Posted On: 02/24/19 8:04 PM

Warrior Basketball, out of Miami, upset Team Breakdown on Sunday afternoon and then rolled past Atlanta (Ga.) Freebandz Elite, 86-64, to win the 2023 Division I championship at The Basketball Alliance’s Under Armour Classic in Deerfield Beach.

Here are 5 Takeaways from the two-day event.

Warriors make a statement

Warrior Basketball — led by Jasai Miles (Miami Country Day) and PJ Paulk (SLAM Academy) — blew out to a 12-0 lead on Freebandz Elite and never looked back in the title game. 

The athletic 6-foot-4 Miles started at Miami Country Day as an eighth-grader. He can stretch the floor with his outside shot, but can also attack and is an excellent passer. 

Paulk is considered to be “the rock” of the team. He’s smart, runs the floor well, leads the team in assists … good head fakes.

“I’ll put my team up against anyone,” said Warrior Basketball coach Brandon Melamed. “As long as they trust each other, and play the way they can, I’ll always think they can take whoever they put up against us.”

No fluke

Warriors Basketball is no fluke. They put one on a very good Team Breakdown squad, 51-31, in the semifinals. “It was a very-high intensity game,” Melamed said. “They have a lot of great players. Team defense was the difference.”

 

Other prospects to watch from Warrior Basketball are:

Marc Wendrow (2023): Guard can break down defenses and distribute the ball. Good driver and plays defense. Wendrow attends Highland Oaks Middle.

Iverson Yacinthe (2023): Quick, quick first step. Melamed believes he is the No. 1 eighth-grader at going to the basket.

Tyheim Williams (2023): The guy always seems to be in the right place … and he makes everything, including 3s. He’s at Mater Lakes.

Colton a talented combo guard

2023 guard Austen Colton makes Freebandz Elite go. Number 11 brings the energy and can hit from long range. “He gives us poise from the point guard position,” coach Chaz Wright said. “He is also a combo guard that can score.”

Colton & Co. knocked off an impressive New York Lightning squad in the semis, 76-61. “We had three hard games,” Wright said. “We fought hard. We ran out of a little gas at the end.”

Nightmare match-up

New York Lightning 2023s McKenzie Mgbako and Jacob Hogarth Jr. are impressive prospects.

The 6-6 Mgbako is a match-up nightmare that can play anywhere from a No. 2 to a No. 5. Already a smooth athlete that finishes. Shoots it well, rebounds, good passer.

The 6-7 Hogarth is an excellent rim protector and rebounder. He makes himself available on the block. Offense still a bit of a work in progress. Trying to transition to a stretch 4.

Marvel vs. Carl

Talented guards Marvel Allen and Carl Cherenfant went head to head on Saturday night as Team Breakdown took down KT Kings, 60-48. This has the makings of an intriguing match-up for years to come. Allen starred at Benjamin School as an eighth-grader while Cherenfant is at Redeeming Word Christian Academy and plans to attend Calvary Christian.

Other 2023s to watch on Team Breakdown include: Scotty Middleton, Jeremiah Augustin, Jayden Hastings (Orlando) and Anthony Floyd. Floyd attends Mater Lakes.

If you have high school basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer via text at 954-661-9671.