The 2017 summer club basketball season kicked off with the Storm the City Tournament. College coaches came out to get a glimpse of the region’s rising stars and who to look for this upcoming season. Each college coach was trying to catch the gem or program turner. This year’s field included local powerhouses Cal Storm Team Taurasi and West Coast Premier Black, but also brought talent from up and down the coast and the connecting states. EBO, Soldiers, and Intensity brought their games to be tested in this year’s event, as well as teams from Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and the central coast. This year’s event certainly gave the college coaches a plethora of talent from the West to evaluate.
Teams throughout the three-day tournament battled to find out who would be the early season favorites.
This division really highlighted the up and coming youth. The two out of the area teams really had a great showing. The San Diego Soldiers and the Idaho Hoop Dreams were very impressive. While both teams were pushed to their limits by a very good Works team, they both prevailed and met up in the final. Idaho with outstanding guard play was able to outlast the tough and savvy San Diego Soldiers in the final 24 to 19. The Idaho Hoops team used balanced scoring to dispatch their opponents. Looking forward to seeing this renewed battle at the National Showcase.
The geographical diversity of this group was great. Each team in the division played teams that they would not normally see on the local circuit. In the Maya Moore Division, The Works displayed their usual excellence of execution to defeat a very good and talented San Diego Soldiers team 32-29. While in the Oderah Chidom Division, the two out of state teams battled for supremacy. The Idaho Hoop Dream and the Arizona Outliers squared off in a classic battle of two styles. The Outliers with their speed and Idaho with their size created a great match up. The Outliers style of play caused the Idaho team problems, as well as their shots not falling became their undoing.
In the Final, the Arizona Outliers sent out notice that this year, they are the team to beat. They bring the pressure. A tough team with fierceness. The handled a very good Works team, who on paper matched up very well against them. But that is why we play the game. You have to bring it every time.
A strong division with so many storied programs. The San Diego region was well represented with both EBO and San Diego Intensity being here. The Intensity have an outstanding young post who has a great game including a little school moves on the block. AZ Supreme and West Coast Premier put up big numbers and so naturally it ended up being the game between the two that would decide it. The AZ team was very poised under pressure and
while a ball bouncing this way instead of that made the difference in this game as this hotly contested game was won by the Supreme. A great game overall and two very strong teams.
Okay this division had several very good teams in it, but it would be wrong if we didn’t point out that the defending Champion returned and showed everybody who was the boss. This division was dominated by the East Bay Tigers. Monsters from start to finish. A smothering defense and potent offense that hits you from all sides meant trouble for teams from the start to finish. Clearly, they are ready to move up for the National Showcase. They came, they saw, they conquered. The rest of the division highlighted closely contested games but the class of the division was the titles. They put everybody on notice.
The division comprised of 8 teams and good mixture of So Cal established programs and teams from out of the area. Teams like the Desert Storm, Cal Buckets from Central Coast and newcomers Starting 5 entered the fray.
The Augustus pool was dominated by So Cal program Swift Silver and Clutch basketball. The two teams engaged in a pitched battle with back and forth scoring until Swift was able to seize control with some timely baskets and strong defense down the stretch.
The Tina Charles pool has the perhaps the game of the division with Triple Threat and Cal Buckets 16u taking it down to the wire with Triple Threat pulling out a 3-point win over a tough Cal Buckets team.
In the final the Triple Threat Team was just too much for the Swift Silver and they coasted to the championship.
In this division there were several very good teams. The Noelle Quinn pool was very competitive. Each game was a tossup and no team was able to secure a perfect record. They battled tooth and nail. No lead was ever safe and runs by teams were met with runs from their opposition. The class of this division ended up being Cal Buckets 17 in this tournament, but any of the teams in this group could get hot and with it being so early in the season, an additional player here or there will impact this group of teams.
The Brittney Griner Pool had two teams that were really very good. West Coast Xtreme who ended up perfect in the pool and Camarillo Thunder. Both these teams were very good. The Camarillo Thunder are a veteran group with solid coaching and excellent guard play. They have a wonderful duo as the guard tandem and can really handle all facets of the game.
The West Coast Xtreme simply a tough matchup for teams. They move the ball and have good size and athleticism. They ran by teams and used their inside game well to set up their perimeter shooters. A very good team and one to watch this summer.
This division of 10 teams had two teams that simply stood out above the rest. The teams have excellent coaches and styles of play that make it hard for others to keep up. While AZ Supreme Hoops hung tough for the first two days, they ran into a buzz saw in Balboa Hills. Charlie Solomon always has his teams ready to play and they did a great job of executing their offense and defensive schemes.
The other team that just dominated was the Cal Storm Knights. They are led by legendary coach Ellis Barfield. The smothering pressure that the Knights throw at you is very
tough to deal with early in the season. His players are tough and ready for anything that you can throw at them.
Playing in a division with some well-respected basketball programs that draw top talent is never easy especially if you are a new program that is emerging but this division was a good mix of both the old and the new.
In the Elena Delle Donne Division, West Coast Premier Red was able to navigate some difficult games on the way to a championship. In that pool, there were a number of close games and really the one game that the WCP Red were really pushed was the when they faced off against the Las Vegas Storm. The game was nip and tuck until starting point guard Vegas Camacho went down to a sprained ankle. That injury turned the tide of the game and really the rest of the tournament for the LV Storm. WCP was lead in 3 of their games by Ebony Cooper as she dominated play. Certainly one to watch and colleges were noticing.
The Ogwumike pool had bit of a surprise champion as a new team, The Starting 5 out of Valencia, outlasted the competition and made their mark in the early season. Christofferson really playing well for them in wins over Kn9ne and Open Gym. This high scoring offense could not be stopped as they ran through the competition.
In every tournament, there is a team that comes out of nowhere to make people stop and look. Last year in the Grand Finale, it was Team Arizona and Clutch basketball that really stepped up their game and had people take notice. This year so far, no doubt it was the Idaho Flite. This team could do it all. They execute in all aspects of the game. They drew the attention of many of the college coaches in attendance. A team to watch for sure throughout the summer circuit.
In the other division, another newcomer to the tournament made their presence felt by playing good defense and stopping their opponents from putting up many points. Prospects on Deck averaged 31 points a game while only giving a game high 25 points. The stalwart defense and patience on offense made it difficult for teams to get going against them.
The dream matchup between the Flight and Prospects on Deck never happened as the Idaho team had to catch a plane home and thus the championship was awarded to Prospects on Deck. This much-anticipated game will have to wait until “The National Showcase” in July.
This division lived up to all the hype. Huge crowds, nail biting games, players diving all over the court to get the ball. Pressure, pressure, pressure. All 6 teams that made up this division did well to make a name for themselves. These teams oozed talent and the college coaches were glued to this court. At one point there was not enough seating for coaches and more benches needed to be brought in to accommodate this need.
The big guns did not fail to deliver. Team Taurasi and West Coast Premier Black came out firing and let everybody know that they are still here. The battle between the two Titans would result in aahs and oohs being heard throughout the facility. The two would exchange haymaker after haymaker and each taking the other’s best shot only to come back with a salvo of their own. Team Taurasi would outlast WCP Black by a score of 38-29 that put on display just how far the girls’ game has come. College coaches could not write notes fast enough to keep up with the action.
The other teams in the bracket deserve mention as well. The most intriguing team, might have been Proformance from Hawaii. They battled all tournament long, but looked overmatched on the first 2 days before finding their feet and edging out both Open Gym Premier and Cal Storm National for 1 point wins.
The other game for bragging rights was Cal Storm National vs. West Coast Premier National. This game was slotted to kick-off the tournament and boy did it ever. In what is a glimpse into the future of perhaps both programs, the Cal Storm National team held off a late rally by WCP National to come away with a 2-point victor, 34-32. So for now the bragging right sit with Cal Storm National team, that is until the next game and then who knows?
Kudos go out to Open Gym Premier in this bracket, watching them play was a joy. While in some games you could tell that they were a bit overmatched, you couldn’t tell them that. They fought and scrapped for every ball. They were game in every game. They were very well coached and hats off to a team that gave everybody all they could take and more. The record does not even come close to how well they played.
We are looking forward to seeing you again in July for our next big Tournament!
See you at our next NCAA Certified Viewing Tournament July 6-8, 2017