Four of those epic games involved three teams (Mustangs, Select, and TEAM Detroit) from the same pool. Consequently, with only two teams from each pool moving to the tournament round, one of Michigan's better 16u teams was going to have Sunday off.
The first pool play game came Saturday morning when the Mustangs and TEAM Detroit battled to the wire. TEAM Detroit's 5-foot-8 combo guard Demetrius Ford dropped 39 in the 84-80 loss but, he put on a show. Ford's great in the transition and is one of the better scorer's in Michigan.
6-foot-8 forward John Hoskins, Jr. also reached double digits in the game for the Detroit based team as he has shown enough potential that Big Ten schools are already showing interest.
In victory, the Mustangs featured a balanced attack led by 6-foot-4 wing Drew Valentine and 6-foot-5 forward Karriem Baker. Both neared the twenty point mark and have nice chemistry when out on the court together.
The second of the three featured pool games, pitted the Select team against TEAM Detroit in a wild finish and a game full of highlights.
When talking about this game's highlights, the lanky 6-foot-6 forward Glenn Bryant is the first name mentioned as his high riser act had spectators falling back in their seats. He excels in the transition and once he works on his defense and ball-handling then he'll have more than Midwest schools looking at him.
I asked him if he could touch the top of the square with his elbow and he thought about it for ten seconds then replied, "I've never tried it."
The kid can get up and is a top ten player in Michigan's '09 class.
The game boiled down to the last seconds and the Select team was down by three as 5-foot-7 combo guard Da'Chawn Glover lined up a three in the corner but, drew a foul as time expired that sent him to the line for three shots.
A technical was called on a TEAM Detroit player and the Select team went from an opportunity to tie the game and send it into overtime to a team that had an extra two free-throw and an increased chance in winning (all from the stripe).
Glover made the first but, missed the next two as he ended the game with twenty and then Chris Cagle, sr. was assigned to send the game into overtime. But, his two technical shots missed their mark and TEAM Detroit escaped with a 67-65 victory.
Although, Glover didn't get it done in crunch time he is a confident player, superb ball-handler, and is a threat to score from all over the court.
Completing the trinity of pool play games, the Select team needed a victory to stay alive and the Mustangs were the only undefeated squad in Pool D.
This was a game that may spark a rivalry that will last for another year as these two high-powered teams know each other and were playing for bragging rights as well as pride. The Select pulled out the victory as 5-foot-11 guard Deandre Upchurch busted out of the gates scoring the first nineteen Select points. He finished with over 30 and led the Select team to an 87-80 victory.
Another stud from Michigan's '09 class is 6-foot-7 245 pound Jordan Morgan, who also plays on the Select's 17u team, was a beast in this game as he controlled the boards and scored near twenty giving him a double-double.
Morgan's one of three Michigan players headed to Xavier's Elite camp. He is also very high on Gonzaga's radar.
TEAM Detroit was left out of the tournament as a three-way tie was decided by point differential and all three defeated Team Dynasty's 16u group but, TEAM Detroit did it by the smallest margin.
That's a look at the standout games in pool D with, a look at the championship games coming soon including the rematch of the Mustangs and Select in the 16u championship.