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The 2004 AAU State Tournament was held in Cincinnati this past weekend for U-10 thru U-13 divisions. Although the fields in each of the four divisions were disappointingly low, the level of competition was fantastic!  The fact that the tournament was held in the Royals' new multi-court facility in northern Cincinnati made for a much more exciting atmosphere.

In the U-10 division, the following teams participated: Cincinnati Friar Hawks, Team Uptempo, Cincinnati Flames, Cincinnati Royals, and the Hawks.  After round robin play, the battle of Cincinnati began with the Flames and Friar Hawks hooking up in the championship game.  In the end, the Cincinnati Flames claimed the championship.

The U-11 division boasted the largest field with the following 12 teams in attendance: Friars Warriors, Cincinnati Royals(Eagan), Kettering Cobras, FCA, All-Ohio Red, Driveway Legends, Cincy Hoops, Columbus Jaguars, Dayton Metro, Cincinnati Flames, Central Ohio Focus and Cincinnati Royals (Wulf).  In the first semi-final game, the defending state champions, Friars Warriors defeated Central Ohio Focus.  In the second semi-final game, the Columbus Jaguars easily defeated a scrappy FCA team.  In one of the best championship games of the tournament, the underdog Jaguars staged and upset against the 13th ranked team in the country on the strength of great guard play and a hot shooting hand by Ben Jones, who hit five three pointers in the game to lift the Jaguars over the Friars Warriors..

In the U-12 division, three of the top teams in the country faced off for state bragging rights.  The Cincinnati Royals Blue, Columbus Jaguars and All-Ohio Westwood finished 5th, 6th, and 12th, respectively, in the 2003 AAU Nationals.  Other teams in this division included: All-Ohio Red, Cincinnati Royals Black & White, Shinning Stars, Friars Running Rebels and the Queen City Prophets.  In the first semi-final game, the Jaguars defeated the Royals White.  In the second semi-final game, the Royals Blue team easily defeated All-Ohio Westwood.  In the championship game, old foes squared off for a second time in two 2 weeks.  As was the case in the first meeting this spring, the Jaguars had to overcome a first half deficit to defeat the back-to-back defending state champions.  In the third place game, the Cincinnati Royals White staged the biggest upset of the tournament with their victory over All-Ohio Westwood.  The fifth place game saw All-Ohio Red defeat the Friars Running Rebels.

The U-13 division was also very competitive and attracted the following teams: Cincinnati Royals Rooks, Oaks, Newton & Gilbert, Buckeye Café, Capital City Cobras, All-Ohio Red, Cincinnati Tigers and the Columbus Hoopers.  In the first semi-final game, The Cincinnati Tigers got by the Capital City Cobras.  In the second semi-final game, All-Ohio Red upset the defending state champions, Cincinnati Royals.  The championship game drew the largest crowd to watch a highly competitive game.  When the dust settled, the Tigers had staked claim to the state title.  In the third place game, the Cincinnati Royals ended the tournament on a high note with a hard-fought victory against the Cobras.  Continue to follow OPS for tournament updates.

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