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Team Takeover Ends Season Ranked 3rd In USA

Special to Washington Informer | , Robert Stephens | 9/1/2011, 11:45 p.m.
Team Takeover prevails. / Courtesy phorto

Team Takeover from D.C., ended its summer season ranked third in the nation for the 2011 season, and head coach Keith Stevens was proud of this year's squad.

"The season went well and the kids got great experience this summer," Stevens said. "The kids received great exposure which will enable them to receive college scholarships."

To recap the summer season, the Takeover participated in the Nike Elite Basketball League, comprised of 64 of the top 17 and under, AAU teams in the country.

The Takeover went undefeated in league play, finishing with a record of 15-0. Pool play was held at the Boo Williams Complex in HamptonVa., the Fieldhouse in Frisco, Texas, and the HAX complex in Los Angeles.

However, the Takeover suffered the loss of one of their top scorers when 6'6 Arnaud Adala Moto suffered an injury in a tune-up game at the Germantown, Md., complex prior to the championships at North Augusta, South Carolina.

In the championship round, the Team defeated Ohio Red, 73-68, with four players in double figures.

Patrick Holloway (Paul VI) led all scorers with 18 points. Jonathan Tshibuy (Bullis) chipped in with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Jermai Grant (DeMatha) added 14 points along with Stags teammate James Robinson, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Team's next opponent, Athletes First (Okla.), suffered a 85-54 loss to the D.C.-based team as Patrick Holloway led the way with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Jerami Grant finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. James Robinson and Jonathan Tshibuy chipped in 12 points each.

The Takeover edged Houston Hoops, 86-80, to record their win in the Peach Jam Classic. Jerami Grant led the way with 26 points. James Robinson finished with 25 points and 6 assist. Patrick Holloway and Keith Savage (Episcopal) chipped in 15 points each.

The Takeover ran into a tough Boston Athletic Basketball Club and suffered a 79-56 loss to the New England based team. Jonathan Tshibury led the Team with 12 points and 7 rebounds.

BABC, the eventual champion, featured a talented front line, but the coach praised the New England squad as well for not offering any excuse for the loss of his 6'6 starter Adalo Moto.

"They made us play at a pace that we were uncomfortable with, but I give them credit." said Stevens. "We had guys that stepped up."

The Team then proceeded to Disney World and the Super Showcase 64 in Orlando, Fla.

The Takeover defeated the Tennessee Travers, 67-43, in the opening contest. The team then ripped off four consecutive wins over the Carolina Ravens, 75-44, Players Teaching Players (Ma.) 59-51, Mean Street (Ill.) 70-41 and East Coast power, Long Island Lighting (NY), 69-61.

The Team suffered a 60-51 loss to the Houston Defenders in the final four bracket. Takeover had previously defeated the Defenders at the Peach Jam.

"We played well, we just played catch up the whole game,"

said Stevens. "I am proud of our team and our ranking as third in the United States."

In its team finale, the Takeover appeared in the Goodman Classic in a preliminary contest against an-all star team from Baltimore, which ended in a 77 tie. Due to a cable television contract, the game could not go into overtime.

Stevens had his 16 and under, team play in the all-star game at Trinity College, with the exception of Bee Jay Amaya, who plays as a16-year-old in the 17 and under, league.

On a final note, the 16 and under, team finished second in their age bracket at the Orlando Supercase.

Head coach Gordon Sampson was proud of their performance as well.

"The kids believed in our system and it paid off," he said. "Our kids were on the same page and it paid off."