PEARLAND, Texas -- They are known around the Texas basketball realm simply as "The Twins."
The D-Will Metro Elite duo of Erick Neal and Derrick Neal has been dubbed the next big thing to come out of Dallas Lincoln High School. When the 5-foot-9 guards are on, opponents usually are forced to pick their poison.
On Sunday, Erick was the one that sent the CCPYA Panthers home in frustration. A 3-pointer by Erick with 53 seconds left gave D-Will Metro Elite a 54-52 victory in the finals of the NCAA Division at the Pearland Great American Shoot-Out at Pearland High School.
The basket also gave D-Will Metro Elite its third GASO championship. The team won the NIT Division of the Duncanville GASO last summer, and it claimed its first NCAA Division title earlier this year.
Sunday's win might have been the sweetest, as it showed the team's character. CCPYA maintained a small lead throughout the game, and D-Will Metro Elite earned its first lead of the second half on Erick Neal's late 3-pointer.
CCPYA decided to hold for the last shot in the end, running down the clock to set up a final play. However, a last-second 3-pointer by Demarcus Whitting missed, and D-Will Metro Elite walked off the court a champion once again.
"The guys stayed strong and kept the intensity up," D-Will Metro Elite coach Horace Pope said. "There were three things we needed, and that was key rebounding, no turnovers and lockdown defense."
Pope continued: "We were strong on defense. We weren't rebounding well in the first half, but the second half, we did that, and our shots started to fall."
Erick and Derrick Neal served as the bulk load of D-Will Metro Elite's offense. The duo combined for 33 of the 54 points, and Derrick had 17 points. Of Erick's 16 points, 12 came in the second half -- and they all were 3-point buckets.
Isaac Cardona and Devon Fox each had 17 points to lead CCPYA, which led by four at halftime.
PEARLAND GREAT AMERICAN SHOOT-OUT NCAA DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP GAME BOXSCORE (At Pearland High School) D-WILL METRO ELITE 24 30 - 54 CCPYA PANTHERS 28 24 - 52 Metro Elite: T.K. Brown 2, Derrick Neal 17, Erick Neal 16, Jeremiah Jefferson 8, Noah Westerfield 2, Jermey Combs 7, Troy Causey 2 Panthers: Benjamin Brooks 6, Demarcus Whitting 10, Isaac Cardona 17, Devon Fox 17, Billy Guzman 2.
PEARLAND GREAT AMERICAN SHOOT-OUT NCAA DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET RESULTS FIRST ROUND Dawson HS def. Laredo Blazers D-Will Metro Elite def. San Antonio RoHawks-Johnson Rage def. Texas D-1 Ambassadors 2014s SEMIFINALS D-Will Metro Elite def. Dawson HS CCPYA def. Rage CHAMPIONSHIP GAME D-Will Metro Elite 54, CCPYA 52