ANAHEIM, CA – Six of Southern Utah’s best basketball players ventured to Anaheim California to take on the nation’s best teams.
The team “24/7 Hoops,” a St. George based club basketball team loaded with Region 9 talent, opened play on Wednesday night against one of the nation’s top teams, Double Pump Elite 2013, featuring some of the best high school players on the West Coast.
Although 24/7 came up way short against Double Pump, playing in front of over 100 coaches at one time was unreal for some of the boys. Starting point guard Dallin Milne said the whole event was exciting.
“It was a great experience being able to see where you stack up against some of the best players in the country and have the college coaches right there in front of you watching you,” he said.
All of Double Pump’s 10 rising seniors have Division I collegiate offers.
Kallan Webster, from Snow Canyon, led the team in scoring against Double Pump. Webster made his first four 3-point field goals and ended up with 16 points in the ball game.
The local 24/7 Hoops team has players from Snow Canyon, Dixie, Pine View, Cedar, Hurricane, and Desert Hills as well as two players from Salt Lake area.
After the opening game against Double Pump, 24/7 took on two California teams to end pool play. The team recently lost its leading scorer in Chandler Gines to an ACL tear and had two other players stay behind because of smaller injuries. The team really worked hard but came up on the wrong end of the scoreboard in both games.
After the three games of pool play, bracket play started. 24/7 opened up against Deron Williams Elite. Deron Williams Elite has four players with D1 offers. The Southern Utah team opened up on fire and was held the quick team from Dallas, Tex., to just 25 first-half points. The second half was much of the same, but Deron Williams Elite took a four-point lead off of a 3-pointer from the corner with just under eight minutes left in the game. 24/7 was not able to connect on the other end of the floor.
With seven minutes left, the Williams team went into an all-out stall, and held on for a five point win. But 24/7 Hoops showed the college coaches they could compete with anyone. Gabe Jensen from Snow Canyon and Tyler Lazenby from Copper Hills led the team in scoring in the loss.
The Williams team went all the way to the semifinals before losing to the eventual champions, Double Pump Elite 2013.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.