The Pro Am league's two highest-scoring teams put a fitting end to the summer league, as Center Court prevailed over The Lair with a 104-93 win in the championship game. Center Court finishes with an overall record of 8-1, while The Lair finishes 6-3. Center Court avenged its lone loss on the season, an 88-80 loss to The Lair on July 7.
Though he didn't lead his team in scoring on this night, Ashton Gibbs did finish with 19 points, two rebounds and two assists. He was named MVP of the league, following the championship game. He finished with 20.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists a game through the nine-game season. It may be just a summer league championship, but Gibbs takes it very seriously.
"It's a big game, I take every game like it's a championship," Gibbs said. "You got to come out here and work hard, play hard and get stops."
Pitt teammate J.J. Richardson was also a member of the championship team. Through the nine-game season, Richardson averaged 10.3 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. He too earned a spot on the all-league team. In Wednesday night's championship game, Richardson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Rebounding, Richardson says was a key for him this summer.
"Definitely rebounding," Richardson added. "I rebounded way better than I did last year. Rebounding and finishing. I had trouble finishing last year. I made good moves, but I couldn't finish.
"It feels good to win a championship in anything--summer league, regular season or Big East. The biggest thing from last year in the summer league, is we didn't win a game. This year, to come out, and win a championship, it feels good."
Though The Lair was the highest-scoring team in the league (86.4 points/game), Center Court jumped out to the big lead. After Gibbs spun around a defender and put in a running jumper, he made the score 40-26 in favor of his team, just ten minutes in. The Lair was forced to call a time out.
Gibbs talked about making stops. His team put the stops on The Lair's Gilbert Brown and T.J. McConnell. Both players--who earned spots on the all-league team, got off to slow starts in the first half. They eventually found their stride in the second half, but as a result of not getting the lucky bounces in the first half, Center Court eventually jumped out to a 58-41 halftime lead.
In the second half, The Lair made a couple of big runs to make it a ball game. In fact, they opened the second half with a 15-2 run, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers by Griffin Abel. Brown also added a three-pointer, along with McConnell who chipped in a layup, and Pitt's Talib Zanna who finished a dunk on a feed from McConnell, as well as two foul shots. After the 15-2 run, The Lair trimmed the deficit to 60-55, just four minutes into the second half.
As Brown came alive in the second half, he eventually brought his team to within two, trailing 74-72, with one of his four three-pointers for the game. Brown finished with 29 points and three rebounds. Though he struggled finishing in the first half, Brown finished 9-of-24 from the field, including 4-of-9 from three-point range.
With Gibbs running the floor, and taking shots liberally--15, including seven that he converted, he was giving The Lair problems on his own. He had a partner in crime in former Beaver Falls standout, and current Nebraska star Lance Jeter. While McConnell and Gibbs were matched up for a good bit of the night at the point guard, Jeter and Brown were matched up as well. Brown was able to get to the basket more in the second half, but Jeter did for the whole game. He finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Because of Jeter's play, though The Lair brought it to within two, they couldn't get any closer.
The Lair got as close as 78-76, before Jeter scored on consecutive baskets. He scored on a drive, stole the ensuing possession, then layed that ball in for a 82-76 lead. A few possessions later, he pump faked, then hit a fade away jumper, putting his team up 91-81 with six minutes to play, which proved to be enough breathing room for the remainder of the game.
On a team that featured performances from Gibbs and Jeter, they still weren't their team's highest scorers on Wednesday night. Both Kyle Goldcamp and Caron Williams led the way with 21 points each for Center Court. Goldcamp also had a team-high nine rebounds, while Williams had a 5-of-7 performance from three-point range.
In the loss, McConnell and Brown came back to have strong second halves. McConnell finished with 23 points, as well as a team-high five rebounds and four assists. Brown, who finished as the league's leading scorer (23.6 points/game), finished with 29 points for a second consecutive game. Zanna had one of his quieter games on the boards, grabbing just two, but still finished with 10 points. Griffin Abel was also impressive in the loss, finishing with 16 points. All four Pitt players (Brown 7-for-7, Zanna 6-for-6, Gibbs 2-for-2, Richardson 4-for-4) shot a combined 19-of-19 from the free throw line.
2010 Pro-Am League Final Standings
(W-L, PF, PA)
Center Court (8-1, 718, 679) (79.8/game)
The Lair (6-3, 778, 720) (86.4/game)
UPMC (5-3, 604, 603)
PGT (4-5, 717, 702)
SPK (2-6, 562, 588)
P&W (2-7, 690, 771)
2010 Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro Am Summer League All League Teams 2010
ALL LEAGUE TEAM-DIVISION I
Gilbert Brown- 6'6 Pitt
Lance Jeter-6'4 Nebraska
Ashton Gibbs-6'2 Pitt
T.J. McConnell-6'0 Duquesne
Russell Johnson-6'6 Robert Morris
Gary McGhee- 6'10 Pitt
Eric Evans 5'10 Duquesne
J.J. Richardson- 6'7 Pitt
MVP- Ashton Gibbs Pitt
ALL FRESHMAN TEAM
JJ Moore- 6'6 Pitt
Jerry Jones- 6'5 Duquesne
Lamar Patterson-6'5 Pitt
Talib Zanna- 6'9 Pitt
Anthony Myers- 6'5 Robert Morris
Michael Talley 6'0 Duquesne
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR- TJ McConnell Duquesne
SMALL SCHOOL ALL LEAGUE TEAM
Nick Novack 6'2 Pitt Johnstown
JD Adamsky 6'6 Penn State Altoona
Jon Guest 6'3 Washington & Lee
Jim Wood 6'6 Mt. Union
Brian Wannamaker 6'2 Texas Wesleyan
Nick Dvorsky 6'2 Penn State-Behrend
SMALL SCHOOL MVP- Jim Wood Mt. Union
ALL PRO/LEAGUE ALUMNI TEAM
Kyle Goldcamp 6'10- Gannon
Griffen Abel 6'4 Pitt
Jeremey Chappel 6'3 Robert Morris
Lamar Castille 6'4 CCBC
Dallas Green 6'8 Robert Morris
Corey Diethorn 6'6 Assumption