Las Vegas- After capturing the Peach Jam championship, the runaway backcourt of Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon carried the Mean Streets Express to the finals of the Big Time, but the clutch play of Daniel Hackett made the difference for the SoCal All Stars, who once again overcame a halftime deficit to win the championship 69-63.
Eric Gordon started the game absolutely on fire going for 18 points in the first half on 7 of 12 shooting, including 4 of 5 from the arc. At one point in the first half, the Mean Streets Express were up 21-8, but Hackett nailed a three-pointer against the 2-3 zone of the Mean Streets to begin SoCal's comeback run.
On the game, Hackett led SoCal in scoring with 21 points on 8 of 11 shooting with 3 of 4 from the arc. He also had 5 assists without a turnover.
Gordon was the game's leading scorer with 25 points, and he also led his team with 9 rebounds. A combination of fatigue and pesky defense by Brandon Jennings held him in check during the second half. Jennings also did a nice job offensively, dishing out 6 assists without committing a turnover.
Derrick Rose led the game with 10 assists to 4 turnovers and also scored 12 points. Along with his 6 rebounds, he had 3 blocks with two coming at the expense of Kevin Love when Rose came from behind to throw his power shots against the board.
Love did put up an impressive stat line with 20 points and 15 rebounds against the small Mean Streets' frontline.
Along with Tim Flowers, Antonio Topps played his spot up shooter role to perfection, hitting a clutch 4 of 6 three-pointers in the championship game.
Semifinal: Mean Streets Express 74, Spiece Indy Heat 57
This game was much closer than the score indicates. In fact, Spiece shot Mean Streets out of its signature 2-3 zone right off the bat and had a double digit lead midway through the first half until all hell broke loose. Eric Gordon snagged a rebound, raced down the court, lost one defender in the open court and then elevated just inside the lane and dunked over a Spiece defender.
To the amazement of the crowd, a charge was called nullify the bucket and igniting a tirade by Mean Streets' coach Reggie Rose. At the end of the chaos, Rose had been tossed from the game and the Mean Streets where now awake.
Behind 25 points and 6 rebounds by Gordon and 22 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists by Derrick Rose, the Mean Streets ran away with the win.
SoCal All Stars 60, Houston Jr. Hardballers 51
The Hardballers broke out to a 34-29 halftime lead, but the bigger and deeper SoCal squad dominated the second half, out scoring the Hardballers 31-17 in the second period.
Making the difference for SoCal, as he did in the championship game, Daniel Hackett scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Top 50 2008 prospect Steve Tchiengang was impressive for the Houston Hardballers. In their quarterfinal win Tchieugang scored 17 points to go along with 6 boards, 2 assists and 3 blocks.
Tchieugang listed offers from Connecticut, Texas A&M, Florida, Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Miami. Stanford, Arizona, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Virginia Tech are interested.
Jon Leuer, whose Minnesota Magic team made it to the final eight of the Big Time has a chance to be a Steve Novak type player in college.
Renardo Sidney, who has played disciplined and very effective basketball for the SoCal All Stars, had a monster quarterfinal, scoring 21 points on 9 of 9 shooting from the field.
The Long Island Lightning gave Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon fits with some stingy defense in their quarterfinal match up. Rose and Gordon certainly did their damage, but they had to work hard for it.
Left hander Akeem Bennett did a nice job containing Rose and keeping him out of the lane. The only problem for Bennett is that Rose got his jumper going during a pivotal stretch during the second half to break the game open.
Bennett, a physical 6-foot-2 combo guard, said he will play at Laurinburg Prep and is hearing from USC after the Trojans saw him keep O.J. Mayo in check at the Kingwood Classic.
Jeff Teague is highest on Indiana, Wake Forest and Boston College and plans to visit all three in the fall. Southern Illinois and Xavier are also on his list.
Carlton Scott is considering Texas Tech, SMU, Vanderbilt, Stanford and Rice.