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The Undefeated: 17U's

By Antonio G. Castillo, 03/28/23, 3:15PM CDT


We start by recapping who went undefeated in 17U action at the Launch...

San Antonio, TX-

                The third weekend in March always kicks off our spring-summer circuit, and the 2023 Launch started the action with a resounding boom. Seventy-two teams, five college coaching staffs (non-LIVE period), three different media outlets, and nearly 1900 in attendance all converged in southeast San Antonio to see club teams start their 2023 grind.

Once the courts were emptied, lights turned out in the gym, and notes were reviewed, we recap the eleven combined teams that did not suffer a single loss in their four showcase games over the weekend. First up are the 17U's.

*17U Division*

HD Toros Elite (4-0)
A stalwart in the AAU/Club scene, they started the spring circuit with no blemishes. Two wins by double digits and Xavier Rendon (Pearsall HS/2025) led the offensive output in three of four victories. Junior Noah Christian, a 6’4” W/F (Castile Hills Academy/2024) had a solid weekend as well, reaching double digit points in every win.

J-UNO Elite (4-0)
Made up of all CenTX talent, J-UNO put the Tri-Regions and club circuit on notice. Ray “Tre” Jackson Jr (Manor HS/2024) continues his ascension upward and forces on-lookers to take notice. His perimeter game from deep has steadily improved and has to be seen as a threat. He shows his athleticism and quickness in being able to slash and score at the hoop. Teammates Kailand Johnson (Manor HS/2024) and Roy Gardner (Austin LBJ/2024) helped carry the scoring load and use their athleticism to get after you on the defensive end as well. Only allowing one opponent to reach 60 points in four games.

Texas Hardwork Dale (4-0)
This program needs no introduction. Three wins were by 18 points or more, and in their final game on Sunday afternoon, rallied to top SA Pro Skills National ET, 58-56. Judson senior Sire Maruvais had 27 and 24 point games. Gervai Maweather (SA Veterans Memorial HS/2024) continued his hot play from the State tournament and hit for double digits in 3 out of 4 games and showed he can be consistent with his perimeter game, both in the mid-range and beyond the arc. Damare Lister (Miller HS/2024) a 6’2” combo guard from the Coastal Bend, showed his ability of being able to do both. Handle the rock and be a threat with his jumper as well.  

Select Mambas NBA (4-0)
In our staff’s opinion, the most surprising team in the 17U division overall. This is the first ACH event the Mambas play in, and all they did was go undefeated in all 3 divisions. As for their NBA team, it was the 1-2 punch of Amare Guerra (Holmes HS/2026) and Max George (Antonian HS/2024). A small-framed point guard, who plays with no fear or intimidation of opponent size. He led the team twice in scoring, will hurt you from outside as he showed sinking three treys and dropping 27pts in their win over SA Premier. For a freshmen shows incredible floor IQ and the ability to find teammates. Puts great zip and accuracy on his passes. George stood-out as a nice compliment at the off-guard position hitting double digits in three of their four wins.

SAHE Gray (4-0)
Rolled through the competition, registering 59 and 50 point blowout wins. This squad has the identity 100% of a whole team. Selfless basketball which leads to several players being able to score. Evan Herrera (2025) averaged 14ppg for the weekend and is the team floor general. Backcourt mate Finely Montoya (2025) went for 15ppg this past weekend and had a game high 21 points in their landslide win over NB UE Regional 2023.

THP Elite Unsigned Sr’s (4-0)
Had two hard fought wins, and two blowouts. This combination of seniors was led by Demar Burton (Brandeis HS/2023) who hit double digits in two of the games. Had a game high 19pts in their win over King Hoops Unsigned Sr’s. Joseph Flores (Uvalde HS/2023) had 13 in their win over STX Hoopsters, and Joseph “Yashi” McKenzie (TMI/2023) set the pace with 11 points in a tight win over United Elite.

In the coming days, we’ll recap the undefeated 16U and 15U teams. Additionally, highlight some prospects who impressed and caught the attention of our staff.