Big-Time Showdown in ATL
Stars stun Celtics in 17U finals, Southern Select emerges in 16U division
Several of the top teams in the south made the trip to Atlanta to play in the sixth annual Wallace Prather Memorial Classic. Two teams ranked in the Five-Star top 25 – No. 5 Atlanta Celtics and No. 18 Georgia Stars, headlined the 17U field. It was only fitting that the two ranked teams would meet in the championship game. Here’s a quick recap of the results:
- The Georgia Stars looked dominant from start to finish, taking the 17U title with a 81-61 victory over the host Celtics. Jaron Blossomgame lead the Stars with 16 points, bringing the crowd to its feet on several occasions with rim rattling slams.
- The Stars are now 2-0 against the arch rival Celtics this season - they also beat the C's in the quarters at Real Deal in the Rock, when the Celtics had big man Tony Parker.
- The Celtics looked sluggish in the Championship game, and despite 22 points from Deandre Harper, the Celtics were never able to overcome the Stars.
- Earlier in the day, The Stars defeated a talented Atlanta Express team, 79-67, in the semifinals. Express forward Robert Carter was slowed by cramps the entire game, only scoring 3 points. Stars forward Marcus Hunt was the high man with 16 points.
- The Stars won the tournament despite the absence of key players Tony Parker and Montay Brandon.
- One reason for the Celtics struggle may have been their battle with Worldwide Express in the semifinals. The Celtics trailed 39-30 at the half, struggling to contain Express guard Chris Bolden. The Celtics stormed back to take the lead, powered by forward Shaq Goodwin’s game-high 20 points.
- Goodwin also lead the Celtics with five three-pointers in the game.
- The Celtics played this weekend without wing Jordan Adams and Five-Star rated PG Solomon Poole.
- The Atlanta Celtics 16U team did not fare as well as their older brethren, falling to Minnesota Pump-n-Run, 63-52, in the quarterfinals. Pump-n-Run opened the game with a 12-0 run and never looked back.
- Southern Select took the 16U crown, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes, 55-48. Southern Select was able to outlast despite a game-high 20 points from Hurricanes wing Quavious Copeland.Kyle Doyle and Isaac Williams each had 11 points for Select.
- Doyle looked dominant in Select’s 66-46 victory over the South Carolina Raptors Elite in the semis, scoring a game-high 24 points.
- The Carolina Hurricanes survived a close game earlier in the day, defeating the Columbus Knicks, 66-63, behind Davaris McGowan’s game-high 17 points.