MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Team Breakdown escaped, no other way to put it. With the game tied in the final seconds, a player from Team Florida missed two free throws that would have given them the win and then Daniel Sapp helped lead Breakdown to a win in overtime.
Sapp's team survives and moves on to Thursday's playoffs at the Breakdown Hoops Festival at St. Thomas University but after blowing a big lead and then hanging on it was a wake-up call that no team can be taken for granted, one Breakdown almost learned the hard way.
Now it's time to move to the playoffs.
"At first we had them up by a lot and I guess we played down to their level," Sapp said. "I guess we were just lucky. He missed the two shots and it gave us another chance and we won the game.
"We took it for granted. We were playing Team Florida and we didn't know much about them so we were taking them for granted.
"We were thinking everybody is scared of us because we're Breakdown but I guess everybody out there is going to give us their best game. From now on we know for the rest of this tournament we can't take any games for granted."
Sapp, a 6-foot-3 point guard, was sensational once again, one of the top players in the entire tournament and a major reason why Breakdown is one of the favorites to win the 17-under division.
The Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast standout runs off screens well and can hit open three-pointers but Sapp is best out in transition. He's fast with the ball in his hands but also under control, rarely wild going to the basket. Sapp is proving to be one of the most-skilled players in the state.
"I love transition, that's where I'm at my best," Sapp said. "If we get the rebound, if I don't go to it first, you can bet I'll be the first one down the court.
"I like to have the ball too so I like to push it and get my team to run. We're mostly all guards. Even our bigs are like guards so we're faster than every other team."
Recruiting is starting to pick up for Sapp, too, with Western Kentucky, UCF, South Florida, Georgia State and Georgia involved. Nebraska, Old Dominion, FAU and Murray State are also in the mix.
"This July period, my recruitment is starting to heat up," Sapp said. "I'm getting a lot more mid-majors and high-majors and I'm starting to get them to come, too. I've been working on my game all summer."
Larkin has long list of schools
Bad news for four-star point guard Shane Larkin, Virginia Tech commit Robert Brown and Florida Assault, one of the better 17-under teams which was upset by Heart N Soul Wednesday evening and won't be in contention for the championship.
It was a tough loss for Larkin, who scored 55 points and hit 13 three-pointers on Tuesday night but struggled against Heart N Soul. But recruiting continues to look good for the 5-foot-11 point guard from Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips.
Clemson, UCLA, USC, Nebraska, Boston College, Florida, Florida State, George Mason and UCF are on Larkin's list, which he plans to cut sometime in July and then make his decision. It's too early for Larkin, rated as the No. 19 point guard and No. 90 nationally by Rivals.com, to name any leaders.
Diaz watched by some big teams: Word is getting out even more about 7-foot center Adrian Diaz of Gold Coast with Kansas State's Frank Martin and Florida State assistant Andy Enfield just two of the coaches keeping an eye on Court 2 Wednesday evening.
Diaz, from Hialeah (Fla.) Hialeah-Miami Lakes, was much better Tuesday night than Wednesday but still showed some of the skills that have set him apart in this tournament - good passing from the post, running the floor well in transition and the ability to alter and block shots.