Under the bright lights and on the biggest stage of the season, it was the Spurs who peaked at the right time to earn themselves the Rookie League Championship. Playing in front of a standing room only crowd, the Spurs continued their stellar postseason play and played their best game when it mattered most.
Following an 0-3 regular season, the Spurs entered the playoffs as the #4 seed. They had been improving each week and it was evident that they were very close to getting over the hump, making them a dangerous #4 seed in the 4-team tournament. First, it was a match-up with the undefeated #1 seed Hawks, led by Coach Laura Barrick. The Spurs brought their A-game, knocking off the top-seeded Hawks to advance to last Thursday’s Rookie League Championship Game. Next came the daunting task of a rematch with the #2 seeded Celtics, led by Coach Jamie Ryke, a team that had beaten the Spurs by a wide margin earlier this season. In the end, the Spurs were up to the challenge. They played tough defense, were opportunistic on offense, and took care of the ball on their way to a second straight upset, this time earning them the title of “Champions.”
Championship Game – (Spurs 14 – Celtics 11)
The Spurs displayed the heart of a champion and a balanced scoring attack in the title game. Their tough, physical defense stymied the potent offense of the Celtics, limiting them to a season-low 11 points in the Championship Game. Ty Thomson netted 4 points for the Spur’s starters, with Langston Howard and Zachary Kozouz adding 4 points apiece off the bench. Thomson was the catalyst for the Spurs all season long, as he possesses great athleticism and a well-rounded skill set. However, the improved play of key players like Howard and Kozouz proved to be the difference for the Spurs as they went on their postseason run.
For the Celtics, they saw their successful season come to a heartbreaking end. They were able to keep the game close throughout, but were never able to really get it going on the offensive end, an area where they have excelled all season long. Credit the Spurs defense, led by Rookie League Defensive Player of the Year, Kobin Kothari. Always hustling and playing tremendous on-the-ball defense, Kothari was the heart and soul of the Spurs. His tenacity and aggressiveness made it difficult for opponents to get open shots all season long. Kobin also chipped in 2 points in the finale. The Celtics were led in scoring by Jermon Johnson with 4 points. Harry Narens and Tarek Agha each added 2 points. A three-pointer by Jaden Ryke with just over 30 seconds remaining made it a one possession game, but the Celtics were unable to get the ball back with enough time to find an open look. The Spurs won the Championship game by a score of 14 to 11.
Pistons Academy would like to thank all of our participants, coaches, and parents for an excellent season. If your child was unable to attend their last game and did not receive their season-ending award, please contact League Director Bryan Bollin at (248) 352-8000 ext. 267 for instructions on picking up their award. It is our sincere hope that each participant had an enjoyable experience. Thank you!
Spots for our Winter 2017 Rookie League season are filling up fast! To reserve your spot, please visit the following page for more information and to register for the upcoming season: Rookie League Registration
Photo Album: Fall 2016 Rookie League Photos