08/03/2011 9:56 AM -
The final tournament of the season for the 17u Premier team took place at Walker Athletics in Lisle, Illinois. The team came out firing with two wins in their first two pool play games. They defeated the Illinois Speed 53-26 and the hometown Walker Athletics squad, Illinois Reign 53-34. Neither team gave the Bulls much of a problem as they never trailed in the 2nd half.
The final pool play game would be against the Illinois Raptors. After both teams had gone 2-0 in their first two pool play games, it had already been determined that this would be the championship matchup. Instead of playing two games, the teams had the option to make the final pool play game the championship. As scheduled, both the Bulls and Raptors agreed to play the final pool game and then the championship. I guess this gave each team the opportunity to evaluate their competition and make adjustments moving forward into the championship game. The game proved to be low scoring as the Raptors took the victory 37-30. “We had no difficulty scoring but mental lapses on the defensive end cost us some possessions, so we dropped the final pool game,” said Coach Kevin Brockington, who also added that their size and shooting was a challenge as well.
After getting the warm up game out of the way, it was time to play the game that actually counted for something, a 1st place trophy. However this time the offensive miscues by the Bulls proved too much to overcome. The Bulls press was ineffective as size was helping the Raptors break free and score. Although the game was not out of reach, the Premier squad could not apply the mental pressure that they are used to, so the end result was a 49-41 victory for the Raptors.
The 17u Bulls Premier team finished with 2nd place in the tournament and an overall record of 19 wins and 17 losses on the season. This team fought hard all season as the roster was not consistent to start year. The guys that showed up formed a bond, learned how to motivate themselves, and battle through thick and thin. As Coach Brockington said, “Chemistry takes time and that we did not have a lot of, but seeing the end result is what makes this whole thing fun.”
Again, Congratulations to Coach Brockington’s teams as both the 14u and 17u Bulls Premier teams finished with 19 wins and an above .500 record. Good luck to the teams, players, and coaches in the future.