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July 7, 2014

WCE: West Coast All-Stars Win 12u Title Again

12u Platinum Championship:
West Coast All-Stars 37, Julius V. Elite 34

By Dave Keefer

In a tough defensive battle, West Coast All-Stars managed to build a double-digit lead in the second half but had to withstand a fast and furious rally by Julius V. Elite before prevailing, 37-34, to win their second consecutive WCE25 Championship at Open Gym Premier held on July 5-6 in Anaheim. We'll have more from this & other events soon.

Because of excellent defensive intensity, both teams had trouble scoring, especially in the first half. Shots were heavily contested and there were some fierce battles for rebounds. As a result there were few fast breaks and even fewer easy shots.

The game was tight the whole first half, with WCA clinging onto a 13-11 lead as the clock wound down to halftime. JVE had the ball for a chance for a last shot but turned it over and WCA scored just ahead of the horn to lead 15-11 at the break.

Then WCA seemed to take control in the second half.

They led 30-19 well past the midpoint of the half and JVE had trouble converting on offense. It was one shot and out for JVE, as WCA's bigs, Jason Harris and Nicolas Valencia, were controlling the boards. WCA was clearly outplaying JVE at this point, with only a few minutes left in the game.

But suddenly the momentum changed. JVE ramped up the pressure and now WCA couldn't buy a basket. JVE got their running game going and finally got some transition baskets.

After Kyree Walker hit a baseline jumper, it was 30-26 and JVE was feeling it with 3:30 to go in the game. Then Dwon Odom got a putback with 3:05 on the clock and it was a one-possession game at 30-28.

Walker completed an 11-0 run for JVE with two free throws, as his team had come all the way back to tie the game at 30-30 with 2 minutes left in regulation. Montez McNeil rebounded a missed shot by WCA and now JVE had a chance to take the lead.

McNeil turned it over at the 1:50 mark, but made up for it with a block at the other end on a shot by Harris underneath. Harris ended up with a tough putback to put WCA back in the lead, 32-30, with 1:35 to go.

JVE quickly tied it again but WCA responded by taking the lead again on two free throws from William McClendon to make it 34-32 with 1:08 on the clock. Walker came back to tie it again for JVE with a nice drive down the lane to make it 34-34 with 35 seconds left.

Then Valencia came through with what would end up being the game winner when he completed a drive along the baseline for a score with 19.2 seconds left to make it 36-34. On the ensuing inbounds play for JVE, a crucial turnover occurred when the inbounder stepped over the line while inbounding the ball.

But the outcome was still in doubt. JVE had to foul to stop the clock and Paris Dawson went to the line with 11.8 seconds on the clock. He made one of two to make it 37-34. JVE got a potential game-tying three-pointer launched with 4 seconds left but Harris fly swatted it out of bounds.

That left enough time for another chance for JVE, but a three-pointer by Ty Ty Washington bounced off the rim and WCA grabbed the rebound as time ran out.

Congratulations to both teams on a clean hard fought game between two talented teams. Here are the rosters:

West Coast All-Stars:

19-Paris Dawson
7-Jalen Clark
3-Ty Ty Washington
2-William McClendon
8-Jason Harris
23-Quincy Taylor
6-Tahj Morris
32-Nicolas Valencia

Julius V. Elite

10-Jordan Toles
32-Kyree Walker
4-Fredric Burton
45-Isaiah LeBlanc
2-Keith Dinwiddie
3-Dwon Odom
31-Montez McNeil
15-Jalen Reyes
27-Jack Rottler


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