Team Loaded 17U coached by Mike Blackwell used a ten man rotation throughout the tournament and won the Big Shots II Championship easily over Seattle Rotary by the score of 70-42. Along the way, Team Loaded cruised past two EYBL teams in the Georgia Stars and All Ohio Red. Coach Blackwell has ten D1 players on his roster. 6’0 PG Jay Daniels is committed to Howard University, 6’3 PG/SG Troy Caupain is committed to the University of Cincinnati and 6’3 SG Patrick Rooks is committed to Clemson of the ACC. 6’6 WF RJ Curington and 6’0 Frank Mason are receiving high major interest while 6’6 WF/PF Brian White has offers from Big South and Southern Conference schools. 6’0 PG/SG Andrew Rowsey has offers from VMI, UNC-Greensboro and Mount St. Mary while 6’6 Jackson Kent has the majority of Big South and Southern Conference schools on his offer list as does 6’8 Jerome Simmons and 6’11 Chuck Ogbogo.
One of the toughest things for a coach is juggling playing time with ten legit D1 players and keeping them all happy. That being said, Coach Blackwell deserves special credit for his rotations and keeping guys fresh throughout the tournament. While many teams were wearing down due to lack of depth, Team Loaded got stronger deeper into the tournament. On championship Sunday, Team Loaded breezed through the competition and saved their best for last in the championship game. Team Loaded crushed and I mean crushed a very good Seattle Rotary team by the score of 70-42 and it was the total overall depth and balance that was the key! Four players scored in double figures and all ten players contributed to the team victory in points, rebounds, and hard nosed defense. Leading the way was Jay Daniels with a game high 12 points. Daniels set the tone early by knocking down four 3 pointers in the first half. Brian White and Troy Caupain both scored 11 points including one 3 pointer each. RJ Curingtoncontinued his “full throttle” approach and scored 10 points. Curington set the tone for Team Loaded throughout the tournament with his impressive effort on both ends of the court. Patrick Rooks was solid all tournament and finished with 9 points. Others that got into the scoring column was Frank Mason with 4, Andrew Rowsey with 3 andJerome Simmons and Chuck Ogbogo both having 2 points apiece. Team Loaded hit eight 3 pointers for the game including seven in the first half. 6’5 Trevaunte Williamswas the leading scorer for the Seattle Rotary with 12 points and was their only player in double digits scoring. RJ Curington and Frank Mason was voted Co-MVP of the Big Shots II Tournament.
This was Team Loaded second consecutive Big Shots title in the past two years. They will now travel to Milwaukee to participate in the NY2LA Tournament.