Three days and 12 games later, the 38th Annual Bass Pro Tournament of Champions finally crowned their deserving champion. And it was no surprise Branson, Missouri’s Link Academy, the number one team in the country, captured the title.
Thanks to four players scoring in double figures, including Ja’Kobe Walter, who led the Lions in scoring, 17 points, and received the Most Valuable Player award, Link Academy backed up the hype heading into the nation’s premiere boys basketball tournament with a 72-66 victory over Sunrise Christian of Bel Aire, Kansas.
Walter was joined by teammates Elliot Cadeau and Cade Phillips as members of the All-Tournament team. Cadeau, the nation’s top point guard for the class of 2024, committed to North Carolina, and Phillips, committed to Tennessee for the class of 2023, combined to score 29 of the team’s 72 total points.
Link trailed 11-10 after the first quarter, but outscored the Buffaloes 21-14 in the second to take a 32-24 lead at intermission. The next two consecutive quarters, the teams would score the same amount of points, which helped the Lions ultimately win the game.
The border war featured highlight reel dunks, blocks, finger rolls and much more between the two best teams of the tournament, but, in the end, it was the Show Me state’s squad showing the nation why they’re atop the rankings.