The Georgia Stars, coming off a title at the Boo Williams tournament earlier this month and a No. 1 ranking, outlasted a fatigued Spiece Indy Heat squad which got the nod as TheInsidersHoops.com's preseason numero uno before slipping to the second spot in Friday's poll.
Billy Humphrey, a 6-3 junior guard from Dacula High (Ga.), scored 20 points – including a half-dozen trifectas – and the South Gwinnett and future Georgia Bulldog duo of Louis Williams and Mike Mercer each added 10 in a 65-62 victory against Spiece.
``This is a big confidence boost," Willliams said. "We had a lot of unsung heroes and we knew we could compete with anybody."
Spiece was led by the sophomore duo of Daequan Cook, a 6-5 swingman at Dunbar (Ohio), and 7-footer Greg Oden – who looked every bit of the top player in the nation until he tired late in the tournament. Cook scored 19 points and Oden finished with 14, but only one bucket after the break.
Spiece had a couple of chances to tie the game in the closing seconds. Southpaw Mike Conley Jr., playing with a sprained left wrist that forced him to miss a pair of games in the tournament, was off the mark with a right-handed 3-pointer with eight seconds left and Duke-bound forward Josh McRoberts couldn't get a desperation heave to fall as time expired.
``Greg was really tired at the end," Spiece Indy Select coach Mike Conley said. "But they're tough, they came at us with everything they had and liked to spread the floor. It's hard to guard them.
The Georgia Stars won all eight games at Kingwood following Boo Williams, where they won all six of their games.
``This is big-time winning two big tournaments like this," added Williams. "This is great, but we are trying to go undefeated. I know it's far-fetched for AAU, but we're going to try and do it."
``This was huge," Emerson said. "Being number one, everyone in gunning for you. It took a lot of us to get here. We had to be hyped for every game."
In the semifinals, the Georgia Stars knocked off DC Assault and Spiece Indy Select handled a young Memphis YOMCA squad. In what will likely be the top tournament of the summer in terms of talent and organization, the Illinois Wolves, Meanstreets, Gauchos and Team Texas rounded out the teams who earned quarterfinal berths.
Georgia Stars 65
Billy Humphrey 20
Louis Williams 10
Mike Mercer 10
Alade Aminu 9
Daniel Emerson 9
Tay Barber 2
Spiece Indy Heat 62
Daquan Cook 19
Greg Oden 14
Mike Conley Jr. 7
Josh McRoberts 6
Donald Cloutier 3
Mark Titus 2
Jordan Cheatham 1