Castle Boys Double Down in Vegas
announced July 30, 2014
Castle Athletics finished its 2013-2014 travel season with its four boys teams venturing to Las Vegas to play in the Vegas Finals, July 23-27. The competitive field included some of the best teams from some of the elite programs throughout the United States and Canada. And, while all of Castle's teams played extremely well, the 16s played deep into the tourney before succumbing in the semi-finals.
Both the 17s and 16s finished pool play 3-0, each earning a first round bye in the single elimination portion of the tournament. The 15s and 14s each compiled a 2-1 record in pool play, finishing second in their respective pools.
In knockout play, the 14s were upset by the Hoops Masters from Los Angeles. The game was close throughout but the Hoop Masters' motion offense finally wore down the Castle Knights and they pulled away for the victory. The 17s were also upended by the motion offense of the Arizona Aces. Again, a close game in the first half was broken open by the Aces through deft screening and precise outside shooting.
The 15s won their first elimination game but were ultimately undone by the Nebraska Bison. The Bison coupled a strong pressure defense with constant ball movement.
The 16s combined their pressure defense, athleticism, shooting and great team chemistry to plow through pool play and the early rounds of the elimination brackets. In its first knockout game, Castle beat back X-Factor 81-53. The next round, the quarterfinals, Castle took on Boston Elite, a team that had bested the Knights by 3 points months before at the Providence Jamfest. But, this time, the Castle Knights were ready and walloped the Beantown squad 69-53. In the semi-final, however, the Knights were up against another Nebraska Bison team. The game was close throughout and was tied late in the second half 42-42. Then, the Bison salted the game away by going on a 23-13 run, knocking out the last Castle team from the Vegas Finals.
It was a great week in Vegas and a great season for the teams. Many thanks to the boys and their sportsmanship throughout the season. And, many thanks to all of the Castle coaches for leading their troops over the five month season!
While the travel portion has ended, the Castle teams continue their play in NYC playgrounds on a weekly basis.