DUNCANVILLE — Yes II Success' 17s Amateur Athletic Union team used 30 points from Chris Mullins and Mar'Quaylen Grant to beat Houston Sanni Hoops 77-64 and move to 2-1 in the at Sandra D. Meadows Memorial Arena.
After splitting decisions during the first day of the Great American Shootout, the win helped move YIIS to the positive side of the .500 line.
"The boys played well after losing that first one today," YIIS Head Coach Brandon Ray said. "They got into the lane and made some tough shots and upped the pace. Qua (Grant) went off in the second half."
Less than 24 hours before, the team had opened the four-day national tournament with an 80-51 victory against 3D Empire — their sixth consecutive and first since becoming the first Texas team to win the adidas Gauntlet Summer Championships.
They lost to Texas Impact 4:13 80-65 during the second and final game of the day.
While Grant, Mullins, top Waxahachie ball handler Montre' Gipson and 6A super guard Nigel Hawkins consistently penetrated the interior of the defense, 7-foot Senegalese center Ousmane Ndim cleaned up misses with thunderous putback dunks and swatted shots into the stands on the other side of the court.
With the help of 12 first half points from Mullins — he scored 17 total and pulled down five rebounds — and six points from Grant, YIIS entered halftime with a 42-33 lead.
The team nearly doubled its efforts in the second half, using Hawkins to invade the lane by dribble drive floating jump shot and baseline drive. Hawkins, one of YIIS' offensive focal points in the final 12 minutes, scored one three consecutive plays — including capping the run with the shifting one-handed power slam.
Grant scored seven of his total 13 points in the second half and pulled down all but one of his seven rebounds. Gipson scored six points, had three rebounds and handed out one assist.
Ndim lead all players in boards with 11, scored six points and recorded two blocks. The three-star San Antonio St. Anthony Catholic incoming senior is the No. 48 center in the nation, as rated by ESPN and Rivals player rankings.
YIIS earned 23 total rebounds in the two 12-minute quarters.
Waxahachie High School's third player on the team, Larry Wise, missed the game due to an undisclosed injury.
"Larry had a little injury and we didn't get him into the game, but he should be OK soon," Ray said. "We're glad we're getting to showcase our talent on the GASO stage. This is getting us ready for Vegas."
Ray, as well as Gipson, Grant, Hawkins, Ndim, Wise and YIIS, will take on some of the best players throughout the nation during the Eastbay, Gatorade and Slam Magazine sponsored July 26 Las Vegas Classic.
YIIS played its fourth game of the tournament against Texas Hardwork 17 at 11 a.m. They will play again at 6:30 p.m. against Urban Asak on Saturday.
Their final game of the tournament, against the Dallas Mustangs, is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday. All games are at the Bob Knight Fieldhouse's Court B2.
Marcus S. Marion, @MarcusMarionWNI