The Soldiers limped out of session three in Atlanta and boarded their flight back to northern California with a meager 5-7 record.
Session four was two weeks away, and in order to qualify for Peach Jam, the Soldiers likely needed a 4-0 finish.
Oakland's EYBL representative delivered, and did it with some emphasis, rattling off four straight wins by an average of 13.5 points per game.
That number is more impressive considering their first win of the session was a two-point nail-biter over No. 2 All Ohio Red. This was a make-or-break game for the Soldiers, and they rallied behind a terrific performance from point guard James Akinjo. They needed every bit of his 23 points and five assists, especially considering the performance that Foster Loyer put forth (24 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists).
The Soldiers followed up their upset win with a 16-point win over Playground Elite, a 15-point win over Houston Hoops and a 21-point season-closing win over Mac Irvin. Taeshon Cherry nearly averaged a double-double (11.5 points, 9.8 rebounds) while becoming an enforcer defensively (2.0 blocks, 1.5 steals).
Not only did the Soldiers qualify for Peach Jam, they made it clear that they will not be an easy out in July. They are one of the many teams that will benefit from a month of practice, and with Akinjo and Cherry leading the way, they should remain competitive in Peach Jam Pool Play.
They have size, depth, good guard play and they play with a chip on the shoulder. They have a recipe for success, and will certainly be riding a hot-streak into July.