NORTH AUGUSTA — Now the fun can really begin at Peach Jam.
Pool play ended Friday at Riverview Park Activities Center, meaning it soon will be time to crown the champions of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League.
It won't be long before we know our finalists – quarterfinals and semifinals in the 17U, E16 and E15 divisions are scheduled for Saturday in advance of Sunday's title games.
A few of the main eventers set themselves apart from the rest during pool play, but there was still plenty yet to be determined late into Friday night.
The easiest place to start is at the top of 17U with Texas Titans, the tournament favorites who came to North Augusta with a 12-1 record on the EYBL circuit. The Titans started 4-0 at Peach Jam to assure themselves a top-two finish in Pool A and a spot in the tournament round.
Who else will join them is a little tricky. PSA Cardinals were in second at 3-1 heading into Friday's 9 p.m. session, but Texas Titans were their opponent. Houston Hoops finished pool play at 3-2, and Team Durant had a chance to match them later Friday night.
But that's simple compared to Pool B, where all six teams were tied at 2-2 heading into the evening sessions. Boo Williams moved closer to a quarterfinal spot with a 94-88 win over The Family Detroit to move to 3-2, where there will be a three way tie with the winners of the Expressions Elite vs. Phenom University and Renaissance vs. Team Final games.
Georgia's AOT Running Rebels started out 4-0 to clinch a quarterfinal spot from Pool C, which meant some much-deserved rest for stars Sharife Cooper and BJ Boston in the pool play finale. MOKAN Elite and Woodz Elite faced off in the 9 p.m. session with identical 3-1 records, with the winner advancing to Saturday.
Indy Heat may have been the most dominant team in pool play, starting 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 26.25 points per game. Their spot in first place – and 0-4 Mac Irvin Fire's spot in last – were already locked up before the late games tipped off, but the other four teams were still alive at 2-2.
Quarterfinal matchups for the 17Us are at noon Saturday on Courts 3-6, and the semifinals are scheduled for 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Court 3.
The E16s have quarterfinals at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Courts 1 and 2, with semifinals at 5 p.m. on those same courts.
The E15 quarterfinals are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday on Courts 3-6, with semifinals at 3 p.m. on Courts 1 and 2.
Bronny James won't be playing on the weekend, though he and Strive for Greatness bounced back from two hard-fought losses with an 89-49 demolition of Team Melo on Friday. All eyes in the E15 bracket should now be focused on Emoni Bates and Bates Fundamentals, who advanced out of Pool B.