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DC Premier earns Las Vegas Fab 48 title

Different name, same result.

Reserve guard Jamaal King had a team-high nine points, and DC Premier held on to beat Louisiana Dynasty 50-46 on Sunday in the championship bracket final of the Las Vegas Fab 48 invitational division at Bishop Gorman.

It is the second straight year a team from Washington D.C. won the top bracket in the tournament’s 17-and-under division. DC Assault took last year’s title and was rebranded DC Premier AAU after Curtis Malone, the program’s co-founder, pled guilty in March to federal drug trafficking charges.

“I believe the kids are mentally tough. They didn’t let anything bother them,” DC Premier coach Corey McCrae said. “They did great in school this past year and they just kept working. It’s not about the organization, it’s about the kids in the organization.”

King hit a 3-pointer with 6:25 remaining in the second half to cap a 10-0 run that gave DC Premier its largest lead of the game at 40-32. Jon Davis hit two free throws with 10 seconds left after Louisiana Dynasty cut DC Premier’s lead to 48-46.

Leroy Butts, a Rhode Island commit, had eight points and nine rebounds, and Charlie Thomas added eight points and five board as DC Premier had nine players score. Davis and Marquez Letcher each had seven points, and teammate Develle Phillips, a 6-9 forward, pulled down nine rebounds.

The majority of DC Premier’s players were part of the DC Assault team that lost in the title game of the 16-and-under division at last year’s Fab 48.

“We told ourselves we’re going to leave with a bang for our last AAU season,” King said. “New team, new coach. We just said we’ve got to leave it all on the court.”

Louisiana Dynasty’s Jacob Evans, a 6-5 shooting guard ranked No. 144 in the nation by Rivals.com, had a game-high 15 points along with four rebounds. Evans’ driving layup cut DC Premier’s lead to 44-40 with 2:30 to play, and he made three free throws with 11 seconds left to bring Louisiana Dynasty within 48-46 before Davis’ game-clinching free throws.

Jahshire Hardnett added 12 points and four rebounds for Louisiana Dynasty, and teammate Jordan Andrews scored 10.

DC Premier held Louisiana Dynasty scoreless for the opening 5 minutes, 28 seconds and led 21-19 at halftime.

“It’s special. I believe we have the most talent in the country, and I just believe our guys fight very, very hard,” McCrae said. “It’s hard to win this tournament. We won nine games in a row; that was tough, man. We’ve got gritty, tough kids, and they just love to play basketball.”

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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