Marksmen Coach Cedric Carter and Drake now have one thing in common; they both know how to go back to back.
Marksmen Garcia claimed the U11/12 and U13/14 championship games this past week, defeating Team Breakdown 71-70 in the younger division, and Marksmen Palmer 59-48.
The older division game was characterized through Toronto showcase alums Jan Andrada and Denzel Faraon.
The two combine to form one of the most consistent two-way backcourts at the PTR summer league.
The telling run came early in the second half when both Andrada and Faraon went for three straight three-pointers, after consecutive steals.
The sequence blew the game wide open, eventually leading to a gap in the score that Marksmen-Palmer could never close.
Both guards have shown some flashes of being able to compete at the high school level, Faraon with his handling and shooting ability, and Andrada with his shooting prowess and defense.
With focus on their bodies, and transforming themselves physically and athletically, both players will be able to fulfill their potential.
Andrada, named MVP for Marksmen-Garcia, finished with 25 points, while Faraon had 9.
On the other side, Barry Johnson of Marksmen-Palmer was the only player to reach double figures, scoring 11 points in the outing.
Johnson, named MVP for Marksmen-Palmer, is still particularly raw at this stage; however, he did show some good potential with his length, toughness, and size.
Johnson will have to fine tune his offensive repertoire and improve his ability to affect the defensive end of the game without being in foul trouble.
The ending was almost too surreal to comprehend.
As the clock red 45 seconds, Team Breakdown had the ball, and a three-point lead, 70-67, with their eyes on the championship.
“Our run came late,” said Marksmen-Garcia coach Cedric Carter. “We were finally able to read and react to the other team.”
Coach Carter is referring to the last two plays where his team was able to come-up with two straight steals, ending in a game winning lay-up as the clock read zeros.
“I take blame for the last couple possessions” articulated Breakdown coach Lloyd Dixon.
“We should have just gone old school line on the out of bounds possession.”
However exciting the game finished, it definitely did not seem to be going on to that path.
Early on Marksmen-Garcia jumped out to a 13-2 lead within the first eight minutes of the game, showing a solid defensive effort, fast break offense, and ball movement.
However, Breakdown was not close to quitting as they stormed back to the tune of and 18 to 2 run, creating a 22-17 lead at the half.
“Out length, trapping defense, and big men always give us the ability to be in any game,” said Breakdown coach Lloyd Dixon.
“Even when they made their run early, I wasn’t to concerned.”
The concern was that of the final minute or so, where coach Carter and the Marksmen-Garcia were able to pull out all their tricks, and walk away as champions.
“I’m extremely proud of our guys,” coach Carter said in a raspy voice, as he had lost it throughout the course of the game.
“We have only been together for a couple of weeks, and to compete the way we did against a team that has been together for years, it makes me very proud.”
As for next season, you will be seeing both teams at PTR, as both coaches reflected back on what they had done the year prior in comparison to this year.
“Last year we had to rely on US tournaments for our kids to play basketball in the summer, and those were very unpredictable,” said coach Dixon of team Breakdown.
“PTR brought us that summer league we desperately needed, and also was very well ran, and organized.”
As for coach Carter he let his last remarks be very sweet and to the point.
What he thought about PTR?
What his team was doing last year?
What they are doing this year?
“Training and playing.“