Meanwhile, the host Georgia Stars won a championship in the 15 and under division while the Arkansas Wings wiped out a double digit deficit in the second half to beat the Southern Kings in overtime to claim the 16 and under division.
Before moving on, let's take a look a little closer look at that wild 17 and under final game. A close tilt throughout, the final 15 seconds were as crazy as a game could get.
In a flurry of action filled with incredible shots and questionable calls, California Supreme's Tyler Lamb drained an incredibly tough running three from the right corner to give his team a one point lead with .7 seconds to go. The shot, set off a wild celebration and after meeting near halfcourt for a bit, the referees decided to hit them with a technical foul for running on the court.
The technical sent Brandon Knight to the line for two of the loneliest free throws a player could ever shoot. Having already pumped in 30 points during the championship game, Knight stepped up and calmly rattled home the first of the two freebies. But, overtime wasn't to be as his second fell a little short and then his desperation heave from half court at the buzzer went wide left as the Cali Supreme sideline erupted into a wild celebration.
While our words don't do the game near enough justice, just believe us when we write that the final game was one of the best finishes to a major championship we've ever seen.
Tyler Lamb, SG, California Supreme- When you hit a shot like he did, you get top billing. After a quiet weekend, Lamb came alive in the final netting 19 points while chipping in with five steals and two blocks on the defensive end. It's true that Brandon Knight finished with 31 points, but Lamb (who guarded him most of the game) made him work his tail off to get those points and actually defended the Floridian quite well. He's a kid who plays a very mature game, doesn't get rattled and makes basketball plays that don't always show up in the stat sheet. He looks to be a perfect fit for UCLA.
Keith Shamburger, SG/PG, California Supreme- While he isn't the biggest guy in the world, this 5-foot-11 combo guard has a huge heart. Nicknamed "little big shot" by his teammates he hit clutch jumper after clutch jumper the entire weekend. A speedy combo who can score and takes pride on the defensive end, mid level programs should be giving him a hard look this summer.
Brandon Knight, PG/SG, E1T1- It certainly didn't end the way he'd hoped, but Knight left it all on the floor during the final. Going for 31 points, he really had to work for it and did so by hitting deep jumpers, pull-ups off the dead run and using his strength to score in the lane. Maybe most importantly, Knight was making a lot of plays for others and was as unselfish with the ball as we've seen him be all spring. He was only credited with three assists, but he was looking to make plays for others and is a gifted playmaker when he balances his offense and setting up others.
Justin Jackson, PF, E1T1- This is one competitive dude who plays a lot bigger and stronger than his 6-foot-7 and 200 pound or so frame suggests that he should. A high level athlete with long arms and big hands, he attacks the rim for dunks whenever possible and can really motor up and down the floor. Had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds in the championship game.
Kevin Johnson, C, California Supreme- A physical player in the paint, Johnson isn't an above the rim kind of guy. He'll elevate for some slams, but his game is more about power and positioning when he's got it rolling. A big and strong kid, he was good for 17 points and 13 rebounds in the final and his toughness in the lane was a major part of his team's success throughout the entire weekend.
Austin Rivers, PG/SG, E1T1- Prior to fouling out in the fourth quarter, Rivers was again on his way to a huge outing. He still finished with 24 but had to sit stretches because of foul trouble. A confident kid, his bread and butter looks to be a little inside out dribble than he can do with either hand. It freezes defenders allowing him to raise and fire for jumpers or blow by them and get to the rim where his underrated athleticism allows him to finish over bigger players.
Dai-Jon Parker, SG, Southern Kings- It was a very good weekend for this young and athletic wing. A fan of pulling up and shooting jumpers after one or two dribbles, his shot looked good all weekend long as he hit between 12 feet and the three point stripe. He's got high level quickness and a nice frame to go along with his shooting and slashing ability.
Shannon Scott, PG, Southern Kings- You have to like this sophomore's speed, size and feel for the point guard position. A heads up dribbler who snaps off crossover dribbles before speeding into the lane he can penetrate just about whenever he wants to. He slides well on defense, pushes the tempo and is developing quite nicely. He needs more strength and continued work on his jumper, but his high major future is quite easy to see.
Ky Madden, SF/PG, Arkansas Wings 16's- He's not yet the scorer that 2010's Jelan Kendrick is, but you can see some similarities to their games. He's got excellent length and athleticism and spends most of his time running the show for the Wings. A good passer, he's pretty right hand dominant and can get sped up a little by smaller and quicker guards. Doesn't get too rattled in close games, though, and is a playmaker with some size.
Hunter Mickelson, PF, Arkansas Wings 16's- A quick and fluid big man who can really run, Mickelson is in constant motion on the offensive end. That activity level helps to make up for his obvious lack of strength and bulk. He had a major tip dunk that helped change the tide of the championship game late and can score with some skill. From here on out, it's going to be all about how much strength he can add.
Few, if any, players elevated their stock as much over the weekend as Cali Supreme's Keala King. The slinky lefty can really create off the dribble, is a creative passer and also brings offensive punch to the table. At the least he can be a combo on the next level and we're starting to think that he may have the potential to play as a tall point guard. If his July is anything like the way he finished May, it's going to be tough to keep him out of the national rankings. …
It's easy to see that Julian Royal is going to be a high level prospect in the class of 2011. He's long, he's fluid, he can run and the 6-foot-8 sophomore has some pretty good skill facing the basket. However, he's still most effective when he's active around the cup but chose to spend long stretches roaming around the perimeter where he becomes much easier to defend. … Finally, we'd like to extend a special thanks to Georgia Stars program director Norm Parker. Parker and his staff did a great job all weekend and were quite hospitable hosts. …