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May 29, 2005

All-SoCal TOC final

In two very surprising upsets over the Spiece Indy Heat and the Playaz, the H-Squad AAU club is set to play in an all Southern California championship game against the SoCal All Stars in the Tournament of Champions. Propelling the H-Squad throughout the weekend has been the inspired play of Davon Jefferson. Jefferson has also received strong scoring support from Seketoure Henry and Danny Williams.

In the morning quarterfinal game against the Spiece Indy Heat, Greg Oden was held in check by a sagging zone defense and the unwillingness of his teammates to get him the ball. The guards were willing to take quick jumpers, and when they didn't fall, Jefferson was there to grab the rebounds.

In the semifinals, the Playaz played with the same lack of intensity that the Spiece displayed earlier. The H-Squad got open look after open look and controlled the boards. Danny Williams finished with 30 points, Jefferson netted 23, and Seketoure Henry contributed 18 on primarily three-pointers in H-Squad's 85-81 win.

In the end, it was the hungry play of three potential non-qualifiers that won out over two teams filled with high-major prospects. Jefferson fought off cramps while making game winning plays during the last 3 minutes of the semifinal game. It will be interesting to see if the H-Squad can bounce back with the same inspired effort for the championship game after a two and a half hour break

Henry just recently took the SAT, and might take the ACT in June, in hopes of qualifying and attending Arizona State. If he is not able to qualify, he is unsure of where he will prep.

Definitely planning to prep, Williams is down to South Kent, Mt. Zion and Stoneridge. Plenty of colleges are presently recruiting him for the following season.

"Oklahoma State and USC have offered," said Williams. "Kansas and basically the whole Pac-10 is also recruiting me."

Jefferson, who will decide between South Kent and Mt. Zion, said the reopening of his recruitment has been put on hold while he waits to be released from UNLV.

"It doesn't really matter to me where I go right now," said Jefferson. "I am very open. I do like USC, UCLA and Louisville, but I can't talk to anyone till I am officially released. The Athletic Director at UNLV said they would release me, but it hasn't happened yet. I really don't know where I want to go to school. I am open to anyone recruiting me."

The SoCal All Stars put a 20 point hurting on the New York Panthers, who were without an injured Derrick Caracter for the quarterfinal game.

Then SoCal took down the Michigan Hurricanes 77-63 in the semifinals. Continuing to be led by the stellar play of Chase Budinger, SoCal got strong play from a host of players on their very balanced team.

In the 16-under championship game, the Arkansas Hawks, led by Michael Sanchez will take on the balanced attack of the Spiece Gym Rats prior to the 17-under finals.

Stay tuned for final results, scouting reports and observations from the Tournament of Champions.


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