The Mo Betta Pro-Am Summer League playoffs produced a most unlikely championship team.
A team called 200 Proof, finished the regular season with a pedestrian 3-5 record and entered the playoffs as one of lower-seeded teams.
However, when the smoked had cleared, 200 Proof came together and won four consecutive games and walked away with the championship trophy. 200 Proof concluded its incredible four-game run with an 85-75 victory over YLie in the championship game in front of a jam-packed crowd at the Wohl Center.
“We were 3-5 during the regular season, but Torres Roundtree and Alex Jackson said that we were going to win four straight and take the championship,” said 200 Proof player-coach Bryant Lyles. “We came together at the right time. Everyone of team was so unselfish. That was the key to this championship.”
The Mo Betta playoffs were full of upsets throughout the weekend as the top four seeds were defeated in the quarterfinals on Friday night. 200 Proof rallied from a 10-point deficit in the semifinals to defeat Takeover 61-58 to advance to the finals.
In the championship game, it was 200 Proof that took control of the game early and never backed off the throttle. They built a 44-32 lead at halftime and led by as many as 22 points before staving off several runs from YLie to take the victory,
While a smaller YLie team relied on its guard play and perimeter shooting, 200 Proof went old school and dominated the game with its inside players. Forwards Alex Jackson and Vince Ferguson controlled the paint as they combined to score 41 points.
Jackson, a 6’6″ former standout at UMSL, scored a game-high 25 points off the bench. Jackson scored on a series of swooping drives and offensive rebounds. He is now playing professionally in Spain. Ferguson, a 6’5″ wide-body, bullied his way inside for 17 points, with 15 coming in the second half.
“Vince and Alex played big tonight,” Lyles said. “Both of them gave us big games inside.”
Forward David Franklin led YLie with 19 points. Guard Deshaun Cooper scored 17 points while Chantiel Stanciel added 15 points. Former University of Missouri standout and current Los Angeles Laker Jordan Clarkson also played in the championship game for YLie. Clarkson scored seven points.
In last Saturday’s semifinals, 200 Proof edged Takeover 61-58 as Ferguson scored 12 points while Stovall and Stockard added 11 points each. YLIe defeated Holla 86-74 in the other semifinal game as Cooper scored 19 points, Smith scored 18 and Stanciel added 17 points.
The Mo Betta Pro Am League proved to be very successful this summer. Huge crowds were commonplace during the playoffs and folks shoehorned their way into the Wohl Center to witness the action. Congratulations to league directors John Albert and Gerald Fulton on providing a good vehicle for the area ballers to play and for the community as well.
Mo Betta Pro Am Championship Game
200 Proof (85)
Alex Jackson 25, Vince Ferguson 17, Theo Boykin 10, Courtney Stockard 8, Mark Stovall 8, Monroe Douglass, Jr. 7, Bryant Lyles 6, Torres Roundtree 2, Eric Mayes 2
David Franklin 19, Deshaun Cooper 17, Chantel Stanciel 15, Wayne Brown 9, Jordan Clarkson 7, Aareon Smith 5, Drake Reed 2
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