The Sacred Hoops team coached by Allan Bertram, and featuring Pierre’s Jackson Edman came home with a championship after winning the AAU West Coast National Championship at the Las Vegas Convention Center this past weekend. The tournament featured action on 26 courts, with over 250 teams participating in the tournament.
Sacred Hoops played three games in pool play for seeding. Game one saw them defeat San Jose Showtime 65-34, while they won game two 59-49 over Catch Spokane. The final game of pool play saw Sacred Hoops defeat the Davis Hot Shots 45-28. Sacred Hoops earned the number one overall seed, and received a first round bye.
Sacred Hoops defeated The Shield team from Denver 68-48 in the national semi-finals. They defeated Team Washington 61-18 in the national championship game. Coach Bertram said defense was key in their national championship victory.
“It was maybe the single greatest defensive effort that I have ever been a part of,” Bertram said. “We had two college refs working our game, and they both said it was some of the best defense they had ever witnessed.”
The championship for Sacred Hoops was the first AAU West Coast National Championship for a South Dakota team since the days of Mitchell legend Mike Miller in the late 1990s. Bertram said he was impressed by what his team was able to accomplish.
“Bringing home a national championship on a stage such as Vegas for a group of South Dakota kids is so impressive,” Bertram said. “Most importantly, it is a memory and experience that will last their lifetime.”