10th Grade D1 National Championship Game
Nike Team Florida vs Arkansas Wings
The Arkansas Wings and Nike Team Florida will battle it out for a third time this season, this time looking for a National Championship. Both are considered Top 25 teams with eight highly ranked players in numerous scouting services, and Nike Team Florida, fresh off their 48-47 victory over the King James Shooting Stars, will look to bring their record to 2-1 against the Wings.
The Arkansas Wings bring pressure early and often, and for all 32 minutes (a page out of former Razorback Coach Richardson’s book). The Wings’ 6’2 shooting guard, Kevaughn Allen, opens the scoring with a three, followed by a crafty explosive layup for the first 5 points. Malik Monk stuffs a high flying dunk bringing the score to 7-0 before NTF can get a basket. Down 9-0, NTF’s Chance McSpadden puts up a 15 foot jumper followed by an NBA range three, and another three, bringing the Wings’ lead to one. 6’11 Skal Labissiere mixed in a couple of baskets for 4 points, giving the Wings’ an 11-10 lead at the end of one quarter.
Starting the second quarter, the high-flying Wings definitely live up their club name. Malik Monk with an athletic attack hanging, twisting in the air avoiding Kevarrius Hayes long arms for two. Sparking a run of four quick points, two from Wyatt Walker and two from Chad Brown, NTF brings it within two,16-14. The teams trade baskets until the end of the quarter but the Wings are on top, 26-22 at the half.
After the break, Kevaughn Allen gets loose in the open court for a monster dunk, 30-26 Wings, and the crowd is out of their seats after the dunk. The Wings defend McSpadden well, rendering him scoreless since the first. With 30 seconds left in the third quarter, a big turning point in the game extends the Wings lead. A technical foul against NTF for hanging on the rim, gives the Wings two free throws, which they make. Wings lead at the end of the third, 40-30.
Nike Team Florida trades baskets with the Wings early in the fourth quarter, but NTF is not able to get stops on the defensive end to cut into the Wings lead. NTF is forced to go to the foul game when the deficit hits 13, but the Wings make their free throws, and cruise to a 63-47 win to take the gold in the 10th Grade Division I National Championship! The Wings leave Orlando with a perfect 8-0 record, a 16U National Championship, their third consecutive overall national title, and their 10th National Championship win since the program's inception in 1980.
Check out the game highlight video BELOW!
Congratulations to both teams on a hard fought tournament and we hope to see you next year!
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