The Pistons Academy 3-on-3 Challenge, presented by Kroger, took place on Sunday, March 26th. Teams in the Red Division (3rd/4th Grade) and White Division (5th/6th Grade) competed in this fast-paced, one-day event. Youth basketball players throughout the area gathered with their friends and teammates inside the gymnasium at Franklin Athletic Club ready to compete and have some fun, Pistons Academy style! “This event is always a lot of fun, as players get to play with their friends and compete against other kids in the area, sometimes even players from their own schools or neighborhoods. It’s a fast-paced tournament with very little downtime, and most teams are only on-site for 2-3 hours so it makes for a fun, energetic atmosphere,” said Tournament Director Bryan Bollin. With a 3-game guarantee, teams played 2 qualifying round games within their age group. They were then seeded and entered into the 3-on-3 Challenge Championship Bracket!
In the Red Division, the “Cavaliers” took home the Pistons Academy 3-on-3 Challenge Championship with a 10-9 (16:00 minute games, baskets worth 1 or 2 points) victory over the “All-Stars.” Avery Gach proved to be too much to handle in the post, as he was a force around the basket for the Cavaliers. The All Stars made some nice adjustments and were able to counter with some nice plays from Ryan Counts. He was all over the place defensively, and showed a great ability to weave his way through traffic and score in the lane. Landon McKinney and Brock Morris also added some nice outside shooting. However, Cavaliers’ point guard Jonathan Schwartz’s ability to find the open man, combined with the hot shooting of Chase Tonnies and inside play of Avery Gach, was too much to overcome for the All-Stars.
In the White Division, the “Splash Brothers” defeated the “Benchwarmers” by a score of 14-13. In another close Championship Game, the play-making ability of both teams was on full display. Jack Abbot, recently named our Pistons Academy Winter Leagues “Playmaker of the Year,” was virtually unstoppable for the Splash Brothers all day long. He was able to take advantage of smaller defenders by scoring around the basket and was able to get bigger defenders out on the perimeter and use his speed and ball handling ability to drive past them. Also for the Splash Brothers, Aaron Zekman showcased his shooting ability and patented intensity. His heart and hustle make him the ultimate competitor. Luke Zeff and Merrick Michaelson added great defense and unselfish play, leading the Splash Brothers to an undefeated day. For the Benchwarmers, Jackson Wasylewski and his teammates, Cole Olsztyn and Johnny Dedvukaj, proved they were anything but “benchwarmers.” This talented trio marched their way through the day and into the Championship game playing smart, unselfish basketball. Their ball movement and ability to find the open man were a deadly combination, but the Splash Brothers came out on top in this battle of White Division powerhouses.
Thank you to all of our teams and their families for participating in the Pistons Academy 3-on-3 Challenge. Stay tuned for details on our next 3-on-3 Challenge! For information on all of our Spring and Summer programs, please visit www.pistonsacademy.com.