Cactus Classic Championship Sunday
MVP Kemba Walker and the New York City Gauchos do it the cowboy way in the desert
May 21, 2007
By Van Coleman
CSTV & Hoopmasters.com
Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
East met West in the finals of the Arizona Cactus Classic Sunday afternoon and the New York City Gauchos came away with the crown in
The high scoring affair had all kinds of offensive intrigue as the Gauchos edged
It was another excellent day of club basketball, highlighted by some highly competitive games and some impressive individual performances at the
The Cactus Classic Championship Game was an uptempo affair that featured a plethora of gifted offensive talents. The final score was indicative of the quality of both the offensive talent and some tired legs on the defensive end of the court. The New York City Gauchos outlasted
The first half opened with the Gauchos breaking open a close game behind the long range bombs of 6-foot 2 Chris Fouch, who hit four threes in a row to help the Gauchos open up an early 20-9 lead over
The second half opened with the Gauchos going on an 8-0 run to open up a 61-47 advantage over the
It was still a one point game, 73-72, when the Gauchos started another run outscoring
The Gauchos were led by tourney MVP Walker with 24 points, five boards and four assists in the title game. He got solid support from Fouch, who finished with 21 points all on seven long threes. Athletic big man 6-foot-7 Kevin Phillips added 19 points and pulled down nine boards, while 6-foot-2 Darryl Bryant and 6-foot-2 Durand Scott added 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Semi-finals: New York Gauchos 88 - California Supreme 76
This one was close throughout the first half as a tired California Supreme hung with the New York City Gauchos. The Gauchos opened up a 23-10 lead behind a 12-2 run led by Kemba Walker and Durand Scott, who combined for eight points in the run. The Supreme stayed within striking distance as 6-foot-9 freshman super Jeremy Tyler did some impressive work inside for the
The second half opened with the two squads trading hoops for the first couple minutes until the Gauchos went on one of their patented runs, outscoring the Supreme 21-6 over the next four minutes to open up a 72-49 margin. From there it was a coast to the finish as the Gauchos made their way into the final with a 88-76 victory over the California Supreme. Remember this squad, as the Supreme are primarily a freshman-and sophomore-laden squad that will be one of the nation's top programs over the next couple of years.
The Gauchos were led by Bryant, who had a big game with 23 points and seven boards. He got solid support from
Semi-finals: Belmont 89 - Double Pump Elite 80
This was a SoCal war for some early summer bragging rights, and Belmont Shore with weekend addition Jennings had enough down the stretch to win a hard fought battle, 89-80, over the Double Pump Elite. The opening half was one of runs, as
It was a real battle through most of the second half as the clubs traded leads.
This one was a war from the opening tip. It was 70-all with 2:50 to play in the game when the Gauchos went on an 8-0 run over the next minute to salt this one away by an 82-77 margin over the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. The Gauchos were led by Kemba Walker with 23 points and 10 boards. Chris Fouch added 17 points, while Durand Scott chipped in with 15 points and Kevin Phillips added 10 points in the win. The Playground Warriors were led by 6-foot sophomore Nathan Zastrow who hit a number of long range bombs and finished with 25 points. 5-foot-10 point guard Johnnie Lacy added 17 points, while 6-foot-7 Jamil Wilson and 6-foot-2 Kwaim Mitchell chipped in with 12 points each.
Quarterfinals: California Supreme 42 - Houston Hoops 37
Speaking of survival games, the morning quarter between California Supreme and Houston Hoops was just that, as both clubs struggled to score and the Supreme held on for a 42-37 win. They scored the final four points of the game to salt it away as the Hoops just seemed to have a lid on the basket in the final minute. The Supreme was led by 6-foot-5 Tyler Lamb and 6-foot-3 Gary Franklin with nine points each. Jeremy Tyler chipped in eight points and seven boards in the win. The Houston Hoops' top gun was 6-foot 3 Jeremy Green who finished with a game-high 12 points and nine boards. 5-foot-10 Tommie Griffin added nine points for the Hoops.
Quarterfinals: Belmont Shore 93 - Bay Area Hoosiers 83
In one of the best of the quarters, Belmont Shore survived a valiant effort by the Bay Area Hoosiers to win a 93-83 victory. Belmont Shore broke open a 64-62 game with a 7-0 run midway through the second half, then survived a couple of Hoosier runs to close out the win. The star of this one was Brandon Jennings with 36 points and 10 boards. He was stellar at times, willing the Shore to the win. Roberto Nelson added 22 points and 11 boards, while Darius Morris chipped in 20 points in the victory. The Hoosiers got a stellar effort from 6-foot 5 Quentin Dailey, who scored 31 points and added six boards.
Quarterfinals: Double Pump Elite 79 - Vegas Rebels 53
This one was competitive early as Double Pump built a 39-31 halftime lead. Double Pump went on a 22-6 run to start the second half and never looked back as the Vegas Rebels struggled from the field to win a 79-53 decision. Double Pump was led by Klay Thompson with 19 points and eight boards. He got solid support from 6-foot-3 sophomore James Rahon with 17 points. Wendell Wright and Dallas Rutherford chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Rebels' top gun was 6-foot 4 Juron Criner, who finished with 18 points. 6-foot Tarrance Cotton added 13 points for Vegas in the loss.
We'd like to thank Tournament Director Jim Storey and his Arizona Cactus Classic Staff for the great hospitality, and the quality event they ran the past weekend. It was first class all the way, and should continue to become one of the spring's premier must-see events. Great job guys!