A pair of backcourt aces paved the way to a straight flush of the Under Armour Association (UAA) Finals for WeR1, which captured the 2017 UAA title with a 73-61 victory against Team Charlotte. In the process, WeR1 became the first program to successfully defend a 17U title at a circuit-clinching tournament.
“I knew what was at stake going into the game, I knew nobody had never won any circuit championship back to back on the 17U level,” Eric Ayala told USA TODAY High School Sports. “All I could think about is how much it would mean to me and the WeR1 program to do something that’s never been done before. And on July 15, 2017 history was made.”
WeR1 finished a perfect 5-0 in Georgia, with only one squad finishing within 10 points (the Florida Vipers in a semifinal). The matchup against Team Charlotte played out as a backcourt battle royale between WeR1’s four-star guards Isaiah Wong and Eric Ayala and Team Charlotte’s four-star point guard Devon Dotson.
Dotson led all scorers in the game with 18 points, but he had zero assists as Team Charlotte failed to get everyone involved in the offense. Dotson’s teammate (and Maryland commit) Aaron Wiggins added 11 points, but the pair couldn’t keep up with Wong and Ayala, who combined for 36 and strong work on the glass, particularly Ayala, who had 11 rebounds.
While Team Charlotte kept things close in the first half, WeR1 turned on the jets in the third quarter, using a massive run to build the largest lead of the game at 15 points with less than a minute remaining in the period. There was no rallying back from that for Team Charlotte, as Tyrese Martin and Malik Curry helped WeR1 pace its way to a comfortable victory and second-straight UAA crown.