Team Philly wins 16u crown in its own backyard

16u ChampionsThe addition of Kamir Williams to the Team Philly roster was, for this weekend at least, a rousing success.

Williams (Constitution (Pa.) High School/5-10/2015) and Sean Lloyd (Haverford (Pa.) School/6-4/2015) each scored a team-leading 14 points as Team Philly topped the Pa. Renegades 61-55 to win the 16u championship at the Hoop Group’s Summer Jam Fest.

“It feels amazing,” Williams said. “I feel ecstatic winning with a team I just came to. I’ve known these guys (his new teammates) for a long time so it feels good to win with them now.”

But winning wasn’t easy. Especially with the way the Renegades played in the post throughout the game, especially in the first half.

Matthew Penecale (Abington (Pa.) Senior High School/6-0/2015), who finished with a game-high 16 points, teamed with Sam Lindgren (Germantown (Pa.) Academy/6-4/2015) and Luke Connaghan (Archbishop Wood (Pa.) High School/6-3/2015) to frustrate Team Philly over the first 16 minutes.

With Penecale scoring 14 of his points in the first half, it took Williams’ 10-point first half effort just for Team Philly to go into the half with the score knotted at 32.

In the second half, the back forth between the two teams continued until Team Philly went in front 52-51 with 2:33 to go in the game. They never relinquished the lead from that point.

Just 40 seconds later Williams sank two free throws to increase the Team Philly lead to 56-51.

After the two teams traded baskets, and with Team Philly still holding a five-point lead with 45 seconds to go, Jihad Barnes (Girard (Pa.) College/6-2/2015), who finished with five points, effectively ended the game with a steal that would eventually lead to a Lloyd layup as Team Philly opened up a 60-53 lead.

“We played with a lot of heart today and no fear,” Williams said. “Today we beat a good team so I’m very happy.” –@pfebbraro

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