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June 15, 2009When Team Final buried City Rocks in the semi-finals, they became the hometown favorite by default. After all, Philadelphia is closer than California.
With all of New York edged out of contention for the 17U division, the city of brotherly love based Team Final broke open what began as a close game -in similar fashion to their 73-55 win over City Rocks- and topped California Supreme in the Rumble In The Bronx Championship game, with a near identical 73-57 win.
Cali Supreme came out smoking from downtown, as shooting guard Miles Cartwright drained three triples in a row. 6-foot-7 forward Dwayne Polee gave him some help, as the USC Commit did an admirable job contesting Team Final's head man, Mike Gilchrist. Polee also put points on the board -including a backboard rattling dunk- but Cali Supreme didn't get much help elsewhere. Team Final would trail by a few points early on, but when Gilchrist finally got in the scoring column with a vicious one handed stuff down the lane, they held their first lead of the game, 24-23. Although Gilchrist would remain quiet for the remainder of the game, 6'9 center Rakeem Christmas, PG Tyreek Duren and lights out shooter Trevor Cooney would pick up the slack and Team Final would never trail again. A flurry of threes from Cooney late in the first half would give Team Final the space they needed to start their pull away, as they had a seven point advantage at the half, 42-35.
The second half only got worse for the west coast representatives, mainly due to Christmas. In the case of Cali Supreme, Christmas wasn't merry nor was it bearing gifts. The tower forward was unmatched with his shot blocking and dominance in the paint. Team Final held a nice comfortable 10 + point lead for much of the second half, but when Duren used his crafty ball handling to get to the hoop, the said lead had inflated to 22, 67-45. Keola King and Keith Shamburger put up a fight for Cali Supreme throughout the second half, but the game was too far out of reach at that point.
Rakeem Christmas and Tyreek Duren led Team Final with 18 points each. Keola King was the high man for California Supreme with 14 points, while Miles Cartwright, Dwayne Polee and Keith Shamburger each contributed 11.
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