July 10, 2016
By Morgan Wenger
Seven youth divisions made this year's tournament the biggest one in history. The tournament featured many hotly contested games, brilliant individual performances, and memorable finishes. When the dust had settled, seven new champions had been crowned.
The High School division featured many of the area's top prep standouts. The R'mani Robinson led Goon Squad fought their way to the #1 seed in the tournament after three games of pool play. BGAN, led by Calvin Blair, had given the Good Squad their only loss during pool play. BGAN knocked them off again in the semifinal round to set up a championship game between BGAN and SGod. Peyton Bennington scored 19 points in the championship game to lead SGod to a convincing 30-20 win and the title. Joining Bennington on the championship team were Trever Smith and Danny Zuchak. Bennington led all scorers in the division with 14.5 ppg.
The most dramatic championship game of the day occurred in the Young Bucks division. Adam Bidlack nailed a heavily contested 3 pointer to cap off a 22 point championship game performance for the TruElite Ballers. The shot clinched a 30-29 victory over the Elite Ballerzzzz. The champions avenged their only loss of the day to Laced Up in the semifinals. Joining Bidlack on the championship team were Ben Draper, Jacob Graham, and Justin Metsker. Draper was the division's leading scorer at 10.7 ppg.
The youth portion of the tournament featured an 8th Grade division for the first time. The Panthers rolled through pool play undefeated and finished their perfect slate with a 30-20 championship game victory over EBA Hoops. Jared Pettay scored 13 points in the championship game and, along with Nate Adkins, formed a duo that was too much to handle for any other teams in the division. The dynamic duo was complimented by Lucas Niro and Gabe Price. EBA Hoops' Jalen Wenger led the division in scoring at 21 ppg.
EBA Hoops's White and Orange teams both went through pool play undefeated in the Biddy Ball division. Based on that, there wasn't much surprise when both of them advanced to the championship game. Jaiden Malone's hot shooting helped build a big lead for EBA Hoops Orange in the championship game, and they were able to hold off a furious rally from EBA Hoops White to clinch the title. Malone led all scorers in the championship game with 23 points, and was joined by Lucas Oswald, Tyler Ramseyer, and Kale Miller. Jalen Wenger, of EBA Hoops White, led the division in scoring at 16.8 ppg.
After losing their first game in pool play, the Falcons rattled off four consecutive victories to claim the Junior division title. Led by Brody Pumneo's 16 points, they defeated the top seeded Black Mambas in the champinship game. Brandon Pumneo, Trent Hughes, and Carson Colucci joined Brody Pumneo for the winners. Dalton White's Braylon Wenger led all scorers in the division with 20 ppg.
The first ever girls division proved to be a nice addition to this year's tournament. Mallory Stutzman and Addesa Miller led their Burritos squad to the title over the Rittman Heaters in the Junior Girls division. The champions were joined by Sydney Geiser and Alyssa Geiser and went 4-0 on the day. Stutzman led the division in scoring at 12 ppg.
Arguably the most dominant team of the day played in the Puppy division. The Dalton Dawg Pound won each of their games by convincing margins as they swept their way to the tournament championship. The Rams showed tremendous improvement throughout the day, and knocked off the Husky Pups to advance to the championship game. Brady Hignight and Brayden Holt combined for 18 points in the title game to lead the Dalton Dawg Pound to the 30-12 victory. Coy Wenger and Alex Hess provided reinforcements for the champions. Hignight led the division in scoring with 9.7 ppg.
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