July 8, 2017
By Morgan Wenger
The youth portion of the Dawg Days Basketball 3 on 3 tournament has never had a team win more than one division before. In fact, no single player has ever been on two championship teams in the same tournament. Showtime came into this year's tournament with ideas of changing that. Their quest to challenge tournament history highlighted the action of the youth portion of Dawg Days Basketball 2017.
The biggest challenge to any team playing in two divisions would seem to be the older division. Showtime was comprised of rising sophomores Tyler Baer, Joey Dalessandro, Chance Green, and Ben Draper. They decided to play in their own age division (Young Bucks) and the High School Division for rising juniors and seniors. Although they lost their first game in pool play 30-28 against BGAN, they established respect with the rest of the field by playing the heavily favored BGAN team down to the wire. Once bracket play began, Showtime barged through the bracket by dispatching Team Dean 30-18 to set up a rematch in the championship game with BGAN. Joey Dalessandro exploded for 19 of his team's 30 points in the championship game as they turned the tables on BGAN with the 30-28 victory. Calvin Blair led his team in defeat with 13 points.
The Young Bucks division had as much parity as any division in Dawg Days Basketball 2017. With Showtime winning the High School division, they certainly had to be considered the favorites to win their own age bracket. After narrowly escaping with two early round wins against The Tropics and Mighty Midgets, EBA Hoops gave Showtime their only loss during pool play in the division in a 30-24 contest. Showtime rebounded from that loss to defeat the Louisville Leopards 30-27 to earn the division's #1 seed heading into the tournament. Both Louisville and Showtime advanced to the championship round of the division with comfortable wins against the Mighty Midgets and The Tropics, respectively. The aforementioned EBA Hoops was eliminated earlier in bracket play by The Tropics. Louisville set the tone early in the championship round against Showtime with their tough, physical defense. Showtime made several runs against Louisville, but they could never get a comfortable lead as they chased the elusive, record setting, second title of the day. Louisville pulled away towards the end for a hard earned 30-23 championship game win. Colby Croxton, Cory Noble, Dakota Hoffman, and Broc Pickens made up the Louisville squad.
The 8th grade division of the tournament featured the most dominant team of the day. EBA Hoops White barged their way through pool play with 19, 17, and 13 point wins to earn the #1 seed. Ohio Storm entered bracket play at 3-1, and was determined to avenge their pool play loss vs EBA Hoops White. In one of the most entertaining games of the division, Ohio Storm was able to hold off EBA Hoops Orange 30-24 in a hotly contested semifinal game. EBA Hoops White endured their most competitive game of the day from the Dribble Dawgs in bracket play with a 30-22 win. The younger Dribble Dawgs had outlasted Dunk Fest 30-21 in the quarterfinal round to advance to the semifinals against EBA Hoops White. Although determined and playing with tremendous energy, Ohio Storm could not overcome EBA Hoops White in the championship game, eventually succumbing 30-20. EBA Hoops White was made up of Chris Smith, Javar Simpson, Jalen Wenger, and Quentin Lehman.
The Biddy Ball division was low in quantity of teams, but very high in quality of teams. The Dribble Dawgs blew out Dalton 30-17 as part of their dominant run in pool play. After their initial loss to the Dribble Dawgs, Dalton began to gain confidence with two double digit victories before advancing to the championship game. The Dribble Dawgs rattled off the championship game's first four points, only to see Dalton counter with a momentous 16-4 run. Baskets were tough to come by for either team as the physicality and defense picked up. The Dribble Dawgs were able to gain the lead back as the game headed down the stretch. With a 27-24 lead and the 25 minute time limit becoming a factor, Dribble Dawgs went into stall mode on offense and ran the clock out to earn the division championship. The championship team consisted of Jack Steiner, Gavin Spitler, Ethan Hann, and Ethan Stutz.
The Junior division of this year's tournament featured the closest championship game of all of the youth divisions. It was pretty clear early on that the Grizzlies and Panthers were on a collision course for the championship game as they dispatched the Dalton Dawg Pound, Dalton Dawgs, and Orange and Black Attack. In pool play, the Grizzlies defeated the Panthers 19-17 in a game that saw the 25 minute time limit expire. With that as a precursor, nobody expected anything other than a hotly contested battle in the championship game. The pace and hustle from both teams was evident throughout the game, with kids diving on the concrete after loose balls on many occasions. As time ticked away, it became clear that this game was not going to reach the 30 point mark either. The Panthers were able to make the final basket to come away with a hard fought 25-24 victory against a game Grizzlies squad. The champions were Luke Wagner, Zack Liebler, Carson Basham, and Peyton Wengerd.
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