This past weekend, the Bluff City Ballers, formerly the Memhiz Runnaz, participated in the AAU State 5th grade/11 under Tournament. Last year, the Runnaz finished in 3rd place.
BCBallers begin pool play on Friday against the 3rd ranked team in the USA, We All Can GO All-Stars. The BCBallers led from start to finish, winning 53-37. Ragi Phillips, Jaylen and Juwan Tot’s defensive presence was the difference as they smothered the WACG players from endline to endline. Offensively, WACG had a difficult time containing BCBallers’ center Chris Moore. Moore finished with a double double. However, it was later determined that WACG had several key players missing.
The BCBallers would cruise through pool play as was the case with WACG. In the semifinals game, BCBallers easily handled the Memphis Suns, led by former Memphis War Eagles, “Deebo” with a score of 59-24. In the other semifinal game, WACG defeated the Memphis War Eagles setting up the rematch against the BCBallers for the AAU 5th grade State Championship.
This time around the WACG All-Stars expected a different outcome since they now had ALL of their players. However, the BCBallers would have no part of it and came away with another decisive win, defeating WACG 64-56 behind the strong play of Chris Moore, who finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds. Matthew Murrell scored a tough 16 points and Jaylen Tot chipped in with 13. BCBallers best player and most talented, Cameron Matthews, had a subpar game finishing with only 4 points but did pull down 13 rebounds. Ragi Phillips, the coaches son and starting pg, finished with only 2 points but had a team leading 8 steals and 6 assist. Juwan Tot, the twin brother of Jaylen, was huge down the stretch with his poise and ball-handling, finishing with 10 points and 9 assists. Last year, the same two teams faced off and WACG won going away. But what a difference a year makes. The BCBallers defeated WACG twice in 3 days by a combined margin of 22 points.
Overall, the full-court pressure defense of the BCBallers seemed to bother WACG and as they often do, WACG relied heavily on the 3-point shot, which was not falling, and that enabled the BCBallers to continously get easy layups. Late in the game, BCBallers made several late free throws to seal the victory.
NO GRADE EXCEPTIONS is what I’m most proud about with the team. Our kids are ALL 4th and 5th graders/11 years of age and younger and I have a group of parents who ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT ANYTHING BUT WINNING. Not about playing time, scoring, etc…just WINNING.
Head Coach: Faragi Phillips
Assistant Coach: Vincent Morris 2013 Spring Tounaments:
Rumble in the South (Jackson MS) – 1st Place MVP – Jaylen Tots
AAU State 5th grade/11 under (Memphis TN) – State Champs – MVP – Chris Moore
Next Up: Atlanta Classic