April 25, 2007
Kingwood performances lead to offers, interest
The performance of the Howard Pulley Panthers on the big stage of the Kingwood Classic was good enough to land them amongst the Final Four in the 63 team Platinum division tournament. Angelo "Bear" Johnson led the Panthers while 2009 stars Rodney Williams Jr. and Royce White impressed schools enough to pick up high major offers days after the event.
After going 0-2 in pool play, the Panthers faced some difficult match-ups and won four straight games to get to the Final Four of the Kingwood. They defeated the Houston Heat, the Mid State Ballerz, Team STAT (who a game earlier beat the Minnesota Magic Elite) and the Meanstreets before falling to California Pump-N-Run Elite in the Platinum semi-final.
"We had our moments in this tournament," Rene Pulley said. "We did not play exceptionally well on the first day. In this tournament there were times where we played well and where we didn't particularly play well and at the start the tournament we lost a game that we should not have lost. We were able to gain momentum from each game and after we lost by seven to Indiana Elite, who was in our Pool and won the entire thing, that game woke us up. From then on we were on a mission challenging ourselves to play to our potential and we kicked things into high gear. To start the playoffs we played good enough to win and then we beat Meanstreets by 12 and they beat us in the Boo Williams by seven so that was a big game for us. That game took a lot out of us and then we faced California Pump-N-Run who has a lot of good players including some sophomores that are just outstanding and were dunking all over the place. That game was back and forth until the six minute mark when we hit a wall. At that point they were just the better team."
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