louisiana’s Primetime Select defeated Team ABBO of New York, 62-59. Sponsored by the Abyssinian Baptist Church youth program in Manhattan, ABBO was also an unfamiliar squad in the class of 2017 who departed the Bluff City now considered a top ten team nationally. Meanwhile, Primetime Select entered the 2012 AAU Championships undefeated on the year and among the list of potential favorites to compete for a title, but a pair of critical losses eliminated them from top five honors nationally. Due to an injury-plagued roster throughout the tournament, it is fair to assume that Primetime will certainly better their finish at the eighth grade AAU National Championships during the summer of 2013.
The 9th/12th place game paired the 2010 and 2011 AAU National Champion, Indy Hoosiers, against Houston Elite of Texas. The Hoosiers’ 63-48 victory secured the team a top ten finish in the country, but also contributes to the argument that the Indiana-based team was a much better squad than their medal finish suggested. It’s important to note that the Hoosiers only loss during the 2012 AAU National Championships came at the hands of the Swilling Storm in the round of sixteen during bracket play.
Meanwhile, Houston Elite also had an impressive week, finally breaking into the medal round and simultaneously securing a nationally-ranked finish. Their performance only reinforced the opinion of DunkDog.com that Elite belongs in the conversation among the top rising eighth grade teams in the country.
The 10th/13th place game matched-up two of the AAU National Championships relative surprises in Ohio-based Hoopster’s Cardinals Elite and Florida’s Gainesville Kings. The final outing was also the most controversial game of the medal rounds, as Hoopster’s Cardinals Elite scored a go-ahead basket and free throw in the final seconds, leaving only three ticks on the clock.
However, unbeknownst to the officiating crew, the clock began early and even though Joseph McCray’s heave at the buzzer went in, it waived off as the referees ruled time had expired. The result was truly exciting, yet bittersweet, finishes for two teams that will be expected to again be competitive next season.
The 11th/14th place game was between Oklahoma’s Gym Time Hoops Elite and West Virginia Rising Stars. In a lopsided game, G.T.H. Elite earned a 64-39 victory to fall just one position shy of a top ten finish nationally.
Meanwhile, the Rising Stars secured a top fifteen placement with their medal round loss, which was only their second defeat of the entire week at the AAU National Championships.
7th GRADE DII AAU NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2012 seventh grade Division II AAU National Championship game paired Georgia United and Illinois Crush in a title match. During a back-and-forth game with more than ten lead changes, United controlled for much of the second half, before a furious Crush run in the game’s closing moments almost had the trophy going back to Illinois.
However, sixth grade guard Corderius Hastings scored 14 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter, and forward Titus Cook added 16 points of his own to help Georgia United claim the 2012 seventh grade Division II AAU National Championship.
OTHER 7TH GRADE DIVISION II AAU NATIONALS MEDAL ROUND RESULTS:
IN – Indy Storm (3rd) vs IL – Illinois Speed (4th) / Result: 73 – 59
AL – Team Wigg (5th) vs KY – Tarheels Select (6th) / Result: 87 – 80
FL – Lakeland Fire (7th) vs IL – Southwest Titans (8th) / Result: 57-45
FL – Wellington Wolves (9th) vs MI – Grand Rapids Storm (12th) / Result: 55-52
TX – Deron Williams Metro Elite (10th) vs MD – Hartford City Dream Team (13th) / Result: 55-37
WI – M.S.B. (11th) vs KY – Attucks Wolfpack (14th) / Result: 47-45