You are here: Home / Featured / Team Charlotte wins 16U Reebok Challenge Championship Team Charlotte wins 16U Reebok Challenge Championship May 16, 2012 By Rick Lewis Leave a Comment Team Charlotte coached by former UNC great Jeff McInnis breezed through the 16U age division of the Reebok Showdown Series and came away with an impressive 75-53 victory in the championship game against Upward Stars coached by Trent McAllister. Watching both teams throughout the tournament was enjoyable and fun as both coaches offered a different but effective and successful coaching style. Both teams do not possess great size, but it should be noted that they play extremely hard and play the game the right way. While the coaching style of Coach McAllister is more subdued, Coach McInnis is the polar opposite. He is an animated and passionate coach that often pushes his team to play with maximum effort and intensity. Coach McAllister has more of a quiet demeanor on the court and his team plays with patience and discipline. That being said, Team Charlotte simply had too much athleticism on Championship Sunday as Coach McInnis team won going away by the score of 75-53. What’s even more impressive, Team Charlotte didn’t have a single player over 6’4 and it is their pressing and attacking style that takes the air out of its opponents. More importantly, Coach McInnis is constantly communicating to his team throughout the game as he is coaching every single play. He is offering encouragement during the game, but is ready to blister a player if he fails to get back on defense. It is evident that Coach McInnis demands 100% effort 100% of the time and no players are allowed to take one single play off. Team Charlotte went 3-0 in pool play by defeating Swish City Elite 15U (78-39), Upward Stars White (63-41) and Virginia Elite (51-25). On the other hand, Upward Stars were methodical in pool play by going 3-0 but with more modest margins of victory. They defeated SEBL (61-53), NC Court Kings (59-51) and Swish City Select (71-53). Team Charlotte high octane offense was on full display in its semifinal game against undefeated Swish City Elite by scoring an impressive 89-75 victory while Upward Stars scored an 65-53 win over undefeated Kappa Magic. In the championship game, Team Charlotte was dominating from start to finish. Team Charlotte features many of the state’s best guards in 6’2 Austin Dasent, 6’1 Kedrick Flomo, 6’4 James Demery and 6’4 KeyShawn Woods although Demery and Woods are their tallest players. Without question, the team reflects the personality of its head coach as Coach McInnis is constantly pushing them throughout the game. Tournament MVP James Demery was simply sensational throughout the weekend and was stellar in the championship game. He finished with 18 points and the bouncy and athletic wing made some of the more impressive dunks in transition during the weekend. Demery has the unique blend of athleticism and skill that makes him an attractive high major prospect, but more importantly Demery is one of the most humble kids you will find today. In speaking with Demery, everything is “yes sir, no sir, thank you sir” and he is exactly the type of kid high majors’ talk about! For a young prospect to be so talented, he is totally grounded and understands the big picture. Throughout the weekend, he exerted himself on the defensive end of the court and was excellent in weak side help in blocking countless shots. He has a David Thompson (former NC State star) flair to his game with his tremendous leaping ability. Demery can knock down open 3 pointers and has a solid mid range pull game, but is most effective in attacking the rim. He finishes with power and authority and often finds someone as a poster kid for an impressive dunk. He has solid ball handling and passing skills in the open court and is the ultimate team player. He is equally comfortable getting the assist as he is scoring 2 points. He has tremendous upside and potential and with the work ethic and personality, he will become a fan favorite in his final two years of high school basketball. The next area of improvement is working on a quicker release. We also came away impressed with 6’4 KeyShawn Woods as he tallied a game high 24 points in the championship game. He knocked down four 3 pointers for the game and also showcased a well-rounded mid-range game. He has good lift and elevation on his jumper and he does sport a high release with the proper extension and follow through that will make him an efficient and effective perimeter shooter at the next level. The 1-2 punch of 6’2 Austin Dasent and 6’1 Kedrick Flomo makes this one of the best back court AAU duos in the region. Both are excellent ball handler and have advanced passing skills, but more importantly are tremendous with their on the ball defense. Dasent is more powerful while Flomo has more length, but both are advanced defensive players. It was a tough weekend for Upward Stars L.J. Peake has he suffered from a pulled groin, but one has to give the young man credit. He played hard and didn’t make excuses and fought through the injury as much as he could. While he played sparingly at times, he showed glimpses of his ability and potential. He is a powerfully built young man who is physically mature that is excellent with his mid-range game. Upward Stars also has a trio of promising young players in Javis Howard, Quantez Brown and 2015 J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. While Upward Stars were missing 6’3 Perry Dozier and 6’1 Seventh Woods this weekend, it was Quantez Brown and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside that picked up the scoring for the team. Brown and Arcega-Whiteside were both productive throughout the tourney. In the championship game, Brown scored 13 points while Javis Howard netted 10 points.
Posted in: Basketball– Posted on May 18, 2012