July 15, 2013
By Morgan Wenger
Team Vandervaart was crowned champion of Dawg Days Basketball 2013 after defeating Team Zacour in the best of three championship series 2-0. Team Zacour was aiming for back to back titles after winning last summer, but fell 30-28 in Game 1 and 30-22 in Game 2 against the stronger Team Vandervaart. N'Gai Evans averaged 11 points per game in the championship series to capture the MVP trophy. Team Zacour was led by Daniel Zacour's 13 points per game average in the finals.
A day that ended so well for the champions didn't get off to a very good start. MOB, led by tournament stalwart Angelo Edwards, dealt Team Vandervaart a major blow by beating them 30-28 in the first round of tournament play. Edwards had five 3 pointers in the game and led the way with 17 points while Kenny Kornowski led Team Vandervaart with 17. This put Team Vandervaart in the loser's bracket right away. No team in the history of the tournament had ever lost their first game and come all the way back through the loser's bracket to win the title. Undeterred, Vandervaart would win the next five games in a row to claim the title.
Team Zacour took the conventional route to the championship series, winning their first 3 games. Daniel Zacour scored 18 points as they dispatched of Details 30-16 in round 1. This set up a second round matchup between the most tenured tournament veterans. Angelo Edwards, fresh off of his 17 point performance in round 1, led MOB against Team Zacour with 10 points. The Zacour brothers were too much though, as Stephen Zacour and Daniel Zacour combined for 28 points to advance to the third round of the winner's bracket with a 30-22 victory. Edwards, Paul Zacour, Daniel Zacour, and Stephen Zacour have played in all 8 Dawg Days Basketball tournaments. This put Team Zacour in the winner's bracket finals against tournament newcomer A-Team with a berth in the tournament finals at stake. The A-Team, led by Marquise Jones, gave Team Zacour all they could handle before losing 30-27. The athletic Jones showed his sharpshooting capabilities by knocking down seven 3 pointers on his way to a game high 25 points. Daniel Zacour led the way with 18 points for Team Zacour. This marked the fourth straight year that Team Zacour advanced to the championship series.
Obviously, this led to a loser's bracket that was filled with talent from top to bottom. Splash and ALCF put up a good fight against Vandervaart and MOB before losing. ALCF, playing in their first Dawg Days Basketball tournament, notched two wins before bowing out. They were led by Jordan Knight's 10.6 ppg on the day. Splash was also making their tournament debut and was able to defeat ALCF in their first game. Splash was led by Thorn Deeds' 7.8 ppg. This set up a rematch between Team Vandervaart and MOB. With Kenny Kornowski leading the way with 13 points, Vandervaart was able to overcome 12 points from Angelo Edwards and defeat MOB 30-19. After their fierce battle against Team Zacour in the winner's bracket final, A-Team showed some fatigue in losing to Team Vandervaart 30-12. This moved them to the elimination bracket with Details and MOB. Details secured their first win of the tournament against ALCF before bowing out against MOB 30-24. Angelo Edwards scored 20 points in the game for MOB. Jacob Bolyard paced Details efforts with 12.8 ppg for the tournament. The win put MOB against A-Team in the elimination bracket finals. In a hard fought game, MOB was able to hold off the young A-Team 30-29 to gain another rematch against Team Vandervaart. First year tournament player Mike Porrini led MOB with 15 points in the game while Marquise Jones refused to go down quietly, leading A-Team with 21. Jones led the entire tournament with a ridiculous 19.3 ppg average. MOB simply ran out of gas against Team Vandervaart. The much fresher Vandervaart team overwhelmed MOB with their energy and pulled away with a 30-12 win. Tim Vandervaart led his team with 14 points in the win.
Game 1 of the finals was a nip and tuck affair from beginning to end. The game featured a fascinating matchup between explosive guard N'Gai Evans and an elite perimeter defender in Paul Zacour. Paul Zacour was initially able to keep Evans in front of him, but the resilient Evans kept attacking at every opportunity. Daniel Zacour proved to be nearly impossible to stop for Team Vandervaart. He scored baskets in nearly every way possible to lead his team with 15 points in the game. Evans constant pressure off the dribble eventually wore down Team Zacour's defense and Team Vandervaart was able to escape with a 30-28 win. This set the stage for Game 2. Evans, feeling a ton of confidence from his finish in Game 1, continued to attack the rim on almost every possession. Whether he was drawing fouls, setting up teammates, or hiting shots himself, he was wearing down the normally stingy Zacour defense. Despite a valiant effort from Team Zacour, Evans was just too much to overcome. Vandervaart won the final game 30-22 to claim the championship and the $1,200 grand prize. Tim Vandervaart led his team with 12 points in the final game to go along with 10 from Evans. Daniel Zacour scored 11 points in a losing effort and finished the tournament with a 15.4 ppg average.
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