The rosters were stacked from top to bottom and included a few players that may see a court in the NBA one day. The two talented teams did not disappoint in front of an over capacity crowd.
As they have many times this summer, the Oakland Soldiers brought a big contingency to watch prospects such as Brandon Ashley, Aaron Gordon, Dominic Artis and Jabari Bird. They have only lost a few times this summer and were favored against Belmont Shore.
Arizona commits Grant Jerrett and Eric Cooper help led the way for Belmont Shore, who also had Zena Edomoswan, Katin Reinhardt and Tyler Dorsey. Edomoswan has had one of the best summers of any prospects out west and Jerrett has been playing very well also despite a recent ankle injury.
The matchup to watch of the night was going to be Jerrett against Ashley. The two have different offensive games, but since both players are solid on the defensive end, it was likely to lead to an interesting matchup.
Jerrett came out early and hit three jump shots while Ashley hit a jump shot himself and made some nice drives to the basket. Ashley was able to stay consistent throughout the game and draw a lot of contact.
The 6-foot-8, 210-pound Arizona commit also got to the line and helped defend the basket against a talented Soldiers team. Jerrett finished with 14 points, while Ashley finished with 11.
Perhaps the best player on the court for the full game Saturday was Gordon, who started the game off on a feverish pace. He was the primary scorer early on for the Soldiers, as he had three monster dunks early to get his team going.
He continued to attack the basket and Belmont Shore had no answer for him as he helped open up the game and had a 12 point lead in favor of the Soldiers at the half. Besides Jerrett, it was Cooper helping keep Belmont Shore in the game.
In a very intense, high level matchup, Cooper had a strong outing. He controlled the ball well, made good decisions and hit a two outside shots. Cooper finished with six points to continue his strong play at the Fab 48.
Another prospect who has been strong this weekend is Jabari Bird. He did not score a lot of points, but was a factor getting rebounds, playing defense and running the floor in fast break situations.
He combined with Gordon to have the highlight of the game, as they both dunked a rebound right before the horn blew for halftime. Bird is one of the best wing players at tip-back dunks and he did just that twice on Saturday.
The game looked in control of the Soldiers late as they held a 12 point lead with two minutes left until Katin Reinhardt helped lead a comeback for Belmont Shore. He hit a three late and before you knew it, the Soldiers only had a two point lead with 11 seconds.
A Dominic Artis free throw extended the lead to three points and as Ikenna Iroegbu was bringing the ball up against Artis and was called for a carrying violation as he crossed half court with five seconds left.
The Soldiers iced the game with free throws and an otherwise good game was ended on a controversial call. The game met expectations because all players on both sides played hard and really wanted to win in front of a packed house of family, friends and coaches.