COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA: History was made in the Central, Sunday, as Coach Allen Skeens’ Drive5 Power Elite kept their championship defense alive as they earned a bid to the 2019 Jr. NBA Global Championship. S’mya Nichols and the Missouri Phenom will represent the Central for the girls.
In order to advance, Drive5 overcame an 18-point deficit in the 3rd on the back of stifling defense. Skeens repeatedly preached to his team to continue to pressure defensively, “What wins championships?” he asked in the huddle with his team only down by one in the 4th. “That’s right. Defense.” His team took the words to heart.
We always stick to our defensive principles. We’re a man-to-man team. I love to see that.
– Allen Skeens, Drive5 Power Elite
After giving up 21 points to Oz Elite in the 2nd quarter, Drive5 held their opponent to 20 points total in the second half.
The game came down to the wire, as Drive5 put a quick four points on the board during an exciting sequence in the final 30 seconds to extend their lead to five. At the end of 32 minutes, Drive5 finished on top 58-55.
— Jr. NBA (@jrnba) May 12, 2019
Grant Stubblefield led Drive5 in scoring 14 points while adding 6 rebounds.
Missouri Phenom dominated their way to a win over Colorado Elite. Grace Slaughter put up a game-high 17-point performance, including a pair of threes. She added five rebounds and three steals in the effort.
Phenom’s S’mya Nichols will head to Orlando for the second straight year. Nichols had seven points and five boards in the win.
I’m most excited about meeting new people, and participating NBA Cares, and everything.
– S’mya Nichols, Missouri Phenom
After the action on the court, Harrison Barnes addressed the teams, and congratulated the winners. He also presented individual awards to players that exemplified the Jr. NBA core values – Determination, Teamwork, Respect.
The Midwest Regional takes place May 31 through June 2, in Westfield Indiana at the Pacers Athletic Center. As always keep up with all of the latest news from Jr. NBA Global Championship competition on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.