Champions Crowned at 2019 U.S. Open Basketball Championships
The 2019 U.S. Open Basketball Championships had it all in Sunday’s championship round. There were nail-biting finishes and big-time comebacks. There was a double-overtime thriller, and outstanding all-around play. At the end of the day, eight champions were crowned in the U.S. Open Basketball Championships top divisions.
10th Grade Girls
Starting slow, the Wisconsin Shooters 2021 (6-2) finished strong en route to recording a dominating 71-38 win over Playmaker Academy Pumas 10th (5-3). Opening a 20-13 lead after the game’s first quarter was completed, at halftime the game was still a tight affair as Wisconsin Shooters took a 34-27 lead into the break. The Shooters pushed the gas pedal to the floor in the second half and outscored Playmaker Academy Pumas 15-6 in the third and 22-5 in the fourth to seal the win.
“I’m really proud of the girls. There was a time where I could just see them starting to implode on themselves because the game plan wasn’t coming together because they weren’t being patient,” said Tamroyal (TR) Yow.
“Once we settled into things in the second half, we saw things actually work for us. Our guards actually started to take it into the middle and we got their big in (foul) trouble which really opened the game for us. She was really fantastic down low, she brought our big all the way out to the top and just attacked over and over and over. We really didn’t have an answer for her. We made some adjustments with the guards, had some guards help out and it worked out well for us in our favor. It definitely helped with Lauren (Destefanis) hitting the 3s in the first half, staying hot and coming down and continuing to shoot to open the game as well for us.”
The Georgia Metros (5-4) outscored the South Bend Breakers (3-6) 53-33 to collect the 10thGrade Girls Stripes Division title.
10th Grade Boys
The 10th grade boys title game was all it was anticipated to be and more.
In the end, The Family 16U (7-0) out of Detroit, Michigan, won the championship after eking out a 91-88 double-overtime thriller over BABC (6-1).
“Oh man, my heart’s beating not at 100 miles but 400 miles per hour right now,” said The Family head coach Sean Moore right after earning the overtime victory. “These guys just fought, fought, fought, never gave up. We went down double digits, and at halftime I said as long as we keep grinding, grinding on defense, we will come out victorious. We proved our point to be one of the better teams out here at the USA level.”
In a title game that saw both teams post significant scoring runs, it was BABC that closed the fourth period strongly to tie the game and force the first overtime. Trailing 76-71 with 1:24 to play in regulation, BABC outscored The Family 6-1 to tie the game 77 all and force overtime.
BABC’s Shyheim Odom, who finished with 35 points and 15 rebounds, scored six straight points to push BABC out in front 83-77, but the Family roared back, and after Pierre Brooks, who finished with a game-high 40 points, made two free throws with 12.6 seconds left in overtime number one and tied the score at 86.
Heading into the second overtime, Brooks drained a 3 to lift The Family ahead 89-88 and Jayden Nunn sank a pair of free throws to up The Family’s lead to 91-88. BABC had one last chance to force a third overtime, but a deep 3 was off and The Family had the win and the championship.
“It really came down to leadership,” stated Moore. “As coaches we talk to the players, but as coaches you can’t jump in the player’s body. The only thing you can do is lead them into the right direction and lead them to the right game plan. I want to give that overtime to these players for believing in themselves, sticking to the program, playing as a team, and it’s a proven fact that when you play as a team at the end you will become victorious. There’s no I in team and we showed that today.”
“Overall, the tournament was great. It was a great success. The staff was great, the environment overall was great, just the whole setup it is something I will never forget. I recommend this.
“This is the end of the season and we ended it with a bang,” Moore added.
In the 9th Grade Stripes Division, Next Page Force (6-2), after going 2-2 in its preliminary play, won its final four games, including a 59-48 decision over Willpower (5-3) in the Stipes Division title game.
9th Grade Girls
In Sunday’s 9thGrade Girls Stars Division championship, IGB Morse Gold (7-0) rolled to a 78-52 win over Nike ProSkills 2023-Donnelly (5-2). Quickly jumping out ahead 15-9, at halftime IGB Morse Gold was fully in charge, owning a 48-17 lead.
“I thought we played really well. We didn’t played well this morning and really I didn’t think we played great all week. But today we brought it and I was really impressed with my kids,” said Natalie Morse after leading IGB More Gold to the 13U Stars title.
“Our defense is our number one priority, its speed, and we try to outlast teams, and I think we did a really great job getting open shots and attaching the basket hard and drawing defenders and kicking it out or either finishing against some good kids” continued Morse. “We had to make some defensive adjustments just against the big girl down low, but I think we bothered her early and that got to her. We were hitting shots, we normally hit shots, so that’s a good thing, but we were hitting shots and we were firing on all cylinders and I was proud of them.”
Count Coach Morse in as a supporter of USA Basketball’s U.S. Open Basketball Championships.
“It was great. We like to support this organization, we think it’s very well run. Our big thing is our organization wants to develop the youth so we spend a lot of time with kids third through 8th grades trying to get them to focus on fundamentals and that’s really how these girls have grown. Just getting into the gym all the time, developing relationships, and working on the basics and understanding defense wins a lot of games and they’ve got to be in good shape. We believe in the same things that USA Basketball believes in and we like to be here and support them.”
In the 13U Girls Stripes Division title game, Wisconsin Shooters 2022 (5-3) took down Indiana Flight North (3-3), 47-41.
9th Grade Boys
BABC 2022 (8-0) won both of its games Sunday and is now the owner of the U.S. Open Basketball Championships U13 Boys Stars Division title.
Facing Old School Wing (7-1) for the championship, a crazy sequence at the end of the third quarter help provide the difference as BABC defeated Old School Wings 81-60.
With the Old School Wings shooting two free throws with 0.8 seconds left in the third, Old School made the first free throw to cut the lead to 53-47. Missing the second free throw, BABC’s Christopher Norman grabbed the rebound and lasered the ball in from full court for 3-points and to up BABC’s lead to 56-47. Old School Wings never recovered.
“It’s a historic month,” said Leo Papile, longtime BABC head coach. “When I coached the 11th grade team, our freshman coach had these guys at the AAU Nationals and AAU Showcase. They went 14-0 in nine days. The Showcase championship was Monday morning. Tuesday morning they took 5 a.m. bus from Orlando, Greyhound to Atlanta, where I picked them up in a 2003 Yukon with 335,000 miles on it, no AC. We drove here and got in 8 a.m. Wednesday and we played eight games since.
“That gives us a 22-0 record in 14 days – the triple, the AAU double and here,” continued Papile. “I can’t say much more. The team ends up 70-2 on the season.”
Asked to identify what was the key to staking claim on the U.S. Open Basketball Championships 9thGrade title, Papile added: “Our defense. We score an awful lot off of our defense. We mix up three of four things, and we’ve always been a full court pressure offense since we started this thing in ’77.”
Papile and his BABC program joined the list of advocates for the U.S. Open Basketball Championships.
“It’s great to be here, it’s great for the kids, and we’ll be back for sure. To us this is amateur basketball at its finest.”
To get to the finals, BABC knocked off TSF Mack (7-1) 76-63, while Old School Wings out did GIVE Sports (7-1) 84-75.
Nike CyFair Elite 2024 Coop (5-0) battled back from a 12 point deficit to capture the U.S. Open Basketball Championships13U Girls Stars Division title after defeating 24/7 13U (4-1) 65-56.
24/7 led 40-28 with 4:49 earning in the third quarter, but Nike CyFair Elite went on a 16-4 run to finish off the quarter and tie the score 44-44. CyFair Elite Coop continued its offensive outburst and opened up a 58-50 lead and went on from there to earn the 65-56 victory.
“It was a tremendous weekend, phenomenal play. I think what we learned this weekend is that we do have composure,” said Todd Cooper, Nike CyFair Elite Coop head coach. “When things break down, I tell them all the time, you’ve got to always dig deep.
“We got down about 10 or 12 and we had a game plan and we just stayed with it. We saw what we could win with and we started winning with it.”
In the 13U Girls Stripes division, Team Elite Basketball (3-3) won its final three games and beat Playmaker Academy Pumas 61-32 to take home the trophy.
In the 13U Boys Stars Division, Meanstreets-Smith (6-0) won the gold medals and earned the trophy thanks to a 76-60 victory over MBA Hoops (5-1). Meanstreet took control of the contest early and cruised to the title. Opening a 26-16 lead after the first quarter, at halftime Meanstreet was up 51-27 and it was smooth sailing from there.
“This feels good. It’s kind of been an up and down season,” said Emmett Smith, Meanstreet head coach. “We lost a few players along the way, got things back together, and made a run and we’ve won our last five tournaments. We came in pretty confident, I have a great group.
Without hesitation, Smith credited his team’s title run to one thing. “Defense,” he said. “We pride ourselves on defense. If you can’t play defense you can’t play for us.
“My two leaders on the court Gianni Cobb and Carlos Harris are both tenacious defenders. It starts with them up top. When they push it they get us going. And we’ve got Jalen Falcon who is amazing. He’s the motor of our team, he’s the adrenaline. He’s diving into the bleachers, he’s all over the place. When we come out slow, come out soft, he’s the guy who gets us going. So it’s an all-around team effort.”
In the Boys 13U Stripe Division, Cream Chaser Academy (5-2) outscored Meanstreets-Evans (3-4) 82-71 to claim the Stripes title.
Virginia Select (6-1) captured the 12U Girls U.S. Open Basketball Championships 12U Stars Division title with a 70-24 win over IGB 2025 Novinger (4-4). Both teams advance the title game after earning one-point wins in the semifinals. Virginia Select nipped Tree of Hope Pacific (4-4) 47-46 in one semifinal, while IGB 2025 Novinger edged IGB 2025 Bowsman (6-1) by a 42-41 score
“Our last game, to be honest, was just determination, said Randall Johnson, head coach of Virginia Select. “Our semifinal game this morning was very competitive. We were a little loopy, a little sleepy, it was very hard to try and wake them up early in the game, so, I was just glad they were able to come together as a team, work hard, and played a very good team and came through with the win.
Johnson attributed the championship run to program standards. “Staying poised and in control, and humble and showing good sportsmanship,” said Johnson about keys to his team’s success. “We do understand sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce in the other team’s favor, and sometimes it doesn’t bounce in our team’s favor, so we try to show sportsmanship on both ends of the floor and keep on pushing through adversity and keep on trying to be a team.”
IGB 2025 Bowsman (6-1) won the 13U Stripes championship after outlasting Tree of Hope Pacific 52-44.
Progeny 2025 finished 6-0 to claim the U.S. Open Championships 12U Boys Stars Division title after holding off previously unbeaten Bay Area Power (5-1) 45-42. Tied 42-42 with 2:07 to play, Progeny scored the game’s final three points to take the title.
“It’s been a tough year. We’ve been working and working and working,” said Progeny head coach Lenny Jewell.“This is our last tournament of the year and I told them to give me everything you’ve got for this last one and they just got after it and took care of business.
“We got out a little slow and made a few adjustments. Their big man was hurting us and we made some adjustments to try and neutralize him a little bit and it worked,” he added. “I love this tournament. It’s probably been the best run tournament that we played in all year. I like this, I really like it and I hope to be back. It’s a great way to end the season.”
Soy City Select (5-2) captured the Boys 12U Stripes Division championship after defeating Indiana Rise (3-3) 65-59.