By Matt Nestor
For the East E-Rabs, it was a giant step forward. For the Auburn Knights, it was a small glimpse into what could be.
Auburn topped Harlem in the semifnals of the summer league 65-52, then went on to beat East 77-46 for the championship.
Auburn coach Bryan Ott had not been satisfied with his team’s performance despite going undefeated in the league. But for one half, the Knights put on a dominant effort that showed their potential for the upcoming season.
The Knights struggled against Harlem, blowing a double-digit lead before holding off the Huskies.
In the championship game against East, however, the Knights came out on fire on the offensive and defensive end.
Led by Fred Van Vleet, the Knights jumped out to a 42-19 lead at the half on the E-Rabs before cruising to victory. East made a spirited run to start the second half, getting to within 18 points, but couldn’t sustain the effort against the deeper, more athletic Knights.
For East, it was still a very good experience. A cellar-dweller last season in the NIC-10, the E-Rabs showed great improvement, finishing better than Harlem, Belvidere, Jefferson and Belvidere North in the summer league.
In the semifinals, the E-Rabs beat a Winnebago team led by Marcus Posley, 56-42. JV Henderson led the effort, helping lock things down on the defensive end, picking up several steals that led to easy baskets.
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From the July 21-27, 2010 issue