Great American Shootout: Dallas, TX

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom,  to my grandson’s mothers; Mila Ivany and Judy Jones & of course to my girl, Miss Yolanda who is nice enough to let us head out on a basketball/business trip this weekend.  🙂

This is a tough weekend to field a basketball team  because along with it being Mother’s Day many players are writing the SAT or ACT, participating in high school all star games, & let’s not forget proms!  The field at this GASO is so-so.  It’s also one of the few times that the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston will play in their home state of Texas before heading off to Phoenix & Chicago during the month of May.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 55  Dallas Hurricanes  42
GASO uses officials who are being graded by other college level zebras for the possibility of moving into the college ranks.  Give today’s crew an F, as they blew the whistle incessantly which allowed the game to have no flow.  2012 F 6’7″ Maurice Letcher-Ellis of Houston Yates led the way with 14 points, 8 rebounds & 5 steals, while 2012 Devon Turk of Houston St. Pius chipped in with 10 while 2012 Joshua Hagins of Bossier City Airline (Louisiana) had 9.

2012 F 6’7″ Maurice Letcher-Ellis of Houston Yates

Texas D1 Ambassadors 68  DJH5   48
2012 Devon Turk came out flicking it from deep, knocking down 15 first half points, cruising to a game high 21.  2012 Chase Brogna of Houston St. Thomas had 13 & 5 assists while 2012 Alex Caruso of College Station A&M Consolidated filled the stat sheet with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists & 3 steals.

2012 Chase Brogna of Houston St. Thomas & 2012 Devon Turk (right) of Houston St. Pius


2012 Devon Turk (right) of Houston St. Pius


That concludes their pool play, with bracket play beginning Sunday morning against the 2013 Dallas Mustangs, a talented group of Metroplex sophomores.  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin lost both their pool games but were super pooled to the main bracket as well.

Sunday Bracket Play

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin  65   Dallas Heroes  53
A close game at halftime, quickly changed to a D1 runaway as the Heroes wilted under the pressure defense.  They were led by 2012 G Michael Hardge of Georgetown with 12 points & 2011 Brooks Pawsat of Austin Hyde Park who scored 11.  The real story here is the continued development of 2013 PG T.J. Williams of Pflugerville whose leadership and feel for the game as a sophomore is superior.  He had 15 points in the win; hitting from behind the arc, in the mid range, at the rim all while looking to make his team mates better.

2012 G Michael Hardge of Georgetown

2013 T.J. Williams of Pflugerville

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 82 Dallas Mustangs-Booker  77
This was a great summer basketball game with lots of ebbs & flows as the Mustangs raced out to a 23-10 spurt to start the game.  Texas D1 came roaring back and took the lead at the half, 40-38.  2011 F 6’9″ Keynan Willis of Crosby ended up as the games high scorer as he led Texas D1 with 23 points & 6 rebounds.  The Mustangs led 73-66 with less than 3 minutes remaining.  That’s when 2012 G 6’6″ Alex Caruso took his team on his shoulders down the stretch showing why he’s one of the country’s hottest emerging prospects this spring finishing the game on a 15-4 run for the win.

2011 G Jalen Washington          13 points   5 Assists   5 rebounds
2012 G Chase Brogna                8 points     5 assists
2012 F Maurice Letcher-Ellis    6 points 11 rebounds
2012 G Devon Turk                    12 points
2012 G Hoshua Hagins               5 points   6 assists
2012 G Alex Caruso                    14 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists & 7 steals!

2011 Jalen Washington (left) of Pflugerville Hendrickson is one of Texas’ top unsigned prospects.  After having decommitted from Mount St. Mary’s (MD) last November, Washington has reopened his recruitment and will be a nice summer catch for a school looking for a guard who can give you minutes at the 1, 2 or 3 positions. 

2012 Alex Caruso of College Station A&M Consolidated continues to see his stock soar over the last two months.


Fort Worth Firm   58  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin   51
Texas D1 faded down the stretch as a lack of intensity continues to plague them.  2012 G Michael Hardge led the squad with 18 points.  They’ll be bolstered from this point forward by 2012 G Matt Gramling who is finally ready to make his hoops debut after dealing with ankle & hamstring issues the past two months.  He’ll also be joined by the country’s top prep high jumper in 2012 W 6’5″ Allex Austin who goes for his State Championship today.  He holds the nation’s top jump at 7’2″. (His father, Charles Austin was the Olympic Champion back in the day).  Allex told me on Facebook this Saturday that hoops is his first love and he can’t wait to get on the hardwood next week.  We can’t wait either, Allex.  Bring home the ‘ship, Baby!

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 64  Dallas Top Achievers Pistons  61
A serious ankle injury to Joshua Hagins of Bossier City Airline (LA) will really hamper D1 for the rest of the event as he’s their best on ball defender. Hagins is tough to stay in front of on the offensive end as well so he’ll be missed.
The D1 Ambassadors have a history of great players from the State of Louisiana.  Our latest is 2012 G Joshua Hagins of Bossier City Airline.  Hagins is a hardnosed defender, a court general & can also bury his shot from the perimeter.

Top Achievers trots out one Texas’ most promising big men in 2012 F 6’11” Prince Ibeh.  He gave fits all game long to anyone who came around the basket, altering & blocking shots.  He has a great future.  Texas D1 overcame double digit deficits three different times during the game, the last time when it counted most. 

2011 G Jalen Washington of Pflugerville Hendrickson was money down the stretch as he finished with 17 point, 6 rebounds & 5 assists.  His last two buckets were putbacks off misses for the victory.  Credit Keynan “Slim” Willis for going at Ibeh all game long.  He finished with 16 points & 5 rebounds while Devon Turk added 17 points & Chase Brogna dropped 10.

Dallas Mustangs 77  Texas D1 Ambassadors-67
It’s always fun strapping it on with my old friend, Tony Johnson and his Dallas Mustangs program.  We’ve had many great battles over the years.  He caught us short on this one though as with only 6 healthy players Texas D1 could not make a second half run.  There was no answer for 6’7″ 265lb R.L. White as he bullied his way down low while combining a soft touch along with nifty footwork in the paint.  He was the difference.

Keynan Willis had 16 points in the first half, but cramps had him on the bench the entire second half of play. Chase Brogna continues to emerge in his lead guard role as he had 12 points & 6 assists (with only one turnover).  Brogna was our most efficient shooter all weekend by far as he shot over 50% from the field.  Devon Turk added 15 points & Maurcie Letcher Ellis had another cusotmary double double.

The Mustangs ended up losing the Championship to Flower Mound Marcus group which shows how tough a high school team they are.  Phil Forte, Marcus Smart, A.J. Luckey & Nick Banyard are TOUGH!


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