After 3 months of training and playing against bigger, more advanced teams, the Ares boys got the job done.
11u held it down!
This past Saturday, we attended the WCBBA tournament held in the Concord California area and brought out the 10/11u and our 13/14u teams. Even though we only have one 11yo and one 14yo on each team, we normally play the upper bracket with both teams and don’t even bother asking for an exception to help push the kids, however, with missing a few key members for the older team, we played the 13u bracket this time around, and glad we did.
Our first game for the afternoon was against Prime. We battled hard for 40min to fall short by 4 points. Prime is known for putting together and training some top talent in the area and always a challenge to play against.
Second game was a lot different. I asked to be put in D2 11u and this tournament delivered. Our next game up was against the Titans 11u. You can tell most of these kids were about to turn 12 or were already 12 from their size and skill level, but that didn’t stop us from stepping up and do a great job against the Titans, winning by 8.
Third game I knew would be tough. SJ Unity had just defeated Prime in OT by 1 and if we beat Unity by 7 or more, we would win the tournament. The stage was set, the kids were ready to battle…
40min went by and we were looking to close out the game with a 10point victory. Out of the timeout the kids knew what they needed to do. Get a stop, don’t let them score, no 3’s, don’t let up.
The whistle blows, foul on the 3point buzzard beater shot. SJ Unity player hits all 3 making it a tie between Prime and Ares…and since Prime beat us, they got first.
13/14u games were a lot better…3-0 better
For 3 months now we have been playing up against 14u teams which normally contain a mix of high school freshmen and 8th grade boys. The boys did well over the last few months hanging in there and playing some good basketball. I knew going into what our actual matchups should be that we would do well…but not as well as I thought we would since we would face off against some experienced teams.
Game one was against the East Bay Eagles. We got some history coaching against each other and my parents could tell by the way the other coach was acting. You can tell that he really wanted to beat me since it’s been years since he has been able to pull off a win against any of my teams…but I can save that story for another time.
The energy coming from the team was great the first game. There were still some chemistry missing but I the rotation was better this time around. Torey (I call him “Take-Over Torey”) really did well that game. There was no one on the other team that could stop him.
Game two was against the Bay Area Sharks. I knew that the team has been together for a while and he was watching our game against the Eagles so he knew he had to take care of “Take-Over Torey” in order to have a change. Over the next 40 min, there was constant pressure on Torey making the rest of the team step up…and they did an amazing job to pull off a win.
The third and final game was against the Aztecs. When I first saw we were playing that group I was a little disappointed. Last time we faced each other, we won my a big margin and was not sure what to expect. I am the kind of coach that will never under estimate our opponent no matter how much we won by the last time we faced off each other. You never know where they were in their process last time we faced off or if it’s even going to be the same kids.
As they walked through the doors, it was NOT the same team. I actually heard some of our parents sigh thinking its going to be a good but long game. The kids that came in looked like ballers, I will admit that. Even the kids who remembered this team from last time was starting to get a little intimidated…see…never underestimate.
I chuckled a bit.
I looked at our assistant coach and said “we got this” and called the team in for the huddle. After a short pow-wow and pep talk, they hit the court motivated to win the last game. Out the gates these guys were on fire! 16min went by and I had not realized that I had still to put in my bench. Score was 30-2 at the half.
In the second half I changed it up. I mixed some of my starters with the bench players and started to rotate them out every 4-5min. The kids knew what was coming to them and they were excited. They did so well, I was able to have some of my 10u players help and even almost score against kids much much taller than them.
Looking for a team?
Do you live in the Tracy, Stockton, Patterson, Manteca areas and looking for a travel basketball team? Visit aresbasketball.com to sign up for tryout information.