Buzzer Beater Classic Championship Recap

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There’s always some extra excitement in the air when there are four championships on the line. That’s what he had today in Neptune as Buzzer Beater Classic came to a close this afternoon. Four titles were handed out by day’s end. Here’s a recap of all four championship games and more importantly, here are your winners.

15U Championship: Canada Elite vs. SJ Jazz
Canada Elite came into the championship game rolling and were not about to be deprived of a trophy that they felt they deserved. They controlled the tempo of the game from the opening tip. With the exception of Myles Cale, Canada Elite shut down the South Jersey Jazz offense for much of the first half, opening on a 23-10 run. Elite tallied 38 points in the first half and never looked back. They went on to defeat the Jazz 79-59 and were our first trophy winners of the day. As expected when scoring 78 points, Elite had a number of contributors in the championship bout. Every player recorded a point. Amidou Bamba led the way with 19 while Nickeill Alexander-Walker added 17. For the Jazz, Myles Cale continued to be a scoring machine, finishing with a game-high 23 points.
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16U Championship: Jersey City Boys & Girls vs. Team Cimi
Team Cimi brought their size and athleticism into the championship game against Jersey City. Cimi came into the final after a heart racing game against the Brooklyn Rens whereas Jersey City defeated fellow Jersey team NJ Roadrunners. The last 16U game of the weekend was a one possession game with under 30 seconds to go. Rens were down three late and decided to take the quick two. Jersey City did a great job playing keep away, avoiding the foul attempt by Cimi and wound up taking a lay up with 1.8 left. Cimi had a chance from half court, but it was wide left. Jersey City took home the title, 48-45. They had a balanced scoring sheet, with four of their seven players recording seven points or more. Idris Joyner led with 13. Team Cimi was led by Jaheam Cornwall had 17 for Team Cimi.
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17U Parkway Championship: United Sons And Daughters vs. New Heights
The 17U Parkway final featured two teams with loads of prospects in USAD and New Heights. New Heights jumped out to an early lead, but USAD recovered and the two teams went back and forth the rest of the half and USAD took a 42-35 lead at the break. Arkel Ager-Lamar led USAD with 14 while Sidney Wilson kept Heights close with 13. The second half started a lot like the first, with New Heights starting hot and tying the game up. USAD did a good job of handling the run by Heights and went on a run of their own, a run that would give them a lead they would not give up. USAD walked out of Buzzer Beater Classic 17U Parkway Division champs beating New Heights 80-69. Ager-Lamar finished with a team high 23 points for USAD, who also got contributions from Malik Petteway who had 21 points. Sidney Wilson had 27 in a losing effort for New Heights.
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17U Turnpike Championship: MD3D vs. JB Hoops
Our 17U Turnpike Championship was the final of our four championships and it may have been the most exciting of the four, and that’s saying something. JB Hoops came into the final with some impressive wins and player performances and had another test in their final game of the weekend. Similar to our Parkway Championship, the score stayed very close the entire first half. After the first 16, MD3D led 30-28; little did we know the game was far from over. JB took control in the second half and appeared to have the game in hand. They led by nine with three minutes to play and by six with a minute to go. A few missed free throws and two threes, one by Bryce Thurston at the buzzer (shown below) forced our our first overtime.

The first overtime saw teams trade baskets; knotted at 73, JB Hoops had a chance for another buzzer beating win, but Tim Rose’s shot was just long. On to double OT we went. In double overtime, JB took a 77-73 lead, but anyone watching knew MD3D was far from done. They fought their back AGAIN and many watching thought we were heading to a third overtime, but as time ticked down, James Fives had the ball in his hands and was looking to win it. He took it strong to the hoop, drew a foul and knocked in two clutch free throws. With 8 seconds left MD3D pushed the ball up court, had a clean look for a three and the win, but the shot bounced off and our fourth and final champion was crowned. Fives was phenomenal in the win, scoring 40 points for JB Hoops in the win. 19 of his points came from the charity stripe, a number of them coming in overtime and late in the crunch time of the second half. Aside from his buzzer beater in the second half, Bryce Thurston also had 21 for MD3D. An amazing ending to a great tournament.
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We could not have asked for a more thrilling way to end our summer tournaments series than the way Buzzer Beater did. Congratulations to all four teams on hard earned championship victories this weekend.

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