North Augusta, S.C.-Behind the sensational backcourt of Eric Gordon and Derrick Rose and a stingy 2-3 zone defense, the Mean Street Express ran away with a 72-52 victory over the cold shooting SYF Players in the championship game of the NIKE Peach Jam.
Gordon, scored a game high 25 points in the win while also grabbing 10 rebounds. Many of those rebounds were back breaking offensive boards leading to points.
Controlling the game at the point, Rose passed the ball extremely well while pushing the tempo. He also knocked down a couple jumpers early, ending with 13 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
Once again making up for a severe height disadvantage, Tim Flowers hauled down a man sized 21 rebounds and scored 13 points in the blowout win.
Never in the game, SYF could not figure out the 2-3 zone of the Mean Street Express. The constant foul trouble of Scott Martin, 4 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists did not help either. Martin picked up two early fouls in both halves and spent the majority of the game on the bench.
Down as much as 25 points midway through the second half, SYF finally got some buckets from Greg Hill, who scored 23 points.
17-under Semifinals: Mean Street Express 71, Boo Williams 68
Simply spectacular throughout the game, Derrick Rose had his way against Chris Wright early in the contest, working the smaller guard into the mid-range and dropping down several jumpers. Boo Williams had some limited success with double teaming Rose in isolation situations, but then Eric Gordon got it going for the Mean Street Express.
Playing his best game of the tournament, Rose finished with 24 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds. Gordon went for 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Holding down the middle for the Mean Street Express against the much taller Boo Williams squad was undersized post player Tim Flowers. As the tournament's leading rebounder, Flowers pulled down a game high 15 rebounds while also scoring 12 points.
Patrick Patterson played well for Boo Williams. Both as a sscorer and even more as a passer, Patterson was effective in the high post area against the 2-3 zone of the Mean Street Express. He appeared to have several more assists than the 2 he was credited with, and he also registered 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks.
2008 prospect Ed Davis led Boo Williams in scoring with 14 points, and he had 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks as well.
Wright scored 12 points on three pointers and had 2 assists.
17-under Semifinals: SYF Players 64, Illinois Warriors 56
With a stingy 3-2 zone and a open post motion offense, the SYF Players methodically took down the gritty Illinois Warriors.
Scott Martin led SYF in scoring with his inside/outside scoring ability, going for 19 points. He also led them in rebounding with 5 boards.
E'twaun Moore was solid at the point, scoring 16 points and grabbing 5 rebounds without turning the ball over for the entirety of the game.
The Warriors were led in scoring and rebounding by Bill Cole, who finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds.
Unstoppable driving to the basket in the second half, point guard Aaron Johnson dished out 11 assists while also picking up 6 points in the paint.
Manuel Cass also picked up 11 points, primarily on slashing drives to the basket.
16-under Championship: New York Gauchos 58, Alabama Challenge 56
The Challenge had two chances to tie the game at the free throw line in the last seconds of thee game, but could not get them to fall as the Gauchos held on to take the 16-under championship of the NIKE Peach Jam.
Down by three points, Alabama Challenge guard Andrew Steele drew a shooting foul on a three-point attempt with 6.7 seconds left in the game. Only able to convert two of his three free-throws, the Challenge fouled the Gauchos with 5.7 seconds on the clock. The Gauchos converted one out of two free throws, and semifinal hero Ronald Nored raced down the floor and was fouled on his lay-up attempt with 0.4 seconds on the clock. He missed his first attempt and then was called for a lane violation when he missed the second on purpose.
The Gauchos were led by the back court tandem of Kemba Walker and Jordan Theodore. Walker scored 19 points while also grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Theodore scored 18 points.
Steele led the Challenge with 21 points, and JaMychal Green went for 12 points and 7 rebounds.
16-under Semifinals: Alabama Challenge 62, Boo Williams 60
Down the majority of the second half, the Challenge pulled off a miracle play in the last second of the game to earn a birth into the championship game.
Down three points with 30 seconds left, the Challenge took a one point lead with 10 seconds left after two terrific drives and finishes by Andrew Steele, the younger brother of Crimson Tide point guard Ron Steele.
The Challenge immediately lost that one point lead when Boo Williams raced down the court and Andre Jones put back a miss with 1.1 seconds left on the clock, putting Boo Williams up 60-59.
After a Challenge timeout Ronald Nored raced across the court and went high in the air to come down with Steele's bullet inbound pass from the opposite baseline. Nored landed with the ball 25-feet from the basket and immediately elevated to swish the game winning shot.
Steele finished with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists for the winners.
Leading the Challenge in both points and rebounds, however, was rangy forward JaMychal Green, who scored 22 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. He also tallied 3 steals and 3 blocks on the defensive end.
Jones led Boo Williams with 22 points and 7 rebounds. He scored his points on slashing drives and offensive rebounds, but failed to convert some critical free throws down the stretch.
16-under Semifinals: New York Gauchos 66, Georgia Stars 61
The slashing guard play of Kemba Walker proved too much for the Georgia Stars in this semifinal match up. Walker penetrated his way to 27 points while also grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists.
Long lanky post player Devin Hill played well in the paint for the Gauchos, grabbing a game high 12 rebounds and blocking 4 shots.
The top player for the Stars was Tony Woods. The long and athletic interior player grabbed 8 rebounds and had 6 impressive blocks. Not known for his offense, Woods also picked up 12 points on put backs and post moves.
Scoring 11 points, Tanner Smith also played well for the Stars with his heady and skilled game.
The Stars top prospect Al-Farouq Aminu scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, but did not have a significant impact on the game.