CARROLLTON, Texas - The young group that makes up this season's D-Will Metro Elite isn't a stranger to success at the Great American Shoot-Out. The team formerly known as the Metro Mustangs 2014 won the NIT Division at the GASO event in July in Duncanville.
Playing as a group of freshman against older players in the NCAA Division, D-Will Metro Elite showed that age is merely a number, and talent is everything on the basketball court. D-Will Metro Elite defeated the Runnin' Rebels, 57-49, in Sunday evening's NCAA championship game at the Integrated Athletic Development.
"I'm proud of our guys," D-Will Metro Elite coach Horace Pope said. "They're all freshmen, and they were able to play NCAA and play well. They played good defense and rebounded well."
D-Will Metro Elite led, 26-25, at the half, but it extended its lead by holding the Runnin' Rebels scoreless for the first seven minutes of the second half. Chandler Walker gave the Runnin' Rebels its first bucket of the second half with D-Will Metro Elite ahead, 36-27.
D-Will Metro Elite was led in the first half by Jeremiah Jefferson, as he scored 10 of his 16 points in the first 16 minutes of play. The team was paced by the guard tandem of twins Derrick Neal and Erick Neal, who combined for 17 points in the win.
Jeffery Carroll finished with 15 points, and Austin Luke added 14 points for the Runnin' Rebels.
D-Will Metro Elite players have won a GASO championship in two different divisions. Will they go for a title in the tournament's top division next time around?
"We might try it out," Pope said of playing in the NBA Division. "We might catch a beatdown, but then again, we might win. You can't just win the NCAA [Division] and not try the NBA [Division] once. Playing in the NBA is going to make our kids stronger.
NIT: Late bucket lifts Urban DFW Elite 14s
Prentice McKinney made a layup with 6.1 seconds left to play to give Urban DFW Elite 14s a 52-50 victory over the Texas Cavs in the NIT Division final.
The Cavs led, 28-24, at halftime, but the game was tied at 50 in the final minute. The Cavs turned the ball over on an offensive foul with roughly 20 seconds remaining. Urban DFW Elite ran a play through point guard Charles Middleton, who penetrated to the lane and made a beautiful inside pass to McKinney, who made a left-handed layup.
The Cavs had one last chance to tie the game, but Urban DFW Elite forced a turnover to end the contest. McKinney and Desmond Kennedy led Urban DFW Elite with 12 points each. Marquise Toney led the Cavs with 26 points.
GREAT AMERICAN SHOOT-OUT
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME BOXSCORES
(At the Integrated Athletic Development, Carrollton
D-WILL METRO ELITE 26 31 - 57
RUNNIN' REBELS 25 24 - 49
D-Will Metro Elite: Takedrick Brown 4, Derrick Neal 13, Erick Neal 2, Grayson Sweet 3, Jeremiah Jefferson 16, Daniel Westerfield 6, Jermey Combs 6, Chauncey Hill 2, Troy Causey 5
Runnin' Rebels: Hayden Baker 6, Cody Meyers 4, Justis Nelson 7, Austin Luke 14, Derrick Davis 1, Jeffery Carroll 15, Chandler Walker 2
TEXAS CAVS 28 22 - 50
URBAN DFW ELITE 14s 24 28 - 52
Texas Cavs: Curtis Amos 5, Reggie Kincaid 5, Caleb Banks 2, Christopher Stafford 4, James Battley 6, Tanner Nichols 2, Marquise Toney 26
Urban DFW Elite: Charles Middleton 8, Desmond Kennedy 12, Trevon Donnell 9, Prentice McKinney 12, Devin Brown 2, Ricky Bryce 5, Mario Grimaldo 4