Friday, July 25, 2014
The South Carolina Gators jammed the hopes of the New York New Heights this week, and brought the AAU Division I National Boys 13U championship trophy home to Pawleys Island.
The USBA Division I national championships were held in Myrtle Beach last week.
The Gators, a team comprised of players from Pawleys Island, Myrtle Beach, and North Carolina turned up the heat in the second half of the championship game overshadowing the New Heights for a 72-39 win. “We got really hot in the second half of the game, a very proud head coach Stan Kowalewski said on Wed., “we hit the court after half time and had a 15 point run.”
The Gators had quite a bit of basketball to play before it reached the final championship game.
It played eight games total, with the only loss going to the Georgia Ballers, 65-64 in overtime.
Commenting on the loss to Georgia, Kowalewski stated, “We got a chance to play them again in bracket play, and our boys settled in and beat them 49-40.”
Teams were randomly assigned to a six-team pool. Each team played four Pool Play games.
Once Pool Play was complete, teams were seeded based on Pool Play record and placed in one of three divisions for Bracket Play.
For a given pool, the first and second place teams competed in the National Division Bracket.
The third and fourth place teams competed in the American Division Bracket and the fifth and sixth place team competed in the Classic Division Bracket.
The format allowed teams to compete for a USBA National Championship against teams with a similar talent level.
Kowalewski credits the win to what he describes as a “guard oriented” team.
“We had to play the Georgia Ballers twice, we were pretty evenly matched size wise, but our guys were much more athletic.”
He also pointed out that the team as a whole had an amazing number of steals, which caused scoring problems for their opponents.