Game On wins 20th Hoop D’Ville basketball tourney
Post Independent Contributor
The 20th annual Hoop D’Ville outdoor basketball tournament took center stage at the Sayre Park courts on Saturday afternoon as 12 teams from around the Western Slope showed up to strut their stuff and compete for Glenwood round ball bragging rights.
Game On, a team comprised of former Coal Ridge High School standouts Kevin DiMarco and Payton White, as well as Cody Carmichael, Cassius Carmichael, Akil Creft, and 1995 Glenwood High School graduate Cassandra Irving, took top honors, including the $800 first-place prize by defeating the Hyenas in the tourney’s championship game.
The Hyenas, who have garnered multiple Hoop D’ Ville titles in years past, consisted of GSHS graduates Jason Rand and Dorian McClelland, Basalt Longhorn Michael Palmer, with Josh Dowling, Mike Painter, and Kurt Murchison rounding out the talented roster.
Taking third place on the day was a team dubbed the Flashes. Jeff Powers, Phil Riley, Kyle Kapelli, Robert Peters, Jake Wilkins, and Alex Schremph made up the roster for the Flashes.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Jason Rand, for the resilient Hyenas, helped his team battle back to title contention through the consolation bracket with key baskets on multiple occasions during the day-long basketball festival. Facing a sizeable deficit in an elimination game against the Lost Planet Airmen, Rand scored on three successive possessions to give his team a 26-20 win. Also, in the first game against Game On in the double elimination format tourney, Rand helped his team recover from an early 13-5 hole to record a 30-27 barnburner win, sending the tourney to a deciding winner-take-all game.
Behind the inside dominance of DiMarco and the steady guard play of Carmichael, Game On overpowered the Hyenas in the final game by a count of 30-11. The Hyenas, playing their 7th game of the day, fought fatigue and could not respond to the full-court pressure and trapping defense of Game On.
Following the championship win, Game On announced that they will donate their prize money, in its entirety, to help build basketball courts in India, where Cassandra Irving has been helping children with her basketball camps for several years.
Tournament director Mike Picore has been in charge for 20 years of Hoop D’ Ville, and as always, was ecstatic to see all of the fast-paced basketball action brought back to the venerable Sayre Park courts.
“A lot of familiar faces out here, but many new ones also,” Picore said. “We had four teams from the Vail area this year and we also had a player here from Canada (Akil Creft).”
The Lost Planet Airmen (John Doose, Max Doose, Aaron Jewell, Derek Brown, Kyle Sinclair and Nathan Terrin) were just outside the Hoop D’ Ville podium, finishing in fourth place on the day.
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