Hoop-It-Up, the international three-on-three basketball tour that landed at Camden Yards this weekend, turned into a playground one-on-one contest.
During the semifinals and finals of the men's and women's premier division, the ball stayed in the hands of the team captains and they produced.
Maryland and Walbrook alumnus Dafne Lee took over the women's Top Gun final to lead Ransome past Footlocker Three.
In the men's Top Gun division, the championship game between Villa Maria and G. L. Shacks will be delayed until the regionals in Washington in August. Both teams played in a grueling television exhibition game, won 28-26 by Villa Maria, and decided to delay the rematch.
"We played in that earlier game that really tired both teams out," said John Miller of G. L. Shacks. "It's best for both teams if we just wait."
G. L. Shacks, last year's Philadelphia Hoop-It-Up champion and national runner-up, advanced to the final on the strength of the post play of David Gately, the No. 3 all-time scorer at Loyola College. Using an assortment of fadeaways and hook shots, Gately scored seven points in his team's 11-8 victory over Massengill Music. Tim Keehan sealed the win with a long-range two-pointer.
In the other men's semifinal, Marty Johnson established himself as the top ballhandler in the tournament. Villa Maria's sole offense in the semifinal revolved around isolating Johnson on the wings, allowing him to drive to the basket.
He finished with 11 points including the game-winning two-pointer as defending Baltimore champion Villa Maria edged Lamasa, 12-10.
While the favored teams advanced to the men's final, Ransome did not allow that to happen on the women's side. Ransome, in its first tournament as a team, defeated defending Baltimore champion Peace in the semifinals and 1992 city champion Footlocker Three in the final by a combined 22-9.
Lee, a 5-foot-11 senior swingman and the all-time leading scorer at Walbrook, had seven points, including the final six for Ransome, which defeated Footlocker Three, 11-5. She ended an 0-for-3 team streak at the foul line to cap the victory.
Cozette Ballentine and Sheranda Palmer, also Walbrook graduates, complemented Lee as role players. Ballentine was the inside threat, and grabbed 11 rebounds in the final. Palmer aided Lee as the ballhandler and was the team's top defensive player.
"We knew what they did last year, but we weren't scared," Lee said. "We felt the pressure was on them, because we didn't have anything to lose. We just went out there and let our play on the court speak for itself."