Posted On: 07/23/18 12:56 AM

Utilizing a disciplined offense, solid shooting, and stellar defense, Northwest Coastal Elite 17U rolled past Pro Skills Sports Academy, 56-39, in the A Bracket Championship game of the Premier Summer Championships at The Hoop in Salem.

“It was very validating for our kids,” said NW Coastal Elite head coach Marques Chinn. “Being able to win last week (the Premier Summer Showcase in Bellevue), some people can call that luck but winning it two weeks in a row you will have to admit that we’re a pretty (darn) good team.”

The game wasn’t much of a contest from the very beginning at NWC ran out to an early lead and never looked back, leading 33-18 at the half. Methodically they ran their offense in the half court, finding the open man on the outside for a three or posting up inside for a layup. It was a balanced effort individually as well. Jett Briceno (2019 Kentridge) led the way with 15 points, Kyle Luttinen (2019 Roosevelt) added 14 (including four threes), and Maar Rambang (2019 Bishop Blanchet) scored eight and grabbed a team-high nine boards.

“It’s not one individual but it’s five guys out on the court playing as one, which really makes it look special,” Chinn said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them as a coach.”

Some other notes from Sunday’s action:

The Exit
From the outset it appeared that Seattle Rotary Select would be the favorites to capture the 17U division title and after the first four games, all title talk surrounded around going through them. Paolo Banchero (2021 O’Dea) was dominating on both ends, Jaden McDaniels (2019 Federal Way) was tantalizing high-major college coaches and everyone else in attendance with his skills, and the rest of the team was chipping in quite well. In their first bracket game on Sunday, Rotary saw all five starters reach double figures with RaeQuan Battle (2019 Marysville-Pilchuck) leading the way with 21 points in a 83-70 win over FLITE 17U Black.

There’s no reason to get into the details, but unfortunately during Seattle Rotary’s bracket game in the 15U division a disagreement occurred between Seattle Rotary head coach and program director Daryll Hennings and the officials. Unfortunately the situation escalated and Hennings made the decision to withdraw not only his team from the game, but all of Seattle Rotary’s teams from the tournament – including the 17U squad. Sadly everyone missed out with their absence but as we all often know, things work out the way they are supposed to and every team that played afterward fully earned the victories they won. After all, you can only win the games against the opponents you are scheduled to play.

Young Guns
The Rose City Rebels captured the 15U division with a 55-47 hard-fought win over Select Basketball Purple. Shooting percentages certainly weren’t high, but Darius Gakwasi (2021 Central Catholic) impressed with his ability to get to the basket and while his shot wasn’t falling, Ben Gregg (2021 Columbia Christian) hit the boards hard.  Kamron Robinson (2021 Jefferson) dominated inside as well.  The Class of 2021 in Oregon has the potential to be a great one and the fact that Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle and Portland State head coach Barret Peery were on the sidelines watching the action says a lot.

Comeback Kids
The Rose City Rebels 17U squad lost their first two games in pool play in excruciating fashion and they very well could have quit right there and then. Instead, head coach Kumbeno Memory’s squad went on a run and won their next four to capture the C Bracket Championship. Aaron Deloney (2019 Grant) in particular shook off shooting woes on Friday to show off the skills that we all have come to expect from the rising senior point guard.

Other Team Tidbits
The Team Fly program had a very successful run in Salem. Fly Select Anderson captured the E bracket championship of 17U, winning all three games on Sunday. Fly Select Williams made it to the finals of the B bracket championship, only losing by three points, and Team Fly White made it to the semis of the same bracket. And in 16U, Fly Select Largent reached the semifinals in the A bracket. Also in 16U, the host team Hoop Salem reached the finals of the B bracket, dropping a 64-49 decision to Select Basketball Green.

On the Sidelines
As had been the case on Friday and Saturday, plenty of college coaches came out to watch the action and during Seattle Rotary’s first bracket game, Portland head coach Terry Porter, Portland State head coach Barrett Peery and Washington Mike Hopkins were joined by San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher and Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle.  Oregon joined in on the fun for the first time with an assistant in attendance.  However, once word got out about the exit of the Rotary program, most of the coaches exited the building.  In fact, UCLA assistant coach Tyus Edney made his first appearance of the weekend only to find out the players he came to watch were no longer there.  Peery, Tinkle, and a number of small college assistants did stay to watch the action and follow the players they were recruiting for the remainder of the tournament.