LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kinnon LaRose had one of the those shooting days that any accomplished basketball player would like to forget.
But it came at the end of a run that he and his Albany City Rocks teammates will remember for a long time.
LaRose, an Ogdensburg Free Academy senior who was a first team all-state selection as a junior, was limited to three shooting attempts and they all went in and out, on Monday evening, as the City Rocks dropped a 46-40 decision to ‘The Ville’ of Louisville in the Grade 11 Division I title game of the AAU Basketball National Championship Tournament at historic Freedom Hall.
The City Rocks 11th Grade team made the first national championship game in the history of the Nike-sponsored AAU program and reeled off eight straight wins.
The Ville, which features two starters who have already committed to the University of Louisville, downed Team Nashville 52-46 to reach the title game.
In the title game both teams struggled offensively and the City Rocks were denied after managing to whittle an 11-point deficit to 40-38 with 49 seconds to play. LaRose contributed five rebounds, two steals and one assist.
The City Rocks advanced to the finals with an impressive 63-45 win over Team Florida on Monday afternoon.
LaRose turned in a signature multi-dimensional performances with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and one blocked shot. Backup guard Winston Morgan provided the offensive spark, hitting six 3-pointers including four in the second quarter.
The City Rocks controlled Team Florida mixing man-to-man defense with 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones and were effective with periodic full court pressure.
■ NOTE: Replays of the championship game will be available on the Universal Sports Network beginning on Aug. 4 and on the The Basketball Channel beginning Friday.