The last half hour or so was spent with 5-on-5 scrimmages. The teams were divided fairly evenly but at the end of the day two stood out.
The way the scrimmages were set up is that the best teams stay at one court. The team that wins holds court and faces the winner of the next court over. I camped at the "elite" court and was treated to some good basketball but only three teams.
The first game featured the two teams I'd see the most. On one side you had Jeff Withey, Chase Budinger, Zane Johnson, Luke Babbitt and Kamyron Brown. On the other side were Laval Lucas-Perry, Alex Jacobson, Jeremy Tyler, Nick Wise and Jamelle Horne.
Horne opened the scoring early when the future Wildcat pulled up and drained a 22-footer over Budinger. Several scoreless possessions followed before Budinger answered with a deep three of his own.
Tyler, the freshman-to-be, scored down low but that would be the last score for his club. Budinger and Withey, the two late comers from San Diego, scored the next four buckets to finish out the game. Budinger drove the lane and scored, despite being fouled. With got great passes from Johnson and Babbitt and finished with a sweet spin move and a big dunk. Budinger finished out the scoring with a driving lay-in for the 5-2 win.
Budinger and Horne, two big time wings from San Diego, battled throughout the game and seemed to really enjoy the heated competition. It was a little reminiscent of Jerryd Bayless and Brandon Jennings a year ago.
The second game saw a team with John Markowich and Andy Poling come over to challenge Budinger and Co. Markowich, the youngster from Phoenix, drained the games first bucket, a very deep three. Andy Poling added back to back scores to give his team a 3-2 lead but Babbitt followed a miss, Budinger added a dunk and a fast break bucket by Brown closed out the scoring and the win.
Horne's team returned to the floor and this time got the win. Budinger opened the scoring by drawing a foul but Lucas-Perry answered with a long jumper from just inside the arc. The two players traded buckets again before a Horne follow gave his team their first lead of the game. Budinger quickly answered with a driving lay-in but Horne closed out the win with a three-pointer and a long baseline jumper.
Poling's team returned to the floor but could not muster the effort they had in the close loss to Budinger's squad. Tyler and Horne did all the scoring in this one. Tyler scored down low and added a tip sandwiched around a Horne dunk. Carl Blair nailed a three but Horne came right back with a long jumper of his own. Tyler finished with a big dunk and their team came away with the 5-2 win.
The final game was the rubber match between Budinger and Horne's teams. Tyler scored first on a hook and Horne added another three but the game was tied because Babbitt drew two shooting fouls which are automatic buckets. Tyler added a turnaround jumper which was countered by another Babbitt score. Jacobson got his first bucket when he put back a missed jumper and Tyler finished off the game with a nice looking bank shot.
The on-court action was set to resume later in the afternoon and an open pick-up session was expected to tip off around 5:30.