ANAHEIM, Cal. — The local under-17 AAU boys’ basketball team, 24/7 HOOPS, won its initial game in pool play at the prestigious Double Pump Summer Tip Off Wednesday.
After falling behind early 24/7 went on a 17-0 run midway through the first half, then held off a late run from the Oklahoma Impact to win 58-50.
“Our boys were kind of jittery at the outset,” said 24/7 head coach Patrick Amico. “I think the presence of several college coaches got them excited and it took a bit to calm them down and get in our flow.”
The American Sports Center in Anaheim is hosting the Tip Off. There are 148 teams from all 50 states and Canada represented.
“The facility here has 25 full-court gyms,” said Amico. “So there are fifty teams playing at one time.”
The Impact opened the game jumping out to an 11-4 lead behind the play of DaQuan Jeffies.
“We are probably one of the smallest teams here,” said Amico. “Our tallest guy is 6-foot-4, so we have to win the transition and pressure full-court game.” The Impact has five players on their roster over 6-6.
The Utah boys then scored 17 straight points to take a 21-11 lead. The teams traded baskets before going into halftime with 24/7 ahead 28-20.
In the second half 24/7 jumped out early, pushing the lead up to as many as 15 points before the Impact made a comeback. They were able to cut the lead to four points, 46-42, on a three-pointer. That would be the closest they would get, however, as 24/7 would push the lead back to between 8-10 for the remainder of the game, closing out with a 58-50 victory.
Dixie High School’s Jake Hawes led 24/7 with 21 points and added nine rebounds. Pine View’s Garrett Bowker also scored in double-digits with 13. Dixie’s R.J. Wilgar dished out six assists. Pine View’s Cody Roesch and Dixie’s Raheim Page pulled down 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
The 24/7 HOOPS team will play Excel Elite from British Columbia, Canada, today at 8 p.m.
“I played on the team last year,” said Hawes. “Coach Amico and the other coaches are good at developing our skills as players. It is also a good opportunity to showcase our talent for college recruiters.”
The game was attended by coaches and scouts from Tulsa University, Portland State University, Weber State University, Viola University, Lamar University, Southern Utah University and Utah Valley University.
This year Hawes is also one of the team captains.
“We have melded well and even though we are from rival schools, we really enjoy each other,” said Hawes. “It gives us an opportunity to get to know each other better before we go at each other again in Region 9 action.”
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