ORLANDO - Led by Malik Monk's 15 points and four rebounds, the Arkansas Wings defeated Nike Team Florida 63-47 to win the 2013 16u AAU National Championship. Racing out to a 7-0 lead in the game's first two minutes, Monk and the Wings flexed their muscle on Sunday, relying on swarming defensive pressure to force seven steals. Heading into halftime with a 26-22 lead, Arkansas turned up the pressure in the final 16 minutes, racing up and down the floor to capture another national championship in a storied Wings program history.
Monk, who has received loads of praise in Orlando for his above-the-rim theatrics, was dominant on Sunday. Scoring a game-high 15 points, Monk's defense was most impressive, as the 6'4 guard forced two steals, and created other opportunities in transition for Arkansas.
With a roster full of football bodies, the Wings played at a controlled pace, but a pace that was faster than anything Florida had seen. Relying on relentless pressure on the defensive end, Arkansas did what they had done all week, create offense from defense.
Point guard Marquise Pointer had a stellar showing, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Guard Merlon Hunter also scored in double-digits, finishing with 10 points. Guard KeVaughn Allen poured in nine points, three rebounds and two assists, along with playing great defense. Highly-ranked center Skal Labissiere didn't have the most productive game on offense, finishing with six points, but the 7′ junior's length and shot-blocking ability made a difference in Arkansas' win.
For Nike Team Florida, forward Kevarrius Hayes led all scorers with 11 points and six rebounds. Hayes' highlight play came in the middle of the third quarter, when Hayes met Labissiere at the rim, blocking the center's shot, then racing down floor for a transition layup.
Outside of Hayes, small forward Chance McSpadden scored in double-digits, adding 10 points, all of which coming in the first quarter. Center Wyatt Walker had another solid outing in the matchup with the highly-ranked Labissiere, finishing with nine points and four rebounds. Walker used his bulk and brute strength to create position under the basket, helping Nike Team Florida stay within 10 points for a large part of Sunday's game.
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