Kinnon LaRose’s statistics have dropped somewhat since he recorded 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Albany City Rocks in their opener of the AAU National Basketball Championship at the Kentucky Exposition Center on Wednesday.
But he is still providing impact efforts at different stages of the games for the Rocks who climbed to 4-0 with an impressive 67-59 victory over the CIA Bounce on Saturday night.
The national tournament resembles the format of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship in England. One hundred teams in 11th Grade Division I start out playing all over the 18-court complex.
They have one goal to reach center court on Monday for the national championship game which will be televised nationally on ESPN III.
The City Rocks stand twogames away after moving into the Sweet 16 on Saturday. They look to lower the magic number to two as they play at noon today.
In Saturday’s game, LaRose, an OFA senior who earned Class B All-State honors as a junior, sparked the last lead change of the game. He buried two threes as the City Rocks erased a 5-2 deficit, took a 14-11 lead and opened a 32-22 halftime lead with LaRose connecting on a three from beyond NBA range in the closing seconds of the second quarter.
LaRose scored all of his nine points by netting three straight first-half threes. He did not score in the second half and missed his only three-point attempt but was part of a stellar defensive effort against a CIA Bounce squad which represented one of the premier AAU programs in the country. It’s the same type of defense which produced a 53-35 win over the Florida Tar Heels on Friday.
Earlier wins came against GBoyz of Michigan, 78-55, and the Ohio Cougars, 64-61.